Kirk Demarais once wrote a book, Life of the Party: A Visual History of the S.S. Adams Company, that is now hard to obtain. But dig if you can because it’s filled with hilarious memories of the mischievous monkey business kids got up to with gags manufactured by the S.S. Adams Company.

While the book is out of print and expensive, this entry by Demarais on his blog gives you a taste of the fun kids used to be able to have in terrifying their elders.



Here’s Orson Welles appearing on Dean Martin’s TV show in the mid 1960s; they’re both having some fun. Welles was a true magician at heart.


David Blaine has challenged his body over the past decade in ways no other human has attempted before. He has almost died multiple times in these attempts. These challenges are real, not tricks. Do not try at home.

The Library of Congress looks at the copyrights it holds filed by Harry Houdini for several of his illusions.

And here’s the wax cylinder recording Houdini did for his Water Torture Cell:

Richard Wiseman’s quirky antics in this video challenge your powers of observation. Can you figure out the trick?


Imam was one of the few practitioners of Fakir magic in the United States. This is just one example of his ability to fuse drama with comedy, and make you uncomfortable in the process.

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There’s no fooling around in the April 2022 issue. Our cover feature highlights card mechanic extraordinaire Jason England in a piece by John Lovick. Richard Wiseman and Lawrence Leung’s “Hocus Pocus Live: The Davenport Séance,” brings the spooky gathering to the pages of a comic book, and Erika Larsen writes a fond farewell to the Amazing Johnathan.

And lots of fine tricks, too! There’s a showpiece with coins and a $100 bill in “The River” by Joshua Jay. Jon Racherbaumer’s “Exhumations” unearths a quick production of the four Aces, complete with a Triumph finale. David Britland’s “Cardopolis” shares his solution to a card trick described once only in a 1935 newspaper. Roberto Mansilla has an answer to the Any Card At Any Number plot in “Artifices.” And “Magicana” has three routines described by Jonathan Friedman including one that uses sugar and pepper.

David Kaye shows us how to get kids to say the darndest things in “Expert at the Kids table.” Vanessa Armstrong brings us the news. In “Knights at The Magic Castle,” Shawn McMaster focuses on Founders’ Day. John Gaughan lights up “Chamber of Secrets” with a Thayer lamp. And speaking of lamps, this month’s “Light from the Lamp” shines on new tricks with David Regal, books with Francis Menotti, and Ryan Matney covering videos. It’s all on the inside. We’ll see you there.

Illusionist Rick Thomas is opening at the Andy Williams Theater in Branson, Missouri with a full-evening show. He’s a stylish magician, and here’s a taste! Hint: you can go even if your hair isn’t blue.


Posted on Facebook by the police in the city of Seguin, Texas, it appears that someone with sleight of hand skills is short changing cashiers at Walmarts around the United States. The poster takes a wry approach, though I don’t know if David Blaine would appreciate the call out. Here’s their post:

“Penn & Teller- watch out. Seguin has their very own magician on the rise.
On January 10 and February 12, Seguin’s next David Blaine made a stop at Walmart for a quick magic show. Sadly, only he knew about the performance.
The pictured magician quick changed employees of Walmart out of a total of $2700. Quick changing is when a suspect uses a slight of hand trick while counting out their change to pocket money. The suspect will count out the change showing the employee that he was short changed while he uses his other hand to pocket a portion of the money.
“Both a magician & a fashionista- this individual changed for his performance and is pictured during both incidents.
“If you recognize this individual or have any further information regarding this incident, please contact Det. Schramm at 830-379-2123 so he can book him… for his next magic performance, of course. 😉
“3/17 Update:
“It looks like our Walmart magician doesn’t keep his performance local.
“Our post caught nationwide attention. Due to the amount of shares & media coverage, law enforcement agencies from Georgia, Tennessee, Rhode Island, South Carolina, and Virginia contacted SPD regarding similar cases with our newly famous magician.
“Our magician keeps this performance the same across the country:
-Enters a retail store (such as Walmart) to make a wire transfer or return a high value item.
-When the cashier gives the cash to the suspect, he claims he was not given the proper change back.
-The suspect begins counting the change back, while palming the rest.
-While counting the change back, the suspect uses various distraction techniques on the cashier.
“Thanks to everyone who shared our post, we are working with multiple agencies on making an identification.
“This investigation is currently on going.
“For media inquiries, please contact Officer Wallace at 830-865-6409.
“For law enforcement inquiries, please contact Detective Schramm at 830-379-2123.

The Fakirs of old India sat crossed legged on a tattered mat, amid piles of cloth, and performed miracles: charming cobras, Indian cups and balls, the human volcano, producing sparrows from beneath a small  basket, lifting a heavy weight with the eyelids. These magicians learned their trade through an oral tradition that dates back hundreds of years, yet their mysteries are as vibrant today as ever.  Let’s take a time machine …