It’s been a rough week, readers. So how about you sit back, relax, and enjoy some curated magic videos courtesy of your old friends at Genii Online.
Tommy Wind appeared on KSNV News Las Vegas to promote the new season of Masters of Illusion which, if I’m not mistaken, begins airing tonight. For the impatient among you, he starts performing tricks at the 1:45 mark.
Jay Sankey dropped another tutorial, this one is for an awesome trick performed with a deck of cards and a firecracker, making it completely illegal in Canada.
Update: I have just been informed that Jay Sankey is in fact Canadian himself, meaning he is a firebrand magician with no regard for the law.
— Eli Roth (@eliroth) June 28, 2018
Hostel director, Eli Roth, has never been my cup of tea, but his upcoming adaption of children’s horror novel, The House with a Clock in its Walls looks like it might just change my mind. Jack Black is perfectly cast as a goofy magician, and judging by the trailer, the film seems to lay on the classic performance magic shtick really thick. It hits theatres September 21st.
— America's Got Talent (@AGT) June 28, 2018
Fresh from his victory over gravity itself, Mat Franco has returned to our screens to teach magic and shill donuts. Elastic band tricks are a quick and easy way to fill out a close-up routine, or annoy your co-workers at the office. Learn them.
We somehow managed to miss Piff the Magic Dragon auditioning for Game of Thrones last month. Sadly, a dragon his age will get nowhere in Hollywood without a scale lift. The green screen gag is absolute genius, by the by.
Rob Lake made an appearance on America’s Got Talent. I thought the setup was a bit overwrought, but it went down well with the judges and the live audience. Best of luck in the competition, Rob!
Christian Wedoy also made a splash on AGT (it never stops, folks. It. Never. Stops). We’ve seen him perform with this set up before, albeit in a less dramatic setting, but it’s still amazing to see him and his lungs strut their stuff.
Alex Geiser uploaded a slick, no-nonsense coin routine to YouTube.
And there we have it, a cavalcade of magic to keep the blues away. Stay safe out there, readers.
Tired of leaving of having to leave your house to see magic shows? Don’t feel like raking through hours of stolen tricks and Zach King compilations on YouTube? Good news, your old faithful friend, the television, will once again be host some quality magic shows in the coming weeks. Both Penn & Teller: Fool Us and Champions of Magic will be returning to the small screen before the month is out.
Fool Us returns on Monday, June 25th, with an episode called Penn the Magic Dragon. No prizes for guessing who’s going to be on that show. Unless you guessed Dom Chambers, in which case, yeah, you probably deserve a prize for your weirdly specific knowledge of upcoming variety show lineups*. Appearing alongside Chambers and a certain actual mythical beast will be Matt Marcy, Andrew Evans and The Sentimentalists.
On Friday, June 29th, Masters of Illusion season 7 will premiere on The CW. There’s no info on who’ll be in this first episode aside from what you can glean from the short trailer above. I did spot Murray Sawchuck in there. Then again, he’s hard to miss.
If you’re willing to step into the realm of digital entertainment streaming, you’ll also be able to catch Derren Brown’s Miracle when it hits Netflix on June 22nd.
*Unless you actually are Dom Chambers, in which case, get out of here, Dom. Stop trying to steal our hypothetical prizes.
“Vegas at 11am is one of the most depressing sights known to mankind,” says Piff the Magic Dragon as he surveys the paltry foot traffic outside of the Flamingo Hotel Casino in Las Vegas.
Thus begins a hilarious episode of Vegas 24 in which host Roberto Raad tries in vain to summon a sliver of enthusiasm from the famously cantankerous supernatural lizard.
I’ve honestly ran out of things to write about Piff – who has mysteriously never been seen in the same room as professional magician, John van der Put. He’s been doing amazing things in the magic scene since 2008, but really hit his stride when he appeared on the first season of Penn & Teller: Fool Us in 2011. He’s since appeared on America’s Got Talent three times, reaching the top ten in two of his appearances. While it’s clear Mr. Piffles is the power behind the throne, Piff’s tricks are great, his wit is lightning fast, and his English is great for an ancient mythical beast.
The core conceit behind Awesome People Talking is that magic enthusiast and host Braden Carlisle interviews people who are, to use the parlance of our times, “awesome.” Well, he’s cocked that up already, because while Piff the Magic Dragon satisfies many of the criteria used to diagnose awesomeness, he is not, as a matter of fact, a person. He is a genuine magic dragon, an actual mythical beast.
Considering Carlisle is interviewing a comedy magician, the interview is surprisingly grounded. Piff, who occasionally moonlights as human John van der Put, talks candidly about his creative process, his start in the magic business and his controversial appearances on America’s Got Talent.
Mr. Piffles was not present for the interview.
Few performers can make us giggle as much as Piff the Magic Dragon. The hilarious magician-in-a-dragon-costume-with-canine-sidekick recently sat down with the Windsor Star to dispense some of his trademark dry wit. It helps that the paper served him up with brilliant questions, allowing us all to enjoy this exchange:
Q: Dragons seem to be very popular now, what with Game of Thrones, Imagine Dragons, Dragons’ Den — have you noticed people giving you more respect?
A: Yeah, finally. It’s a good time to be a dragon. Before that, it was just about being shot in the face by a dwarf or a hobbit. But times have changed.
Piff also reflects on pet ownership and working onstage with a chihuahua. “I did get a second Mr. Piffles, but he’s terrible at show business, so he’s just a pet dog. There’s only one real Mr. Piffles,” he said. Read the whole interview here to get his insights on Las Vegas, YouTube, and stealing magic.
Las Vegas is a hotspot for live entertainment and magicians, but it’s also the home of the Consumer Electronics Show. CES shows up at the Las Vegas Convention Center every year in January to host the likes of Samsung, Sony, and more as they show off the latest televisions and strange gadgets for the 21st century household. And on Twitter, the worlds of high-tech magic and actual magic collide when Piff the Magic Dragon decides to help test out a new toy.
Canadian science show Daily Planet made its way over to Piff’s palatial Las Vegas manor to show off the latest in pet entertainment technology with a device called Pebby. Pebby is a webcam mounted inside a gyroscopic ball, which is viewed and controlled through whatever smart device you have lying around. Mr. Piffles is, of course, a puppy of very discerning taste, and isn’t easily impressed by your run-of-the-mill squeaky toys. So what did he think of Pebby? Check out the video below to see for yourself:
Our own @ziyatong is in Las Vegas for #CES2018, and she's showing off some tech to her new Vegas friends Piff the Magic Dragon from America's Got Talent & his dog Mr. Piffles! pic.twitter.com/44iJIGXjC1
— Daily Planet (@DailyPlanet) January 9, 2018
While Mr. Piffles might as well be comatose when responding to Piff at the beginning of the video, he easily takes to the smart ball while playing out in his backyard (though he doesn’t seem particularly fond of the cat sound effects). Piff even had a bit of a go—he is a very real dragon, after all, and dragons deserve recreation, too.
Fans of magic and chihuahuas, rejoice! Piff the Magic Dragon is getting a TV special. The elaborately costumed Piff tweeted that the show will be filmed in Las Vegas on January 11 and 12. There are only about 50 tickets available for each show during the taping, so click quick if you want your laughter to be in the background.
As yet, the special has no title; to hear Piff tell it, the show may wind up being called “To Be Decided.” If you’re curious to know a little more, including some rejected titles, take a listen to the latest episode of The Piff Pod. (Personally, I don’t see how the whole team didn’t throw their support behind “Reptile Dysfunction,” but that’s just me.)
The podcast, which usually airs new episodes each week, is a great way to get a taste of the Dragon Squad’s antics even if you can’t make it to one of their shows. The latest episode features Jerry Kramer, the producer for Piff’s special. The Squad doesn’t reveal many other details about how Piff will translate his zaniness to the small screen, but they do discuss the project a bit as well as delving into some of the stranger happenings during the average Piff show.
Listen to the whole episode on The Piff Pod website.
Piff the Magic Dragon is a hoot on stage and off. But he played it surprisingly straight in a recent interview with Las Vegas Weekly about his holiday-themed Piffmas at Piffany’s show. He shared how the original concept of his Breakfast at Piffany’s bit emerged out of boredom during an early Vegas gig.
“I was supposed to be doing two sets of 10 minutes,” he said. “I was used to doing hour-long shows, so I was bored out of my mind.”
So he starting doing a secret midnight show at the bar in Rose.Robbit.Lie., a supper club at the Cosmopolitan. It’s an interactive magic game show, where his audience gets split into teams and the teams compete against each other helping Piff out with tricks. He even turned the act into a fundraiser, auctioning off stale croissants to the highest bidder.
“We raised $15,000 in three months for Communities in Schools by auctioning off stale pastries, and the winning bidder would go into a secret-secret room and have this whole crazy croissant-dance thing that no one would ever speak of.”
Not too shabby! Check out the whole interview, including Piff’s Christmas plans, here.
Piff the Magic Dragon is still finding room in his busy schedule to keep up a weekly podcast. The latest episode of The Piff Pod brings David Williamson into the guest’s seat. Williamson is a magician and comedian who currently is the Ringmaster of the Vegas show Circus 1903. As Piff and crew will explain, Circus 1903 it is a blissfully clown-free take on the spectacle of golden age circus shows, and Williamson is essentially its MC. They have a rollicking conversation about escape rooms, happily divorced couples, and of course, magic. Listen to it all on the show’s website or via iTunes.
Piff begins his holiday-themed show in Las Vegas next week. “Piffmas at Piffany’s” runs from December 4 til December 30.
The holidays are approaching, which of course means spending time with loved ones, sharing delicious food, giving each other gifts, and dueling against one another in arbitrarily-designed contests for cash and prizes. At least, that’s how Piff the Magic Dragon likes to spend his holidays, and he’d like to spread some of that cheer with you.
If that sounds like a great way to spend a December evening to you, you can get tickets for Piff the Magic Dragon’s third annual Piffmas Piff-Tacular special, “Piffmas at Piffany’s.” It’s a holiday-themed version of his interactive game show “Breakfast at Piffany’s”, which splits the audience into four teams and sees them competing with each other in order to win Piff’s Prize Potluck. There will, of course, be plenty of jokes, tricks, and Mr. Piffles to go around.
Money will also be raised at each show during a special segment entitled “Sale of a Sandwich,” the proceeds of which will be donated toward Feeding America, a charity dedicated to eradicating hunger in the United States.
Tickets are available now through Ticketmaster.com, and the special holiday extravaganza will run from December 4 through December 30, 2017.