Rudy Coby is the latest performer to guest on The Magic Word podcast. Coby rose to fame with his comedy magic centered on the character Labman, a four-legged scientist who starred in two TV specials during the 90s. One of them, The Coolest Magician on Planet Earth, is available in its entirety on YouTube, so check that out for an example of his supremely odd style.
Here with Scott Wells, he talks about his many performance experiences and some of the fascinating characters he has met and collaborated with over the years. And yes, that includes Marilyn Manson.
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2017 has been… a year, so why not close it out by getting real weird? Rudy Coby, aka the Labman, has been pushing the boundaries of stage magic for decades, most famously with two television specials in the 1990s. The one embedded above, called The Coolest Magician on Planet Earth combines over-the-top physical humor with macabre body stunts in one of the strangest hours of magic ever recorded for a mainstream television network. Watch the Labman walk around on four legs, hammer a nail into his face, and try to dethrone Houdini with “The World’s Most Dangerous Card Trick” in this modern classic performance.
The line between homage and imitation can often be incredibly blurry, as is the case with the Ehrlich Brothers’ performance on German variety and comedy show Verstehen Sie Spaß? The duo have been filling stadiums throughout Germany with their explosive stage shows, but their most recent television appearance looks awfully familiar to several classic routines.
The similarities were originally brought to our attention by a tweet from @SebastianBu, who compared photos of the Brothers’ ten-minute set with moments from performances by Rudy Coby (aka Labman), David Copperfield, and Kevin James.
The Ehrlich Brothers’ set begins with a buzzsaw routine that appears to go horribly wrong, which, while thematically similar to David Copperfield’s version, is different enough to not turn heads.
Andreas is cut in half, appears to die, and then jolts back to life, and eventually sits the top half of his torso on the table—similar to Kevin James’ appearance on America’s Got Talent a few years back, but again, still not quite the same.
However, it’s when Chris takes Andreas’ legs and appears to use them to walk around on stage that the red flags start to go up, as it looks very much like Rudy Coby’s own Four Leg routine.
We’ve reached out to Rudy Coby and the Ehrlich Brothers via Twitter for comment but haven’t heard back from either of them as of press time. Coby, for his part, made a very succinct statement on Twitter in response to @SebastianBu’s tweet:
Fuck these guys. https://t.co/3iyS3Tir1l
— Rudy Coby (@rudycoby) October 15, 2017
Now, lots of tricks have a tendency to look similar—there are only so many ways to cut someone in half, after all—but sometimes the similarities are so distinct that you can’t help but raise your eyebrows. What do you think?