The Amazing Magicians is certainly doing an amazing job of getting the world hyped about magic. The Chinese reality television show has boasted viewership as high as 270 million people. That’s a whole lot of potential new magic fans.
One of the latest performers to charm those millions of viewers was Wayne Houchin. He got very physical with two of the show hosts for the start of his bit, then moved to the big stage for more card tricks and a truly grotesque application of sewing thread. Check out the whole thing above. Be forewarned that if you, like me, are really squeamish about eyes, you may want to look away around the 5-minute mark. *shudder*
For more performances from The Amazing Magicians, check out Patrick Kun’s Stranger Things-inspired bit for the show in November. You can also watch a longer video of the wonderful Mahdi Gilbert’s appearance or see teen phenom Matthew Laslo get futuristic with a drone.
Matthew Laslo may be one of the youngest magicians to hit the international circuit, and now we get to see the results. He’s shared the video of his performance on The Amazing Magicians, the Chinese reality show that reaches hundreds of millions of viewers, to his Facebook page. With so much moxie and stage presence at such a tender age, this kid’s likely to go far.
Laslo has, understandably, been talking up the recent appearance in the lead-up to his sharing of the video. He told a local newspaper that going overseas and working with other magicians on the episode was an “incredible” experience.
Magicians are getting many opportunities to shine on the small screen these days. There are so many reality and variety shows now that give illusionists, mentalists, and all kinds of magical tricksters a chance to reach a massive audience. But the biggest audience has to be for China’s The Amazing Magicians. The program boasts a whopping 270 million viewers, making it the country’s most popular show. In other words, it’s a chance for performers to immediately attain international stardom.
Mahdi Gilbert had a chance to perform on the program late last year, and we already got to watch him show off his tricks on air. But he also recorded a vlog with some behind-the-scenes footage of his trip to China and the filming of The Amazing Magicians. If you ever wanted a thorough experience of life for a touring magician, this covers all the bases.
Gilbert isn’t the only magician to make the long trek to China for an appearance on The Amazing Magicians. Matthew Laslo, who you might recognize from season 3 of Penn & Teller: Fool Us, recently spoke about his experience on the show, too.
Considering public speaking is one of many adults’ greatest fears, few of us can imagine standing up and holding court before 270 million people. Even fewer could not only do so, but do it with ease and grace as a teenager. As one of the recently featured performers on Chinese television show The Amazing Magicians, Matthew Laslo has done just that.
The 17-year-old from Washington recently flew overseas to film an episode of the reality TV competition, which is the most-watched show in China. Unsurprisingly, he was the youngest member of his team, a group of five international performers pitted against five Chinese magicians and challenged to show their best tricks.
“These (magicians) are the people I’ve been watching on DVDs,” Laslo told local newspaper The Islands’ Sounder about the experience. “It was incredible to see all these people that didn’t speak the same language, didn’t know each other, working together to create really good magic for TV.”
The show’s producers invited Laslo to participate after seeing him on Penn & Teller Fool Us, which is increasingly a gateway appearance for many of the next generation of magicians. While it wasn’t his first rodeo being filmed, Laslo said the production was much larger than any he’d previously been a part of.
“It opened me up more, in terms of what I picture a successful magician being,” Laslo said. “There is a whole world of magic out there that I can’t wait to explore.”
The Amazing Magicians has hosted several of magic’s biggest and most beloved names. Madhi Gilbert was on the program in late 2017, and his was one of the rare episodes where the entire presentation is available to watch. We’ll be keeping our eyes peeled for clips of Laslo’s appearance to arrive online.
The Amazing Magicians is China’s most-watched television program, with over 270 million viewers per episode—which easily makes it the most-watched television program in the world. Canadian magician Mahdi Gilbert, who fooled Penn & Teller and has since toured the globe performing close-up magic, recently got a chance to appear on the program and wrote about it in his email newsletter (which you can subscribe to by visiting his website). Here’s an excerpt:
The biggest TV shows in the USA get around 5-10 million viewers per episode. The last numbers I got in from China indicated that we were getting over 270 MILLION viewers per episode. The show (in English) is called, The Amazing Magicians and right now it is the biggest television show in the world. Most of you reading this live in the Western world so you’ve probably never heard of it but it does not make it any less big or important.
It really was a roller coaster getting this TV show made as everyone involved can attest. I was only there for a few days and I feel like I could write a book about what went on behind the scenes. But no one sees the work or the drama, they see the final product that’s delivered and that’s what we did, we delivered.
Magic has been dead in China and the Eastern world for many decades and for various reasons (political, economic, legal) so most of the country has no conception of magic and magicians outside of fiction and CGI superhero movies. For many of the hundreds of millions of people who tuned it, it was their first experience of magic. It’s so amazing to me that I could bring magic into so many people’s lives.
The Amazing Magicians usually airs edited clips of each magician that performs on the show, but the producers decided to show the nearly-unedited 23-minute-long presentation and interview, which you can watch in the video above.