Back in 1999, Michael York hosted a series called Magic and Beyond that featured both classic magical acts as well as fresh new talent. The presentation leaned a bit too heavily on the “magic is spooooooky” shtick, but it was the 90s, which only slightly edges out the 80s when it comes to bad aesthetic choices. The series’ 26 half-hour episodes are all available now for free viewing on Amazon Prime, and if you don’t have prime, you can pick them up for $.99 apiece. These video time capsules are fantastic for letting us see how magic has changed over the years – and how it hasn’t.
There are magicians who take the craft to new levels, creating delight and wonder in even the crankiest and crustiest of audiences. Performers who take us back to that wonderful time and place in our lives when we believed anything was possible, and that the world still had mysteries for us to discover. And then…there are the magicians who sound a lot like this video by Paul Draper and Jason Andrews.
To be fair, I’m not sure how many creative ways there are to introduce a playing card or coin to a spectator without saying it’s “ordinary,” but I think we can agree the world would be a better place if nobody ever made a “deck” joke ever again. (Avoiding patter like this is why Teller decided to stop talking, by the way.)
Their follow-up video, comprised of suggestions made by folks who watched Part 1, is below. Now, I don’t think “for my next trick” meets their definition of a line that was stolen from its originator, but there are more elegant ways to get from one illusion to the next. Be sure to stick around for the moment that Paul realizes he’s guilty of using the line he’s poking fun at.