Best TV magic specials

Discussions of new films, books, television shows, and media indirectly related to magic and magicians. For example, there may be a book on mnemonics or theatrical technique we should know or at least know about.

Postby Andrew Martin Portala » 09/08/04 05:56 AM

Right now it seems there's a low in magic specials.
I was thinking about my favorites.
Doug henning's first and second specials
Heroes of magic
Jim Steinmyers' Story of magic
Oh yeah
Ricky jay's special
What's yours?? :)
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Postby Guest » 09/09/04 04:29 PM

Since you asked, all of them, but the ones I've

watched over and over ( 20 times + ) are:

Sigfred and Roy ( Lido show - because I saw it

live in Vegas in 1981 )

Richardi's Chamber of Horrors and Illusion

w/ Vincent Price as MC. Richardi at his best

Blackstone, Jr. Special made for PBS. Black-

stone, Jr, at his best doing all my favorites

Worlds Greatest Magic I-V . Great choiices

of magicians ( not all ) that are too numerious

to mention.

One last that may surprise you - If you have

never seen it look it up......

Harry Anderson's Bare Touch of Magic. I showed

this at a video night at a IBM meeting and

Harry does the race to see who can get out of

restraints first not with his wife but some

girl so big busted she could work in two

Hooters at the same time. As she slips out

from the 50 feet of rope she accidently ( ? )

slips out of her dress, dressed ina thong and

high heeled shoes. Magicians who have never

seen it screech. :p

Postby Guest » 09/10/04 10:01 AM

My favorite special was Magicians Favorite Magicians and there was one Jim Steinmeyer produced that I don't recall the name off but it had the blue room illusion in it.
Steve V

Postby Nicholas Carifo » 09/11/04 04:15 PM

The Magic of David Copperfield 1 through 15 hands down!

It may not be "en vogue" to name the obvious -- and most successful magician -- but nonetheless no one in my opinion has ever touched the quality and attention to detail in any televised magic special better than Dave....

That said... I am a big fan of magic specials showcasing ONE magician or act as opposed to the variety show format with a hodge-podge of short acts without the time to get to know, and enjoy, and become a fan of any one performer.

I just think it is much better theatrically. Copperfield, Henning, Penn & Teller, Harry Anderson, David Blaine, you get the idea.

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Postby Bill Duncan » 09/11/04 05:44 PM

No magic special I've ever seen (including Bare Touch of Magic) holds up like "Hello Sucker" staring Harry "The Hat" Anderson.

Nothing on it that appears dated (except perhaps the clothing) and every piece is worth showing to your non-magic buddies.

Harry doing "earless hearing" on Bare Touch Of Magic is pretty amusing though...
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Postby Christopher Starr » 09/12/04 07:15 AM

I have to agree with the 1st two Doug Henning specials being my all time favorites...I was about 16 years old at the time of the 1st special, and I was completed enchanted by the Henning look. It really shook up my perception of what a magician should look like or be.
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Postby thecardman » 09/12/04 08:08 AM

Originally posted by Steve V':
...and there was one Jim Steinmeyer produced that I don't recall the name off but it had the blue room illusion in it.
Steve V
The one that Steve mentions was called "Hidden Secrets of Magic" and is one of my favourites. It was shown in the UK, at Christmas, about 2 years ago.

My other favourite specials include "Heroes of Magic", which was shown on UK TV at Christmas 1999 or 2000 (and what a Christmas present that was!), David Copperfield's 4th special - the one with the vanishing Lear Jet - and Doug Henning's 2nd "World of Magic" - the one with the Elephant and Ricky Jay.

Best wishes

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Postby Andrew Martin Portala » 09/13/04 05:52 AM

I forgot the last special Harry Anderson made was "Tricks of the Trade". That was a great special!
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Postby Tom Smith » 09/13/04 12:17 PM

Doug Henning was my first - loved it!
Also - early Copperfield when he was working on vignettes and not "the impossible".
Dick Cavett's Slydini Specials - Wow!
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Postby Guest » 09/13/04 01:44 PM

Copperfield's "Great Wall of China" special. It is his only show with a cohesive theme running throughout, linking every illusion. Everything worked towards this end -- the music from Temple of Doom, the Chinese magicians section, on up to the grand finale walk through the Great Wall.

I love watching him perform, but I watched this special over and over until my tape broke.

Postby Guest » 09/17/04 12:21 PM

anybody know where i could find copies of some of those old specials?

especially anderson's bare touch...

Postby Jeff Haas » 09/17/04 11:40 PM

Rudy Coby's first special!
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Postby Nicholas Carifo » 09/18/04 04:03 AM

It was asked where to see videos of some of these magic specials. Those of you with SAM Membership can rent copies of many tv magic specials and club shows from the SAM Video Library. Info in MUM.

Not sure if they have "Bare Touch of Magic" or not. I'm not sure if this is actually a Harry Anderson special, or a special that Harry Hosted. I have a copy (packed away in storage at the moment) and I know it aired in the late 70's/early 80's on pay television (HBO or Showtime) in the early days of those networks. It showcases a number of magic acts ala World's Greatest Magic Meets Doug Hennings Style:)

Warning to the faint of heart tho...The name "Bare Touch of Magic" refers to the nudity theme throughout the show with many topless dancers and showgirls ala a vegas revue.

One act i remember is on the show with Harry is Goldfinger and Dove, among others.

It is a terrific magic speicial tho. My favorite part of Harry's act. He pulls out a big gun shaped seashell type thing and calls it a "virgin detector" as he trys to find a virgin in the audience. He hits the side of the thing as he is trying to use it and says "it must not be working right" it ain't findin' anyone. Oh well.. you have to see Harry the Hat for yourself do it :)
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