Harold Lloyd in Magic

Talk about what is being written in other magic publications.

Postby Lisa Cousins » 01/07/04 09:22 AM

I liked David Charvet's article on Harold Lloyd in the latest issue of Magic, but it brought back a terrible memory of a time when I attempted to take a refreshing break from magic books and bought a biography of Harold Lloyd, only discover that he was a life-long magic enthusiast, and I threw the book down screaming "Is there no escape?!?"

I was perplexed by Harold Lloyd's statement: "I must put in a word against the exposer who sells a secret for a sixpence and laud the legerdemainist who sells a symphony for his soul." I mean, I believe I get the gist of that, but ... a secret is to a symphony as a sixpence is to a soul? Whose soul? Did the legerdemainist get his own soul in exchange for the symphony, or the soul of the hearer of the symphony? I can't quite comb that one out.

However, I do understand (and laud) his sentiment that "A true entertainer has no creed." I've lost all patience with presentations that tell me what to think or how to feel or the best way to live my life. Share your joy, your smarts, your love, or your skill, and you've got a fan. Tell me to believe in God, or not to believe in God, or Say No to Drugs, or follow the Food Pyramid, and you've got a cranky customer.
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Postby Guest » 01/07/04 09:53 AM

God bless you for that post.

--Randy Campbell
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Postby Lisa Cousins » 01/07/04 11:00 AM

Argghh!!!

Just kidding - I'm sure that She does. ;)

While not mentioned in this article, it was stated in the throwing-and-screaming biography I read (the one written by Tom Dardis) that Lloyd's daughter Peggy put together a nightclub act as a psychic reader, and that this "may have prompted Harold to revive his own early interest in the art. In the 1950's, calling himself 'Clayton the Great' and assisted by Roy Brooks, Harold put on a series of performances for guests at Greenacres, featuring 'The Mental Marvels' in 'Crystal Gazing Supreme.'"

The article does refer to his code act, but doesn't say if this is what Peggy used, or indeed that Peggy had a nightclub act, or indeed that there was a Peggy.
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Postby Andrew Martin Portala » 01/07/04 06:28 PM

Lisa,
You do believe in Starbucks? :D
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Postby Guest » 01/13/04 10:05 PM

It is interesting to note that Harold Lloyd was one of several in the Hollywood community, that were interested in magic and attended local magic meetings in Los Angeles. Among those were: Chester Morris, Max Terhune, King Vidor, George Cukor, Jimmy Stewart, Edgar Bergen, Neil Hamilton and more.
Prior to the Lloyds using the "Clayton-crystal gazer" title, a Harry Wilbur, who lived in the 1930's in the LaHabra, Calif. area, had a successful career as "Mystic Clayton" doing his crystal gazing act, years before.
Wilbur died in 1940 in San Diego, his death certificate listing his occupation as "Timekeeper".
He had at least one daughter. Does anyone have any information on Clayton or his family?
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Postby Bill Mullins » 01/14/04 10:04 AM

Originally posted by Diego Domingo:
It is interesting to note that Harold Lloyd was one of several in the Hollywood community, that were interested in magic and attended local magic meetings in Los Angeles. Among those were: Chester Morris, Max Terhune, King Vidor, George Cukor, Jimmy Stewart, Edgar Bergen, Neil Hamilton and more.
I know that Bergen and Terhune were ventriloquists, and that Jimmy Stewart had worked as an assistant to Bill Neff. Can you talk a little more about Morris, Cukor, Vidor, and Hamilton (from the Batman show?) and their magic interests?
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Postby Guest » 01/14/04 11:52 AM

Chester Morris's involvement with magic is well known...on film and on stage. I noted King Vidor and George Cukor,(Interesting that those 2 legendary directors, presented the "Best Director" oscar to Robert Redford, for "Ordinary People.")and Neil Hamilton, because of seeing their attendence noted in meetings and activities of The Los Angeles Society of Magicians, a very active/prominent local club, now gone. To what degree of interest in magic they had, I don't know. You do see Neil Hamilton often attending different magic activites in the magic magazines of that time. I think Max Terhune, may have had a column in a magic magazine for a while.
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Postby Guest » 01/14/04 12:43 PM

Originally posted by Diego Domingo:
I think Max Terhune, may have had a column in a magic magazine for a while.
Right you are! And the magazine was none other than - Genii!

Best, PSC
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Postby Guest » 01/14/04 02:29 PM

I was just zipping thru the JINX on CD-Rom and noticed a photo and mention of Lloyd by Annemann.
I remember a documentary about silent movies, and listening to an interview with Buster Keaton, saying his stunts were like magic tricks..."some are Houdini...some are Chung Ling Soo..."
Besides "The 3 Muskateers"(spelling?) movie westerns, that also featured John Wayne, Max Terhume also appears in an episode of "I Love Lucy" as a vent Ricky thinks is asking too much money for.
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Postby Guest » 01/20/04 01:26 AM

There is actually a harold Lloyd trick in expert cart technique.

J
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Postby Bill Mullins » 12/21/05 03:21 PM

Yes, Harold Lloyd was an actor, and a magician, but you may not have known of his Other Interests. A renaissance man, he was.
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Postby Guest » 01/05/06 08:50 AM

Lisa Cousins writes: "I was perplexed by Harold Lloyd's statement: "I must put in a word against the exposer who sells a secret for a sixpence and laud the legerdemainist who sells a symphony for his soul"."

One can hardly blame you for being perplexed.

Immediately on reading that contradictory statement, I thought of George Bernard Shaw's riposte to a young lady at dinner.

Searching for a topic to talk about, Shaw said: "Would you sleep with me for a million pounds?"

The lady responded, "Of course."

Then Shaw said, "Would you sleep with me for ten pounds?"

"Certainly not," replied the lady, "what kind of a woman do you think I am?"

Shaw replied, "We've already established that. Now we're just haggling over the price!"

BTW, while Lloyed was an accomplished magician, he also was missing three fingers on one hand (the right, I believe). Not bad!
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