Close-up Magic on Letterman

Discuss the latest news and rumors in the magic world.

Postby Magic Newswire » 05/11/10 07:43 PM

David Letterman will host "Close-up Magic Week" on CBS's "Late Show" beginning on Monday May 17th and wrapping up on Friday May 21st. Featured performers will include Steve Cohen, John Carney, Johnny Ace Palmer, Jason Randal and Michael Ammar! www.bit.ly/bUlAi2
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Postby Roberto » 05/16/10 01:03 AM

Just read on Murphy's website, David Letterman's Late Show presents Close-Up Magic Week on CBS May 17th-May 21st! Check your local listings and fire up those DVRs!

http://murphysmagic.com/Default.aspx


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Postby Magic Newswire » 05/16/10 01:35 AM

Just saw it on Murphy's? I posted this on the MagicNewswire.com on the 11th and here on Genii the same day. ;-)

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Postby Roberto » 05/16/10 02:52 AM

Magic Newswire wrote:Just saw it on Murphy's? I posted this on the MagicNewswire.com on the 11th and here on Genii the same day. ;-)

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Yes, I logged onto Murphy's website today and saw this on their home page so I figured I'd mention it. I obviously had no idea this was already mentioned here but, does it matter who posted this first???

Anywho, I can't wait to see Carney, Ammar, and Palmer!

Roberto

P.S.-MagicNewswire.com rocks!
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Postby Magic Newswire » 05/16/10 01:05 PM

Not at all... Looks like a great week!
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Postby Magic Newswire » 05/17/10 05:33 AM

We just concluded recording the latest episode of This Week in Magic with special guest Shawn Farquhar. Shawn was asked to participate in Letterman's Close-up Week but was unable to do so due to prior bookings. Shawn discusses what the producers told him they were looking for in this series and it sounds like it will be something that we haven't seen on Letterman previously. In addition, David Kaye talks about which of the performers he has been working with for his appearance on the show and some of the technical challenges that these performers will be dealing with. This episode of the podcast should be online a bit later today. In addition, watch for some additional information on this as the week progresses.

Cheers,
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Postby Magic Newswire » 05/17/10 09:44 AM

Here are the TiVO links to record the various shows. You must be signed into your account at TiVo.com:

Jason Randal : 1 Click Record

John Carney : 1 Click Recording

Johnny Ace Palmer : 1 Click Recording

Steve Cohen : 1 Click Recording

Michael Ammar : 1 Click Recording
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Postby Magic Newswire » 05/17/10 09:59 AM

Just to whet your appetites, here are a few clips from Jason Randals six previous appearances on Letterman:

Jason Randal 1: www.bit.ly/LNRandal1
Jason Randal 3: www.bit.ly/LNRandal3
Jason Randal 4: www.bit.ly/LNRandal4
Jason Randal 5: www.bit.ly/LNRandal5
Jason Randal 6: www.bit.ly/LNRandal6
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Postby Magic Newswire » 05/17/10 03:42 PM

I just spoke with Michael. As I write this, Jason is in the process of taping his segment. Michael tapes his in two hours then flies off to France for 24 days. The producers agreed to tape him out of order for his appearance on Friday. Watch for several items from Michael's current lecture in the segment including a variation on "Sheer Surprise." I'll leave the rest out for now to let it be a surprise in and of itself. Congrats Michael!
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Postby Magic Newswire » 05/18/10 12:03 AM

As promised above, I have just posted our chat with Shawn Farquhar and Christopher Hart. In addition to many other topics, we talk to Shawn about being asked to be a part of Letterman's Magic Week, why he passed on the opportunity and what they asked of him when they called. We are also joined by surprise guest Christopher Hart.

Enjoy :: www.bit.ly/SFandCH
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Postby Roberto » 05/18/10 01:41 AM

I just watched the first installment of Close-Up Magic Week on the Late Show with David Letterman. While I'm sure Jason Randal is a fine magician, I have to say I was not impressed with his performance tonight on the Letterman show. Mr. Randal seemed a bit nervous and quite uneasy.

I trust that the upcoming performers of Close-Up Magic week will be great (Ammar, Carney, & Palmer). Letterman's a funny guy. I love how he pokes fun at some of the obvious things magicians tend to over do. Anyone else watch tonight's show? What did you think?


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Postby flynn » 05/18/10 02:40 AM

Watched it just now as well. He didn't seem comfortable and pretty nervous to the point it affected his patter and timing of his handling. I was hoping he woulda done a color change when asked if he could do that Wow change again without the sleeve.
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Postby Travis » 05/18/10 11:33 AM

Anybody catch the show?
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Postby Roberto » 05/18/10 02:23 PM

Hey, I can't recall the name of the second effect Mr. Randal did last night. I remember stopping in one of the magic shops here in NYC some time ago and the guy behind the counter gave me a demo of this effect but for the life of me I can't recall its name. Anyone know? Also, Mr. Randal's closing effect, was this Bannon's Royal Scam?


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Postby Mike Rozek » 05/18/10 02:51 PM

I'm sure Jason is a wonderful person, and I know that Letterman was a less-than-ideal audience for his magic, but he just didn't seem prepared. His handling (of both the cards and Letterman) was universally awkward.
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Postby Mike Rozek » 05/18/10 03:35 PM

All right...Just watched it again with fresh eyes, and I'm changing my opinion in my previous post. I was wrong. Letterman just wasn't a good audience last night. Jason was working with the situation presented and managed to get through it regardless. Returning to the moving of the mug bit was a great way to get the attention focused back to the presentation.
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Postby Joe Pecore » 05/18/10 04:12 PM

Share your knowledge on the MagicPedia wiki.
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Postby Seuss » 05/18/10 04:33 PM

He was treating him slightly Kamarr-ish

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8iYTVcCvTUs
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Postby Magic Newswire » 05/18/10 04:56 PM

This is Jason's 7th appearance on Letterman. I posted links to his previous appearances in the original thread in "Buzz" if anyone is interested in comparing them: www.bit.ly/boWOTr
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Postby Seuss » 05/18/10 06:19 PM

For clarity I meant Dave was being hard on Jason. Not at all comparing Jason to Kamarr
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Postby Frank Starsinic » 05/18/10 07:19 PM

Roberto wrote: I love how he pokes fun at some of the obvious things magicians tend to over do. Anyone else watch tonight's show? What did you think?
Roberto


That's a good lesson for any of us to learn. Why not poke fun. Maybe that will get "us" to change and as individuals, be more original.

The wallet trick was so confusing I had no idea what was going on. When the odd-backed cards were shown, it might as well have been a birthday cake out of his shoe. I have no idea what the plot was.
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Postby Magic Newswire » 05/18/10 08:09 PM

Did anyone notice the other magician on Letterman who seemed a bit "Lost?" www.bit.ly/brZiw0
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Postby flynn » 05/18/10 10:55 PM

Letterman's the type that will be all over you when showing any kind of incompetence so you gotta really be on your game with whatever it is you do not just magic. Like you become a target to get clowned through out the interview. You gotta be like Penn and Teller they do well on Letterman. I'm gonna be watching now just to see how everybody else the rest of the week handle them selves.
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Postby KHC » 05/18/10 11:40 PM

First of all, I am quite surprised that Letterman is actually having such a week, as it is my understanding that he doesn't really care for magic.

Ok, I will first preface by saying I am a mere hobbyist so who am I to say...I caught the 1st night with Jason Randall, and boy was he nervous. Granted, Letterman is not your ideal magic audience, but being the 1st guy on so called, "Close up Magic Week" was not a good choice. To my surprise, he has been on 5 other times and he was still that nervous. I'm sure Mr. Randall is a fine walk around/corporate magician, but he did not come across well in my opinion. I am hopeful the others (Carney, J. Ace, S. Cohen and Ammar)can handle "Letterman, the spectator"...its certainly not like showing Johnny Carson a trick.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 05/18/10 11:59 PM

Letterman is always a pain in the ass to magicians--he never just shuts up and lets you do your act. He's constantly interrupting because he becomes insecure if he's suddenly no longer the center of attention for more than five seconds.
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Postby Seuss » 05/19/10 12:12 AM

Carney kept him in line... though that overhead camera had some unfortunately timed shots.
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Postby Magic Newswire » 05/19/10 12:15 AM

I thought that Carney did a very nice job in spite of the challenges of unexpected camera angles and such. Even Dave seemed to enjoy it and didn't get in the way too much.

And, to top it off, apparently the newly crowned Miss USA is looking for a studly magician boyfriend!
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Postby flynn » 05/19/10 12:23 AM

Letterman hasn't come on yet over here on the west coast so haven't seen Carney on yet. But I did get to watch the other six times Randall was on Letterman and he did great considering its on national T.V. His first appearance was good I thought. I'm thinking maybe he wasn't feeling well last night because he's way different the other times he was on. I liked his presentaions for twisting the aces, hot rod and his collectors.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 05/19/10 01:01 AM

He did HOT ROD?

No.

Really?
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Postby The Magic Apple » 05/19/10 01:15 AM

That guy Randall was HORRBILE. Are you serious...WOW!? He performed WOW!? It is a good trick but out of out the 1000's and 1000's of effect he did that one? And some trick with sticky tape and aces. Looks like he learned it just before he performed it..."uhhh can I do it with 7 cards...uhhh...yeah...I think I can...WTF...?!!

Yeah, blame Letterman for the magician being nervous, it is always the audience's fault.


Give me a break.
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Postby Magic Newswire » 05/19/10 01:29 AM

Jason did perform Hot Rod on one of his other appearances on the show, not on this one. In fact, when we were recording the most recent podcasts with Shawn Farquhar, Cameron Ramsay mentioned that he had just seen a promo for magic week and that he had seen Hot Rod in the clip. Randal refers to it as the "Black Stick Trick" and you can see it in Clip #6 as listed in the links above.

Richard Kaufman wrote:He did HOT ROD?

No.

Really?
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Postby erdnasephile » 05/19/10 02:06 AM

Richard Kaufman wrote:He did HOT ROD?

No.

Really?


Actually, it was Jumping Gems.

A Hot Rod stick was used as a kicker finish.
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Postby Doug Brewer » 05/19/10 02:28 AM

Hey Frank - actually the cake out of the shoe can be quite funny. I think even Carney does some version. I would have preferred that . . .

To be completely honest, I think prop magic (like WOW, or Hot Rod) are nice effects if the crowd already knows you and knows you aren't a hack. I have tons of repeat customers at the bar and this kind of thing is perfect. Unusual props, kind of fun eye candy, but jeez, not on national TV (IMO).
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Postby rkosby » 05/19/10 02:38 AM

I just watched the Jason Randall clip on the CBS web site. Given the above comments, CBS must have cut out something because it looked to me like David Letterman was being a good audience.

His comment about a mistake not being really made and his question about the card holder having optical properties seemed natural given Jason's presentation.

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Postby Magic Newswire » 05/19/10 02:46 AM

Ray,
I watched it live and have it recorded. Only his intro as he came out was cut. Otherwise, you saw what was broadcasted.

ernasephile,
Actually, you are correct. Thanks for the correction.
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Postby flynn » 05/19/10 02:47 AM

Oh yeah ok. My bad I thought all them jumping gems and the hot rods were all hot rod tricks. Anyways I think Randall's pretty good live in person judging from his previous appearances. Maybe just not on live t.v. everytime. I still think something was up like he was ill or something on his mind maybe that just threw him out of wack.

Carney did good but it looked like he had camera nerves also. His handling wasn't the smoothest. Maybe it was the overhead cam. His flow was affected a little when the overhead came on.
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Postby KHC » 05/19/10 02:54 AM

So Rich, what gives...who got Letterman to do a close up magic week...I'm puzzled, as it obvious he does not enjoy it.

Admittedly, I was being kind, being that I was 1st to post on what I saw...Randall did stink up close up magic a bit. There are many close up magicians out there that are way better, and this guy gets on Letterman 6 times...and in the company of Carney, Cohen, J. Ace and Ammar, all some of the best in my opinion. Boy, I had a hard time watching him fumble with the double sided tape, his uneasiness handling the H-wallet...on and on. Bring back the days of Dingle doing the rollover aces. I will bet my 1st born (he's 25 and still living at home...that's why the bet) that the rest of the week will be spectacular.
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Postby NCMarsh » 05/19/10 03:22 AM

Reading these comments, I was expecting to be p*ssed at Letterman; I have had it hammered into my head that every show is a collaboration and the host is responsible knowing when to shine, and knowing when to let the act shine.

I'm also a huge believer that rhythm is critical to performance, and hate rhythm killers.

So I was ready to hate Dave, and cheer for our hero in the lion den.

Then I watched the clip.

I only had the chance to see the Wow clip, I thought Letterman was hilarious (the "when I make a mistake I'm not in control" line was beautiful). His banter was dead on and -- with all due respect to an admirable showing on Randall's part -- was the most entertaining part of the segment.

Well played.

I should add that I am not playing couch quarterback -- when I first started performing publicly I ran into a celebrity comedian in a walkaround situation and he ate me alive...he took total control of the performance and pulled the focus at all the wrong moments -- and I bombed for that group...it was much, much uglier than the Randall segment...so what's above has nothing to do with playing smug superior (I can feel the condescension drip from some of the posts above, and I would be very interested to see their sets for Letterman...Good for Jason to get the gig, and to be invited back over and over again...props)

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Postby mrgoat » 05/19/10 05:00 AM

I fail to understand the argument Mr Marsh, and others make. Namely, unless you have been on TV you cannot criticise someone on TV.

How many critics in the media do what they critique? None over here in the UK I can think of. The best theatre critic has never trained as an actor. The best restaurant critic isn't a chef.

Why do some people think that in order to criticise, one must be of the same professional standard/have the same experience as the person one is criticising?

It seems peculiarly linked to magic. Along with the old classic "Well if you don't like x on TV it is just because you are jealous".

Can anyone explain why some folk feel like this?
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Postby MaxNY » 05/19/10 07:52 AM

Carney on Letterman was great! Randall has too many dramatic pauses, too many sucker endings, and eggs Letterman on. Carney was wonderful the way he stuck to a routine and didn't let Letterman challenge the outcome.
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