Tracy Newman

Discuss the historical aspects of magic, including memories, or favorite stories.

Postby Bill Mullins » 11/19/11 12:57 PM

On "The Tonight Show" on Feb 8, 1974, Johnny Carson was talking about a recent Bob Hope special that included a sketch where Burt Reynolds and Dyan Cannon were playing cards. The sketch required Cannon to do some manipulative moves, and a hand model was brought in as a stand in. Carson mentioned that folks like John Scarne and other men had often done this, but it was unusual for a woman to perform that role. Tracy Newman was her name, and she came out as a guest.

She said she had seen Ricky Jay perform at the Magic Castle, and while she liked his magic, she was really impressed with his manipulation skills, and started to learn various moves. She did a pressure spread, a one-hand cut (sort of a Charlier cut, except the steps were performed in reverse), a DeCourcey one-hand shuffle with a waterfall flourish, and a one-hand spring deal (thumb buckles the top card towards the rear, and it shoots off to the table).

Carson did a little as well, including a one hand cut (cards taken from the middle of the deck, and placed on top), and a well done diminishing cards (a fan gets successively smaller and smaller). He mentioned his own background in magic.

The well-known profile of Ricky Jay mentions that Newman lived with Jay for a year. I've been told that Newman was the naked model in Cards as Weapons, but she was clothed on the Carson show, so it's hard to say.

Tracy Newman is Laraine Newman's sister (Laraine Newman of Saturday Night Live fame).
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 11/19/11 01:49 PM

Love this kind of stuff.
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Postby Jim Martin » 11/19/11 02:01 PM

Thanks Bill. Did you run across an interview clip?

I found this skit she did with Carson as El Mouldo:

Sure do miss Carson for bits like this.
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 11/19/11 02:59 PM

Tracy Newman is in the book, but she is the gal accosted by the armed intruder and using a playing card to thwart him. I am not convinced that the nude model is the same woman, unless Tracy got a nose job between photo shoots. (And it looking at her website, its apparent that she has not.)

Thanks Jim for some wonderful video!!!

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Postby Steve Bryant » 11/19/11 05:07 PM

I agree with Dustin. Although the Groundlings and Tracy are thanked at the end, the nude model does not seem to be her (hard to focus on the face though!). On the other hand, what a nice find. Check out Tracy's web site and especially her music videos. Very entertaining. I'd seek out this show if I were living in California.
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Postby Bill Mullins » 11/19/11 11:12 PM

Jim Martin wrote:Thanks Bill. Did you run across an interview clip?


I found this skit she did with Carson as El Mouldo:

Sure do miss Carson for bits like this.

Thanks for posting this. It was from the same eipisode, earlier in the show, and I hadn't seen it. The interview explained of how a "random" woman from the audience could do the manipulation.

It appears that the youtube video above was posted by Charlotte Dean , Tracy's daughter.
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Postby Geno Munari » 11/21/11 10:35 AM

I tried to email you but it did not work. Please email me at
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Postby Edward Pungot » 11/22/11 12:46 AM

Just for anyone curious as I was when I first read this post, here is a link that lists all the magicians who performed on the Carson Show :

I was too young to remember the Carson Show. And when I did become conscious of it, I tuned it out in preference to Captain Kangaroo and later on Duck Tales (I was an early morning child). The only magician I actually saw a tape of performing on the show was a clip of Ammar doing this floating bill that was included as an excerpt in his Classic Renditions tapes. I'm sure some of the other magicians' performance clips are out there somewhere (it would be nice if they were all assembled in one place)(if such a thing could be done without violating copyright laws)). At any rate, if someone is looking for a winter project, that would be a good one. Here's one to get you started :
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Postby Pete Biro » 11/22/11 01:06 AM

Tracy Newman, Dai Vernon, card man Stuart Gordon and yours truly all were "stooges" for a one-off performance by Ricky at a club in Santa Monica, Calif. The premise was Ricky invited a group of people from the audience on stage. We all came up PLUS A LAYMAN. Ricky then said he would hypnotize all of us and we would all be able to duplicate his card manipulations.

He went through the FAKE of hypnotizing us. He then did a move in front of Tracy, and she did it. Then Gordon, and likewise he could to it. Then Vernon, who said he was a retiree and didn't know how to shuffle. Great reaction.

Then the LAYMAN... WHO COULDN'T DO ANYTHING RIGHT. Then to me. I didn't want the layman to feel bad so I fumbled a bit before I got it right.

The whole thing played well, and at the end of the show Ricky explained we were all magician friends of his and he did this just as a goof.

PUNCH LINE WAS: The LAYMAN. He came to Ricky after the show and said, "Thank you so much for hypnotizing me, I love being hypnotized."

We had a lot of fun doing it and it's a night I will never forget.
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