The Lazy Magician

Discuss your favorite platform magic and illusions.

Postby Guest » 04/17/05 10:50 AM

Can anyone describe for me the Lazy Magician as performed by Dante and more importantly how he got into it?

Postby BlueEyed Videot » 04/17/05 11:04 AM

Like Clinton, I'm pretty sure a cigar was involved... ;)
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Postby Philippe Billot » 04/17/05 12:28 PM

Excerpt from dmagic by Bart Whaley

The Lazy Magician
Effect or routine where a volunteer or assistant apparently does all the work, including the magic. [rare]

Invented as a comic bit of business by 1933 by Frank Lane using a phonograph record, which he called "The Lazy Man Record", to give the instructions to a spectator who finds his selected card. This was the first record trick. Made famous later in the 1930s as "The Lazy Magician" by Dante who would sit in a chair onstage, idly bemused while his assistant worked the trick. Revived by Milbourne Christopher in 1961. Currently a pet effect of Lee Edwards.
REF: Lane ad in Conjurors' Magazine (Dec 1945), 8; Holden (1937), 28; Moi-Yo Miller, lecturing, 27 Jan 1985.
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Postby Guest » 04/17/05 02:49 PM

I have about 24 hours of Luis DeMatos shows on

video tape. He always has a magic guest. On one

he has Miss Miller as a guest/ She has taught

Luis Dante's part as she says she always did this

on Dante's Show. Basically it's cords of phantasia

with the magicican sitting in a chair tieing on

four silks. First his wand is tied on in the

middle and then two silks either side of the wand

by the assistants moving back and forth. The

magician is smoking a cigar and every time Miss

Miller gets next to the magician there is much

puffing on the cigar which bothers her....Mike

Postby Pete Biro » 04/17/05 04:56 PM

Bill Larsen recreated this on an "It's Magic" show some years back. His makeup, done by Johnny Thompson, was incredible... he looked exactly like Dante.

Yes, it was the Cords of Phantasia.
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Postby Guest » 04/17/05 08:02 PM

Thank you to those who have responded so far. I'm still curious though as to how he got into the routine. I don't believe he portrayed himself as a lazy magician in the rest of his act so what was his rationale for changing his character for this one routine.

Postby Guest » 04/17/05 10:01 PM

John Calvert does the Dante bit...When he is ready to do it, he simply introduces the fact that Dante performed the trick and that he would like to present it. He then proceeds to do the Cords of Phantasia, sitting in a chair and directing two members from the audience to move back and forth with the ropes in front of him, so that he can tie on silks and rings. The charm and humor in the routine is that he will have the two assistants move the ropes right (and ties on one silk), then left (and ties on a second silk), then back to the right, etc., until all the silks are tied onto the ropes...

It is an entertaining routine by a guy in his 90s, so, seeing him sit down to do the trick adds to the charm of it..


Postby Pete Biro » 04/18/05 11:12 AM

Most of the classic great illusionists of the olde days... were MASTERS of working "in one."

They had to step forward so they could close the curtains and set the next, often commplex, illusion sets.

So, they would do small magic in front of the drape.

Dante's best was the Lazy Magician, Blackstone Sr., and others had their great hunks...

Sadly lacking today seems to be THAT skill of presentation... you see so many performers do knock out illusions, then walk forward, curtain closes, they grab the mike and it GOES DOWNHILL so fast...

I hate to see that. There is much to do illusions, but to be COMPLETE you have to speak well and have strong "in one" magic.
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Postby Guest » 04/18/05 07:13 PM

You are right Pete, Bill Larsen's recreation of Dante was wonderful...I especially remember the blooming rose bush to the tune of "The Shadow Waltz", real magic.

Nick Ruggerio said when Blackstone, Sr., would do the Afgan Bands,("Red rags" to those on the show.) in one, with that simple trick, he connected to the audience, like no other.

Postby Allen Tipton » 05/07/05 04:35 AM

When I saw Dante in 1947 he simply strolled onto front cloth area, with a cane & wearing an opera hat. A chair was brought on. He sat, tilted his hat at an angle.Moi Yo & Victoria Lopez brought on the ropes & 4 silks. Meanwhile Dante had lit a cigar and stretched out, lazy , relaxed and comfortable.He extended the cane forward. Moi Yo smoothly dropped the ropes over it.Victoria laid the silks either on his shoulder or in his lap. This is hazy. Mr. D tied the usual'knot' The girls stretched the ropes. He motioned with his head. They moved sideways. Mr. D tied on a silk, pausing to blow cigar smoke at Moi Yo. Another motion of the head. They moved. Another silk tied on etc. Then he placed one finger against the first silk, head motion, and as they moved sideways the silk travelled up against the cane. Repeated with the others. Always cigar smoke blown at Moi Yo when she arrived near him.The final knot. Then he slightly speed up. Out came the cane. Silks fell into his hat. The cane penetrated Moi Yo's body & vanished; the collapsed cane being dropped into the hat with the ropes and silks as she took them off.
John Calvert, over here, did the routine 'speeded up'!! Thus losing the lazy idea.
When I presented the 8 performances of my tribute to Dante in 1980 I discovered why the old boy plkaced the trick three quarters of the way through Act 2. It gave him (and me) a chance to sit down, have a great cigar and relax before tackling the reat of the programme. Likewise with the Barrel Of Fun (though we did this as The Magic Kettle to give us more variety.)This position halfway through Act One enable mr. D. to have a refreshing glass to ease the throat. I don't have a picture in my large Dante collection & indeed I've never come across a picture of him performing The Lazy Magician but if anyone over there wants a pic of my impersonation of Mr. D in The L. M. please send me your e mail address and I'll send you one.
There was an article on the effect in the November 2003 Linking Ring by Bev Bergeron. This does contain one bit of biz. Dante ddi not use in the effect(it was however in the Magician's Rehearsal illusion)in which Bev had a brush brought on and brushed his hair before he did the trick.
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