Originally posted by John Bowden:
He may not be the greatest magician of all time, he may not even be the best Irish magician, but he is the magician here who, like Paul Daniels in England, has created a new impetuous to magic as an entertainment for adults. I rarely do a corporate gig without being asked about Keith Barry at some table or other.
Like in the case of David Blaine, it would be profitable for a person to ask himself (and honestly answer) the question, "Why is that?"
Pondering the questions "Who is the best magician today?"
or "Who did the most original material?"
and the like are not, necessarily, bad questions. They serve a purpose on our side of the fence, but television audiences aren't on our side of the fence. Those questions have nothing to do with figuring out the success of either David Blaine or Keith Barry.
Keith Barry on Friday night accomplished the same basic task David Blaine has: he connected with audiences. How? Well, even Simon Cowell in his very good book, "I Don't Mean to Be Rude, But"
had difficulty clearly explaining what he calls "the X Factor."
But the most successful television executives have a knack for knowing it when they see it, and taking a chance on the performer.
All in all, I thought the special was safe. I thought it was very good, but safe. And safe
isn't necessarily a bad thing at this point given what's hit the airwaves over the last four or five years. Number 2 on a Friday night during primetime is pretty darned good, wouldn't you say?