RIP Dan Witkowski

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Dustin Stinett
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Joined: July 22nd, 2001, 12:00 pm
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RIP Dan Witkowski

Postby Dustin Stinett » May 24th, 2023, 2:41 pm

Dan was on the cover of the August 1988 issue of Genii:
From David Sandy (Facebook)

It is with great sadness to announce that we've lost a wonderful friend of the Magic Collectors Corner and the entire magic community. Dan Witkowski passed away this past Saturday, May 20, 2023 at the age of 67. He had a short battle with cancer of the liver.

Dan was a magician, collector, and the founder of MagicCom Inc. in Minneapolis. His fascination with magic began at the age of five years after finding a cardboard magic trick on the back of a cereal box. This encounter with magic used as a promotional gimmick would later lead to his success at MagicCom, Inc.

Dan performed as a magician on the convention and banquet circuit throughout the Midwest during his high school years. In 1973, while still in high school, he was hired by a Minnesota division of Caterpillar Tractor Company to magically produce a full-size tractor on stage to introduce the company's new line of products to dealers.

From 1974 to 1976, Witkowski worked at WCCO-TV in Minneapolis as a promotional assistant. While there, he produced a magical special "Abracadabra!" and a documentary on the life of Houdini.

In 1977, he founded MagicCom, Inc., a company specializing in stage and screen presentations. He also produced shows for entertainment centers such as Disneyland, Walt Disney World, and Six Flags.

In the late 80's, the NFL was looking to find new producers and ideas for its Super Bowl halftime shows in the years 1988, 1989 and 1990. NFL officials met with several individuals, among them was Dan and MagicCom, Inc. Dan did not give them specifics for a show at the meeting, but rather asked for the opportunity to give a formal presentation to them, which was granted. To pique the interest of the league officials, Dan put a padlock on the leather-bound pitch books he sent to the members of the league's halftime show selection committee ahead of his presentation instructing them to not view the contents until the formal in-person presentation. After his presentation, Dan and his company were given the opportunity to co-produce the 1988 Super Bowl pre-game show (as a dry-run of sorts) in addition to the 1989 Super Bowl XXIII halftime show. The halftime show created was titled "BeBop Bamboozled"... and was actually broadcast on television in 3-D. Here's a video: ...

Dan was a creative and marketing genius in every sense of the word. His "sales pitches" to potential clients were incredible productions in themselves. Those of us who were lucky enough to have had the opportunity to visit his MagicCom offices in Minneapolis were blown away by the creativity and production value.

Dan Witkowski was not only an incredible human being, he was a friend to everyone who met him. Our deepest condolences to Dan's kids and family. He will be missed.

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Re: RIP Dan Witkowski

Postby MagicbyAlfred » May 25th, 2023, 5:57 am

Sincere sympathies to Dan's family and friends. I am glad to hear that he did not suffer long in his illness. I did not know Dan, nor had I even heard of him, but thanks to Dustin's post, I have gotten a glimpse into his fascinating life and character, and I will remember him.

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