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08 May 2006

Vleeptron Institute of Public Gawking: posters of famed illusionists

In magical order:

Poster for David Blaine, at this very moment drowning in a transparent sphere filled with water in front of Lincoln Center, New York City. If he gets out alive, he'll emerge on live television tonight.

Poster promising the American illusionist David Copperfield will make the Statue of Liberty vanish. (He did, but then he put it back again.)

Poster of French illusionist Jean Eugene Robert-Houdin (1805-1871), father of modern theatrical magic.

Detail from poster promoting a chained drowning illusion by the American illusionist and escape artist Harry Houdini (born Ehrich Weiss in Budapest 1874, died 1926), who borrowed Robert-Houdin's stage name.

Gannett News Service (USA)
Monday 8 May 2006

David Blaine, Death
make for interesting night

by Mike Hughes

Tonight's Must-See:
"David Blaine: Drowned Alive," 7-9 p.m., ABC.

Parts of this special, taped in advance, will be a standard magic show. David Blaine does tricks, including the type -- close-up ones with strangers on the street -- that made him famous.

Still, there's also the sort of gimmick Blaine savors:

For a week, he's been encased in a capsule across from the Lincoln Center in New York. If all goes well, that will open up near the end of this show and he'll be plunged into water.

From there, he'll try to break the record of staying under water for eight minutes, 58 seconds. The trickery, apparently, ends and a genuine challenge begins.

Mike Hughes covers television for the Lansing (Mich.) State Journal and Gannett News Service. Reach him at


Blogger dusty said...

For me, Blaine holds nothing..I am not impressed with his week-long anythings..not in NYC, not in London..

I feel the man is a few bricks shy of a full load..

Copperfield, thats magic..

Blogger Bob Merkin said...

I just like all the ballyhoo and the bombastic outlandish promises, particularly in their posters. I don't care about the actual Miracles these people perform. I love their Outlandish Promises of death-defying feats and Miracles that are successful enough to make me buy a ticket or turn on the TV.

What supermodel did David Copperfield marry? Did it last? If it didn't -- did she vanish mysteriously?

Blogger Jim Olson said...

Seems our man Blaine was just a couple of minutes short of setting a new record for breath-holding. Shame, he was up around the seven minute mark when he blacked out and needed to be rescued. He managed to get all the chains off too.

I prefer 19th c. parlour magic myself. There is a man at the Waldorf-Astoria who does this sort of thing on Fridays.


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