8 magicians who dazzled us on TV when we were kids

Top Image: The Everett Collection

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While there’s no shortage of magician characters, working stage magicians aren’t as common as they used to be. Before the era of television, illusionists were those who provided awe-inspiring visuals to audiences in theaters. They were also perfect subjects for the small screen, where mystical masters could trick the camera and dazzle us as we sat in our living room in our pajamas.

Dozens of magicians have appeared on talk shows and variety shows, and some of them have won their own series. Here are some notable magicians from the golden age of television.

1. Doug Henning

With his dazzling overalls and radiant smile, Henning was the perfect man to introduce children to the world of magic, an adorable character similar to Gallagher or Slim Goodbody. The Canadian made his country debut on Broadway, earning a Tony nomination for his 1974 production, The magic show. A year after this opening, 50 million viewers watched the special The Wizarding World of Doug Henning. The escape artist and Houdini lover then created stage tricks for the Earth, Wind and Fire and Michael Jackson tours.

Image: AP Photo

2. Marc Wilson

Wilson has the honor of being considered the first “television magician” because he hosted the popular series The magical land of Allakazam in the early 1960s. The Saturday morning show also featured his wife, Nani Darnell, and Rebo the clown. He is also said to be an influential magician behind the camera, acting as the official magic consultant to the Bill Bixby series. The magician.

Picture: alchetron.com

3. Harry Blackstone

Blackstone was one of the greats of the early 20th century, but it left its mark on the Boomer generation. The wise old magician has tricked children into boxes of Post Toasties and Sugar Crisp cereal, and appeared in adverts for breakfast treats. He died in 1965 and his son, Harry Blackstone, Jr., carried the torch, appearing on television throughout the 70s and 80s.

Picture: Publish / YouTube

4. The Incredible Randi

James Randi is as well known for his skepticism as his illusions. The performer offered $1,000 (then $10,000, then $1,000,000) to anyone who could prove the existence of the supernatural. Randi, seen here on the cover of dynamite magazine, was on a mission to expose charlatans posing as naturally gifted psychics. He would mainly focus on unbolting the next man, his sworn enemy…

Picture: dynamite Magazine No. 90, courtesy Jason Liebig/Flickr

5. Uri Geller

Although the Israeli phenomenon posed as a mystic, telepath and practitioner of psychokinesis, and although many people believed in his spoon-bending abilities in the 1970s, Geller was essentially a magician performing tricks well known. Johnny Carson, with the help of Amazing Randi, revealed his lack of supernatural skills in a 1973 episode of The show tonight.

Image: AP Photo

6. Fancy

While Fantasio may not have the fame of those other names, the Argentinian artist does have a fascinating career footnote. He was the guest of The Ed Sullivan Show the night the Beatles made their debut, which meant millions witnessed his routine with a newspaper.

Picture: The Ed Sullivan Show /SCS

7. Richardi

Speaking of Sullivanno magician has appeared on the variety show more often than Aldo Richiardi, Jr. The Peruvian was a third-generation magician, and he would appear on NBC. star magicas well as landing his own special, Richardi’s Chamber of Horrorshosted by Vincent Price.

Picture: The Ed Sullivan Show /SCS

8. Kuda Bux

‘The Man with the X-Ray Eyes’, born Khudah Bukhsh, walked on fire for Ripley’s believe it or not. His magical powers of vision inspired a story by Roald Dahl (“The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar”) and eventually landed a largely forgotten 1950 CBS show titled Kuda Bux, Hindu Mystic.

Picture: The man with x-rayed eyes (1938) / British Pathé

Brian L. Hartfield