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Harry Lorayne
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Mark: The presentation I taught/teach originally in C-UCM (now in TCC, 1) is MINE, not Al's. Al originally did the effect for me, I'd never seen it before. Yes, the concept is in RRTCM, but I'd been invoved with/in card magic for about 60 years, and never saw it. People started to use it when I published my presentation (many "used" it, but also loused it up!). Koran never mentioned Jack Miller to me - fortunately I knew Jack and mentioned the concept to him one day when in the throes of writing C-UCM - that's when I found out that it was his. So, of course, I gave him that credit. Anyway... HL.
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Hideo Kato
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Jack Miller's original version is described in "50 TRICKS YOU CAN DO, YOU WILL DO, EASY TO DO" by Rufus Steele published in 1946. The title is 'That Number Down'.

Hideo Kato
Harry Lorayne
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That's exactly what I'm talking about. Been around so long and nobody was doing it until I published my presentation. After that, and over the years, I've received literally thousands of pieces of mail (snail mail originally) and emails, etc., from people all over the world presenting it, etc. Incidentally, Jack Miller was a friend - used to spend hours with him up at Tannens back in the day - and he told me that he now, after I showed him the way I did it, uses my presentation. HL.
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*Mark Lewis*
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I ignored it in the Royal Road and thought it sounded a boring trick. And then I read Harry's version and it brought the trick alive. It was like night and day. Al Koran did describe the presentation in Abra #450 and in his lecture notes he made the remark which I think was a dig at Harry "It has been published without my permission though credited"

Al of course is long dead and gone so I suppose we will never know the truth of the matter but regardless of the origin it is a great card trick.
Harry Lorayne
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I had heard that Koran said that from one or two others. Interesting how people make up stuff. Unfortunately, the people - well, just one "people" - who can prove that Koran lied are gone. Richard Himber was a close friend - those who have my book, The Himber Wallet Book, know that, and have read a half dozen or so vignettes re: Dick and I. Anyway, I used to visit Dick at his Essex House apartment quite often. This one time Al Koran was there. Dick introduced us, then told Al that I was in the throes of writing Close-Up Card Magic and would he like to contribute something. Al said "ye," and did what I later named The Lazy Man's Card Trick for me. Terrible presentation. But, I was on the spot - between Dick and Al. I said sure, I'll use it. Al said fine. OF COURSE, he gave me permission - he did the darn thing for me with the idea of me using it in the book. That IS the truth so now you know the truth, Mark. Best - Harry L.
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paisa23
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Ok , I learned it from Ammar ETMCM... Whos version is on the DVD I am not sure nor am I home but I thought it was Koran.
Harry Lorayne
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Where/who in the world do you think Ammar learned it from? HL.
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paisa23
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Lol fair enough Harry so the one in his DVD is your handiling? I just got confused on that topic.
*Mark Lewis*
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The bit that seems to need figuring out is that Al definitely printed the presentation in Abra #450 and it is as near as dammit to the presentation in Close Up Card Magic. Koran called it the Tired Magician rather than the Lazy Magician. That particular issue of Abra was published in September 1954 several years before Harry's book came out. I suppose Harry's book came out in 1962 or thereabouts since I was 18 years old at the time and remember the sensation that it caused when it was first published. People nowadays don't realise what excitement was generated at the time since Harry wasn't quite so well known at that stage.

So the obvious question is if Koran published the routine and more importantly presentation in Abra 8 years before Close Up Card Magic was published how could Harry have come up with it in 1962? But there may well be a reason for it that I don't know about. Perhaps Harry invented the presentation years before and explained it to someone who explained it to Al? I have no idea but it is a bit of a puzzle.

The other thing that needs mentioning is a sentence from Harry's own book and written by Harry himself. Here it is. "Al said that this was his handling and presentation of an old principle, and gave me permission to use it here". Note the word "presentation" in the sentence.

I am happy to give Harry the benefit of the doubt regarding this but it does need figuring out. Not that I care anyway. It is indeed a wonderful trick and the presentation is terrific no matter who first came up with it.
Harry Lorayne
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I wish I could answer you, Mark, but it's been too long, and frankly, too unimportant. I don't know anything about Al's publications prior to C-UCM. I know only the obvious - to me. Al did the trick for me, and it was a bore. I'd sort of been talked into using it in C-UCM - more by Himber than by Al - so I started to play with it. The first time I performed it, I almost automatically went into the presentation - the tired guy who'd already done a bunch of card magic for all the people, except for the person who came late - paying little attention to what I was doing, and so forth. It simply made sense to me; made some of the handling make sense. And that's what I presented. I was not well known (at all) at the time, and Himber talked me into saying the trick/presentation, etc., was Al's. At the time, it didn't matter at all to me. Frankly, it matters little now. But if you knew Koran, you must know, that the presentation I published, and what I use to this day, would not have been his. He was certainly more important than I was, and I probably thought at the time, that giving him all the credit was better for me. It was a feather in my cap, I thought, to have someone like him give me a trick to publish in a book - the first magic book - of mine. Anyway... Harry L.
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*Mark Lewis*
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Fair enough, Harry. I wasn't too keen on Koran anyway when I met him. He treated me condescendingly and at the time I was far more timid than I am nowadays. He was full of venom and bitterness. Bloody good magician though.
Harry Lorayne
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You have no idea as to what I had to put up with that one time we met. Seems, aside from his basic character, he was annoyed that Himber would think that he'd be interested in contributing to this little nobody. I could write a book!! H.
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seneca77
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I still have the original 1962 copy of CUCM that my mentor gave me years ago (mid-70s) and I've been doing Lazy Man's Card Trick ever since. Every now and then I re-read the description of the trick to pick up little presentational tips that I may have forgotten along the way. I realize that Al Koran may have come up with the original concept, but to me, it was always Harry Lorayne's.

My only regret about that original copy is that the dust jacket got ripped and discarded somewhere along the way - I no longer have Harry's very young face looking at me from the frame of the Ace of Spades on the cover!

- Bob
*Mark Lewis*
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I expect Harry would be interested in seeing Al's magazine description of the effect. I have it in front of me now but it is so long that it would take forever to type. I will therefore abbreviate it considerably if I am able to:
....................................................................................

"It happened that, while working a season at one of the London night spots, I was asked to "do something" back-stage at about 3am. I was tired and didn't particularly want to be bothered but as it happened, I was quite ready to do this trick of mine, and it occured to me that I could use my tiredness as a dressing. The upshot of this incident was that I was asked to fill a second cabaret spot performing this effect alone and for a very handsome increase on my fee. For that season this trick alone provided me with a living wage.

So the magician is tired. He's had a very hard day second dealing and buckle counting, and he's really ready for bed. If he's going to do a trick at all, it must be something in which a spectator does all the hard work. Stifling a yawn, he takes a pack of cards (still in its case) from his pocket. He begins to remove the cards, but even this is too much for him; and while the cards are still only halfway out of the packet he tosses it languidly to his victim. "Heigh ho" he says, "take the cards, will you, and place them face down in front of you on the table" He stretches while the spectator obeys. "Done that? Now lift some of the cards and remove one card from somewhere in the centre. Don't show it to me . I don't want to be bothered. But when you've looked at the card, try to remember it, and place it on top of the pack. Oh dear, I wish this was over. You've done that, have you? Then cut the pack, and complete the cut. And again. And again. I'd do it myself if I had the energy.

Now turn the pack face up and ---yes, go on---give it another cut. And another. Perhaps you'd care to turn the cards face down again now. If I've followed all this (and I'm really too far gone to care) the card you looked at must be somewhere in the middle"
..........................................................................................................

At this point I am fed up typing any more but I will continue later on without revealing the actual mechanics. But as I was typing I think I solved the mystery of who came up with it first. This presentation is actually a little different to what Harry came up with. Koran pushed the tired magician angle and Harry made it into a lazy magician angle which though close is not exactly the same thing. Mind you Al's title for the article was "THE LAZY MAGICIAN DOES A CARD TRICK" but he goes on to say that it was a misnomer and tired would be the better word. So I think that originally in 1954 or so Al did the tired magician, showed it to Harry who altered it to the lazy magician so in a sense both men should be credited to the presentation which is actually two presentations rather than the one we all thought the trick was based on. Anyway, for the sake of completeness when I have the energy (I am a tired magician too) I will post the remainder of Al's presentation as written 57 years ago.
Harry Lorayne
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Gotta' tell you - that is NOT the way Koran did the trick for me. I'm telling you - I think he was annoyed that Himber had asked him to contribute an effect for my book. Anyway... HL.
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Hideo Kato
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OOps! I am a little late to find Mark Lewis-san's above post. I have just ordered "The Magic of Al Koran" to H&R Magic to read Al Koran's presentation of 'The Lazy Magician Does A Card Trick'.

Hideo Kato
*Mark Lewis*
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Dunno Harry. I wasn't there. You were. So you should know. The above description is what he wrote in Abra in 1954. I am a bit dubious of his tale that he was booked to do an extra cabaret spot with this one trick but who knows?

Anyway, here is the rest of it:
..........................................................................................................

Throughout all this, the performer has been at some little distance from the man who is doing all the work. He has been putting on an act, as though he is more than half asleep and well past caring. Occasional half stifled yawns get the onlookers yawning too. Although one would say he couldn't possibly know, he now stires himself just a little to say, "Your card is 35 cards down from the top. Well, 35 is a lot to count, and you won't want to be bothered doing that. Will you rest your forefiner on the top card? You see, by the pressure of your finger, the card you looked at is caused to rise to the 15th position. 15? That's an awful lot of cards. Press a little harder, will you?" He stretches and yawns again. "Ho hum, I think that will do. Your card has now been brought to the position of 8th from the top. Do you think you could stir yourself to count up to that number? Jus deal seven cards off the top, will you? And what was the card you looked at? The nine of clubs? As I thought. Without straining yourself unduly do you think you could summon enough energy to turn the next card over. It is the nine of clubs!"
...........................................................................................................

Anyway that is an abbreviated version of the article. Quite a good presentation I thought but it is actually a little different from Harry's which is equally good. And of course I can't see him going through all that palaver when meeting Harry and Himber. Anyway I thought I would post this since Harry may never have seen it.
Nicolino
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Don't want to interrupt you guys, but....that's really an interesting lessons in history - a fascinating read!
Keep going!
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*Mark Lewis*
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The original information concerning the Abra magazine date is September 11th, 1954 according to Joe Pecore on the Genii Forum. I would like to be extra careful here and would ask if anyone (a collector possibly) can reconfirm this actual date?

One thing at least that is agreed on by all parties anyway is that the trick was invented by Jack Miller. All we have to do is figure out where the presentation came from. I suspect it may well have been a case of "great minds think alike"
Hideo Kato
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I thought you abbreviated the description of the presentation from Abracadabra No.450.
If so you should have the issue No.450. Or did you abbreviated it from "The Magic of Al Koran"?

Hideo Kato
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