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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Not very magical, still... » » In your opinion, who's the greatest magician in the history of the world (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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foreva.infiniti
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On 2013-07-31 23:30, EsnRedshirt wrote:
Houdini was a lousy magician, but a master showman. So much so that, to a layman, his name is one of the ones that will immediately be said if you ask them to name a magician. David Copperfield would be another.

Among magicians, there are so many names that could be mentioned that it's down to personal preference. I'll say Thurston the Great, for all his grand illusions, though of course I'll give credit to his numerous predicessors as well.

Blasphemy! Houdini wasn't a sorry magician he was just a sorry sleight of hand artist!
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bishthemagish
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I laugh out loud every time I listen to someone that has never seen Houdini - slam Houdini based off of what they read some magician say. It is very clear in my opinion that magicians did not like Houdini as a magician and try to explain away his great success as a publicity master and an escape artist.

However Jack Gwynne one of the old time master magicians I knew when I was growing up in magic. And who knew Houdini very well. He was at one time part of advance men that would find out how the fraud mediums worked in a town before Houdini arrived - and gave that info to Houdini - so he could expose them in his full evening show.

Plus he built props for Houdini. So there were props in the Houdini show that were built by Gwynne.

From what Jack and Anne Gwynne told me about Houdini - Houdini was a good magician - and a pro. His audiences liked him. He packed theaters and his show made money. Yes magicians did not like Houdini but at that time there were magicians that did not like Thurston and Blackstone. If you read books like "Dante the devil himself" by Temple. It is full of letters between Thurston and Dante there was a rivalry between working performers.

Who I would pick out of shows I have seen as the Worlds Greatest Magician - would be Blackstone Jr. And Andre Kole.
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S2000magician
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So . . . it's wrong for someone who's never seen Houdini to say he's bad based on the opinion of other magicians of the time, but it's OK for someone who's never seen Houdini to say he's good based on the opinion of other magicians of the time.

Interesting.
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I don't see how it is possible to be a better showman than Doug Henning was. He had everything down perfect. His shows were pure magic. His personality was magnetic.
bishthemagish
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On 2013-08-01 12:19, S2000magician wrote:
So . . . it's wrong for someone who's never seen Houdini to say he's bad based on the opinion of other magicians of the time, but it's OK for someone who's never seen Houdini to say he's good based on the opinion of other magicians of the time.

Interesting.

I have seen Houdini on film. However I have not seen anything that would make Houdini a bad magician. The magic I have seen Houdini do on film was good. The magic and film was dated - but still good. That and the props that I know Gwynne built for him - and his opinion of how Houdini performed them - plus that Houdini did sell out some theaters - makes me think he was good - or at least as good as the game was back when he was performing.
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bishthemagish
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On 2013-08-01 12:19, S2000magician wrote:
So . . . it's wrong for someone who's never seen Houdini to say he's bad based on the opinion of other magicians of the time, but it's OK for someone who's never seen Houdini to say he's good based on the opinion of other magicians of the time.

Interesting.

So? it is right to say that Houdini was a bad magician based off what other magicians say? Even when he did sell out some theaters when he was performing back in his day? And there is some of Houdini performing magic on film that in my opinion would be he was at least as good as the game was?
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S2000magician
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On 2013-08-01 13:21, bishthemagish wrote:
Quote:
On 2013-08-01 12:19, S2000magician wrote:
So . . . it's wrong for someone who's never seen Houdini to say he's bad based on the opinion of other magicians of the time, but it's OK for someone who's never seen Houdini to say he's good based on the opinion of other magicians of the time.

Interesting.

I have seen Houdini on film. However I have not seen anything that would make Houdini a bad magician. The magic I have seen Houdini do on film was good. The magic and film was dated - but still good. That and the props that I know Gwynne built for him - and his opinion of how Houdini performed them - plus that Houdini did sell out some theaters - makes me think he was good - or at least as good as the game was back when he was performing.

But none of the people who say he was bad have seen him on film?

You have your opinion and they have theirs. But you dismiss theirs as ludicrous (I laugh out loud every time . . . .). Why is your second-hand opinion informed and their not?
bishthemagish
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On 2013-08-01 13:29, S2000magician wrote:
You have your opinion and they have theirs. But you dismiss theirs as ludicrous (I laugh out loud every time . . . .). Why is your second-hand opinion informed and their not?

Sorry - I suggest you re-read the above because this is your opinion of what I said.
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bishthemagish
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On 2013-08-01 13:29, S2000magician wrote:
But none of the people who say he was bad have seen him on film?

I don't assume that they did not see Houdini on film yet is seems that you assume that I think that they did not see Houdini on film.

Again I suggest you re-read what I wrote above.
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ShirtlessKirk
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In order for there to be a "greatest" you would have to define what exactly would make someone a great magician. Is it technical skill, showmanship, originality, popularity, ticket sales, etc.

Myself I no longer have a favorite magician, for a time it was a toss up between David Copperfield and Lance Burton. Seeing David Copperfield live when I was young got me into magic so naturally he was the one I looked up to for many years. I went through periods when I would have said Houdini was the greatest, laymen still know who Houdini was after all.

Then of course I found out he wasn't that esteemed by many of his contemporaries (that opinion has change after reading The Secret Life of Houdini, I now think he was a better magician than many give him credit for).

There are a number of greats that I look up to and I don't think I could give any one 1st place above the rest.
foreva.infiniti
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On 2013-08-01 13:51, ShirtlessKirk wrote:
In order for there to be a "greatest" you would have to define what exactly would make someone a great magician. Is it technical skill, showmanship, originality, popularity, ticket sales, etc.

Myself I no longer have a favorite magician, for a time it was a toss up between David Copperfield and Lance Burton. Seeing David Copperfield live when I was young got me into magic so naturally he was the one I looked up to for many years. I went through periods when I would have said Houdini was the greatest, laymen still know who Houdini was after all.

Then of course I found out he wasn't that esteemed by many of his contemporaries (that opinion has change after reading The Secret Life of Houdini, I now think he was a better magician than many give him credit for).

There are a number of greats that I look up to and I don't think I could give any one 1st place above the rest.

Look there can only be 1 greatest simply by definition alone. don'tcha remember in elementary school the: er's and the est's. There can only be 1 greatest so if you don't have 1 then you just don't have 1, there was no need to answer this post Eternity.
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foreva.infiniti
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On 2013-08-01 13:48, bishthemagish wrote:
Quote:
On 2013-08-01 13:29, S2000magician wrote:
But none of the people who say he was bad have seen him on film?

I don't assume that they did not see Houdini on film yet is seems that you assume that I think that they did not see Houdini on film.

Again I suggest you re-read what I wrote above.

Fellas fellas, we can discuss this over a cup of tea
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MobilityBundle
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[quote]On 2013-08-01 14:14, foreva.infiniti wrote:
Quote:
On 2013-08-01 13:51, ShirtlessKirk wrote:
In order for there to be a "greatest" you would have to define what exactly would make someone a great magician. Is it technical skill, showmanship, originality, popularity, ticket sales, etc.
...
Look there can only be 1 greatest simply by definition alone. don'tcha remember in elementary school the: er's and the est's. There can only be 1 greatest so if you don't have 1 then you just don't have 1, there was no need to answer this post Eternity.

If you're going to be that absolute about it, then "the greatest" need not exist. (What's the greatest number that's less than 1?) If you want to be absolute about it, there's probably a 100-way tie, with most of the names mentioned in this thread being included.
foreva.infiniti
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[quote]
On 2013-08-02 07:59, MobilityBundle wrote:
Quote:

On 2013-08-01 14:14, foreva.infiniti wrote:
Quote:

On 2013-08-01 13:51, ShirtlessKirk wrote:
In order for there to be a "greatest" you would have to define what exactly would make someone a great magician. Is it technical skill, showmanship, originality, popularity, ticket sales, etc.
...
Look there can only be 1 greatest simply by definition alone. don'tcha remember in elementary school the: er's and the est's. There can only b

If you're going to be that absolute about it, then "the greatest" need not exist. (What's the greatest number that's less than 1?) If you want to be absolute about it, there's probably a 100-way tie, with most of the names mentioned in this thread being included.

Look if no 1 can pick a single magician 2 stand above the rest of the greats that were previously mention they need not apply. Thanks 4 the numbers refernce but there is not an infinite amount of magicians Numbers Infiniti.
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Okay, resurrecting this one (not too long gone, I hope.) Anyway, I acknowledge Houdini was a master showman, and probably the greatest escape artist who ever lived. He was not, however, the greatest magician. He even took his stage name after the reknown Robert Hqoudin, because he wanted to be like Houdin.

There are magicians, and then there are legends. Houdini has his place among the legends.

And foreva- are you writing on a tablet or smartphone? You constantly throw in actual numbers instead of spelling out one, to, and for. It's a little annoying, and makes your posts more difficult to read.
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foreva.infiniti
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On 2013-08-06 00:41, EsnRedshirt wrote:
Okay, resurrecting this one (not too long gone, I hope.) Anyway, I acknowledge Houdini was a master showman, and probably the greatest escape artist who ever lived. He was not, however, the greatest magician. He even took his stage name after the reknown Robert Hqoudin, because he wanted to be like Houdin.

There are magicians, and then there are legends. Houdini has his place among the legends.

And foreva- are you writing on a tablet or smartphone? You constantly throw in actual numbers instead of spelling out one, to, and for. It's a little annoying, and makes your posts more difficult to read.

Yes and sorry but I speak using numbers and colors
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S2000magician
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On 2013-08-06 00:45, foreva.infiniti wrote:
Quote:
On 2013-08-06 00:41, EsnRedshirt wrote:
And foreva- are you writing on a tablet or smartphone? You constantly throw in actual numbers instead of spelling out one, to, and for. It's a little annoying, and makes your posts more difficult to read.

Yes and sorry but I speak using numbers and colors

I believe that Esn's point is that you choose to speak using numbers and colors: that it's an affectation.
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Even though I hate all threads that ask for best or greatest due to it always being subjective and a nonsensical question as well.

For me the two best in the world hands down that no one in my mind has surpassed even to this date in history are. Fred Kaps and Michael Skinner.

But that doesn't mean that they had been the best ever, nor does it matter to anyone other than myself.
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I only know of one Robert Nelson. Which Robert Nelson are you referring to????
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Al,

Thanks for your P.M.

Reply sent.

Bobby.
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