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Richard Kaufman
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When the death of a major figure in our field occurs unexpectedly everything gets tossed out the window as we prepare an entire cover story from scratch in short order. Harry Anderson died at age 65 on April 16. Jon Racherbaumer has been a good friend of Harry’s for years, and the task fell to him to turn out a feature story that would do Harry justice. This he did in four days, which is remarkable. During that time, out went calls for photographs which then came from David Linsell, Kari Hendler, Mike Caveney, and Harry’s widow Elizabeth, who provided many personal photos and also those of his early performing life. I did not know Harry well other than a casual hello and brief conversations at conventions; he provided Genii with one of its best pieces—a faux issue of The Jinx which he created with the help of Jon and many friends. Harry was, of course, most famous in the real world for starring in the two TV series Night Court and Dave’s World, in addition to the TV movies IT and a remake of Harvey. We, on the other hand, knew him as a transgressive performer of magic. He challenged norms, grossed people out, scammed them, entertained them, and appeared to eat a guinea pig on Saturday Night Live. They don’t make ’em like that anymore.

We have full coverage by Dustin Stinett and photographer Kari Hendler of the 50th annual Academy of Magical Arts Awards Show which took place in Los Angeles in April. All the hoity-toity folks in magic were there, including the less-than-hoity-toity me. If you want to know who won the highest awards our field has to offer, we’ll tell you.

Our columns this month include Jim Steinmeyer’s “Conjuring,” Jeff Prace’s “Left-Handed,” Hannibal’s “Happiness is the Road,” John Gaughan’s “Chamber of Secrets,” Jonathan Pendragon’s “Panmagium,” David Kaye’s “The Expert at the Kids’ Table,” John Guastaferro’s “Magicana,” Todd Karr’s “The Eye,” Rock’s “On the Slant,” and David Oliver, Kainoa Harbottle, and Joe M. Turner reviewing tricks, books, and videos. Dr. Harbottle gives his entire column over to a review of The Magic of Johnny Thompson, which certainly contends for the book of the decade.

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