Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Review of the 2008 World Magic Awards

One of the things I love about hockey is the fighting. There's something about watching two grown men grab each others' collars in an effort to beat the other bloody that I enjoy. Another thing I enjoy are the two 17-minute intermissions during every tilt (That's another thing I love). This gives you a chance to see what's on UPN.
Tonight it was The 2008 World Magic Awards. In case you missed it, I'd like to share some of my observations and thoughts after watching.
1. Host - Dougie Houser MD. Good choice. He's funny.
2. Acts - mostly weak sauce.
2a. The guy with the lady who is "magically" wearing different clothes every time the guy waves a flag in front of her. I've got a few issues with this act. First - it's tired. It really is. I remember the first time I saw it I was a kid at Dorney Park in Allentown, PA, and I was mildly impressed at the wide-eyed age of 9. Second - It's not magic. Well, the act isn't. A magician getting a girl to take her clothes off is, but that's not what they're going for. The act is just a girl changing clothes really fast. That's it. I can change clothes pretty quickly, and with enough practice and small enough clothes (I know, I know), I could get that good. There's no illusion. She's doing exactly what you think she's doing.
2b. One of the worst acts of the show (that's saying more than it should) was a 15 year old kid. He played up the dry humor thing well. He was dressed in a Young Republican uniform (blue shirt, red tie, navy blazer with brass buttons), and he used "affirmative action" for his magic words. His tricks involved only a set of hankies that changed colors and tied and untied themselves. Meh. All I can say about it is that if you're a 15 year old professional magician making affirmative action jokes, your virginity is going to enjoy the longevity of a sea tortoise.
2c. The winner of the "Classic Magic" award was just a guy who took off probably seven or eight masks while wagging his fingers around like he was trying to air dry them. Part of me wonders if he won the "Classic" award because he wore a tunic, a cape and some knee-high leather boots.

My fellow Americans the state of magic is not strong. I think the problem is that these guys are trying to make it too flashy. I don't want to see a 30 year old man prancing around a stage like he's got a colony of hungry carpetner ants in his dance belt. Put a ball in a cup and make it disappear, guess somebody's card, get back to the basics. Harry Houdini would roll over in his underwater chest.

I'm changing it back to hockey now. The game's going into overtime. I'll always love a game where a guy will take a flying slab of frozen rubber to the face, shake his head and finish his shift because he can go back to the bench a grab the smelling salts when his shift is over. He may be bleeding, his jaw may be broken, but right now he has a job to do. There's something -in my mind - magical about that.