Pop-culture is a large part of my magic, but magicians are also a large part of pop-culture. Here are 10 awesome TV Moments that are about magic, but aren’t necessarily performances of magic themselves. This is, by no means, a comprehensive list. But they’re some of my favorites.
10. Pete Holmes on Magic and Magnets
This ultra-quotable bit makes me laugh every time. As a magician, I hear insane explanations for how people think magic works ALL THE TIME. So this totally hits home.
9. Curb Your Enthusiasm – Larry David battles the kid magician
I tell people about this clip quite often when they make the case that I should tell them how it works because someone taught me.
8. How I Met Your Mother – Barney’s Magic
Neil Patrick Harris is not only a life-long magician, he isn’t shy about bringing his passion for magic into his acting career, as he has done regularly throughout HIMYM. This is just one clip of MANY instances where Barney has performed magic on the show.
7. The Dark Knight Rises – The Joker’s Magic Trick WARNING – GRAPHIC/VIOLENCE
Had to include this clip of the late Heath Ledger’s Oscar-winning role as the Joker. Gross, but extremely memorable.
6. The Cosby Show – Carl Ballantine
Carl Ballantine was an actor and one of the GREAT comedy magicians. He made the “failed magician” act a thing, and no one has done it as well as he did. This episode also featured some great clowning by Bill Irwin.
5. Patton Oswalt – the Angry Magician WARNING: NSFW LANGUAGE
Not much I can say about this clip other than watch it and marvel at how well Patton Oswalt uses the english language. He’s one of my favorite comedians.
4. Scrubs – J.D. Meets David Copperfield
My childhood idol making a cameo appearance on Scrubs and exhibiting a very “real” moment when he mocks J.D.’s child-like excitement.
3. The IT Crowd – The Guy Who Looks Like a Magician
This clip doesn’t do the episode justice. Find it on netflix and watch the whole episode. And once you do, you’ll want to watch the rest of the show. I recently did, and LOVED it.
2. Arrested Development – Gob Bluth
Gob was brought up to me in no less than 4 media interviews the last couple years. I’ve even done a couple Arrested Development-Themed Events to commemorate the show. My favorite Gob Bluth line: “Yeah, but where did the lighter fluid come from?”
1. Steve Martin – Flydini
A classic. It doesn’t get much better than Steve Martin doing Flydini.