Another Angel Record Broken

February 15th, 2008 | Team Ellusionist | Filed Under Criss Angel

Criss Angel record broken
Alan Smola & Criss AngelCriss Angel is having a hard time keeping his world records from being broken. Another record of his was just broken – escaping from a straitjacket upside-down. However this time the record was broken by a 17 year-old kid.

According to The Seattle Times, Alan Smola (pictured here with Angel) escaped last Friday from a straitjacket in less than two minutes. By completing his dangerous stunt in about 1 minute and 50 seconds, he broke the record of 2 minutes and 3 seconds set by Criss Angel on the “Oprah” show May 7. Suspended upside down 15 feet in the air at the Mattawan (Mich.) High School gymnasium and shackled in chains by his ankles. Congratulations Alan!

Houdini performed the escape in about 5 minutes.

It’s important to note that escaping from a straitjacket is actually not very difficult and doing it upside-down makes the escape even easier. The most difficult part is making it look difficult. Houdini was a master showman and he was able to keep audiences in suspense for a long period of time. Houdini could escape very quickly, but chose to draw out the escape in order to build suspense.

We have faith that Angel can bounce back from this one and show that kid how the big boys do it.

Here’s an old clip of the real master.

YouTube Preview Image

Showing up Houdini – not cool. Showing up Criss Angel – VERY COOL!


  1. Good for the kid. I bet he is excited that he beat a “big time.” People have a great respect for Houdini but some people just want to take down Criss. Keep it up Alan

  2. I really dont see why everyone hates Criss so much. How would you like it if you broke HOUDINIS strgith jacket escape record and instead of people congratualating you they made fun of your clothing. Im happy for the kid, but I dont see why everyone doesnt like Criss Angel so much

  3. I have been visiting Ellusionist for a long time now and just now am I visiting the blog section. I love most of your articles. I like that you point out that the straightjacket escape is actually very easy. I\’m really not impressed with people that do escapes in general.

  4. 1. Congrats Alan, I wish you the best brother.
    2. Houdini is awesome, great magician, great showman.
    3. Escaping a real straight jacket is hard. I have one if you wanna try it some time. I hurt my self bad the first time I practiced it.
    4. Escapes aren’t very impressive if you just say “Hey yal watch me get out of this.” Dress it up. Make it artistic. Make it look dangerous. Make it amazing, it is after all our job is to impress people. Meaning your performance of the escape/trick is everything. If you make it impressive they’ll be impressed.
    5. Criss Angel = amazing showman. His ability to control crowds and draw attention awesome. That said he is not all that impressive as a magician. Sorry guys but if you’re ever involved in his shows or tricks you have to sign a non-disclosure form because what you see on t.v. is never what you really get in person. He does use lots of film editing as any experienced film student can show you. Though, I would to if I had my own film crew.

    Don’t misunderstand I like Criss and wish him well but he’s just like the rest of us except he has multimillion dollar organizations backing him and his team of some of the greatest magical minds in the world. That said please don’t insult the art of magic by thinking he’s the best magician ever. He’s not even close. He just happens to be the most overpublicised magician who has been made to seem larger than life in order to sell a t.v. show.

  5. rocco giovacchini on:

    i know for a fact i can get out a straitjacket upside down i less than a 99 seconeds for a fact! im working on a stunt where im upside down in a staitjacket and im on fire over a pit of spikes and i have to ecscape before being rosted alive or falling into the pit of spikes!
    every one look for this at least the next ten years!

  6. Here’s to that guy. I personally believe that it should be every up-and-coming magician’s goal to be better than Criss Angel. I was just reading that interview with Criss Angel posted on Robert Leach’s site (there’s a new blog with it up top). The two of them combined seem to think Mr. Angel is big stuff. Haven’t they heard of Criss’ old friend, Lance Burton? He’s big stuff. He’s respectful. He’s respectable. Criss is nothing more than a showoff who happened to land something big with stage skill. He was way better of a magician when he was a Gothic-style stage illusionist. Now his head is bigger than the hotel he performs in… not literally, of course. I actually repected and looked up to him back before MindFreak. Now there’s his whole deal with being better than Harry Houdini. Why? Just because he broke some of Houdini’s records doesn’t make him better than Houdini. He is a far worse magician. Criss won the Merlin award. Who cares? Criss is a faster escapist than Houdini. Who cares? These new guys who are breaking Criss’ records have my utmost respect. Just as long as they don’t get over-inflated with themselves.

    Jut my Two Cents.