Celebracadabra & Magic On TV

February 4th, 2008 | Team Ellusionist | Filed Under General

Old TVWhile we do poke fun at Criss Angel a lot here, we have to ask how much impact his magic is having on the public perception of magic. While this isn’t a Criss bashing post (although some of you will see it as that) defenders of Angel will brag that Criss is responsible for making magic popular again.

Magic IS popular right now, but maybe not in a way you would think. Currently there are several national TV commercials running that use magic as a theme to promote the product. These include Ditech, Robatussin, Icy Hot, McDonald’s chicken nuggets and finally the Houdini corkscrew.

Where the argument of Angel’s influence in magic popularity comes into play is that all of these commercials portray the stereo-type magician and not a hipper “anti-magician” like Angel portrays himself. Angel appeals to a mostly younger demographic, and with the exception of McDonald’s, the other products wouldn’t appeal to a younger demographic.

So an argument could be made that Angel is responsible for making magic popular with a younger demographic and not the population in general.

You really have to give credit to both Angel & David Blaine because they have a harder time than either Doug Henning or David Copperfield in breaking through and staying out there. 30+ years ago when both of these guys were starting to gain popularity on TV there were only 3 networks, PBS and some local UHF stations. Cable TV was in it’s infancy and hardly anyone had it, so it was easier to get the public’s attention. Also, the concept of trick photography was different then than it is now where CGI is a factor.

CelebracadabraCelebracadabra capitalizes on magic’s popularity by finding a niche audience (as Angel does) who likes magic, are a fan of a particular celebrity & will cheer them on through the competition and those who are looking for something unique in a reality/competition format.

With Phenomenon we learned a couple of things – Criss Angel can’t share the spotlight and needed to “one-up” all the contestants and the general public doesn’t want to watch an hour of “serious drama” magic routines. Mike Super had something the most of the others didn’t – an engaging personality who people could connect with and an Ellusionist 1800 Vintage Deck!

Fortunately Criss isn’t involved with Celebracadabra and the performers are not magicians, so they are bringing their own engaging personalities to the effects thereby creating an entertaining atmosphere. The general viewers of the show will come away with a higher regard for magic because they will have been entertained and the clever magicians will come away with some lessons in showmanship.


  1. what channel is this going to be on??? ive never heard of it –and one thing…. i live in Canada! 😀 Eh!

  2. Why is ellusionist team so meen to criss angel??????
    he’s my favorite magiction besides Daniel Garcia and Lance Burton.

  3. Are the producers of the show going to be making certain that nothing is flashed when more or less “amateurs” (not that I am not one myself) are performing magic they have not necessary had a zillion hours to perfect? I am simply worried that the show is going to end up giving things away that are truly valuable to practicing magicians who aren’t already paid big bucks for being celebrities…I’ll watch, but I’m still worried.

  4. I agree with Chris. I really hope that they dont reveal any tricks that I have already spent money on, it really wouldnt be fair.

  5. Rick Everhart on:

    I agree with everyone above in the fact that I sure hope they don’t accidentally “slip up” on an effect that I have purchased and perform and now it is wasted money spent at Ellusionist or perhaps somewhere else due to their (the celebrity) making a careless mistake and flashing or dropping a prop. I think this is going to be a major concern for others as well.

  6. thank goodness criss is not involved his show phenomenom would of been ok if he wasnt involved, he is so jealous of other magicians and it was so obvious, i have seen amateur magicians with more talent, if you have worked with him you would see his true colors, he is a user, almost all of his material is not his!!! but i like his hair piece!!! its better than mine, hey criss is it hairclub?

  7. Ellusionist should reveal those crappy Criss Angel tricks. but if they reveal anything good then anyone who buys from them will be funding the destruction of magic. But if they reveal the crappy Criss Angel stuff then Ellusionist and Magic can live on.

  8. “Why is ellusionist team so meen to criss angel??????
    he’s my favorite magiction besides Daniel Garcia and Lance Burton.”

    I swear, some people just don’t seem to get it…

  9. I agree with most above in the sense that if ‘CC’ doesn’t take proper measures with all of the mistakes amateurs will make (i.e.: horrible DLs, bad breaks and so on, you know you have all gone through the phase where everyone around you smiled and laughed because they saw you crappilly DL their card or whatever.). Then many many people who I have preformed to and who everyone else has performed to will lose the experience and appreciation of that particular illusion (and in some cases entire routines). And let’s face it; they will never look at magic the same way again.

    As with Criss, who cares? He can continue on his way breaking whatever code he feels he should break (not that being asked to levitate off the empire state building isn’t damn annoying again and again and again or anything), and we can sit back and laugh as he continues to abuse his sleight of camera, Knowing that we who use magic to give our audience an experience instead of abusing it to make money can continue to pass on the tradition of live performances and real skill.

  10. guys guys guys.criss angel is noting but a lierr.he cant do magic or even magic tricks.all what he doing is a video stuff.the best is david blaine

  11. I’m concerned about the possibility of secrets being revealed like most of the other posting here when it comes to Celebracadabra & Magic on tv which from my understanding will be on vh-1. It is annoying seeing that stupid masked magician on Magic Finally Revealed or whatever BS that it’s called, a total JOKE! When it comes to Phenomenom, that was Uri’s show not Angel’s and Uri always bought into the crap where Criss did not! I would have laid into the comical Jim Callihan performance of claims to possessing super-natural powers! When it comes to Angel, I figure so many people hate or bash him simply because he has found success and his multi-million dollar deal at the Luxor! I do not believe that he is solely responsible for magic coming back into the spotlight though! There’s too many master magicians that deserve a heap load of recognition like Lance Burton, Jeff McBride, Ricky Jay, Copperfield and the list could go on and on!!! I appreciate what all magician’s, whether your Angel, Burton, McBride or the smaller town magician brings to his/her performance because it keeps magic alive and that’s the main goal!

  12. P.S. — When it comes to Uri and Phenomenom, when I said that Uri always bought into the crap and Angel didn’t, remember that this is the same Uri that was busted and his colors were shown to run when the late J. Carson busted him on the Tonight Show on national tv! Granted Carson set Uri up since Uri wasn’t aware that Carson was an amateur magician…LMAO! That shows that Uri is just a fake and yet, the majority wants to call Angel a fraud and liar???

  13. Some people seemed to have taken this as a bash Criss Angel .. yes they have .. I’m a magician, and as a magician I really love Criss Angel. He has brought a nice style to the magic world. The only thing I have against him is that he claims to be the creator of all the things he performs, yet he has performed effects by other magicians that are available for all of us to purchase the secrets to – or from learning sleight of hand, can be able to discern a way to do the effects. The great things I like about Criss is how incredible his performances are. Showmanship is one of the most important pieces to magic. You’ve got the sleights of hand and the misdirection – but showmanship make it exciting, and in many ways create the magic. Criss has embraced this… he has also been a firm believer in making sure people know it is just an illusion and that he does not have any actual power. Even when he claims it is real during the effect, he will call himself out after its over. Each of those who hate him – in my opinion – wish they were as successful as he is… and if we were as rich as him because of the art of magic, then we would hear ametuer magicians or pro magicians alike slamming us for reaching great heights. I applaud his hard work, and appreciate his influence in my magic career. If it weren’t for his influence, I wouldn’t have had as much fun with magic, nor landed any gigs. He has inspired me in working toward a dream – and making it a reality with hard work and sacrifice.

  14. I agree with you 100% Charles. I’m also a magician and I just want to point out MY opinion on the episode where he calls certified psychic a scam, well thats just another form of Art where you have lots of people that believes in it and just like those who believe in magic were it inspires them that anything is possible, well the same principal applies to those who go and sees a certified psychic. The way I see it I don’t think he or even anyone would like if a member of a psychic art comes with a show and demonstrates that magic is a scam and goes ahead reveals all props and secrets to magic that would start deteriorating peoples belief in magic, now that would suck. Criss should RESPECT other forms of Art and stick with his or els he will be getting a bad name for him self or will be giving my Art which is MAGIC a bad name.

  15. This is for the Ellusionist Team, I hope just like many other magicians that nothing will be revealed on the show Celebracadabra. I’m pretty sure it is not shot live and prerecorded before putting on air so your name is on the line as you noticed everyone I mean all magicians are talking about this and of course worried and I am one of them. I have not heard from you or anyone that reassures everyone that there is nothing to worry about. I hope there is nothing to worry about and I hope the show Celebracadabra will inspire and strengthen peoples belief in magic.

  16. I agree with both Charles and Dan. I have a problem with the “so-called” psychics though! Yes psychics may in some form or another be considered a form of art or entertainment “nothing more though” but when people are vulnerable in a time of grief or loss of a loved one, then that crosses the line! I do not believe that a person, e.g. John Edward possesses the ability that he demostrates. I would like to see Criss Angel bust him like he busted the “comical” Jim Callihan! You will never see a “median?” admit that what they are doing is a form of art / entertainment , whereas when people who go to see a magician / illusionist know going in that it is only entertainment and it is just a trick! I personally do not have a problem with Angel, Blaine, Burton, Copperfield and so on! They have found success and wealth with their showmanship and if any of the “haters” were to achieve the same status of success, then you would not be making the remarks that I see! If you were to make it big-time, you would be the target with a bulls-eye on your back! People would post the negative remarks about you! I don’t know what the problem is. Could it be jealousy? Look at it like this, if people watch MindFreak or any other magic show special on tv, they may consider hiring a magician for an occasion in their area and that performer could be YOU! Just my thought!!!!!

  17. “You really have to give credit to both Angel & David Blaine because they have a harder time than either Doug Henning or David Copperfield in breaking through and staying out there. 30+ years ago when both of these guys were starting to gain popularity on TV there were only 3 networks, PBS and some local UHF stations. ”

    How can you say that!? Criss Angel uses a lot of camera tricks, and careful editing to create what he calls magic. Not to mention his fake audiences. People have come to trust that when they see a magician on t.v that no camera tricks were used, and Criss Angel has broken that trust. All of his jaw dropping tricks were nothing more than careful editing and trick photography with a camera. If anything deserves to be exposed it should be the camera tricks and editing that Criss Angel does to decieve his viewers who are trusting that “what they see is what they get”.

    It’s the editors and special effects personal who have it harder, not Criss Angel. In fact, Criss Angel doesn’t have to work as hard on magic because the editing team does that for him. I know that other magicians have used a little bit of trick photography but not to the extreme that Criss Angel has. I give Criss a thumbs up for being a good actor, but as far as a magician goes well…I think you get the point!

  18. Sorry. I was not a child prodigy, because a child prodigy is a child who knows as much when it is a child as it does when it grows up.
    I am from India and too poorly know English, tell me right I wrote the following sentence: “We adorned our living room wall with this beautiful cherry finish clock on new years.”

    Thank you so much for your future answers :-). Keelin.