THE GREAT MAGICIANS OF THE 20th CENTURY!
In addition to his popular appearances as the Daily Show’s resident expert and his long-running stint playing the REVILED and DISGUSTING PC in the adverts for those GLORIOUS and MAGNIFICENT Apple computers, John Hodgman (referred to henceforth by his stage name, “The Master of Hidden Knowledge, Hodgman”) has also received some notoriety for being America’s preeminent fake trivia and esoteric list compiler. In his books, The Areas of My Expertise, and More Information Than You Require, he presents a mind-expanding journey through fabricated facts and figures, supplemented with long and laboriously crafted lists of 700 hobo names (featured in Areas) and 700 mole-man names (featured in More). It was his work in the fields of mole-men and boxcar-riding drifter monikers that spurred me to research and compile this list of THE GREAT MAGICIANS OF THE 20TH CENTURY!
Please keep in mind that this list is a work in progress; look for a supplement here in the future.
And so, without further ado, I present
THE GREAT MAGICIANS OF THE 20th CENTURY!
1. The Great Garbini
2. Ronaldo, Keeper of the Secret of the Saracens
3. Willy Chou, Master of Illusion
4. Harry Potter
5. Wilford Brimley, the Insulin Illusionist and
6. Sugar, the Magic Counting Horse, rivals
7. Brother Gregory, The Mystic Monk
8. The Magic Nuclear Scientist Genius Kid, Beanie.
9. David Sprocketfield, the Mechanical Magician
10. George Oscar Bluth
11. Tim, A Minor Wizard
12. Dick McFeeley, a Close-Up Master
13. Timothy, A Major Wizard
14. Pinder, the Sword Swallower Who Can’t Take Pills
15. Timothanthony, The Ultimate Wizard
16. Miss J, Gender Warlock
17. Malcom Reynolds, Escape Artist of The New West
18. The Straight Jacket Mannequin
20. Larry Flint, The Pornographic Prestidigitator and
21. Andrea Dworkin, The Feminist Fortuneteller, rivals
22. The Comic Conjurer, Alan Moore
23. The Mystical Tony Stark and His Assistant, Pepper Potts.
24. W.E.B Du Bois, the Soul Speaker
25. Tricky, The Illusionist
26. Illusiony, The Trickster
27. Alexey Pajitnov, The Hypnotist
28. Two Girls, One Cups And Balls
29. Daft Punk
30. The Inexplicably Popular Stephanie Meyer
31. Tesla, The Lightning Charmer and
32. Edison, The Lightning Thief, rivals
33. The Hardass Steve Jobs
34. Rubik The Amazing Cube
35. Jorge The Great
36. Vork, The Guild Master
38. Gertrude The Magnificent
39. The Master of Hidden Knowledge, Hodgman
40. The Mystic Mississippi
41. Pirate Emperor Ron Gilbert
42. Lovely Lydia, and
43. Ugly Earnest, rivals
44. The Explorer of India, The Keeper of the Maharajah’s Ghost, and Wild Elephant Handler, Jeff
45. Martinus, The Magical Friar
46. Thomas Edison, The Wizard of Menlo Park, and
47. Nikola Tesla, The Scientist Who Lived Under the Stairs, rivals. *NOTE*
48. Micky Spritz, The Coney Island Conjurer
49. The Mario Bros.
50. Captain Virgil Tennenbaum, Knot Master
A note on the Edisons and Teslas: Tesla The Lightning Charmer and Edison The Lightning Thief should not be confused with the Grandmaster Warlocks from whom they aped their names. Edison The Lightning Thief and Tesla The Lightning Charmer were two of several pairs of businessmen-entertainers, including a then unknown Ringling Brothers, who attempted to cash in on the well publicized rivalry of the Electrical Elite. They enjoyed some success at first, until Tesla invented his Matter Duplicator, allowing the real Messrs. Edison and Tesla to perform their lethal lightning fights in several cities at once. For a complete history of the real Edison and Tesla, please see The Areas of My Expertise, or, make it up yourself.)
If Harry Potter is on your list, Harry Dresden, a far superior and just all-around cooler wizard, should be on there as well. J.K. Rowling has nothing on Jim Butcher.
Thank you for the comment, Martin!
I must disabuse you of the notion that the Harry Potter on my list has anything to do with the now famous children’s book character. In fact, Harry Potter was a vaudevillian illusionist who often performed alongside Charlie Chaplin, when The Little Tramp was just starting out.
Excellent list! Are you taking suggestions? I submit to you David Lovering, The Scientific Phenomenalist. He was the drummer for the Pixies, one of my favorite bands from the early 90s (as well as the most influential band of the ensuing grunge/alt rock era), who became a magician after he was notified via fax by frontman Black Francis that the band had broken up.