While people may get frustrated with great magicians, like Derren Brown – star of the one-man show Secret now showing on Broadway – we almost never see folks slap, punch or physically attack magicians.
For some reason, both Mr. Brown and Glenn Close each opted to share video of their bout on social media today. It looks to our untrained and empathy-induced puffy eye that Ms. Close got the best of Mr. Brown with a final slap that sends him reeling into the darkness of the studio.
We have never been slapped with such fury and we have done many a thing worthy of such a slap from a celebrity.
Inside Magic readers will no doubt recall our confrontation with a former president of a prominent anti-magician association in which we said, “hey, why don’t you pick on people who don’t customarily wear hats?”
That was quite a while ago but still the former president of the organization did not accost us. He merely knocked our opera hat from our pre-toupee wearing head.
No damage was caused to the hat (it still compressed and sprung into place with a mere flick of our spindly wrist).
Or the time we spoke with Mary Pickford about what we thought was an affront to our wonderful art contained on an interstitial card in one of her then hit movies.
The card appeared immediately after the star’s character slumped in a chair and showed a face that conveyed sadness and regret. “What can I do? I’m not a magician!”
Ms. Pickford, ever the pro, pretended not to hear us at the red carpet premier of the film.
It could be that she didn’t hear us over the din of the other reporters and popping of flash bulbs but we prefer to think she heard us and decided it was best for her career to not physically lift our then lithe body and slam it into the cement bearing the hand imprints of Charlie Chaplin at the Chinese Theatre.
Or the time we were interviewing Lassie on her controversial spat with Rin Tin Tin’s estate over copyright issues.
Or when we featured Topo Gigio in one of our pre-internet editions of this journal and he became exasperated by our inability to understand a single word he was saying.
Or when we likened a certain movie star to Topo Gigio with marbles in her mouth.
Or when we saw Lassie on the streets of Beverly Hills without his trainer and we brought up the then-burning question about her gender. There were some in the Hollywood press who insisted Lassie was a boy dog playing the part of a girl dog.
But we were never bitten – not even by Mary Pickford who, according to one autobiography we made up for this sentence, bit everyone.
Maybe the slap fight was part of a promotional campaign. There must be a reason for the slapping. Dr. Thomas LeTray writes in his seminal treatise on the subject, Slapping: Its Causes and Meaning, “… it is unusual, in fact, statistically unlikely, that rational people will engage in slapping behavior without a cause or meaning.”
We look forward to learning the cause and meaning of the slapping. If you would like to see the video, you can visit the Onion’s AV Club site here.