Tag: The Amazing Johnathan

Magician Amazing Johnathan Documentary

Each year we miss the Sundance Festival and kick ourselves for it.  There, wonderful films seeking distributors are offered, promoted and awarded with prizes.  For instance, we first heard about La La Land through Variety’s review of the film at the Sundance Festival.  We knew that if and when it was picked up by a major studio, it would be a must see.

But, because we didn’t go to the festival, we missed it.

This year we missed the Amazing Johnathan documentary.  It is currently untitled but we’re guessing the words “Amazing” and “Johnathan” will be in or very near the final title.

As readers of this award winning magic news site know, we have never actually won an award and we never let the truth get in the way of a good headline or story.  Readers will also know that we love the Amazing Johnathan and one of our greatest disappointments – other than our failure to play for the Chicago Cubs or even be a batboy for goodness sakes – was missing the performance of this great entertainer at the Magic Castle in what was billed as his last performance ever, anywhere.

Johnathan has a fatal heart issue and literally any show could be his last.

Nonetheless, he continues to work and provide entertainment for thousands.  We saw his show in Las Vegas and laughed so hard we split our shirt collar – we always keep it buttoned to prevent body lice from either entering or escaping, depending on the season or our access to showers.

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Amazing Johnathan Goes Underground

The Amazing Johnathan is more than just Amazing. He is like a worker ant, industrious and underground.

The Amazing Johnathan can cause us to laugh even when we are determined not to.  He has a direct line to the special set of ganglia in what some charitably call our brain.  When we watch him perform, we become like a monkey on crack — or more like a monkey on crack than normal.

But we have a refined taste and our predilections may not match yours.  That makes yours wrong.

Admit it, guzzling Windex and lye is genius!

No less an influential thinker than Jean-Jacques Rousseau (“J.J.” to us) identified this very phenomenon in the late 1700’s.  In his  Letter to d’Alembert  he argues against the establishment of theater in Geneva because plays touch the audience directly and allow for the manipulation of the emotions.  In fact, said Rousseau, comedies are worse than tragedies.  In tragedy, there may be some connection with the characters on stage, and perhaps it will evoke empathy.  But in a comedy, the audience laughs because of a special connection with the characters and the situations they face.

So, what have we established?  The Amazing Johnathan is worthy of his title and has a special power to control the higher-functioning comedy aficionados among us.  J.J. Rousseau knew this type of theatrical genius could cause problems.   And like a worker ant, The Amazing Johnathan is both industrious and subterranean.

The Amazing Johnathan built a theater beneath the surface of Las Vegas, Nevada.  But it is not just any subterranean theater.  It is a subterranean drive-in theater with cars, and a snack-bar, and a giant screen, and those little speakers you hang on your car door. 

The Amazing Johnathan told The Cleveland Examiner, “I needed a cool environment to display my classic car collection. There are twenty-one cars in all and I thought a Drive-In movie set would look great. Then I decided to make it functional so my friends and I could watch late night movies. I also made it look like the Gratiot Drive-In, the theater I worked at in Roseville, MI.” 

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