One of the performers on the show, PC Sorcar,
was honored years later on an Indian postage stamp.
The comedian Ernie Kovacs, who does his own versions of tricks between the guest magicians from around the world, hosted this 1957 magic show called "Festival of Magic".
The magicians who performed included:
- Li King Si – He performs various tricks, including "floating ball magic" (using what’s known in the trade as a zombie ball.) His non-Oriental name was Edouard (Georges) Cassel.
- Robert Harbin – A assistant gets her head-shifted, and another woman is suspended in his famous chair suspension, which is done today in an almost identical way by Penn and Teller. He also performs an upside-down straightjacket escape.
- June Merlin (June Elizabeth Cochrane) – She performs silk magic, multiplying candles and tricks with mice.
- Cardini – (Richard Pitchford) One of the most amazing sleight-of-hand performers, ever. He performs magic with cards, billiard balls, and cigarettes. If you watch one thing on the show, watch him. (He’s at 32:53)
- Milbourne Christopher – He catches a bullet in his teeth in the often fatal bullet-catching trick.
- P. C. Sorcar (Protul Chandra Sorcar) – In the Temple of Benares, a woman is impaled by swords, vanishes and then reappears. Silks and small animals appear from between pieces of paper on a frame, and a woman is sawn in half with a circular saw.
- Rene Septembre (Rene Kholer) – Bowls of water appear and disappear, a newspaper is torn and restored, and various types of livestock appear, vanish and are transformed.
The entire show is included, so you’ll have to zip through to find the magic, although Ernie’s gags are also worth watching.
Festival of Magic 1957