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  • Bill Wisch

Surprise! by Bill Wisch

Tony Slydini

Original Publication Date: January 2000

Slydini was always refined and dignified when he performed magic. In fact his demeanor rather intimidated people. Many were even afraid of this 5 foot, three inch man with the stern grimace on his face (I know I was when I first was with him!).

He never was demonstrative or loud...everything was calm, calculated and with a minimum of words. So what is this big surprise?

There was one, and to my knowledge, only one time when Slydini would be loud and make a spectacle of himself. In fact, he would freak out like you never would believe! People were shocked to the maximum! When he first did this for me I was alone with him in his studio and regardless if he was one on one or with a large group he would really let it all hang out when it came to this! It scared the daylights out of me but I NEVER forgot the trick!

Slydini had a small card change routine. Basically it was the Malini change (see STARS OF MAGIC) done over and over, but any continuous routine that involves the change of a card is fine. After he did the change a bunch of times he would ask the audience if they know where the cards that were changed went. They will say no. Then he would start and continue yelling and squealing and hollering like a banshee while a long string of cards cascaded from his mouth! It was unbelievable!

What he had done was get about half the deck into his "wrist palm" as he was asking the audience if they knew where the cards went when they changed. Then immediately he would bring his right hand with the cards clipped, up to his mouth and insert the butt end of the packet into and clip his mouth around it. Then he'd start making every weird, unbelievable squeal sound as loud as he could while he used the fingertips of both hands to slide the cards out of his mouth in a long spread and let them drop onto the table or the floor! You have to try this at least once in your life to see the reaction!

It was so out of character for Slydini that I couldn't imagine a greater (or more remembered) "surprise" ending to the routine.


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