Ricky Jay Has Died


Sam Wilkinson

According to a faithful reader, I'm Ordinary Times's "least thoughtful writer." So I've got that going for me, which is nice.

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13 Responses

  1. Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

    I have always loved the close up magicians. Big, splashy performances are, of course, spectacle, but the kind of sleight of hand that happens right under a persons nose, when they are looking for it, that’s skill and talent. And in a society where people get famous for a single talent, or just for being outrageous, magicians are an under-appreciated lot.

    Ricky Jay was one of the greats, I never tire of watching him work.Report

    • Avatar Troublesome Frog says:

      There’s really nothing I like better in magic than watching a master like him do a technique that I know well and, no matter how closely I look, I can’t see it. There’s something really beautiful about that. Anybody can fool you with a surprise you’ve never seen before, but with Ricky Jay you could say, “Here it comes…” and watch the hand you know is doing the dirty work and never actually catch it.Report

  2. Avatar Aaron David says:

    Well, I was going to write something about this, and have been going back and forth on YT mesmerized by his videos.

    Thank you, Sam.Report

    • Avatar Aaron David says:

      Sorry, that sounded snippy and rude. My apologies Sam. This was a nice tribute to a fascinating individual.Report

      • No worries at all. Jay was incredible.

        I’m bummed that I couldn’t find video of his performance on the Tonight Show from 2014(ish?). Flooring Fallon is obviously an absurdly easy thing to do, but I remember him knocking the house down there too.Report

        • Oh wait, here’s this AT A DUBIOUS LINK which you should carefully open.Report

          • Avatar Aaron David says:

            That is a good one indeed. There are so many that I got sucked into that black hole last night. Just listening to his pater, that little bit of talking that magicians and such do to keep you focused on them is wonderful. A huge amount of knowledge of the art is shown through this, and it never makes you feel stupid.Report

            • Although it seems to have been disappeared from the internet, Jay’s appearance in The Ranger, The Cook, and a Hole In The Sky also features a brilliant few minutes focusing on Jay and what he can do, albeit within a narrative storyline. He is The Cook from the title, and somebody slags him off for doing so; it is explained why he cooks, and what it enables him to do when he isn’t cooking, which includes a very good trick deal. (There is a version on YouTube that is both sped up and visually pinched, meaning it can’t be seen correctly.) Still, if you happen to stumble across it in some other venue, it occurs at roughly the 29:00 minute mark.Report

  3. Avatar Rufus F. says:

    Our family was friends for a number of years with an older magician and ventriloquist who had a million stories himself. One of his favorite books, which soon became one of mine too, was Learned Pigs & Fireproof Women. It’s an endlessly entertaining read.Report