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Greetings, friends! Again it's time/To weave magicians into rhyme.

What was the URL for Claudia Schiffer again?

Amazing Johnathan headlines an issue of Genii

AN AMAZING FAREWELL -- [Note: This item chronicles AJ's farewell to Peter Pit. It was Peter who originally interested me in the AJ story. If you miss Peter, as I do, you may find this a tad emotional. It's important, I think, in that it sheds light on the warmth and humor of both its subjects.]

Steve: What originally interested me in this story was a comment Peter Pit made, somewhere on the internet, during the last year of his life. He noticed that, at a time when some magic shows in Las Vegas were padding their attendance with comps, you had huge lines of fans trying to get into your show. I'm not certain Peter understood why you were so popular, but I'm interested in your own accounting for your success.

AJ: Really? I thought that he would have. Because Peter told me, the whole time Peter told me that he got it. He understood. After he saw the live show. I don't think he understood why until he saw the live show. If he saw the live show and still didn't understand, then shame on him, because he did nothing but tell me he understood to my face. And I thought he did, because he directed my show. I let him direct my show in Vegas for two months. So I thought of all people, Peter would have. He came around. I didn't like Peter at first. Nobody likes Peter at first. I think that when you get to know Peter, then you love him. But, there's the real heart of a beautiful person in there, and I loved Peter. When he died, I cried like a baby. I think he understood. I think he understood why. Because the show is funny. He understands that I know about comedy. And that there wasn't a funnier show around. He told me that to my face, that he didn't think there was. Peter knew a lot about comedy himself. He knew a lot about - whether he got it through in his show or not, he knew about it. Knowing about it and doing it are two different things. Peter was great. I miss him. I miss him. I did get to make him laugh before he died. That's what Johnny Thompson told me. I was the last one to make Peter Pit laugh before he died. When he was dying in his bed, I got to talk to him. I said, "Peter, guess who was asking about you today?" And he said, "Who?" And I said, "Nobody." And he laughed. He laughed so hard.

September 2000

April Fool's Day was probably not the smartest day to interview one of the most notorious practical jokers in magic, but that's what I did with the Amazing Johnathan, and the results appeared this month in a sparkling new issue of Genii, shown at the left. Those of you who have seen it (and I hope have read it) know that the piece ran rather long. I bombarded Richard Kaufman with over 20000 words, and I appreciate the space Richard gave me for Johnathan's -- what other word applies? -- amazing story. I am including in this page a couple of items Richard didn't have room for, an Amazing Farewell and a Dewar's Profile-type interview, AJ -- Up Close and Personal. Each in its way adds to the picture of this remarkably sensitive and charismatic performer.

Q: What is your favorite stage routine (yours)?
A: "Psychic Sandra."
Q: What is your favorite stage routine (others)?
A: Rich Bloch's routine talking about how his father disappeared when he was a child, and doing the show at the old folks' home. It's probably the best routine I've ever seen in my life.
Q: What is your favorite magic book?
A: Martin Gardner's Encyclopedia of Impromptu Magic.
Q: What is your favorite non-magic book?
A: A book called Replay [by Ken Grimwood]. They based the Bill Murray movie Groundhog Day on it.
Q: What is your favorite movie?
A: Comedy-wise, probably Planes, Trains, and Automobiles.
Q: What are your hobbies and interests (outside computers)?
A: Um, none, maybe that's part of the problem. (Addendum: Though Johnathan didn't mention it in response to this question, he later mentioned that Brian Gillis has recently interested him in boxing!)
Q: Who is your favorite male magician?
A: I like Rich Bloch.
Q: Who is your favorite female magician?
A: None!
Q: Who is your favorite male comic?
A: I like Dennis Miller.
Q: Who is your favorite female comic?
A: None! Seriously. I can't think of one funny female comic.
Q: What is your magical pet peeve?
A: Never resort to cheap skill.
Q: What will they say about Amazing Johnathan 100 years from now?
A: (first response): I can't believe he was gay. I can't believe he was gay the whole time.
Q: What will they say about Amazing Johnathan 100 years from now?
A: (second response): The Laughs Per Minute thing is the most important thing that I had. LPMs. More LPMs than any comic magician. And boy he had a big head. A big old head.

Little Egypt Magic is the erratically updated web site of Steve Bryant, spawned (the site, not Steve) by a former internet magazine known as The Little Egypt Gazette/for magicians only.

Steve Bryant is an obscure magician and writer who generates this site from a computer in Bloomington, Indiana. He frequently journeys to and performs magic in Little Egypt, the local name for extreme southern Illinois, where the towns bear such names as Cairo, Thebes, and Karnak.

Past issues of this web site: August 00 | July 00 | June 00 | May 00 | April 00 | March 00 | February 00 | January 00 | December 99 | November 99 | October 99 | September 99 | August 99 | July 99 | June 99 | May 99 | April 99 | March 99 | February 99 | January 99 | December 98 | November 98 | October 98 | September 98 | August 98 | June 98 | May 98 | April 98 | February 98 | December 97

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