Todd Robbins

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Todd Robbins (born August 15, 1958[1]) is an American magician, lecturer, actor, and author.


He was born in Long Beach, California, the son of soap executive and a schoolteacher. In 1980 he moved to New York City to pursue a career in theater. Instead he resurrected his interest in magic and carnivals and ended up working at Coney Island.[1][2]

He has been featured on more than 100 television shows, which include multiple appearances on David Letterman, Jay Leno and Conan O'Brien; Masters of Illusion; and the NBC special Extreme Variety. He was a featured guest on Criss Angel Mindfreak[3] and is also the main subject of the 2005 documentary American Carny: True Tales From The Circus Sideshow directed by Nick Basile.[3]

Todd Robbins is one of five partners in the longest running off-Broadway show, Monday Night Magic.[1][4]

He starred in an off-Broadway show Carnival Knowledge which ran from 2002[2] to 2004 and featured Robbins eating light bulbs[1] and swallowing swords.[5]

In 2008 he toured as part of a stage show called Hoodwinked with Bob Arno, Banachek and Richard Turner.[6][7]

In 2009 Robbins was featured in a Ripley's Believe It or Not! cartoon panel noting that he had "chewed and swallowed over 4,000 light bulbs."[8]

In 2010 Robbins is starring in Play Dead, written by Robbins and Teller of Penn & Teller, a "throwback to the spook shows of the 1930s and ’40s" that ran September 12 - 24 in Las Vegas before opening Off Broadway in New York at The Players Theatre.[9]

Todd Robbins has worked for Ripley's Believe It Or Not! [10] and was also a ringmaster at the Big Apple Circus.


  • Robbins, Todd (2008). The Modern Con Man: How to Get Something for Nothing New York: Bloomsbury USA. 240 pages. isbn = 159691453X


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 He eats light bulbs, fire and walks on glass Tallmer, Jerry The Villager 73 15 Auguast 13-19, 2003 link July 31, 2009
  2. 2.0 2.1 Carny Folk: The World's Weirdest Sideshow Acts Hornberger, Francine Citadel Press 2005
  3. 3.0 3.1 Todd_Robbins at the Internet Movie Database
  4. MNM Performers
  5. Dept. of Digestion: A Maalox Moment Kaplan, Howard The New Yorker October 13, 2003 link July 31, 2009
  6. If it weren't onstage, it'd be illegal Greenaway, K The Montreal Gazette July 10, 2008 link July 31, 2009
  7. Woo in Review: HOODWINKED Smith, Alison James Randi Educational Foundation SWIFT November 25, 2008 link July 31, 2009
  8. Ripley's Believe It or Not!
  9. Teller’s Las Vegas-born Play Dead is headed to off-Broadway Chareunsy, Don Las Vegas Weekly September 16, 2010 link September 27, 2010
  10. O'Brien, Tim "World Sword Swallowing Day Celebrated", Ripley's Newsroom, March 3, 2010, accessed February 1, 2011.

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