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Johnny Thompson

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Johnny Thompson

Cover of Genii (1976)
BornJohn Max Thompson
July 27, 1934
Chicago, Illinois
DiedMarch 29, 2019 (age 84)
Las Vegas
Known forThe Great Tomsoni

Johnny Thompson (b.1934-d.2019) was a Las Vegas illusionist who performed under the stage name "The Great Tomsoni."[1]


Along with his wife Pamela Hayes, he performed a comic magical act The Great Tomsoni & Company in which he played the role of a dapper but buffoonish vaudeville gentleman. One of his trademarks was producing pure white doves on stage, which were trained to play along with the act once they appeared.[2]

He was widely known as a mentor and teacher of magic, and had worked behind the scenes to develop tricks with Penn & Teller, Lance Burton, and Criss Angel, among others.

He was featured on many episodes of "Criss Angel's Mindfreak", the "Hair" episode of Penn & Teller's Bullshit!, and the film "The Aristocrats".

He was also a bass harmonica player.[3]


  • Commercial Classics of Magic Vol. 1-4 (1999)
  • Vernon's Variant


  1. Genii_1976_November
  2. Vaudeville, old and new By Frank Cullen, Florence Hackman, Donald McNeilly (2007)
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  • M-U-M, Vol. 66, No. 7, December 1976, JOHN THOMPSON magician-of-the-month by Roy Snyder, page 9
  • Genii, Vol. 50, No. 3, September 1986, The Great Tomsoni & Company Issue, Max Maven Interviews John Thompson, page 220
  • The Linking Ring, Vol. 73, No. 10, October 1993, Memoirs of a Magician's Ghost by John Booth, THE GREAT TOMSONI & COMPANY, page 80
  • Genii, Vol. 70, No. 12, December 2007, The Company of Tomsoni, An Interview with Johnny Thompson by DAVID REGAL, page 54