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Vick Lawston

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Vick Lawston
Known for"House of 1000 Mysteries" catalogs

Vick Lawston (1908 - 1998) ran a mail order magic business.


Starting in 1937 (accompanied by his pal monkey "Pumpernickel"), Lawston began one of the largest and best known catalogs of magic tricks, jokes and novelties for his mail order business "House of 1000 Mysteries". [1]

Lawston ran his mail order business when not doing advertising work at GE. His "Giant Surprise Catalog" contained trick descriptions and original artwork by Lawston. His cartoon monkey named Pumpernickel recommended various effects.

The Mail order magic business was based in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida in the late sixties.

Bill Schmeelk of Wellington Enterprises gave a talk on Vick Lawston at the Conference on Magic History in Los Angeles in 2001. It contained a video called "Citizen Tweed," which contrasted young Tommy Tweed's expectation of his House of 1000 Mysteries order (the Vanishing Head illusion) with what he actually received. Tommy had envisioned a package so large that his mother would need help carrying it into the house; what arrived was an envelope containing construction plans.[2]

HBO and Comedy Central Salute Vick

HBO and Comedy Central turned "The TV Wheel" on a series of satirical skits starring "Vick" and Pumpernickel.

This show was described as a cross between Laugh-In and Mystery Science Theater 3000 due to its quick comedy sketches. The TV Wheel featured comedian Paul Feig as Vick Lawston and Hodgson as "Pumpernickel" spoofing the Vic Lawston catalog as some mail order scam in a sketch written by Hodgson himself. For the Comedy Central special, the program was shown in its entirety without commercials as it was originally created for HBO.[3]