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World's Most Dangerous Magic

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The World's Most Dangerous Magic was the title of two American television specials showcasing dangerous illusions and escapology acts, which were made for the NBC network. The first was originally broadcast on 27 April 1998 and the second, titled The World's Most Dangerous Magic 2, was initially aired on 2 May 1999.[1]

The shows were the brainchild of producer Gary Ouellet and were made by the Gary L Pudney Company.[2] They featured a combination of famous performers and lesser-known magicians, each performing stunts or illusions that were claimed to involve the risk of death or serious injury. While some stunts clearly involved genuine life-threatening danger should anything have gone wrong, the risk of injury in others was open to question. In the first show, The Pendragons performed the illusion Impaled, which was described as a "balancing feat" in which Charlotte Pendragon risked fatal impalement should it go wrong. However this is a well know illusion in the general repertoire of stage magic in which the performer is not actually in danger of genuine impalement (although if performed clumsily or with poor quality apparatus there is some risk of back injury to the assistant). The Pendragons' presentation of this illusion is nevertheless rated by many magicians as possibly the best ever version of the trick. A VHS tape was released with both shows on it.

The World's Most Dangerous Magic 1

  • "Sixty Seconds to Live" - magician Robert Gallup performed an escape while suspended upside down from three burning roles.
  • "Scorpion Production" - Robert Gallup.
  • "Viper Pit" - Melinda Saxe was shackled to the bottom of a glass tank which was then filled with snakes. She escaped using levitation.
  • "Sword Basket" - Charlotte Pendragon got into a wicker basket and her husband Jonathon thrust several burning spears through it. The voiceover stated that Charlotte had suffered burns during a previous attempt at the stunt.
  • "Wolf Trap" - Robert Gallup put his hand into a metal toothed animal trap.
  • "Table of Terror" - Mark Kalin performed the Table of Death trick.
  • "Impaled" - Jonathon Pendragon balanced his wife Charlotte on the point of a sword and she then appeared to be impaled by it.
  • "Jagged Edge" - Gary Kurtz played a form of Russian roulette using knives.
  • "Death at Hoover Dam" - Escape artist Dean Gunnarson freed himsef from a straitjacket while suspended upside down 726 feet above the ground from the Hoover Dam.

The World's Most Dangerous Magic 2


  1. World's Most Dangerous Magic Retrieved on July 24, 2008
  2. The World's Most Dangerous Magic at the Internet Movie Database
  3. The World's Most Dangerous Magic II at the Internet Movie Database

See also

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