Astonishing cigarette magic

Masterful cigarette magic by Cyril Takayama.


    1. Thanks, Joshua! Y’know, Jason, Mark, and I are really interested in magic! All of us have practiced sleight-of-hand to various degrees. Jason carries a card deck with him everywhere. I grew up with this stuff and still love it, although I’m terrible. And last year, our Boing Boing “official board meeting” was at Magic Castle in Los Angeles.

      1. That totally makes sense. Tricks seem to fit right in with the maker-y, desigeneering, want-to-see-how-something-works-ness of BB. I bet a lot of your readers at least got magic books out of the library as children, and a lot of us have probably kinda sorta stuck with it to some degree. Real, well polished, properly presented slight of hand is a lovely craft to watch.

      2. That’s awesome! I met Mark a few years back and had some idea of his interest. Let me know if you guys are interested in anything from the company I work for

        Or if you are interested in doing a feature on Paul Harris- he is wonderful, prolific, inventor of magic effects. Cyril, Blaine, Angel, all love and adore him..

  1. Expertly performed to be sure but nothing new. Not hating, I love a good performance & Cyril nearly always delivers but when it comes to cigarette magic routines there is still no equal to Tom Mullica

    1.  “Not hating”… but none-the-less taking time to deprecate the performance as much as is possible and passively asserting via name-dropping that your rarefied judgement makes you no easily-duped fanboy.

      1. Take it as you will. I genuinely enjoyed the video & I am a fan of Cyril. I brought up Mullica because I think he really has created the best cigarette routines I have seen & anyone who liked this should check him out.

        1. I appreciated your suggestion, thanks. Most of the reason I read the comments here for precisely this reason: Boingers have the best suggestions on the tubez.

          For those unsure: Opinion ≠ Hating

    2. Nothing new?  Well, Cyril IS combining that fast and flicky Japanese manipulation style with expressive pauses a la Cardini, creating a neat-o visual rhythm.  Tom Mullica is great too, in a totally different reckless goofball way.
      Ranking creators and their works isn’t productive, it’s reductive.

      1. That combination of performance styles / techniques isn’t novel. Cyril is fantastic but this isn’t his best work, this is the sort of thing lots of others can & have done. I don’t think it really has his personal touch, that aspect which tends to make his performances truly stand apart. I realize that’s just my opinion, sorry for forgetting that comment threads on the internet are no place opinions

      1. Pretty soon you’ll see unlicensed clips of this in ads for E-Cigarettes. It’s the magic of the future!

  2. There is a 100 year old magician named John Calvert, who has been doing a pretty astounding act with cigarettes. If you like this you should check out the doc about him. 

  3. I gotta ask my cousin Vinny how this guy does these tricks. He knows how all the magicians do their tricks…

  4. For anyone in the DC area, Johnny Fox is at the Maryland Renaissance Festival.   He has a fantastic magic  and sword swallowing show, including a few of these cigarette tricks.  He and the Hack and Slash are not to be missed.

  5. Why do I feel like he’s in the basement of a druglord’s mansion, forced to perform?  No, wait— HE IS THE DRUGLORD

  6. What really astounds me about this post is that happy mutants tend to stomp on everything tobacco related and generally treat smokers as subhuman.  But then Pescovitz is the least uptight of the entire lot.

    1. I gotta admit, I’m thinking the whole time.. ewww, gross. “For my next trick, I will levitate a piece of litter encrusted cat crap in and out of my face holes”

      1. I’m surprised the Rebelution/Gov’t Mule crowd hasn’t produced a person who does these tricks with a piece of asparagus.

      1.  Citing California’s  every regulation regarding smoking.  Pretty soon?  No smoking within fifty miles of the state.  Everybody knows that smoking kills.  But no government should be able to curtail personal freedoms in such a manner.

  7. I have always been amazed by the rule against revealing how an illusion is done.  As someone who knows a few tricks, I am most impressed when I see a trick where I “know” how it is done, and am still impressed when I see it performed.

    1. Totally agreed – I’ve been “working” on cigarette sleights for 20 years, I love watching this guy. I was fooled by his vanish at the end in the meta-sense that I never saw him load the t******p. On re-watching it’s very nicely done.

  8. No disrespect to the talented kid in the video, but this reminds me of a story I have to share.

    Back in the mid-80s, I was playing music at a resort area in Michigan, where I was lucky to make the acquaintance of an old Vaudevillian who was spending his retirement entertaining guests at his daughter’s hotel. Besides being a hoofer, a singer, and a pianist, he was known throughout the region as a close-up magician. In his late eighties, he mostly used his skill to charm cocktail waitresses with the salt trick and wine trick. Yet every time we’d hang out, some young hot-dog would show up and try his hand against the old man.

    One day, he and I are sharing beers and stories in the bar (“I opened as a hoofer on the same stage where George Burns met Gracie Allen!”), when this young, bearded hippie walks up to the table. Without saying a word, he lights a cigarette, and proceeds to make it appear and disappear from just about every orifice he could manage in public without getting arrested, all the time staring down my elderly friend like Billy the Kid staring down Wyatt Earp. Eventually, the lit, smoking cigarette disappears in the Kid’s fist, never to be seen again. The Kid then, wordlessly, walks away from the table and heads to the Men’s Room.

    “Hah,” I said, “He’s going to the bathroom to scream.”

    “Well, you know,” says my elderly friend,  “I’m a member of the guild and can’t reveal anything.”

    “But you’re not far from the truth.”

    In retrospect, I may have been very far from the truth, but I don’t suspect my old friend would have let me know either way.

  9. I always liked the way Penn and Teller simply deconstructed a cigarette trick.  Teller comes out, leans on a lamppost, lights a cig, smokes it, puts it out, lights another one and leaves. Some trick, huh?  Then Penn sez, “Think you know what you just saw?” and proceeds to demonstrate that the whole thing was sort of reverse misdirection.

  10. He was profiled for the first Essential Magic Conference and talked about doing cigarette manipulation. He explained that when he performs for the public he asks to borrow a cigarette and when he’s finished he breaks it and explains that smoking is bad for you. This video is obviously from his younger years and his attitude seems to have changed. At least he’s helping to spread a positive message about the dangers of smoking, but I think it would be better if he found a less offensive prop.

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