Sure, lots of magicians can pull an elephant out of a hat or make the Statue of Liberty vanish into thin air. But only one has managed to enrage his prestidigitating peers by revealing the guarded tricks of the trade. On March 3, Fox will air part two of its highest-rated special ever, Breaking The Magician’s Code. The Masked Magician, who claims he must keep his identity under wraps or risk being sawed in half himself, agreed to chat with EW at a top secret L.A. location (read: a poorly lit parking garage near our offices).
EW: Is this whole Mr.-Secret-Identity-on-the-Lam thing really necessary?
THE MASKED MAGICIAN: There’s a witch-hunt out there to find out who I am. They’re calling Fox, they’re calling newspapers, they’re digging everywhere. They want to discredit me and throw me out of their clubs and fraternities — the whole nine yards. They’ve accused different people, but there’s been no evidence yet. My assistants don’t know who I am; family members don’t know. But I believe I’m doing the right thing. The art of magic should be enjoyed by everyone, not just the few who want to keep it secret for fear that they’re not going to have a job.
EW: Okay. Now, can I touch your mask?
MM: Oh, sure. It’s extremely warm and uncomfortable and my vision is limited from side to side. Feel that plastic by my forehead? I put that there so you can’t make out the contours of my face.
EW: Your new special debunks ”Houdini’s Water Torture Cell Escape” and walking through walls. More important, what’s the secret behind Magic Shell, the chocolate syrup that hardens when poured on ice cream?
MM: Gee whiz…there’s the changing of the molecules…as it gets exposed to the, well, magical air molecules…. Okay, I don’t know. Good question.
EW: If there was a no-holds-barred wrestling match — Penn & Teller versus Siegfried and Roy — who’d win?
MM: Penn & Teller! Have you ever seen Penn? He’s like 6 foot 5! I mean, this is somebody you do not want to mess with.
EW: Ever have a goofy accident on stage, like making the wrong person disappear?
MM: Well, I can’t tell you where I was — because that would be a clue as to who I am — but once I was standing a little too close to the edge of the stage and I stepped over the side and fell onto someone’s table, fracturing my ribs. But I jumped up and finished the entire routine, and then passed out when the show was over.
EW: Since you’re wearing a mask, you can speak freely: How cheesy is David Copperfield?
MM: David Copperfield is actually one of the best magicians of all time. A true magician in every sense of the word.
EW: Oh, c’mon — what about his hair?
MM: Well, there’s a little magic happening there. Only his hairdresser knows for sure. Maybe that’s a question for the next special.