Monthly Archives: January 2012

Pop Haydn in the Palace of Mystery

Photo by Christiaan Miro-Lopez

Pop Haydn backstage of the Palace of Mystery

I will be performing and acting as emcee this week at the Magic Castle in the Palace of Mystery, beginning tonight!

We are back to a full week schedule at the Magic Castle, and the Hat and Hare will reopen on Monday the 6th for Burns Night.

With me in the Palace will be the wonderful puppeteer Scott Land and a two-man company from Scotland, who call themselves The Fifth Dimension.

In close-up this week, we have the incredible Paul Vigil–worth a visit just to see him.

This wonderful photo, taken backstage of the Palace of Mystery, is by Christiaan Lopez-Miro. More wonderful magician photos by Christiaan can be found here:

Look under Smoke and Mirrors in Images.


The Spirit’s Magic Teachers:

Whit "Pop" Haydn, Richard Turner, Johnny "Ace" Palmer

Last night at the Magic Castle, the magic teachers of DC comic’s The Spirit got together.

In the December issue of The Spirit, 2008, the Spirit shows some card tricks and explains that magic is his hobby and that he had three magic teachers, Whit Haydn, Richard Turner and Johnny Ace Palmer. Also in the same magazine, our friend and fellow Magic Castle member, the lovely Misty Lee appears in the story as a character.

All of us are old friends, but none knew what had brought us together like this.  It turns out that Mark Evanier, a writer for the comics, was a Castle member, and we were his favorite magicians. He had attended lectures and classes by all of us, and considered us teachers, so he just wrote us into the story with the Spirit.

It is  a wonderful honor.

My life seems to continue to become more and more fictionalized…

Richard Turner at the Magic Castle this week:

Richard Turner

My friend, Richard Turner is working this week at the Magic Castle. He is the foremost card expert in the world today, even though he is legally blind. His discipline and perfection is stunning. These photos show him in 1986 when he received his first black belt, and then in 2012 when he is 58 years old. There is only four ounces difference in his weight.

As a measure of the type of skill Richard displays in his work, let me quote Jon Raucherbaumer, an internationally recognized expert who is writing a biography of Richard Turner:

“The action of perfectly alternating playing cards, 26 and 26, is not easily named if the goal is accuracy. Even the noun “shuffle” seems inexact because it suggests clumsy randomness and asymmetrical mixing. Sure, the relative positions of the cards change, but the changes are cyclically predictable and in this regard, perfect…

“…But there are two types of this kind of Interlace: The Faro Shuffle and what can be called a Volitional Faro Shuffle. The physics of the Volitional Faro Shuffle in terms of what happens with and to the cards is identical, but the means of making this happen is different. The Faro Shuffle is semi-automatic because the two 26-card sections are butted together in precise ways and the cards will then automatically alternate. The Volitional Faro Shuffle depends on the operator’s volition. He must will his thumbs to precisely and alternately release cards until all 52 of them are interlaced. This is not automatic. It is a matter of pure dexterity and unerring timing.

“Richard’s high-lift, soft interlace table Faro Shuffles are done in less than one second. Formerly a fantasy in MacDouggal’s mind, Richard can execute a Volitional Faro Shuffle in 8.1 seconds.  

“If you think this is easy, try making love while standing up in a hammock and juggling seven ice-cream cones.”

Richard Turner, my good friend Johnny Ace Palmer and I were all named in the comic book the Spirit as magic teachers to the Spirit. It was very cool to be included in such incredible company:

Richard Turner is performing in the Close-Up Gallery at the Magic Castle in Hollywood until Sunday.  It is worth your time to make an effort to see this incredible and unique talent.

Tonya Kay with Neil Patrick Harris on the People’s Choice Awards

SaraAnne Fahey, Neil Patrick Harris and Tonya Kay

My friend Tonya Kay, who is a very versatile performer as actress, model, showgirl, dancer, burlesque performer, and knife throwing and whip expert is here on the right, with SaraAnne Fahey and Neil Patrick Harris on the People’s Choice Awards. Tonya performs in a improv sketch with Neil and SaraAnne as a showgirl.

Tonya has a lot of skills, and an interesting career, including playing herself as a comic book hero in.

Tonya is also a leading influencer for the vegan lifestyle.

Here is a video of the sketch on People’s Choice:

More info on the People’s Choice Awards event is here:

Tonya used to have wonderful dreadlocks, which she has just recently cut. I loved the dreads, but this short haired look is great, too.

Congratulations, Tonya! Great work.

新年快乐 恭喜发财

The Year of the Dragon is upon us. Big celebration in Chinatown tonight at Midnight. Fireworks, dragons and lions. Celebration!

Here is some important fast-breaking info to help get you through the next fifteen days:

Mandarin Chinese:
新年快乐 (xīn nián kuài lè, pronounced “sheen nyen kwy luh”) = Happy new year! (literally “The new year comes fast!”)

恭喜发财 (gōng xǐ fā cái, pronounced “gong shee fah tsy”) = Wishing you a prosperous new year! (literally “May you have much joy and wealth!”)

Cantonese Chinese:
新年快乐 (san nin faai lok) = Happy new year!     (literally “The new year comes fast!”)

恭喜发财 (gung hei faat choi) = Wishing you a prosperous new year!     (literally “May you have much joy and wealth!”)

The most common auspicious greetings and sayings consist of four characters, such as the following:

  • 金玉滿堂     Jinyu mantang – “May your wealth [gold and jade] come to fill a hall”
  • 大展鴻圖     Dazhan hongtu – “May you realize your ambitions”
  • 迎春接福     Yingchun jiefu – “Greet the New Year and encounter happiness”
  • 萬事如意     Wanshi ruyi – “May all your wishes be fulfilled”
  • 吉慶有餘     Jiqing youyu – “May your happiness be without limit”
  • 竹報平安     Zhubao pingan – “May you hear [in a letter] that all is well”
  • 一本萬利     Yiban wanli = “May a small investment bring ten-thousandfold profits”
  • 福壽雙全     Fushou shuangquan – “May your happiness and longevity be complete”
  • 招財進寶     Zhaocai jinbao – “When wealth is acquired, precious objects follow”

Now give me a red envelope.

American Confidence Party – Free Campaign Button!


There are still free campaign kits for Election 2012 available, folks!

Get ‘em while they are free!

You get a Pop Haydn campaign button, a campaign poster Postcard, and a Greater American Confidence Party membership card.


Free shipping and Handling!

Now we can’t keep this offer up for very long (the button alone sells for $3.25 in our online store) but we want to give everyone a chance, and don’t want to put up with the whiners who come back saying, “Why didn’t you tell me you were going to quit giving stuff away free?”

So this is your chance. All you have to do is sign up on our membership list at the GACP Online Headquarters

Don’t be a loser!

Sign up for the sake of the country.

At least go look at the page to find out what this is all about.

You don’t want to be the last one to know, do you?

Help strike a blow for the thin “Sanity Fringe” of American politics.

To get you in the mood, here is Pop’s new campaign theme, by Professor Dave Bourne:

Bombasto March — Dave Bourne

You can find Dave Bourne’s CDs and more information about him at:

The Bombasto March is from the CD Dawn of the Century Ragtime Orchestra

Wondermark Calendar

Wondermark Calendar -- Limited Edition


I was honored to be mentioned in a limited edition Wondermark Calendar by my friend David Malki. David is an incredible person, and a wonderful creator of the fantastic. You can find his work at

Black March

Look at our power!

Support wanes for internet bills:

New York Times


Happy Birthday, Champ!

The Champ

Mohammed Ali turns 70 today. Happy Birthday, Champ!

Ali was one of the genuine heros of my generation. I was lucky to perform for him twice, and stole his watch both times. He has wrists like two by fours. He is the type of celebrity that makes me feel weak in the knees just being in his presence. I admire him so much.

“I’m expected to go overseas to help free people in South Vietnam and at the same time my people here are being brutalized; hell no! I would like to say to those of you who think I have lost so much: I have gained everything. I have peace of heart; I have a clear, free conscience. And I am proud. I wake up happy, I go to bed happy, and if I go to jail, I go to jail happy!”    –Muhammed Ali, 1967

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