Harry Houdini

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Before the invention of the Internet, pictures like this were hard to come by.

Harry Houdini was the stage name of Ehrich Weiss, a Hungarian-American escape artist, magician, stuntman, spiritualist debunker and aviator.

Early Years

Houdini was born in Budapest to a Jewish family, who soon immigrated to America. Once there... um... hey, where did...

Ladies and gents, I have some shocking news for you. Harry Houdini has escaped from this biography! With a little luck, he will rejoin us soon for the next part of his act. In the meantime, we have plenty of other items on our showbill. First, the hilarious ethnic comedy of The Johansen Brothers in their sentational act, The Three Micks!

The Three Micks

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Pat: Whall, whall, whall, sure and if it isn't me auld mates Pete and Moike. What ha' ye been up tay?
Pete: What the fuck is your problem, Pat?
Mike: Ye'll niver believe whut happened, at all, at all. Whoi the other day, we was walking along, and we heard an explosion at the pub.
Pete: Not you too, Mike.
Pat: Aye, I heard that the Pig and Protestant exploded, a gas leak they tell me.
Mike: To be sure, to be sure
Pete: (muttering) Oh, Christ.
Mike: Anyway, Pete an' me, we found a head on the ground. So I picks it up and an' I says, "Begorah, ain't that Paddy O'Murphey. But Peter here shakes his head and says..."
Pete: (Long pause) Oh, fuck it, they don't pay me enough for this shit.

Early Career

Ha ha, wasn't that great, folks? Mr. Houdini is preparing for his famous Houdini biography Early Career Escape so please take your seats. But first, an intriguing novelty act entitled "Do0d, WTF???"

Do0d WTF???


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A big hand folks for... whatever that was.

In 1892, Weiss became a professional magician, and began calling himself "Harry Houdini" because he was influenced by French magician Jean Eugène Robert-Houdin and his friend Jack Hayman told him that in French adding an "i" to Houdin would mean "like Houdini the great magician". The first part of his new name, Harry, was an homage to Harry Kellar, another of Weiss' largest influences. Initially... and he's gone. A big hand, ladies and gents!

Marie Lloyd

Now on with the show! Ladies and gentlemen, all the way from that friendly little island in the sea, England, please welcome singing sensation Marie Lloyd and her Unattractive Teeth! In a once only event, she will be performing with a special guest, The Gay Jewish Disco King

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Escapology

From 1904 and throughout the 1910s, Houdini performed with great success in the United States. He would free himself from jails, handcuffs, chains, ropes, and straitjackets, often while hanging from a rope in plain sight of street audiences. Because of imitators and a dwindling audience, on January 25, 1908, Houdini began escaping from a locked water filled milk can... and he's gone again. And now, the Amazing Gloria

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Thank you. Miss Gloria will be appearing here all week, subject to the availability of linament.

Death

Houdini's last performance was at the Garrick Theatre in Detroit, Michigan, on October 24, 1926. The next day he was hospitalized at Detroit's Grace Hospital. Houdini died of peritonitis from a ruptured appendix at 1:26 p.m. on Halloween, 1926, at the age of 52.

But why end on a down note? Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the show-stopping comedy from a troupe that has delighted the crowned heads of Europe! Zip Fleiser and Joey Spigot as "The Depressive Coons!"

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