McComb, Billy: McComb's Magic 25 Years Wiser
©1972 The Supreme Magic Company, England
Hardcover, 185 pages
5 Publisher's Introduction (by Edwin)
10 The Dark Side of the Moon (Ken de Courcey)
17 Extension to MIKO: A twist on a standard pocket effect to give it an extra sting in its tail
19 Opening the Magic Society Show: An astonishing illusionette, Two sandwich boards and suddenly the 'Sandwich Board Man' is produced!
23 The Bang Bomb: a nutty notion with a bomb! It's lit and suddenly explodes with a silent bang
29 A Thought-of-Card Turns Up in a Cigarette: The classic trick explained in such detail that, no matter what goes wrong, you have a cast-iron trick which is good, solid entertainment
37 The Ultimate Identification: Walk on to a stage, a newspaper in your hand and a top hat on your head. Go straight to a thin-topped table, show the hat empty, open the newspaper, place it over the hat, remove it and a rabbit pops its head over the brim!
40 Rabbit From Scarf: Remove your white evening-dress scarf, bunch it up and a rabbit appears
41 The Half-Dyed Colour-Changing Silk: The professional version of the Colour Changing Silk with a tremendous off-beat climax
49 A Rotten Sneaky Deception Which Pleases Me: A great colour-changing idea that you'll enjoy using
51 Frolics with the Hummer Whirling Card: A complete study of this intriguing flourish. It tells you how to do it and how to use it in your show.
55 Years of Magical Angling...And Thoughts Thereon: A complete Magic Fishing act. Silks from silks; stack of glasses produced, then a large goldfish bowl. Water and a goldfish produced. A piece of carrot changes into a goldfish and many other effects in rapid succession. Fish are caught from the air and so on. Finally, the fish-bowl vanishes.
63 How to Mix Two Tricks to Make One Good Presentation: The Thumb Tie and the Card in Wallet cleverly combined in an off-beat routine.
65 Thoughts on the Thumb-Write and a Few Tips Thrown In: The best kind of thumb-writer to use. A Simple hold-out and, finally, a complete presentation.
69 The Rigid Yo-Yo: a crazy idea that works. An outsize Yo-Yo which behaves in an abnormal way
71 The Wine, the Water, and a Character: The Chris Van Bern Wine & Water, plus the Billy McComb version
75 Again Sawing in Half Lengthwise: an old trick re-vamped
79 The Reverse Cut Svengali Pack An Introduction: an accident leads to a novel comedy routine
82 Chop Cups for All: an impromptu version of a classic effect using a crumpled bill and a wrapped tumbler
87 We Go Mental: practical methods for the Dictionary or Telephone Directory Test
91 An Off-Beat Rabbit Arrival: a bunny appears in a champagne bucket
97 An Egg in the Magazine: An easy to make effect that's a winner. Egg is dropped in the pages of a magazine, a match waved underneath and then a fried egg is produced! No trace of the egg anywhere!
100 On the Question of Dress: Billy theorises on the sort of appearance you should present. Tips and ideas.
103 Thirty Years of Rings in Nests of Boxes: A practical routine for the Nest of Boxes, and the effects with led up to the evolution of it.
109 The Clay Pipe: please note the singular. The classic effect but performed with one pipe only. Clouds and clouds of smoke produced at the climax too! The complete working and presentation.
112 U.K. Note in the Polo Mints, or U.S.A. Bill in the Life Savers: A borrowed note turns up in an unlikely place
119 Splashing In the Card Fountain: Methods and ideas for a spectacular effect
122 Impromptu Hat Coils: A tip learned from Edgar Benyon
123 Resurrected!: An oldie that's still good for a laugh
125 A Face-Lifting of the Goodnight Banner: The Goodnight Banner streamlined and with an extra climax
127 William Reminisces: Stories often with a moral you'll enjoy reading
129 Cropping the Aces: You cut to any Ace and then let the audience in on the secret
131 Flat Accordion: a handy prop gag
131 A Gag with the Wiggly Wand: the popular gag wand is used to good effect in a card trick
132 "P": The old pea can gets re-vamped and revitalized
132 Flying Moo: a 'cod' transportation of milk from one glass to another
133 Sucker Ghost: a new dressing and presentation for the Ghost Tube
134 Which Came First?: A 36" silk waved in the air, without steals or body loads, a live dove is produced
135 Please Shut The Gate: a clever continuity stunt to use throughout the show
135 A Clean Gag: a visual prop gag to get a smile
136 Light Humour: another crazy invention
137 Wee Tree: Cute ideas for the paper fir-tree
139 Fish Sticks: variation on the Chinese Sticks and a few interesting gags too
141 Hot Stuff: the red-hot paper but performed Jumbo-size on stage!
143 Odds And Bits - And A Few Other Things: William talks on this and that. How to get your name across. On Art-work, on Pulls, a trick with a Ring, an idea for the Card Crystal, Impromptu Bunny, Shooting Combination-Flash Wand, Hydrostatic, Golf Ball.
149 Putting The Act Together: the professional way of compiling programmes, taking the worry out of your packing!
151 A Historical Gag: Abraham Lincoln's authentic Gettysburg Address
151 Confidence: an advert, which tickled Billy's sense of humour
153 Necessity is the Mother: Clever switch of decks for the rising card tick and an unusual off-beat climax
155 The Williamised Spider Of Mr. Collins: Pips vanish from a playing card and appear inside a crumpled tissue paper. A streamlined version of the classic.
159 The Williamised Close-Up Card Sword: a miniature version of Excalibur! A Card Sword for close-up shows.
161 William Does The Card Sword: The original McComb presentation for this classic effect. No cards to pick up off the floor and all the worries have been eliminated.
164 Yrutnec Hteitnewt: 20th Century in reverse! A delightful silk effect with three silks and a paper tube.
166 The Travelling Card: A fascinating story and a spooky card flourish
167 William Does The Hindu Needle Trick: Houdini made a sensation with the Needle Trick. The McComb version is easy to perform and all the worries and snags have been removed.
171 The Five Rings Of William: A simple, direct Linking Ring routine that can be used under any conditions
174 How To Wash Your Hands: Tips to ensure your hands are immaculate
175 William And The Himber Ring: The most Direct routine ever. Three rings are borrowed and magically linked!
184 Backword: It had to be! Billy has the last word!
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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Born April 12, 1922
Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK
Died April 30, 2006 (aged 84)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Billy McComb (April 12, 1922 — April 30, 2006) was a British-born American magician and comedian. He was one of the United Kingdom's leading magicians in the 1950s and 1960s. He was hired to perform at the International Of Magicians in 1962 and stayed at Jim Swogers house, in Pittsburgh, along with his wife and son for six months before taking up residence in Los Angeles, California in the 1970s. He joined The Magic Castle in Hollywood, his number being 3323.
He was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, the son of a physician who was knighted for his extensive contribution to X-ray research. He was educated at Portora Royal School, Enniskillen. He then trained for a career in medicine at Queen's University, Belfast. He graduated as a doctor in 1949.
He decided to develop a talent he discovered at school as a magician and comedian. He made a name for himself in Ireland. He very quickly made his mark in London in the West End cabaret scene. He married June Cochrane, a former Miss Ireland. They became a performing duo. He performed before Queen Elizabeth II at a Royal Variety Performance in the early years of his career. He then began a very successful career as a magician and comedian performer aboard cruise ships internationally with his magician's assistant, Mindy Masters. It was during this era of his career that his travels brought him to the United States. After he landed in Hollywood, California he made over three hundred appearances on television and in movies. He appeared in a number of television series and also opened for such stars as Bob Hope. One role was Walter Wilder in the 1995 film Lord of Illusions, directed by Clive Barker. He also appeared in the 1987 TV film Young Harry Houdini. He became a prominent figure at The Magic Castle and was affectionately billed as "The Worlds Largest Leprechaun."
In his 80s he continued to perform regularly in Las Vegas and as an opening act for The Amazing Johnathan. In his later years his act was noted by his self-deprecating jokes. In his opening he would look at his watch and say, "It's either this or rice pudding night at the home."
Books he wrote include The Professional Touch and Mc Comb's Magic: 25 Years Wiser. He was a prolific inventor of magic and illusions, most famously known for creating such items as the "Mc Combical Deck" and the "Double Thin Model Sawing" routine in which two assistants are sawed in half, and the halves of the two assistants are switched. This world famous routine has been used by several other magicians and was even a Jeopardy! question. He was sought after by many as the answer man in magic when a magician was having difficulty locating or developing a particular routine. Billy will be remembered as a gentle giant and a kindhearted individual. He was indeed a true friend to the end. One time an up-and-coming young magician telephoned Billy with a request to find a new rope routine. Billy traveled across Los Angeles with a box of magician's rope in hand. Billy taught the young magician the routine.
Billy McComb died on April 12, 2006, aged 84, in Los Angeles, predeceased by his son, Sean McComb, who died in 2002. His widow, June McComb, died in 2007.
Billy McComb at the Internet Movie Database
McComb on magic.about.com