Rudy Colby
2 Photographs
In Collection
8x10 glossy photo An original studio release vintage press photo
Product Details
Personal Details
Read It No
Location Magic Library (Home)
Condition Near Mint
Owner Bryan-Keith Taylor
Rudy Coby

also known as "Labman", is an American comedic magician. He is a member of the Magic Castle in Los Angeles. Coby appeared in several small theatrical live shows, and on broadcast television. He is known for delivering eclectic and original comedic performances, of which stage magic plays a large part.

In the mid-1990s, Coby and his troupe of illusionist comrades performed in the Gem Theatre in downtown Detroit for an unprecedented thirteen weeks thanks to the cult following, and radio support.

Coby plays a vague alter ego, "Labman", a scientist who performs amazing deeds. Labman works for a fictional company, "LabCo", with the slogan "Smarter Than You". Labman was earlier featured as a comic book character made up by Coby as a child. Since doing the TV shows, Coby published several comics featuring the enigmatic hero.

Rudy's TV specials feature several other characters, including his robotic female assistant, Nikki Terminator.

TV specials

Rudy Coby: The Coolest Magician on Earth
Rudy's first show begins with a general display of magic tricks, timed to music. Rudy then performs several tricks, some with audience participation, before "accidentally" cutting his assistant Nikki Terminator in half with a chainsaw. A lengthy plot ensues, in which Rudy, as Labman, searches for replacement legs for Nikki and a way to reattach them.

Then he attempts to "dethrone Houdini" by performing "The World's Most Dangerous Card Trick". The trick is ultimately a joke, hyped up to humorous levels. Coby selects a child from the audience, gets him to select a card at random, and wires himself up to a cardboard bomb (telling the volunteer not to be "fooled by its cheesy cardboard-like appearance"). He tells the volunteer to detonate the bomb at an appropriate time, and after deliberately fudging up the times, gets set on fire but eventually produces the correct card, proving himself to be "The Coolest Magician on Earth".

Rudy Coby II: Ridiculously Dangerous
The second show deals primarily with Labman's struggle with crime. The show introduces a number of supervillains, including an ex-girlfriend of Rudy's, and "Magic Dave," a thinly-disguised parody of David Copperfield. Rudy deals with each of the supervillains by besting them in a magic trick.

The Hypnotron 2000
One device used in both shows is LabCo's "Hypnotron 2000", an animated optical illusion (designed by Jerry Andrus) in which concentric rings of black/white stripes rotate in alternating directions. Coby shows this animation for about fifteen seconds, and then instructs viewers to look at a photograph, or the back of their hand, to see the object they look at appear to distort in front of their eyes. This device is a well-known example of the motion aftereffect.

The Hypnotron 2000 was reportedly so popular in the first show that Coby had to perform it again in the second.