Tonight I am talking with Comedian/Magician Mac King who has performed on several television specials and has his own show at Harrah’s Las Vegas called “The Mac King Comedy Magic Show.”
Hello Mac, let me start off by asking where are you from?
I was born in a little town called Hopkinsville, Kentucky, but I grew up in Louisville, Kentucky.
What was your main inspiration to become a Magician and Comedian?
Both of my grandfathers were amateur magicians. They knew a few tricks, and when I was old enough they taught me some. Then I discovered magic books at the library and was hooked. As for the comedian part, everybody in my family is funny. That’s probably the defining characteristic in my family. So I come by both things legitimately.
Share with me about what it was like in the beginning of you career as a child, than a one man show and now “Favorite Male Las Vegan?”
After toying with magic as a hobby, I worked in an amusement park in Kentucky called Tombstone Junction. Another Louisville magician, Lance Burton, and I did a show together there–3 shows a day 7 days a week. It was great training. I worked there five summers in a row. Then after graduating college (with a degree in Anthropology!) I began working in Comedy Clubs. I did that for almost 20 years. It was blast. Then came the move to Las Vegas where I’ve lived for about 12 years. My show at Harrah’s has been voted Best Bargain Show by the Las Vegas Review Journal in their annual “Best of Las Vegas” issue for the past seven years or something. They’ve also named me Best Magician. But this past year they really surprised me by naming me Favorite Male Las Vegan. Mighty excellent.
How long has your show been at Harrah’s?
I’ve been at Harrah’s since January 2000. One of the things I’m most proud of is that my show seems to appeal to such a wide range of people. Surly teenagers, grandmas, bikers, 10 year-old kids, moms and dads, criminals, college professors, and everybody in-between seem to like the show.
Do you still tour and if so which theaters/casinos?
The only shows I still do on the road are private shows for different corporations that hire me to entertain their employees.
Tell me a little about your book “Tricks With Your Head?”
It’s a collection of 52 tricks that you can use to fool your friends and all 52 tricks use your head as a prop. The subtitle says it all, “Hilarious Magic Tricks and Stunts to Disgust and Delight.” It’s published by Random House and illustrated by my cousin Bill King. He’s also my partner in our little venture called “Mac King’s Magic in a Minute.” This is a comic strip syndicated around the world and a bunch of magic kits and tricks available to the public.
Share with me some insight about the International JOOI of Reading program and how you are involved?
When I found that magic book at my school library it literally changed my life. Books have a real magic about them. And every happy successful adult I know reads. So I go to elementary schools and do some tricks and talk about how much I love to read and how cool I think reading is. I really enjoy encouraging kids to read more books.
Do you have any advice that you could give for anyone beginning in Magic/Comedy?
There is really only one bit of real advice. To be a magician or comedian (or both) you have to perform for people. I started out just doing tricks for my family and then friends. Once they got tired of me I moved on to strangers. I just performed anytime there was an opportunity.
I’d like to thank Mac King for taking the time to talk with me and for more information, please go to: