Alright, so I’m not entirely clear on the legality of this particular Youtube clip, which is a recording of Ricky Jay’s “52 Assistants” show that was broadcast on HBO. I suspect this is one of those cases where it’s probably not kosher in the strictest sense, but that it’s harmless enough that nobody’s going to bother doing anything about it. I’ll treat it that way until somebody associated with Ricky Jay and/or Deceptive Practices does something about it, either by getting in touch with me, or else issuing a takedown of the Youtube clip.

That said, if you haven’t seen it yet, watch the damn video. Obviously, do it for study, not to look for things to pilfer. If for no other reason, try to view it through a lens offered up by Eugene Burger, who stressed the importance of texture in a magic show. Yeah, the thing is almost entirely cards, and yet there is very little about it that feels like “a bunch of card tricks”. Yeah, there are card tricks, but you’ve also got comedy, poetry, gambling demonstrations, astrology, stunts, and homages to Erdnase, Hofzinser and Malini. That’s a lot of range.

It’s a really important show. We don’t get enough chances to see how competent performers put together their acts. Watch this one while you can.