Q&A: The Amazing Kreskin
Did you predict that the world's premier mentalist would be performing in Connecticut soon? Well, you were right.
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Speaking of Jimmy Fallon, I understand you made a very special prediction on his show recently.
Yes, regarding the 2012 presidential election. It's a dramtic scenario. He now has in a safe—and I'm the only one who knows the combination—my predictions as to the results. What made it challenging for me is that I didn't just name the candidate who would win, but also the Republican contender, and you know, a few months ago there were still about 16 of them. Anyway, we've made an agreement that any time I'm on the show, there will be a guard standing next to the safe. I wrote it out by hand on the show but the camera was blocking off what I wrote—Fallon himself has no idea.
A second copy is in the hands of a man who used to be in TV but is now a columnist in Las Vegas, Robin Leach. A third copy is with a radio personality who does a lot of political interviews in New Jersey, and who went to the same high school I did. And a fourth is in a miniature sealed combination safe hanging over the bar of Patsy's in New York City, made famous because it was Sinatra's favorite restaurant. What more worthy place for something dealing with politics?
All four parties are going to confirm my predictions two days after the election. I'd already written them some months ago, in Las Vegas; but in the interim, I'd changed my mind because I realized Mike Huckabee wouldn't be seeking office. A number of people back then knew that I had written them out, and was going to put them in a strongbox as part of my live act. As God is my judge, the day I wrote this message out in my hotel room, I got a call from a gentleman who knew I had done this, even though there were only five people in Vegas I told. He asked me if he could come upstairs to my hotel room and if I said "yes," he'd hand me $20,000 cash. Two days later he called again; then when I got back to New Jersey he called a third time.
I'm sure it was a tabloid ruse. If I'd have taken the money, I would have given it to an animal charity. I have four cats at home—if I didn't travel all the time I'd have six dogs, a llama, and would also, absolutely have a pig, because—Carson and I used to talk about this—they're highly intelligent animals. And one thing about animals is, they don't betray people.
So what can we expect from your performances in Bridgeport?
The highlight of my program will be what has been written about all over the world—and the last third of Buck Howard deals with this, because the man who wrote the screenplay, Sean McGinly, worked with me for a couple of years and is now a playwright.
I'll assemble a committee of strangers onstage, five or six, to whom I'll hand my paycheck for each evening. Then I'll be escorted from the theater, and this committee will hide my check anywhere within the theater's confines. When I return, if I don't guess where my check is hidden, it will be given back to the theater to be used as the management wishes.
I've failed to find the check nine out of 6,000 times, and I've done this all over the world. I had a haunting experience in New Zealand—I failed in a coliseum there, and the next morning I did a press conference on the steps of the theater that I'm told was broadcast on practically every channel in the country. I lost $51,000 that night; the money was turned over to a children's hospital.
The money has been hidden in the wildest places. At the University of Illinois I found it, among 8,000 people, under the upper dental plate in a man's mouth. I asked him if he had a new roof in his mouth; he took out his upper plate and handed me my check. At a dinner for Bob Hope, with 1500 media people in attendance, I was on the dais and shoved my hand into a turkey—they had cooked it in the stuffing.
On another occasion with an audience of 8,000, a plainclothesman pointed a gun toward my eye—the check was in the barrel of the gun. We got it out with tweezers. As reviewers have said, this routine is almost like watching a live mystery play, except that each night the solution is different because my audience creates the challenge.