An Expert at the Card Table

YouTube Screenshot

Like many others, I tend to judge Fred Kaps as the best all-around magician I have ever seen. No matter which objects he manipulated, it always looked incredibly smooth and effortless. The impression was enhanced by his likeable persona and the joy – and sometimes astonishment – which he radiated. A shame and a big loss that he passed away so early. But his magic and his legend will live on at least for another couple of decades.

Here’s some rare old TV footage that shows Kaps in his prime in an informal card session. It’s in Dutch, but you will certainly get the magic. Watch the video over on YouBurp and enjoy!



Career Choices (1): Fred Kaps

Clever choice No. 1: Abraham Pieter Adrianus Bongers deciding very early in his magic career to take up a stage name.

Clever choice No. 2: Abraham Bongers deciding still early in his career to change his stage name from Valdini to Mystica and then to Fred Kaps.

Bad choice No. 1: Fred Kaps performing on the “Ed Sullivan Show” in 1964 immediately after The Beatles. (O.K., not his fault.)

Bad choice No. 2: Fred Kaps performing “The Homing Card” on that occasion – on black & white television.

Clever choice No. 3: Always using professional and outstanding promotional material, like this famous “dice shot” (black & white graphic re-rendering by me):

Find out more about Fred Kaps, the only three time FISM Grand Prix Winner (the World Champion of Magic), here and here.

Magic and YouTube: Four Observations

1. There’s a magic sucker born every minute. And about an hour later, he will put his first magic tutorial on YouTube.


2. YouTube generates highly efficient magic: In many videos the explanation is already included in the performance.


3. YouTube magic is a lot like watching porn movies (so I was told…): You can hardly wait to get to the climax.


4. An estimation: If YouTube was switched off for just one day, the global sea level of magic would rise about two meters instantly. Well, that would probably sink Holland; but hey – everything comes at a price! (And Fred Kaps and Tommy Wonder have already been saved anyway. God bless them.)