Monday, October 24, 2011

Magical Mystery Tour

Magicians were huge in the 1930s and 40s, with cult followings (usually other magicians), and are regarded even now as legendary showmen, having cultivated an aura of ancient dark wisdom.

As we are reminded in the last post's comments by Britt Reid (I was getting to it, Britt ; ) ) , Dr. Neff was a real-life magician with a real-life magical mystery tour. Bill Neff (1905-1967) was famous for his Madhouse of Mystery show—a 2 ton stage extravaganza, requiring 13 assistants!

Besides his comic book adventures (in his own title and also featured in the 1940s Red Dragon series) there is an interesting book about him, as Mr. Reid points out, called Pleasant Nightmares—Dr. Neff and His Madhouse of Mystery by William Rauscher.

You can see that Dr. Neff had legendary help in his stage shows.

Bela Lugosi with Bill Neff, 1947

Interested in pop culture? While you're online, check out some of Mr. Reid's blogs here, here and here.

No comments: