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theodore-anneman-2

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Theo Annemann was a magician often considered the patron saint of mentalism. He was a prolific inventor of card magic as a young man, something of a prodigy, although he really distinguished himself as the editor and publisher of a weekly magazine devoted to close-up mental effects, started in 1934, called The Jinx. The effects and methods contained therein were foundational for just about every succeeding performer of mental magic afterwards, but the real joy of reading The Jinx now is the light it shines on the New York magic scene of the ’30s contained in Annemann’s editorials and reviews.

Alas, although Annemann was in his early years a dynamic performer, by the end of 1941 the 34-year old’s life was a mess: he was in debt, working on his second divorce, drinking heavily, his gums were seriously infected, and although terrified now of performing in public, a show was coming up. He sought to solve his problems by attaching a hose to his gas oven and inhaling. He was found dead the next day in his pajamas,  a bag over his head and the hose still attached. Poor Ted.

This is all by way of repeating one of my favorite anagrams, created by Harry Anderson, magician, raconteur, wise guy, and actor (he was the judge in the popular 1980s TV sitcom, Night Court).

Theo Annemann:

A man, then none.