There are many others far more qualified to speak about the life and legacy of famed magician and actor Ricky Jay, who died this week of natural causes. So instead, I’ll just share one of my favorite segments from his 1996 special, Ricky Jay and His 52 Assistants. Jay is so smooth here, his patter effortless and his sleight-of-hand and card manipulation absolutely flawless.
A good magician doesn’t make you feel bad or dumb when they fool you. Rather, they make you feel lucky, and dare I say, even blessed to experience being fooled so well. And even if you know how some of the fooling happens — if you know how some of the sleights are done — you can still appreciate the grace and skill on display. And grace and skill are two things that Ricky Jay had in great abundance, as typified by the above clip.