Jamy Ian Swiss

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Magic historian Jamy Ian Swiss

Jamy Ian Swiss (born January 1, 1953) is an American close-up magician who works primarily with playing cards,[1] a noted historian of magic, and a skeptic.



Swiss is a sleight-of-hand performer specializing in close-up card magic.[2]

He has performed across the United States, including for Fortune-500 companies and the Smithsonian Institution. He has been featured in The New Yorker,[2][3] Vanity Fair, The Washington Post and New York Press.[4] He has also appeared in television programs including 48 Hours, the PBS series NOVA, and the PBS documentary The Art of Magic and The Today Show.

He was a comedy writer and chief magic consultant for Penn & Teller on their television program, Sin City Spectacular. He also served as head writer and associate director for The Virtual Magician starring Marco Tempest, which aired in 45 countries; created, produced and performed in the Discovery Channel documentary, Cracking the Con Games; and has consulted on feature films including The Fantasticks. Swiss is also a co-founder of the National Capital Area Skeptics[5] and the New York City Skeptics.[6][citation needed]

In 2000, Swiss presented a one-man show The Honest Liar as part of the New York International Fringe Festival. His show of intimate sleight-of-hand magic, Magic: Close-up in Concert, ran for six months at the Rainbow Room in New York City, and has also been presented at the Players Club.

Swiss is currently a co-producer and performer for Monday Night Magic,[7] New York City's longest running Off-Broadway magic show.[8][9]

Writing and lecturing[edit]

Jamy Ian Swiss is the author of the essay collection Shattering Illusions, Devious Standards and Preserving Mystery. He is also a co-author of the companion volume to the PBS documentary The Art of Magic and the Explaining Magic chapter of Visual Explanations by Edward Tufte.

He also contributed to, or consulted on, the following books:

  1. Magic for Dummies
  2. Penn & Teller’s How to Play with Your Food
  3. American Gods by Neil Gaiman

He writes columns for Skeptic magazine and the quarterly magic journal Antimony. He has written for Genii, the Conjurors’ Magazine since 1994.

He has lectured to magicians in 13 countries.[2] He also created and produces Card Clinic, a seminar on sleight of hand with playing cards.

Movies and Documentaries[edit]

Jamy Ian Swiss is the host in the documentary Merchants of Doubt, drawing a parallel between his 'honest' lying and the deceitful lying in politics and business.


  1. ^ "72 Hours Inside the Eye-Popping World of Cardistry". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 14 January 2016.
  2. ^ a b c The Real Work, The New Yorker, March 17, 2008
  3. ^ "Take a Card (Audio)". The New Yorker. Retrieved August 10, 2009.
  4. ^ Point of Inquiry- Interview with Swiss
  5. ^ National Capital Area Skeptics
  6. ^ New York City Skeptics
  7. ^ Magical Nights
  8. ^ Hallissey, Kara (2 May 2014). "Professional magicians to thrill OC". OC Magic Show. Archived from the original on 27 March 2016. Retrieved 1 September 2016.
  9. ^ "MONDAY NIGHT MAGIC". Destinations of New York State. 25 April 2016. Archived from the original on 1 September 2016. Retrieved 1 September 2016.

External links[edit]

  1. Home Page
  2. Card Clinic: three days that will change your magic forever
  3. Jamy Ian Swiss on IMDb
  4. Biography of Jamy Ian Swiss at Adobe.com
  5. Video of Jamy Ian Swiss from the New Yorker Festival
  6. Video of Jamy Ian Swiss from TAM 2012 on "Overlapping Magisteria" in Skepticism