Tom Mullica

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Tom Mullica
Tom Mullica cigarette trick.jpg
Born
Thomas Blaine Mullica

(1948-08-19)August 19, 1948
DiedFebruary 18, 2016(2016-02-18) (aged 67)
NationalityAmerican
OccupationMagician, Comedian, Ventriloquist, Mime artist, Actor, Clown.
Years active1970–2016
Known forTelevision & stage appearances as a magician and comedian.

Thomas Blaine Mullica (August 19, 1948 – February 18, 2016), was an American comedy magician and impressionist who performed on television specials, and appeared on Late Night with David Letterman, The World's Greatest Magic, Viva Variety and Penn & Teller's Sin City.

Mullica appeared on the Late Night with David Letterman,[1] where he performed his signature effect of the manipulation and vanishing of several cigarettes in his mouth.[2]

In 1984 Mullica won the Siegfried & Roy Golden Lion Award at the Magic Desert Seminar in Las Vegas.[3][4]

He also performed at the Just for Laughs Comedy Festival and toured the US and Canada with RED – A Performance Tribute, a Red Skelton Tribute show which Mullica wrote and starred in as Skelton and his characters. RED is the only Skelton tribute show authorized by the Skelton Estate.[5]

In July 2013 Mullica helped dedicate the Red Skelton Museum & Education Center.[6]

Personal life[edit]

He was born Thomas Blaine Mullica in Waupun, Wisconsin on August 19, 1948. When Mullica was five years old, he wanted to be a clown. On his seventh birthday his mother bought him a "Sneaky Pete Magic Kit" for Christmas.[7]

In 1966 he graduated from Waupun High School, after which he enlisted in the Army (at age 18). He served 3 years in Korea and Germany. Once he had finished his military service he moved to Colon, Michigan, where he built illusions and demonstrated magic for Abbott's Magic Company.

Mullica then moved to Atlanta, Georgia where he attended bartending school. In 1976 he opened his own nightclub called The Tom-Foolery Magic Bar Theater.[4]

Red Skelton visited the Tom-foolery in 1980 and they became fast friends. The Tom-Foolery closed in 1987.[4] Mullica asked Skelton for his advice after the closure, and Skelton suggested that he take his best material and perform it as a pantomime, with music. This would eliminate any language barrier and could be performed anywhere in the world.[4] Mullica took Skelton's advice and rehearsed for six months. He then moved to Paris, France where he worked at the Crazy Horse Saloon.

In 1991, Mullica returned to the United States to continue his comedy magic career. He began writing RED (A Performance Tribute) in 1996, which he performed in theaters throughout the US and Canada.

In 2010, Mullica was diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia.[8]

Awards[edit]

Death[edit]

On February 15, 2016, Mullica was placed in an induced coma following complications stemming from a routine hernia operation, which caused him to have several strokes. He subsequently suffered from organ and liver failure. On February 18, it was decided to take Mullica off life support.[10] He was 67 years of age when he passed away.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Comic Magician Tom Mullica On Late Nite Talk Show on YouTube
  2. ^ a b "Abbotts Magic Get Together - 1992". www.magicgettogether.com. Retrieved 2019-07-26. Mullica's signature – the eating of cigarettes and napkins [..]
  3. ^ "Bio & Credits". tommullica.com. 2013-12-08. Archived from the original on 2013-12-08. Retrieved 2019-07-26. STAGE: Grand Prize Winner, Siegfried & Roy Golden Lion Award. Magic Desert Seminar, Las Vegas, 1980-99.
  4. ^ a b c d e "Tom Mullica biography". All About Magicians.com. Archived from the original on 2016-04-07. Retrieved 2019-07-26. [..] appeared on television including Late Night with David Letterman, and World's Greatest Magic. [..] In 1984, awarded the Desert Magic Seminar 1st prize.
  5. ^ "TOM MULLICA". skeltontribute.com. Archived from the original on 2012-04-20.
  6. ^ "Tom Mullica Celebrates 100 Years Of Red Skelton". Hamner Barber Theater. 4 October 2012.
  7. ^ "Tom Mullica - Biography - All About Magicians.Com". All About Magicians.
  8. ^ "Tom Mullica Giving up Red; Returning to Magic - The International Brotherhood of Magicians". www.magician.org. Retrieved 2018-07-16.
  9. ^ "Abbotts Magic Get Together - 1992 Award Winners". magicgettogether.com. Retrieved 2019-07-26.
  10. ^ "R.I.P. Tom Mullica 1948 – 2016". The Magic Compass.

External links[edit]