Tom Mullica

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Tom Mullica
Tom Mullica cigarette trick.jpg
Born Thomas Blaine Mullica
(1948-08-19)August 19, 1948
Waupun, Wisconsin, US
Died February 18, 2016(2016-02-18) (aged 67)
Las Vegas, Nevada, US
Cause of death Multiple organ dysfunction syndrome
Nationality American
Occupation Actor, Magician, Comedian, Clown, Ventriloquist, Pantomimist.
Years active 1970–2016
Known for Television & 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 TV many times including Late Night with David Letterman, The World's Greatest Magic, Viva Variety and Penn & Teller's Sin City.

One of Mullica's most memorable appearances was on Late Night with David Letterman,[1] on which he performed his popular signature effect of the manipulation and vanishing of several cigarettes in his mouth.

In 1984 Mullica was awarded $5,000 cash for winning the Siegfried & Roy Golden Lion Award at the Magic Desert Seminar in Las Vegas.[2]

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.[3]

In July 2013 Mullica helped dedicate the Red Skelton Museum & Education Center.[4]

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. However, on his seventh birthday his mother bought him a "Sneaky Pete Magic Kit" for Christmas.[5]

After he graduated from Waupun High School in 1966, he enlisted in the Army at age 18, serving 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 and opened his own nightclub called The Tom-foolery Magic Bar Theater which was open from 1976 until 1987.

Red Skelton visited the Tom-foolery in 1980 and they became fast friends. After the closure of Tom-foolery Mullica asked Skelton for his advice, and Skelton suggested that he take his best material and perform it pantomime to music, which would eliminate any language barrier so that he could perform anywhere in the world. Mullica took Skelton's advice and after six months of rehearsal moved to Paris, France where he worked at the Crazy Horse Saloon.

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

In 2010, Mullica was diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia.[6]


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.[7] He was 67.


  1. ^ Comic Magician Tom Mullica On Late Nite Talk Show on YouTube
  2. ^ "Home".
  3. ^ "TOM MULLICA". Archived from the original on 2012-04-20.
  4. ^ "Tom Mullica Celebrates 100 Years Of Red Skelton". Hamner Barber Theater. 4 October 2012.
  5. ^ "Tom Mullica - Biography - All About Magicians.Com". All About Magicians.
  6. ^ "Tom Mullica Giving up Red; Returning to Magic - The International Brotherhood of Magicians". Retrieved 2018-07-16.
  7. ^ "R.I.P. Tom Mullica 1948 – 2016". The Magic Compass.

External links[edit]