Marshall Brodien (July 10, 1934 – March 8, 2019)was a professional magician who played Wizzo the Wizard, a wizard clown character which appeared on WGN-TV's Bozo's Circus and The Bozo Show from 1968-1994.
WGN-TV, virtual channel 9, is an independent television station licensed to Chicago, Illinois, United States. Owned by Nexstar Media Group, it is sister to news/talk/sports radio station WGN and local cable news channel Chicagoland Television (CLTV). Prior to September 2019, WGN-TV, WGN radio, and CLTV were the flagship properties of the Tribune Media Company, through its Tribune Broadcasting subsidiary. WGN-TV's second and third digital subchannels respectively serve as owned-and-operated stations of Nexstar's two national over-the-air multicast services, classic television network Antenna TV and movie-focused general entertainment network This TV, both of which are headquartered at the WGN-TV studios.
The Bozo Show was a locally produced children's television program that aired on WGN-TV in Chicago and nationally on what is now WGN America. It was based on the children's record book series, Bozo the Clown by Capitol Records. The series is a local version of the internationally franchised Bozo the Clown format and is also the longest-running in the franchise. Recognized as the most popular and successful locally produced children's program in the history of television, it only aired under this title for 14 of its 40+ years: other titles were Bozo, Bozo's Circus, and The Bozo Super Sunday Show.
Brodien was born and raised in Chicago.At age 8, he took an interest in magic after a magician came to perform at his school. He never graduated high school and began working at age 14 selling and demonstrating magic tricks and novelties at the Magic Center in downtown Chicago.
At age 16, Brodien worked at Chicago's Riverview Park, performing magic tricks.
Riverview Park was an amusement park in Chicago, Illinois which operated from 1904 to 1967. It was located on 74 acres (0.3 km²) in an area bound on the south by Belmont Ave. on the east by Western Ave, on the north by Lane Tech High School, and on the west by the North Branch of the Chicago River. It was in the North Center community area and neighborhood on Chicago's north side.
Brodien served in the Army during the 1950s at Fort Carson in Colorado and performed more than 700 shows while in the Army at hospitals, non-commissioned officers clubs and private parties.
Fort Carson is a United States Army installation located in unincorporated El Paso County, Colorado, near the city of Colorado Springs.
Brodien, who had been making semi-regular guest appearances performing magic tricks as himself on Bozo’s Circus since 1962,began appearing as a wizard character in an Arabian Nights-inspired costume in 1968 and evolved into Wizzo the Wizard by the early 1970s. He was billed as being from "Arobia" and possessed the magical Stone of Zanzabar. According to Brodien, the first time he touched Bozo (Bob Bell) with the stone, Bozo quipped: "I remember when you got stoned at the Zanzabar."
Robert Lewis Bell, better known as Bob Bell, was an American announcer and actor famous for his alter-ego, Bozo the Clown. He was the original portrayer of the character for Chicago superstation WGN-TV.
Oliver O. Oliver (Ray Rayner) left Bozo's Circus in 1971 and was briefly replaced by Pat Tobin as Oliver's cousin Elrod T. Potter, and then by magician John Thompson (an acquaintance of Brodien's) as Clod Hopper. By 1973, WGN gave up on Thompson and increased Brodien's appearances as Wizzo. Brodien left the program in 1994.
Ray Rayner was a staple of Chicago children's television in the 1960s and 1970s on WGN-TV.
In 1970, Brodien was the spokesperson and creator of a trick magic card deck known as TV Magic Cards, which was a renamed Svengali deck. The deck resembled a regular playing card deck, except that the cards could be shown as all the same card. Many other card tricks could be performed with the deck. Over 17 million decks of the cards were sold.Brodien sold his company in 1992.
Brodien had a car with vanity license plates reading "WIZ"and custom pin-striping which contained a tiny "WIZ" within the striping.
Brodien designed magic trick sets for children through a company called Cadaco Toys. He occasionally made public appearances in the Chicago area, and a biography, The Magical Life Of Marshall Brodien, was published in 2007. One of his Wizzo costumes is in the WGN-TV Bozo's Circus exhibit at the Museum of Broadcast Communications.
Brodien was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 2007.
In 2018, the mayor of Geneva, Illinois announced that July 10 would be known as “Marshall Brodien Day” in the city of Geneva.
Brodien and his wife Mary had six children and stepchildren.Brodien died on March 8, 2019 from Alzheimer's disease in Geneva, Illinois at the age of 84.
Bozo the Clown is a clown, created and introduced in the United States in 1946, and to television in 1949, whose broad popularity peaked locally in the 1960s as a result of widespread franchising in early television.
Card manipulation is the branch of magical illusion that deals with creating effects using sleight of hand techniques involving playing cards. Card manipulation is often used in magical performances, especially in close-up, parlor, and street magic. Some of the most recognized names in this field include Dai Vernon, Tony Slydini, Ed Marlo, S.W. Erdnase, Richard Turner, John Scarne and Ricky Jay. Before becoming world-famous for his escapes, Houdini billed himself as "The King of Cards".
Burling Hull was an inventive magician, self-styled "the Edison of magic," specializing in mentalism and sleight of hand effects. During the greater part of his life he lived in DeLand, Florida. His aliases and stage names included: "Volta the Great", "The Man with the Radar Mind", "The White Wizard," and "Gideon ('Gid') Dayn."
A trick deck usually refers to a deck of playing cards that has been altered in some way to allow magicians to perform certain card tricks where sleight of hand would be too difficult or impractical.
Howard Thurston was a stage magician from Columbus, Ohio, United States. His childhood was unhappy, and he ran away to join the circus, where his future partner Harry Kellar also performed. Thurston was deeply impressed after he attended magician Alexander Herrmann's magic show and was determined to equal his work. He eventually became the most famous magician of his time. Thurston's traveling magic show was the biggest one of all; it was so large that it needed eight train cars to transport his road show.
William Frazier Thomas was a Chicago television personality. Although Thomas wrote nine children's books, he was best known for creating, hosting, writing and producing the long-running children's television program Garfield Goose and Friends on WGN-TV.
This is a glossary of conjuring terms used by magicians.
This timeline of magic is a history of the performing art from B.C. to the present.
The Circus Card Trick is a card trick where the performer uses verbal misdirection to prompt the participant into betting that the performer has failed to execute the trick correctly. The performer exploits the ambiguous wording of their patter to win the bet in a manner unexpected by the audience.
Roy Thomas Brown was an American television personality, puppeteer, clown and artist known for playing "Cooky the Cook" on Chicago's Bozo's Circus.
Norbert Locke, better known as Ned Locke, was an American television personality and radio announcer, best known for the role of "Ringmaster Ned" on WGN-TV's Bozo's Circus from 1961 - 1976.
Don Sandburg was an American writer, actor, and producer who worked in television, most notably as producer of The Banana Splits for Hanna-Barbera as well as WGN-TV's Bozo's Circus.
Equivocation is a verbal technique by which a magician gives an audience member an apparently free choice, but frames the next stage of the trick in such a way that each choice has the same end result. For example, the performer may deal two cards to the table and ask a spectator to select one: if the spectator chooses the card on the left, the performer will say something like "you keep this card, I'll take the remaining card". If the spectator chooses the card on the right, the performer will take that card. Thus, the choice of which card to use is really made by the magician.
Daryl Easton, known professionally as Daryl and born Daryl Martinez, was an American magician based in Las Vegas. In his marketing he used the self-proclaimed title of "The Magician's Magician". Daryl usually went by his forename only.
Magic, which encompasses the subgenres of illusion, stage magic, and close up magic, is a performing art in which audiences are entertained by staged tricks or illusions of seemingly impossible feats using natural means. It is to be distinguished from paranormal magic which are effects claimed to be created through supernatural means. It is one of the oldest performing arts in the world.
Mat Franco is an American magician and the winner of the ninth season of America's Got Talent. Franco rose above hundreds of thousands of acts to become the first magician in history to win, including the $1 million prize. Best known for his personality-driven, sleight-of-hand style of magic, Mat Franco's TV specials marked the first time NBC produced a spin-off show around their AGT winner. Franco is currently headlining in at The LINQ Hotel and Casino at the Mat Franco Theatre in Las Vegas.
The art form of card flourishing, commonly referred to as cardistry, grew out of simple flourishes used in close-up magic by magicians in the 1990s to early 2000s. Chris Kenner's notable two-handed Sybil cut from his 1992 publication Totally Out of Control has carried great influence and gave birth to a series of advanced flourishes which today represents the foundation of the performance art. Sleight of hand pioneers Dan and Dave popularized cardistry on the world stage with their instructional DVD releases from 2004 and 2007. Journalist Kevin Pang of Vanity Fair characterized the art of card flourishing as, "It's yo-yo tricks performed by cardsharps with the street cred of a Parkour video. There's a name for it: cardistry."