Respectful Insolence

Mentioned in the comments on this post was this story:

MIAMI (Reuters) - The man who made the Statue of Liberty appear to vanish may soon claim to do the same for unsightly bags and wrinkles.

Master illusionist David Copperfield says he has found the “Fountain of Youth” in the southern Bahamas, amid a cluster of four tiny islands he recently bought for $50 million (26.4 million pounds).

One of his islands in the Exuma chain, Musha Cay, is a private resort that rents for up to $300,000 a week and the other islands serve as buffers to keep prying eyes away from celebrity guests on the white sand beaches.

Copperfield is coy about his reasons for the Fountain of Youth claim, but the man best known for entertaining with grand deception insists his archipelago also contains the legendary waters that bestow perpetual youth. Seriously.

“I’ve discovered a true phenomenon,” he told Reuters in a telephone interview. “You can take dead leaves, they come in contact with the water, they become full of life again. … Bugs or insects that are near death, come in contact with the water, they’ll fly away. It’s an amazing thing, very, very exciting.”

Copperfield, who turns 50 next month, said he had hired biologists and geologists to examine its potential effect on humans but he’s not inviting visitors to swim in or drink from it just yet.

Well, well, well. Either Copperfield is the exception to the rule that magicians tend to be skeptics because their profession is to deceive for entertainment (or, as this article puts it, “entertaining with grand deception”), or he’s got quite the little publicity scam going on here. I wonder if any biologists have taken him up on his offer to study this supposedly miraculous water.

Calling The Amazing Randi, STAT! I think we need a woo intervention here from a fellow magician!

ADDENDUM: Tim Gueguen has also commented.

Comments

  1. #1 Algerine
    August 16, 2006

    Definitely a publicity stunt. Stay tuned for his next special, The Magic of David Copperfield XVIII: Fountain of Youth.

    I can’t believe anyone would even consider for half a second he’d: a) truly believe he’d found the Fountain of Youth and b) he’d publicize it. If that really was the Fountain, I wouldn’t be calling up biologists; I’d be calling up the ex-girlfriend and her friends and tell them they could come for a “vacation” for a “small fee.” Fountain of Youth + aging supermodels = island paid off in a week.

  2. #2 tim gueguen
    August 16, 2006

    Yeah, its been suggested by others its a publicity stunt for an upcoming special. Even if it is I still wonder if Copperfield did buy the island, and if he did is he really worth enough to scrape together 50 mil.

  3. #3 Alex Whiteside
    August 16, 2006

    So did he find the island’s fountain of youth, then buy the whole archipelago, or did he buy the archipelago, then conveniently find a payoff for his preposterous investment? I’m dying to know.

  4. #4 Alex
    August 16, 2006

    You’re asking the wrong question. What would be more interesting to know would be who *sold* him the island.

  5. #5 EoR
    August 16, 2006

    “The man who made the Statue of Liberty appear to vanish” – so which was it then?

  6. #6 NephSpouse
    August 16, 2006

    I’m going to have to argue that the magical waters are HERE at my house too! It has been very hot here lately, and I’ve neglected the poor plants out on our deck. Yesterday when I went to take out the trash I noticed that they were dead, or very close to dead. Unable to think what to do I decided to water them with the bottle of water I had in my other hand. They drank greedily of the water and within hours they were restored to health and youthful vigor! It was like magic! It’s a good thing that I gave the magical water to the plants instead of drinking it myself. If it’s effect on them is any indication of what it would have done to me I might have been unable to reach the doorknob to get back into the house had I sipped it while outside!

    This morning I made coffee with the same water and am sipping it now. Coffee does seem to enhance the restorative effects that the water has on humans but I’m still studying the effects. I think I’ll need at least one more cup to be sure…

  7. #7 Kathleen Seidel
    August 16, 2006

    Tim, I’m guessing that if David Copperfield could afford to spend $2,200,000 to acquire Ricky Jay’s Mulholland Library thirteen years ago, he could afford $50,000,000 to acquire some nice Caribbean real estate today. According to Forbes, Copperfield earned $57,000,000 in 2003.

  8. #8 anonimouse
    August 16, 2006

    Copperfield probably can get access to $50 million – he makes a pretty fair chunk of change with his shows and merchandise. And there’s always a bank out there that’ll lend the rest to a famous celebrity.

    That being said, the “publicity stunt” angle seems the most logical to me. Then again, this is the guy who said he’d get a woman pregnant onstage without sex.

    http://www.hollywood.com/news/detail/id/3465530

  9. #9 scenedesmeriffic
    August 16, 2006

    They did say he’s turning 50… hey, some people buy sports cars and have plastic surgery for their midlife crisis, some people buy islands and find the Fountain of Youth! :lol:

  10. #10 Dr. Steve
    August 16, 2006

    Actually, Copperfield ran afoul of Randi a couple of years back when he trotted out the “we only use 10% of our brain” gobbledygook, apparently believing his own hype.

    Randi took him to task – and had to appologize later when Copperfield wrote back to say the he was not serious.

  11. #11 clone3g
    August 16, 2006

    Two words: Claudia Schiffer

    nuff said

    btw, I sprayed a dragonfly with the garden hose yesterday and it flew right away. Magic

  12. #12 Balthus
    August 17, 2006

    Hopefully he’s just trying to create buzz for an upcoming new illusion (the tours usually begin near the end or beginning of a year, so right now would be the right time). And the whole “impregnating a woman on stage without sex” thing that got all that hooplah a few months back was pointless. If you’ve seen the current show, that’s just the backstory for a small illusion which is mostly for gags. This fountain of youth thing might be the same. Also, 50 million is chunk change for David, he still makes the Forbes list each year.