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R.I.P. Tom Mullica 1948 – 2016

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Tom Mullica The Magic Compass has just confirmed that Tom Mullica passed away today. Tom had gone into the hospital for a routine hernia operation and due to complications, blood clots formed and he had multiple strokes. He was placed into a medically induced coma after he suffered organ failure and finally on February 18th he was taken off life support.

Tom Mullica born in Waupun, Wisconsin on August 19, 1948 and was a comedy magician and impressionist who performed on television specials, and appeared on television many times including Late Night with David Letterman, World’s Greatest Magic, Viva Variety, Penn & Teller’s Sin City.

Ms. Tom Mullica and Fox in the Sands of Desert. Photo by Jim Henning

Ms. Tom Mullica and Fox in the Sands of Desert. Photo by Jim Henning

In 1984 Tom was awarded $5,000 cash for winning the Siegfried & Roy Golden Lion Award at the Magic Desert Seminar in Las Vegas. He also performed at the Just for Laughs Comedy Festival and countless other magic conventions. At many of these conventions Tom would team up with Karrel Fox and Duke Stern and perform routines that could only be appreciated by other magicians.

Tom Mullica also toured the US and Canada with RED – A Performance Tribute, a Red Skelton Tribute show which Tom wrote and stars in as Red Skelton and his characters. RED is the only Red Skelton tribute show authorized by the Red Skelton Estate. In July 2013 Tom helped dedicate the Red Skelton Museum & Education Center. Here is part of Tom’s Red Skelton Tribute Act.

At the time of Tom’s Death, he and Jon Racherbaumer were finishing his memoir about his long and fascinating relationship with Red Skelton. The book was to include anecdotes about Red’s family, the Red Skelton Performing Arts Center, and the Red Skelton Museum of American Comedy in Red’s hometown of Vincennes, Indiana. At this time, we do not know that status of that book.
Tom was one of the very best, the funniest and most the unique magicians of our time. His act was not like anyone else’s. Many nights at his Tom-Foolery nightclub in Atlanta, he would perform only 4 magic tricks over the course of a 90-minute show. He was known for taking 20 minutes or more just to find a spectator’s chosen card. Here is an edited clip from one of those shows at Tom-Foolery in Atlanta. This was filmed in 1984.

In addition to being an incredible magician and hilarious comic he also worked with his sidekick Duke performing a ventriloquist act. ZIn this video Tom is bringing Duke out of retirement.

In 1988 Tom performed his cabaret cigarette act at FISM at The Hague.

For more information on Tom’s life and to see more videos of his performances please CLICK HERE.

  1. I am heartbroken to learn of the passing of Tom. I tried to call him a couple of weeks ago and wish that I had been able to reach him. I however, am very proud to be able to share my time with him via this interview. It is a fantastic conversation and still is one of the most popular interviews that I have done: http://bit.ly/MULLICA You will be incredibly missed Tom!

  2. Chuck Heller says:

    I met Tom in 1988 at a PCAM convention. He was extremely friendly and happy to talk with any one. He developed such a beautiful act of comedy. Much like Red Skelton he presented himself as one of the best performing clowns. Most of all I miss the kindness of this man. R.i.P.

  3. RIP Mr. Mullica! You have touched so many over the years. Even new young magicians know of your work. When I learned of the news today about Mr. Mullica I shared it with a young kid who works part time in my shop. He is still learning magic but, loves it and is always looking online for information about magic. I was pleasantly surprised when I brought up Mr. Mullica he had seen his videos and enjoyed them. Something that all this technology has brought us is that young people can see footage of the greats who have come before us. Mr. Mullica I hear your name in the walls of my shop all the time from all walks of life. Thank you for all the joy you have brought the world and I hope you are get tearing it up with the angels and doing your set for the big guy. RIP Mr. Mullica you will not be forgotten.

  4. This is very sad news indeed. My sincerest condolences to Steven, and the legions of Tom’s fans ecerywhere.

  5. Jill "Giggles" Sybalsky says:

    A giant in the magic world has left us. I was present when he won the Siegfried & Roy Golden Lion Award. Condolences to his family

  6. Yvonne Stikeleather says:

    I am heartbroken tonight. We have truly lost one of Branson, MO., greatest entertainers. Tom was one of the funniest and kindest men I have ever had the privilege of knowing. He introduced my daughter to live theater performing at her young age of 4 years old. She now studies in Branson, MO., today. Thank you Tom, for touching our hearts forever. Stephen we are praying for your comfort and peace.

    As Tom would say as he closed his RED show “Goodnight and God Bless”. RIP Tom, we love you!

  7. Stephen Ingraham says:

    I met Tom in Buffalo in the eighty’s.he was a true gentleman and his Magic was truly the best.RIP,you are one of the best

  8. Bobbie Wilkinson says:

    After reading about Tom on his website and meeting Steven today who shared many very poignant stories about Tom, my wish is for Steven to find the peace and comfort he deserves. I wish I would’ve known Tom in order to be able to offer more comfort to Steven.

  9. Reid Pierce says:

    How well I remember Tom’s club act and later I warmed a bar stool regularly at Tom-Foolery
    A master of detail and comedy the like of which I have never seen since

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