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Tom Mullica Is In The Hospital


Tom MullicaUPDATE: The decision has been made to take Tom Mullica off life support at 5:00 pm Las Vegas time (Pacific).

Late this afternoon we received news that Tom Mullica is in serious condition. Recently he went into the hospital for a routine hernia operation and due to complications, blood clots formed and he had multiple strokes, organ failure and is now on dialysis for liver failure. Tom has been placed in an induced coma and according to some reports, it doesn’t look like he will be going home.

Tom Mullica’s love affair with show business began in 1953 in Waupun, Wisconsin when, as a five-year-old child, he decided to be a clown. Two years later he discovered magic and not long after combined the two. In addition to magic and clowning, he is a highly skilled ventriloquist and pantomimist.

TomfooleryAfter a stint in the Army, Tom moved to the magic capitol of the world, Colon, Michigan, where he built illusions and demonstrated magic for the famous Abbott’s Magic Company. Tom then moved to Atlanta, Georgia where he attended bartending school and opened his own nightclub called The Tom-foolery Magic Bar Theatre. His popularity in Atlanta led to an appearance on Late Night with David Letterman, World’s Greatest Magic, Penn & Teller, Viva Variety and hundreds of television appearances throughout the world. With countless hotel and casino performances in Atlantic City and Las Vegas, Tom Mullica remains one of the greatest variety acts of our time. Between 1976 and 1987, the Tom-foolery was visited by countless notables -including a longtime favorite of Tom’s, Red Skelton.

When Red visited the Tom-foolery in 1980, he liked the show so much he spent two hours with Tom afterwards. Tom occasionally included some suggestive material in his comedy routines at the time and Red proclaimed, “I’ll tell you what Tom, if you clean up your act, you can use my material.” He told Tom that his humor was too suggestive and that it shocked people into laughing. He instructed Tom to do every show as if his mother, a priest, and a nun were in the audience. Tom’s approach to comedy changed that very night. A quiet, sincere friendship he developed with Red Skelton over the years that followed.

After 11 years performing at the Tom-foolery, Tom wanted to move on. He asked Red for his advice and he suggested, “Take 10-15 minutes of your best material and perform it pantomime to music and you’ll be able to work any place in the world – you’ll have no language barrier.” Tom took Red’s advice and after six months of rehearsal moved to Paris, France where he was one of the featured acts at the world famous Crazy Horse Saloon.

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Of course, he still performed his incredible card magic throughout the world.

Tom returned to America in 1991 and continued his comedy magic career until 1996 when he began writing ‘Tom Mullica as RED SKELTON – The Legend Continues’, which was featured in theaters throughout America and Canada.

tom-mullica-red-skeltonLast year Tom moved from Branson, Missouri to Las Vegas as he had decided to leave the Red Skelton show behind and return to magic full-time. In a recent interview Tom said, that he is ready to get back to his magic roots for his next career adventure. “But,” he pointed out quickly, “I have given up my old cigarette routine, so don’t look for it.”

Tom survived a battle with leukemia in 2010 and he received a stem-cell transplant at that time. Please send good thoughts his way.


  1. We at Wacky Zack’s Magic in Phoenix AZ are very sad to hear the news about Mr. Mullica. I have seen him on TV since I was a kid. I remember seeing some of his acts and being mesmerized by his amazing style. Our thoughts will be with Mr. Mullica and his family we hope he is able to recover and come home to be with his family.

  2. It is sad that Mr. Mullica has to endure another battle. My prayers are for him and my thoughts are with his family. May God’s grace be with you.

  3. I´ll be here in Brazil together with all the magicians hoping he wins this struggle. Magic needs you man.

  4. Tom, I am keeping you in my prayers. You have given me a wonderful way to see magic and the humor !

  5. Steve Cook says:

    So sad to hear about Tom Mullica. One of the very few performers who can make me cry with laughter. He’s a true legend! My thoughts are with him and his family and friends. Bless you Tom, and thank you for all the wonderful magic and laughter over many, many years.

  6. knutty frye says:

    I am deeply saddened ny this news. I have met Tom on numerous occasions and he was always kind and funny.he even performed his cigarette trick in the theater I performed at here in central Florida for our local magic group. Even saw one of his first performances as red Skelton. Tom was a perfectionist at everything he did. My prayers are with you Tom and hope for a full recovery. May god bless.

  7. Tom… you gotta pull through on this setback. I remember the days of Tom Foolery in Atlanta, where I often had club dates, and would grab a cab to Tom Foolery afterwards so I could spend an hour or so laughing like crazy at your magic and fun. From then on it has been stardom for you in the showbiz world, and you have millions of friends wishing the best for you at this time. So please get well and keep us all laughing. Your old and true friend Walter.

  8. Dennis Schick says:

    This news is especially sad because he had won a hard-fought battle with leukemia and now for this to happen. I saw his Red Skelton Tribute Show three times and giggled (like Red used to do) all three times. He told me when he left Branson that he hoped to open a new Tom Foolery Magic Bar and Restaurant in Las Vegas and get back to his magic roots. It will be our loss if it doesn’t happen now. Our thoughts and prayers are on him and his family.

  9. Scott Land says:

    It’s very clear… Tom Mullica is loved for being a heartfelt rarity in a world of cookie cutters and mean spirited entertainers. We all love Tom Mullica.

  10. RIP Tom, I was saddened to hear how a botched surgery led to your troubles. May you entertain the Angels and Saints in Heaven with a Heavenly Host applauding you. Thank you for your contribution to the magic world

  11. RIP Tom. Thank you for your contribution to magic.

  12. RIP Tom. You were an inspiration to many.

  13. Eric Helvenston,Hilton Head Island says:

    I remember getting in a elevator in DC at one of the World Magic Seminars,and Tom must have just checked in his baggage was with him,there were other people on the elevator too,and from his suitcase you could hear Pigeon (Dove) coo’s noise,it was hysterical.There were no livestock in there.My Thoughts and Prayers ware with you and your family.

  14. Mel Siegel says:

    I purchased the Tom Mullica VHS tape from Stevens Magic Emporium when I
    first took up magic in 1985. My two sons and I probably watched it hundreds
    of times since. Tom was the funniest person I’ve ever known. Not only that but
    his magic was equally as great. The likes of Tom Mullica will never be found
    again. My deepest sorrows to his partner, his family and all those who knew
    him and loved him. God bless his precious soul. Mel Siegel……Chicago

  15. Carolyn Troutman says:

    I never knew Tom personally, but am a friend of his sister. I do remember seeing him once on the Letterman show. I am so touched to learn more about Tom through these comments and the articles written about him. What an incredible talent he had, and how wonderful that he inspired and touched so many lives with it! May he rest in peace and may he touch many lives up in Heaven! My prayers are with his loving partner, his beautiful sister, his nieces and nephews, and with all of those who loved him so much.

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