Monday, April 28, 2014

April 28: Happy Birthday, Joseph Dunninger

April 28: Happy Birthday, Joseph Dunninger!

That's "The Amazing Dunninger" to you! He was a mentalist--or mind reader--who did some of his best reading on the radio on his 1943-44 radio show, Dunninger, The Master Mentalist. He explained his abilities as being "60 percent mind reading, 10 percent psychology, 10 percent hypnosis, 15 percent self-hypnosis, and 5 percent magic, all of which adds up to 100 percent entertainment."

Let's also note that Joseph Dunninger appeared on a show called The Ghost Hours in 1929, de-bunking rival mentalists. He was a confrontational fellow, challenging any mentalist to do through supernatural means what he, Dunninger did through natural means.  He also had a standing, hefty cash reward for anyone who could prove he used shills or conspirators in his acts.

Dunninger also contributed the influential book The Encyclopedia of Magic. If he were alive today, you could think a happy birthday wish and he'd get it.

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