Thanks to everyone who's visited as a result of Orac's link here in his post on David Copperfield. Don't forget to click on the other links here, the linkees would likely appreciate the traffic.
Since making my last post I've read a number of comments elsewhere that Copperfield's "Fountain of Youth" tale may just be a publicity stunt. This is a reasonable guess. If so he still gets a slap on the wrist from me for possibly following the dubious dictum that any publicity you get is good as long as they spell your name right. Personally I'd rather he not do things that promote irrational thinking or get the hopes up of the desparate who might think they'll benefit from his supposed discovery.
On the other hand this isn't the first time in recent memory Copperfield has apparently made a bizarre, paranormal oriented claim. Last year he told a German publication he was going to make a woman pregant onstage, without sex. I can just imagine the cringing his legal representation must have gone through, fearing the statement would lead every kook and con woman in sight to claim they were made pregnant by Copperfield's magic. I haven't heard if he actually claimed to have pulled this off or not, assuming it wasn't some misunderstanding by an interviewer.
Of course some wags would argue that magic is the only way he could make a woman pregnant, as rumours have long persisted that Copperfield is gay. His six year relationship with German supermodel Claudia Schiffer? Just a scheme to hide his sexuality the claim goes, for which Schiffer was paid. Of course the question arises why Schiffer, hardly a slouch in the income department in the '90s, would do something like that, and why Copperfield, if he felt a need for a "beard," wouldn't engage the help of a presumably much cheaper to pay Hollywood starlet or two.
If Copperfield has fallen for paranormal nonsense he wouldn't be the first big name magician to do so. The late Canadian illusionist Doug Henning retired from magic in the mid '80s to devote his full time to the Mahareshi Mahesh Yogi and his Transcendental Meditation movement. This included running for office in the Canada and the UK as a representative of the TM backed Natural Law Party. Although I have no proof I have often suspected that Henning might have been intended to be the Mahareshi's public successor if he hadn't passed away. There were stories Henning was considered a comeback tour in the months before his death in February of 2000, which is sad if true.
As for the title of this post Copperfield's real last name is(or perhaps was at this point) David Kotkin. I have no idea why he adopted the last name of a Dickens character as his stage name but it was probably a good idea. At the time his star first began to rise the American mentalist The Amazing Kreskin was quite popular. Given the minor similarity between the two names it's not hard to imagine some confusion resulting if Copperfield had performed under the name Kotkin.