The Amazing Kreskin is a well known mentalist and thought-reader, firmly ingrained in pop culture. He recently sat down with uInterview to talk about how he discovered and honed his abilities, some of his favorite moments in his career, and what it was like putting Johnny Carson into a trance on national television.


Kreskin made it clear from the get-go that he is neither a magician nor a fortune-teller. Rather, his skill lies in pulling out the pre-existing thoughts from his willing volunteers. “So, I’m not a fortune-teller, If someone says, ‘You know, I’m thinking of December 18, where am I going to be then?’ If they don’t know, I can’t tell them. But, if they focus on it, that’s what I do for a living,” he said. That doesn’t make his powers any less impressive. Kreskin has been able to pull information that even significant others know nothing about. At one Vegas show, he was able to correctly reproduce a WWII veteran’s army ID number. “And then I asked him, ‘Who knows your army number?’ And if you ask any man or woman who’s been in the service, they never told anybody it, but they don’t forget it,” he recounted. “And I gave ‘em. Every single digit of his army serial number.”

Kreskin, whose birth name is  George Joseph Kresge, said that as a young boy, he admired comic book hero Mandrake The Magician. “Well, I wanted to be like him, because Mandrake wasn’t a magician; he had hypnotic powers, he could read people’s thoughts, he could solve crimes,” he said. Eventually, the young mentalist realized he had more in common with his idol than he initially thought, when he asked his brother to hide a penny and then let him blindly search for it around his grandmother’s house. “Hide a penny upstairs in grandma’s house…I meandered through my grandma’s kitchen, into my uncle’s bedroom—he was at work—climbed up on a chair and found myself reaching behind a curtain rod and touching the penny,” he revealed. “And then I realized: I forgot to tell my brother to talk to me, never said a damn word, didn’t know what was going on!” This touch of magic propelled Kristin into an early career performing for audiences at only twelve years old.

Many people will recognize Kreskin from his numerous appearances on late night talk shows, including a recent trick he performed on current Tonight Show host, Jimmy Fallon. The mentalist revealed that this was not the first time he put a talk show host under a hypnotic trance, having done the same trick to late night icon Johnny Carson years prior. Only that time, NBC execs had forbade him from going through with it. “I explained what I was going to do and NBC called me and said, ‘Not Carson, You are not to do this,’” he said. Carson wouldn’t let Kreskin back down, and the two planned to perform the trick anyway, with the executives watching in the audience. “As I’m talking to him [Carson], his eyes closed, his body became standingly rigid…And I pushed and Johnny started to fall…rigid as can be, we put his head and shoulders on one chair and his feet on the other,” he recounted. Kreskin concluded the trick by having a then up-and-coming female guest reluctantly sit on Carson, who after waking had to guess what was on top of him. “She lifted her legs up, sat on him. That picture was in Parade magazine all over the world…His body relaxed, his eyes opened and he said, ‘Kreskin I would have suggested it was a baby.’ It was Bette Midler.

Kreskin currently has a new book out, In Real Time.

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