Tuesday, January 12, 2010


If you watch Bruno Heller's "The Mentalist" starring Simon Baker you know that the protagonist claims no magical powers. He credits his astute acumen to acute observation and deduction from his ability to see what others miss. Credit, too, his ability to "twist" people's thinking. Rather an entertaining show, particularly on a winter's evening too cold for riding your bicycle. Overlook, if you can, the absurdities that abound in a typical episode and just enjoy the entertainment.

Quite possibly, though, the most renowned mentalist of our time is The Amazing Kreskin. That is his name. Really. Kreskin, The Amazing (last name first, first name, middle name last.) Kreskin, as he is familiarly known, was born George Joseph Kresge on January 12, 1935; but he had his name legally changed to The Amazing Kreskin. Kreskin says he was inspired to become a mentalist by Mandrake the Magician created by Lee Falk who also created The Phantom. Those of you old enough to remember comic strips may recall that this character was a mentalist who practiced stage magic but in real life used his powers to fight crime. Gee, have we gone all the way back around to the Simon Baker character?

Kreskin had a long run on television as himself. He has also been a favorite guest on tv talk programs and has appeared so many times on some of them as to be almost a regular. Kreskin teaches seminars for law enforcement. He resents being identified as a psychic, for that is not what he is. He, like Patrick Jane, the Baker character, relies on acumen, observation, deduction and relaxation techniques.

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