The Magic Land of Allakazam facts for kids
Quick facts for kidsThe Magic Land of Allakazam
Cast at the show premiere in October 1960.
|Created by||Mark Wilson|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||98|
|Running time||30 minutes|
|Original release||1 October 1960– 26 December 1964|
The Magic Land of Allakazam was the name of a series of network television shows featuring American magician Mark Wilson. It ran from 1960 to 1964 and is credited with establishing the credibility of magic as a television entertainment.
The origins of the series were in a locally broadcast show that Wilson arranged in Dallas, Texas, in 1955. That grew into other shows in Houston and San Antonio. With the introduction of videotape and the help of Alan Wakeling, Wilson created The Magic World of Allakazam as the first magic show to be videotaped and nationally syndicated. It debuted on 1 October 1960 on CBS and aired every Saturday morning on that network for two years. Wilson's wife, Nani Darnell, and their young son, Greg Wilson, assisted him and they were joined by Bev Bergeron who played the character Rebo the Clown. Other cameo appearances by Bob Towner, Robert Fenton and Chuck Burns played occasional characters on the show. The shows were in black and white and were sponsored by Kellogg's Cereals. They followed a formula that Wilson devised and which he believed was essential for the success of magic on television. This was that there should be a live audience, that there should not be a cut from one view to another during a trick and that viewers should know they were seeing exactly what the studio audience saw.
Puppet stories set in the Land of Allakazam involved the King (played by Bob Towner) and his subject Perriwinkle (Chuck Barnes), opposed by the wicked magician Evilo (also Towner).
In 1962, the show moved to ABC without missing a week on air. In 1965, the series left ABC and was internationally syndicated. The series was one of the top shows in the Nielsen ratings for Saturday mornings. It has been cited by a number of famous magicians as an early inspiration.
Wilson has released the first 24 shows on DVD in six volumes, as well as the 1970s Magic Circus episodes.
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