A small riot ensued
November 24, 2018 6:21 PM   Subscribe

Magician, historian, and actor Ricky Jay has died at the age of 70, or thereabouts, his origins being appropriately shrouded in mystery.
posted by Horace Rumpole (103 comments total) 51 users marked this as a favorite
 
Oh, hell no.

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posted by palmcorder_yajna at 6:23 PM on November 24, 2018 [3 favorites]


Ricky Jay and His 52 Assistants, directed by David Mamet.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 6:27 PM on November 24, 2018 [13 favorites]


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posted by Ickster at 6:27 PM on November 24, 2018


Damn damn damn. This hits hard.

posted by MovableBookLady at 6:30 PM on November 24, 2018 [4 favorites]


:(

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posted by mordax at 6:31 PM on November 24, 2018


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posted by gauche at 6:35 PM on November 24, 2018


♠️♣️♦️♥️
posted by range at 6:36 PM on November 24, 2018 [7 favorites]


Oh, Ricky. I hope the wolves don’t pursue your troika.
posted by palomar at 6:38 PM on November 24, 2018 [1 favorite]


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posted by jazon at 6:39 PM on November 24, 2018


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posted by entropicamericana at 6:39 PM on November 24, 2018


Absolutely wonderful sequence here . Starts at the 34:40 mark.
posted by the duck by the oboe at 6:42 PM on November 24, 2018 [15 favorites]


🃏
posted by Ten Cold Hot Dogs at 6:57 PM on November 24, 2018 [4 favorites]


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posted by repute at 6:59 PM on November 24, 2018


If his estate authorizes reprints of his book, I am going to be (even more) disappointed with the world.

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posted by seasparrow at 7:01 PM on November 24, 2018 [1 favorite]


Ave atque vale, Maestro.
posted by whuppy at 7:06 PM on November 24, 2018


Such a great actor, storyteller, historian, and could do crazy things with a deck of cards.

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posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 7:10 PM on November 24, 2018 [4 favorites]


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posted by Catblack at 7:17 PM on November 24, 2018


God dammit. :(
posted by jeremias at 7:20 PM on November 24, 2018 [2 favorites]


...and no one else thinks that the burial is only going to be the first step in his greatest trick ever?

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posted by Halloween Jack at 7:29 PM on November 24, 2018 [12 favorites]


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posted by homunculus at 7:30 PM on November 24, 2018


South street seaport the man says. He can't stand the heat. He can't stand it.

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posted by Otherwise at 7:40 PM on November 24, 2018 [2 favorites]


Variety's obituary

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posted by hippybear at 7:42 PM on November 24, 2018


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posted by Gorgik at 7:44 PM on November 24, 2018


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Learned Pigs and Fireproof Women. Love the book, love it.
posted by dannyboybell at 7:49 PM on November 24, 2018 [2 favorites]


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Wow, I just happened to be listening to Aimee Mann when I read the headline and my eyes went big. One last magic trick.
posted by AndyP at 7:57 PM on November 24, 2018 [3 favorites]


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posted by gwint at 8:18 PM on November 24, 2018


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posted by Sphinx at 8:18 PM on November 24, 2018


Fuck.

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posted by rp at 8:20 PM on November 24, 2018


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posted by Special Agent Dale Cooper at 8:23 PM on November 24, 2018


T’is but a trick. He still lives, thanks to the prestidigitations of YouTube: “Ricky Jay”.
posted by cenoxo at 8:29 PM on November 24, 2018


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If his library goes up for sale, the bidding will be insane.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 8:41 PM on November 24, 2018 [7 favorites]


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posted by Mister Moofoo at 9:27 PM on November 24, 2018


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posted by kestralwing at 9:35 PM on November 24, 2018


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posted by nj_subgenius at 9:39 PM on November 24, 2018


Such an amazing guy. After Boogie Nights I realized I had been seeing him for years, possibly going back to the 70s, and certainly if he was on Dinah Shore. I've always had a soft spot for magic and he was a great ambassador for the art.

Learned Pigs and Fireproof Women is one of the most amazing books I own. Cards As Weapons was always the star, but when he took a side-road he nailed it. I think he'd appreciate that mixed-metaphor.

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posted by rhizome at 9:47 PM on November 24, 2018 [3 favorites]


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posted by MythMaker at 10:00 PM on November 24, 2018


"If his estate authorizes reprints of his book, I am going to be (even more) disappointed with the world. "

He didn't want it reprinted, I don't think. So the proper thing his estate could do is not reprint it.

About twenty years ago a friend of mine loaned me the book; I treated it like a reading book (and learned from it). Over ten years after being loaned the book I returned back to the city he lived in and apologized and offered it back to him (and told him it was now valuable). He declined the offer and now it's a prized book I own.

But if you don't want to honor his wishes, you can certainly get a digital copy on the less reputable parts of the net.

Great sadness to hear about his departure; he still had much to offer the world. His presence will be missed.
posted by el io at 10:12 PM on November 24, 2018


(not to abuse the edit window; holy shit I misread that comment and agree with it's sentiments)
posted by el io at 10:13 PM on November 24, 2018 [1 favorite]


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posted by The Elusive Architeuthis at 10:17 PM on November 24, 2018


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posted by gyusan at 10:39 PM on November 24, 2018


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Had just started the Learned Pigs book myself. A giant in the collecting and archive world. Such an inspiration.
posted by ikahime at 10:46 PM on November 24, 2018


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posted by rotten at 11:02 PM on November 24, 2018


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posted by Joey Michaels at 11:02 PM on November 24, 2018


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posted by flatluigi at 11:12 PM on November 24, 2018


His late curation of work by <Matthias Buchingerwas a kind of reclaiming of humanism, and a desire for the disabled not to be viewed as freaks, it was a gift.
posted by PinkMoose at 11:40 PM on November 24, 2018 [8 favorites]


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posted by Cash4Lead at 11:48 PM on November 24, 2018


Oh no... he was one of the good guys.
posted by acroyear at 11:48 PM on November 24, 2018 [3 favorites]


Oh, man, I was just thinking about him yesterday, reminiscing about my week in LA for Thanksgiving 1977. I stayed with a magician friend, who took me to the Magic Castle to "hang out," which included a private session with Ricky Jay. After that, I seemed to see him everywhere. The world will be poorer without him.
posted by Miss Cellania at 11:59 PM on November 24, 2018 [12 favorites]


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Rotten Luck: The Decaying Dice of Ricky Jay can be seen in the permanent collection of the Museum of Jurassic Technology and consists of dice that were featured in Jay's book Dice: Deception, Fate, and Rotten Luck.
posted by theory at 12:07 AM on November 25, 2018 [4 favorites]


The Amazing Maleeni!

(surprised nobody else called that out already)
posted by kokaku at 12:12 AM on November 25, 2018


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posted by lapolla at 12:35 AM on November 25, 2018


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posted by From Bklyn at 1:03 AM on November 25, 2018


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posted by Doktor Zed at 2:09 AM on November 25, 2018


Fuck fuck fuck dick fuck shit fuck

I fucking loved this guy

Amongst his many many great performances.....

See his performance in mamet's 'Heist' for the ne plus fucking ultra of 'laconic sang-froid'

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(How do you make a dot that disappears when you're least expecting it?)

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posted by lalochezia at 2:10 AM on November 25, 2018


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posted by edd at 2:32 AM on November 25, 2018


Ricky Jay on Mythbusters
posted by flatluigi at 3:07 AM on November 25, 2018 [2 favorites]


That 1993 New Yorker article is very worth reading if anyone missed it from the OP
posted by flatluigi at 3:25 AM on November 25, 2018 [5 favorites]


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posted by heatvision at 3:38 AM on November 25, 2018


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posted by valkane at 4:09 AM on November 25, 2018


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posted by drworm at 4:21 AM on November 25, 2018


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posted by the sobsister at 4:40 AM on November 25, 2018


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posted by drezdn at 5:04 AM on November 25, 2018


Nevertheless...
posted by Etrigan at 5:26 AM on November 25, 2018 [3 favorites]


🃁
posted by sammyo at 5:35 AM on November 25, 2018


I had been entirely certain he was already dead, which makes the news seem like he pulled off one last trick.

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posted by Going To Maine at 5:46 AM on November 25, 2018


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posted by slimepuppy at 6:39 AM on November 25, 2018


Ricky Jay had a show in New York maybe 10 + years ago that I didn’t see for some stupid reason. I decided to set a Google News alert, so I wouldn’t miss the next opportunity.Needless to say, “Ricky Jay” brings up lots of wild news, rarely about the actual performer , but today it’s done. I never did get to see him. ♥️♦️♠️♣️
posted by Unioncat at 7:01 AM on November 25, 2018 [5 favorites]


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posted by camyram at 7:42 AM on November 25, 2018


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posted by limeonaire at 8:20 AM on November 25, 2018


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posted by /\/\/\/ at 8:33 AM on November 25, 2018


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posted by evilDoug at 8:46 AM on November 25, 2018


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posted by doctornemo at 9:20 AM on November 25, 2018 [1 favorite]


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posted by Samizdata at 9:54 AM on November 25, 2018


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posted by hap_hazard at 10:44 AM on November 25, 2018


CheeseDigestsAll: If his library goes up for sale, the bidding will be insane.

I have the insanely heavy history of magic Tashen coffee table book and am floored to read much came out of his personal archive. You’d better believe that Penn & Teller or Copperfield are warming up their checkbooks right now.


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posted by dr_dank at 10:50 AM on November 25, 2018 [1 favorite]


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posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 11:18 AM on November 25, 2018


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What was his rationale for not wanting one of his books to be reprinted?
posted by mmascolino at 11:24 AM on November 25, 2018


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My dad (previously) was a huge fan and left me a copy of Cards as Weapons that Jay had inscribed to him. Proud place on my bookshelf.
posted by dmd at 11:34 AM on November 25, 2018 [3 favorites]


I really hope he willed his library to someone who will take proper care of it, because seeing it sold to Copperfield would be such a huge fucking insult.

Anyway, if you want a copy of any of Ricky's out of print books, better head to your favorite used book source now, because the prices are climbing already.
posted by palomar at 11:57 AM on November 25, 2018 [3 favorites]


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posted by col_pogo at 12:17 PM on November 25, 2018


He was the best card magician I have ever watched - his 52 Assistants is mind blowing as he makes it look SO easy
posted by mrbenn at 12:23 PM on November 25, 2018 [1 favorite]


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posted by Splunge at 12:34 PM on November 25, 2018


Been watching Ricky Jay videos on YouTube all day. Recommended.
posted by eamondaly at 1:53 PM on November 25, 2018


Sad to see this; I missed it yesterday.

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posted by LobsterMitten at 2:20 PM on November 25, 2018


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Here's the utterly delightful 4 Queens routine referenced in the New Yorker article by Mark Singer.
posted by Kattullus at 2:24 PM on November 25, 2018 [2 favorites]


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posted by joedan at 3:00 PM on November 25, 2018


What was his rationale for not wanting one of his books to be reprinted?
posted by mmascolino


The book in question is the one about using playing cards for self defense. Other books of his were reprinted without any problem.

There were various stories he gave why this one would not be reprinted-- that he had been asked not to by several police departments who thought that playing cards were real self defense weapons; that he regretted showing even the small amount of technique he gave away (RJ was very much against unveiling the mechanics of a trick) ; or that he was just a jerk who enjoyed watching the prices for this particular used book continue to rise and rise (they were very high even before his death).

This is one of those "things" that fans knew about Ricky Jay that may or may not have been true. It may all have been an act of promotion. But you can see the story everywhere fans talked about him-- like here on Boing Boing ten years ago, or even in the Amazon reviews of the book.

Like the real man himself, we may never really know, and that may be part of his joke on us. I hope some other, more knowledgeable super-fan has a better or at least a different explanation. But everyone "knew" RJ refused all offers to have Cards reprinted. I mostly meant my earlier statement as an homage and an expression of grief.
posted by seasparrow at 6:17 PM on November 25, 2018 [10 favorites]


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posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 6:48 PM on November 25, 2018


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posted by em at 8:41 PM on November 25, 2018


Card Manipulation. Absolutely stunning every time I watch it.

He had a show in NYC last year but I missed it....

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posted by storybored at 9:14 PM on November 25, 2018 [10 favorites]


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posted by dogstoevski at 10:01 PM on November 25, 2018


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posted by cookie-k at 10:09 PM on November 25, 2018


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posted by SageLeVoid at 12:43 AM on November 26, 2018


can certainly get a digital copy on the less reputable parts of the net.

Or archive.org
posted by waitingtoderail at 8:35 AM on November 26, 2018 [4 favorites]


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posted by blurker at 11:07 AM on November 26, 2018


Wow, how did this guy escape my radar for my entire life.
MYSTERY

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posted by not_on_display at 2:17 PM on November 26, 2018 [1 favorite]


You're not watching enough David Mamet. And Deadwood.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 2:27 PM on November 26, 2018 [3 favorites]


my local library had a copy of "Learned Pigs and Fireproof Women" a few years back, I was momentarily tempted to abscond with the book and sell it for the hundreds of dollars they apparently fetch online but then I remembered that stealing is wrong. especially books. So I just read it

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posted by Megafly at 4:45 PM on November 26, 2018 [1 favorite]


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posted by Lafe at 5:53 PM on November 26, 2018


Having been suffering the plague for the last week, this news escaped me over the weekend.

I don't know how much more grief I can take this year. This is a great, great loss.

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posted by ApathyGirl at 2:53 PM on November 28, 2018


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what a talent.
posted by jonbro at 10:04 AM on November 29, 2018


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posted by cmfletcher at 5:10 AM on December 5, 2018


Ricky Jay plays poker
posted by growabrain at 9:59 PM on December 6, 2018 [2 favorites]


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