Former Williams Lake magician Clinton W. Gray and Penn & Teller: Fool Us host Alyson Hannigan on stage in Las Vegas in March, during the taping of the show. The episode featuring Gray will air on The CW Network on Monday, Aug. 17. (SCOTT EVERETT WHITE/THE CW photography)

Former lakecity magician gets chance to fool Penn & Teller

Clinton W. Gray will appear on The CW Network TV show Penn & Teller: Fools Us on Aug. 17

— Kamloops This Week

There was a certain tension in the air on the day former Williams Lake magician Clinton W. Gray stepped onto a Las Vegas stage to perform part of his comedy magic show — and it wasn’t only because magic legends Penn and Teller were keeping a close eye on him.

Gray, who honed his craft in the Cariboo and is now living in Kamloops, will appear on the The CW Network TV show Penn & Teller: Fool Us on Monday, Aug. 17 at 9 p.m.

But his episode of the show was filmed in March, just one day after the World Health Organization had declared COVID-19 a worldwide pandemic.

“I was the last act of the last show on the last day,” Gray told Kamloops This Week.

“And, at that point, you didn’t really know what was coming.”

Gray said the seventh season of the show was filmed over the course of about two weeks, and with everything wrapping up especially quickly due to increased concern about the novel coronavirus, he didn’t get much of a chance to meet the famous duo.

But he did get the opportunity to attempt to fool them.

Gray connected with the show’s producers through a friend and was ready with a pitch he thought would get some attention — he would chop off an arm.

“I knew this was something that would freak her out,” he said, referring to Fool Us host Alyson Hannigan, who often plays the role of magician’s assistant on stage.

The big-stage gig will likely be a boon to Gray, but not for some time.

When COVID-19 hit, the Kamloops magician said he lost close to $80,000 in bookings as everything shut down and gathering restrictions were implemented.

READ MORE: Gray among acts at 3rd Annual Children’s Festival in Williams Lake

Gray called the corporate and trade show market his “bread and butter” and said locals might not recognize his name because of his limited appearances here, which have included the Children’s Art and Hydra festivals.

The TV appearance is “probably the biggest thing I’ve done,” Gray said.

Even though he has performed for larger physical audiences in the past, the reach of a television show like Fool Us could pay dividends, in terms of reputation, to Gray once bookings resume.

With in-person shows mostly off the table for now, Gray said he is fine financially, with rainy day money set aside and a spouse who is still working, but is considering returning to website development to keep himself occupied.

“The problem is that entertainers had these backup plans that are still involved in entertainment,” he said.

“You know, if there’s a recession and the corporate market dries up, maybe I would go to the fundraising side of things. But all of that went away … because there can’t be large groups.”

Gray will appear in the seventh episode of the seventh season of Penn & Teller: Fool Us, set to air on Monday, Aug. 17.

– Sean Brady, Kamloops This Week


Do you have a comment about this story? email:
editor@wltribune.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Entertainment

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Downtown Williams Lake whale mural goes ahead without blessing of city council

Williams Lake First Nation steps up to fund City’s portion of the cost

Williams Lake RCMP ask residents to keep on lookout for stolen car

Kia Rio taken Wednesday afternoon, say police

No one injured in home invasion shooting on Back Valley Road

The incident was related to a legal cannabis grow op on the property so there is no threat to public

EDITORIAL: Forests are there for everyone to enjoy

This week marks National Forest Week in Canada

Our Hometown: Growing a career

Mike Pedersen has spent most of his life working in forestry

Local councils important, Horgan says as municipal conference ends

B.C. NDP leader says ‘speed dating’ vital, but it didn’t happen

Penticton woman sentenced to one year in prison for manslaughter of teen boyfriend

Kiera Bourque, 24, was sentenced for manslaughter in the 2017 death of Penticton’s Devon Blackmore

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

B.C. Green leader says NDP abandoning environmental plan

Horgan’s claim of unstable government false, Furstenau says

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Transgender B.C. brothers debut fantasy novel as author duo Vincent Hunter

‘Transgender people are being misrepresented in popular fiction and media, and we aim to change that’

COVID-19 exposure at Merritt pub

The exposure happened on Sept. 19 at the pub of the Coldwater Hotel

‘Won’t be gathering for Thanksgiving:’ Trudeau says COVID-19 2nd wave underway

In all, COVID-19 has killed about 9,250 people in Canada

Most Read