By Tom Interval
I did a live interview yesterday on Radio New Zealand’s “Afternoons” with Jim Mora regarding Houdin (the “polynational entertainer”) and my e-book about him. It went pretty well overall, but a few times “my tongue got in front of my eyetooth and I couldn’t see what I was saying,” as the old one-liner goes. That said, I’d like to quickly clarify something.
During the interview, Jim asked me if it was possible that Houdini had heard of Houdin. My tongue-tied response was that “Houdini was about 12 years old at the time,” but obviously Houdini was 12 in 1886. I meant to say that Houdini was born about 12 years after Houdin was getting press between 1860 and 1863 and that Houdini borrowed the second part of Robert-Houdin’s last name around 1890. So it was entirely possible that Houdini heard of Harry Houdin but unlikely since the press Houdin got was probably not picked up outside of New Zealand.
Anyway, sorry for any confusion. Here’s the page if you’re interested in listening. It’s about 14 minutes long.