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Best of Episodes: Casino Comedy & Magic with Mark Kornhauser


I’m currently taking a holiday break from my regularly scheduled episodes, so for the next few weeks, I’m running my six most downloaded episodes. I’ll be back on the first of the year with brand new episodes! In the mean time, enjoy these “Best of” episodes.

Mark Kornhauser’s interview is my most downloaded episode of all time! In this episode, we talk about his career in magic, what it takes to perform in casino showrooms, his successes, challenges, and how hard work really pays off.

Mark Kornhauser is one of the most successful comedy acts in the world boasting 25 years plus, consistently performing in and producing shows in the most prestigious casinos in Vegas, Reno, Lake Tahoe, and Atlantic City. We’re talkin’ Harrahs, Planet Hollywood, Mandalay Bay, Flamingo, Tropicana, and Hilton, just to name a few.

He’s opened for more than a few top name entertainers like Tom Jones, Elvis Costello, Frankie Valli, Terry Fator, David Letterman, and Tim Allen.

He’s also been featured on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Masters of Illusion, NBC, FOX, Comedy Central, and HBO.


Success Mantra:

Hard work, clean living.


Working in Casinos:

• Fitting into a time slot

• How the casino venue has changed: catering more toward headliners than variety entertainers

• How he stays in the game: develops and grows new material

• Mistakes he sees people make in the casino market

• What he sees as the future of performing in casinos


Failure Moment:

Did a Le Pétomane (flatulence) act that initially bombed.


Favorite Success:

His current act with his dog Zsa Zsa.


How Does Mark Differentiate Himself?

Makes his act vastly different from anyone else.


What’s Worked Well for Mark’s Business?

Maintaining relationships with clients.


Interesting Story from His Career

Listen in to what happened when Mark ran into James Brown at a bathroom sink.


What’s Been Mark’s Biggest Professional Challenge?

Staying through the difficult times


Other Topics Covered

• Success and how it’s different for each person.

• Talks about how Doug Henning played a part in his journey.

• Listening to your audience.

• Talks about his inspiration and creative process.

• Gives us his take on magic on TV.

• You can no longer be an “expensive act,” but you can be a “cheap show.”

• Tells about his column in Magic Magazine.


Parting advice:

Hard work, clean living. And courage.


Recommended books and resources:

Note: Many of the links in this section are affiliate links, meaning we earn a small portion of any sales. If you’re enjoying our podcast and decide to purchase one of the recommended resources or books, please consider using our affiliate links to help support the work we’re doing here at the Successful Performercast. Thanks!



Have a place to collect your thoughts.

Also, keep a lookout for a compilation of all of his articles from Magic Magazine.


Magic Books

Hiding the Elephant: How Magicians Invented the Impossible and Learned to Disappear by Jim Steinmeyer

The Glorious Deception: The Double Life of William Robinson, Aka Chung Ling Soo by Jim Steinmeyer

The Last Greatest Magician in the World: Howard Thurston Versus Houdini & the Battles of the American Wizards by Jim Steinmeyer

Our Magic by Nevil Maskelyne


Other Books
Whack to the Side of the Head by Roger von Oech

Kick to the Seat of the Pants by Roger von Oech

Whack Pack by Roger von Oech

The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron

Audible Free Trial


Where can we find Mark Kornhauser?

Mark’s Website


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