The Amazing Johnathan announces retirement due to failing health

For his next to last trick, The Amazing Johnathan stunned a crowd in Las Vegas last week by saying goodbye to his performing career and announcing he has less than a year to live due to a failing heart.

The comedy magician who was huge in the 1980s and performed for President Ronald Reagan already had told fans earlier this year he was going on a farewell tour. In June, the performer born Johnathan Szele married his longtime girlfriend Anastasia Synn. In July, he went further in disclosing his health problems in The Amazing Johnathan’s appearance on WTF with Marc Maron.

Last week, closing out a session of inspiring life stories called ENTSpeaks at a downtown Las Vegas theater, The Amazing Johnathan silenced the crowd by telling them he was dying. “No joke.”

“Um, I can’t do shows anymore because my legs lock up and my hands lock up, and that’s kind of (crappy) for a magician, going onstage, ‘And for my next trick,’ ” he says, sitting entirely motionless, as reported by the Las Vegas Sun. “So, um, I take this medication. I was told that it might help out, but I’m going to tell you something: Even though I’m sad about it, I’ve got a beautiful wife, I just got married (the audience applauds) and made sure she signed a prenup — that’s how I know she loves me.”

He said he’s already retired, having performed finally at The Magic Castle in Los Angeles on July 1.

“Everything I have wanted, I’ve got. There’s a lot to be said for devil worship. But the things I own, the 25 classic cars, all that stuff that I thought was so effing cool, means nothing to me now. In fact, if you want one, talk to me after the show.”

“I got my affairs in order and … that’s it. Thank you all for coming out.”

“Peace. I’ll see you on the other side.”

Here was The Amazing Johnathan in 1995 at Montreal’s Just For Laughs:

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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