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Lou Derman

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Lou Derman
BornSeptember 28, 1914
New York
DiedFebruary 22, 1976 (age 61)
Los Angeles, Cal.
CategoriesBooks by Lou Derman

Louis "Lou" Derman (September 28, 1914 - February 22, 1976), born in New York, was a magician and TV script writer/producer.


Derman graduated from New York University. In the golden early days of the Magic Castle Lou was known as Friday Night Lou because he would do a single comedy show late on Friday nights (around 11 or 11:30) in the Close-up Gallery. There was magic, but also lots of mildly risque comedy. At one time, he was a member of the Board of Directors of the Academy of Magical Arts.

As a television comedy writer, he was co-creator and head writer of the Mr. Ed television series (6 years), head writer of December Bride (4 years), and writer and producer of All in the Family. As part of his work with the "All in the Family" series, Lou performed magic as part of the "warm-up" for the taping of the show.

He was at the height of his career as writer-producer of "All In The Family" when he died of a heart attack while driving to work. He was buried at Mount Sinai Memorial Park in Los Angeles, California.[1][2]

Derman wrote a columns in Genii called "KNIGHTS AT THE MAGIC CASTLE" (from January 1967 to April 1968) and later in The Linking Ring called "Leger-Dermania", starting in 1968. It was full of comments on the Magic Castle and advice on performing, but written in a very light tone and full of gags.

His brother Bill was also a performer, magical author and inventor. Bill's son (and Lou's nephew) Nathan performed for a while at the Castle as Nate the Great.

You can find Lou mentioned 25 times in Vernon's monthly genii magazine monthly column "The Vernon Touch". Dai credits Lou with one of his best lines: "I am 76 years old and have been doing magic for over seventy years - I wasted the first six years." [3][4][5]

Derman's act would typically consist of such things as:

  • The Pea Can (and explains in "Add Comedy to Your Act" on how to make this inoffensive)
  • Scare a sponge bunny into producing "pellets" which he would sweep into a spectator's lap
  • A cut rope routine with comedy scissors (which he collected)
  • Finding a spectator's card rolled up and protruding from a rubber chicken's bottom; screaming when the spectator pulled the card out.
  • Ribbon spreading a deck of cards across the table and saying, "Think of a card, any card you see. Would it impress you if I reached down and picked up your card? " Lou would move his hand back and forth over the cards, then grasp one of the cards on the end and lift. ALL the cards would come up, to a big laugh, as it was an Electric Deck.



  3. Obit Genii Magazine, Vol. 40, No. 3, March 1976, Lou Derman, page 182
  4. The Linking Ring, Vol. 56, No. 4, April 1976, Broken Wand, Lou Derman, page 97
  • The Linking Ring, Vol. 52, No. 9, September 1972, LOU DERMAN, page 52, Leger-Dermania, by Lou Derman, Hollywood, California, pp. 53-57