Magician Mat Franco tricks audience into laughs

Magician Mat Franco jokingly makes toilet paper disappear before the eyes of first-year Denzel Woodall by throwing it behind his back when Woodall isn’t looking.  Photo by Linnea Ritchie.
Magician Mat Franco jokingly makes toilet paper disappear before the eyes of first-year Denzel Woodall by throwing it behind his back when Woodall isn’t looking.
Photo by Linnea Ritchie.

Magician Mat Franco, who was voted Campus Activities Magazine’s 2013 Best Male Performer, proved to the Augustana community why he deserved that title.
His surprisingly comical show, which took place on August 31, kept the audience thoroughly entertained and laughing throughout his whole performance.
“I thought [the show] was awesome, hysterical and really impressive,” said Special Events co-Chair Molly Calhoun.  “It beat my expectations for sure. I didn’t think it was going to be as [amusing] as it was, but it was mind-blowing and really funny.”
Starting off with an array of good card shuffling moves that would even make a Las Vegas blackjack dealer jealous, one of Franco’s first big tricks involved taking a student’s twenty dollar bill and hiding it inside a sealed flavor packet inside a sealed container of Ramen.
Not only was this an incredible feat, but he also kept the audience laughing, for example by convincing a female student to stuff cards in the strap of her bra, and then moving three cards from her bra into a male student’s pants without touching them.
Naturally, the placement of these cards led to a few jokes.
When asked how Franco would describe his show, he said, “it’s definitely not serious. It’s probably not what you would expect from magic. It’s a lot of ridiculousness and comedy, which I think is important to the show.”
Franco then preformed a love test by putting two strands of hair from a male and female audience member into a handkerchief, which in turn made the handkerchief dance all around stage and then explode into a million tiny strands, hitting the first five rows of audience members.
He could also make a handkerchief disappear into an egg. He then proved that the egg is real by cracking the egg open and then almost drinking its contents.
Not only was his performance marvelous, it was also incredibly silly.
In order to pick a member of the audience for his final trick, he threw out a massive, inflatable purple alien and told the audience that whoever was holding it when the music stopped would be his lucky volunteer.
Overall, Franco’s performance was spectacular and was truly meant for the college setting. While Franco described his performance as ridiculous, a more apt word would be genius.
This was Franco’s first time performing at Augustana College. While he is originally from The East Coast (he grew up in Rhode Island), Franco performs “from the East Coast to California and everything in between.”
His next stop after Augustana was New England College in Henniker, New Hampshire.