an Interview with the Masked Magician
by Jake Jarmell
Sure, FOX's the "Masked Magician" is sooooo 3 years ago. But, still, we at the Underground Nincompoop were wondering what this sell-out to the magic industry was doing now. In his final special, the "Masked Magician" revealed himself to be a riverboat casino magician named Valentino. Now, in this first interview done with the "Masked Magician" since the end of his run on FOX, I sat done with him in an undisclosed place to discuss his life, Valentino, and the FOX network. For your information, he did come to this interview in the same disguise as he had on his FOX specials (the stupid looking costume and a voice deeper than James Earl Jones).

Jarmell: So, your final special was near the end of 1998, correct?
Masked Magician: That's correct.
JJ: Why did you do it?
MM: I wanted people to know the tricks so that it would motivate magicians to hink of new magic acts that could make them successful rather than the old "rabbit in the hat"-type tricks.
JJ: Did you ever think that at the same time you were destroying the careers of low budget magicians?
MM: So be it. Just as technology has advanced, so should magic.
JJ: That's being quite selfish, eh? I mean you profited off of telling secrets to famous magic tricks, while at the same time not even caring for your fellow magicians.
MM: Now that's not true. I showed care for my fellow magicians in the hope that they could develop innovative ideas.
JJ: That's not what I heard. Word on the street was that a few years ago, when you were popular, magicians like David Copperfield, Lance Burton, and Penn and Teller all wanted to kick the crap out of you. I even heard Siegfried and Roy were ready to let their white tigers run free to rip your ass apart.
MM: Those were all just rumors. None of those magicians did anything to me, though I know some people had sent threats to the FOX network pertaining to my show and me in general.
JJ: Yet, I still can't comprehend why you don't consider yourself a sell-out by breaking magic's golden rule and profiting hugely off of it?
MM: Now, that's also an inaccurate assumption that people make. I did not profit hugely off my "Breaking the Code: Magic Secrets Revealed" specials. In fact, FOX paid me very little compared to what other networks could have done.
JJ: What are you talking about? FOX is a huge network that spends so much money on broadcasting the NFL, MLB, and quality shows like The Simpsons and Malcolm in the Middle.
MM: Yes, but do you know how they earned all that money? From me! My shows were such a success that the network profited hugely and I did not receive any royalties. FOX is such a cheap network that they use their actors, broadcasters, etc. to make tons of cash and then pay their workers next to nothing!
JJ: Rumors also said that you, Valentino, were in a near bankruptcy financial situation, and thus sold out so that you could get the money needed to get back on track.
MM: Aha! Another incorrect assumption. I am not Valentino.
JJ: What are you talking about?! In your final FOX special, you revealed to the world that you were Valentino, which affirmed the rumors that had been spread around the magic industry.
MM: Ah, Mr. Jarmell, you are not thinking clearly. You must take into perspective the entire situation. At the time, FOX had notified me of the numerous threats that I had received, so fearing for my own safety and running out of magic tricks to reveal, I decided that my 4th special would be my last. I also noticed the Valentino rumors over the Internet, and also knowing that Valentino was having financial problems, I had FOX approach him with a monetary offer that he couldn’t refuse. He accepted the large amount of money to claim himself to be the “Masked Magician,” and thus my true identity was never revealed.
JJ: Well, if this is true, then who are you?
MM: Let’s just call me a magician…a masked magician!
JJ: How obvious. But, didn’t paying off Valentino once again prove your selfishness and your willingness to sacrifice another person’s career in order to improve your own?
MM: No, no. By doing this, everyone profited: myself, “The National Enquirer,” Valentino, and at the same time, I could screw over all the Internet sites that hate me.
JJ: Don’t you feel like a coward hiding behind your mask?
MM: No. Baseball catchers and hockey goalies make their livings hiding behind masks and I don’t think you would call them cowards.
JJ: You have a strange way of looking at things. But, speaking of your costume, don’t you think it’s just a little lame? I mean, come on, a full black body suit and a black mask with some crappy chalk underneath your eyes. You look like a character from a really bad pro wrestling federation.
MM: Once again, FOX wouldn’t provide me with a good costume, either. I was hoping for some cool looking costumes with a variety of colors, but they said, “No. Stay with the all black.” They said it was so I could look dark and disturbed and really mean business. Then, FOX got these models to be my assistants on the show, and the network wouldn’t even allow me to have sex with them after the tapings because they said it might reveal my identity. I was treated terribly.
JJ: Hey, you keep complaining about how FOX has treated you, but there are kids around the world in sweatshops working for next to nothing. I’m sure they are treated much worse than you are by their employers!
MM: Yeah, but I bet their employers never told them to wear all black and deny them the right to have raunchy sex with models!
JJ: Once again, you have a very warped mind. Well, what are you doing with your life now?
MM: Well, I am making money as a magician without my costume since, still, no one knows my real identity. However, the WB network has approached me and offered me quite a hefty sum of money to do another “Breaking the Code” special, so I might be donning my “Masked Magician” costume on the television once again.
JJ: Hah, the WB network! They’ll put anything on!
MM: Yes, they told me they would schedule my special comfortably between Bob Saget’s hit sitcom and everyone’s favorite, Charmed.
JJ: Well, then, maybe they’ll allow you to have a more colorful costume?
MM: Yes, I hope so, and maybe the ladies from Charmed could be my assistants.
JJ: I don’t want even imagine the disgusting thoughts running through your mind.
MM: Hey, I have some decency.
JJ: Not really after what you did to the magic industry. More importantly, will you ever truly reveal yourself?
MM: Is Poison the greatest rock band of all-time?
JJ: Okay, I get the picture. Any final thoughts?
MM: Yes, people can call me a sell out or any other terrible names that they want to, but I did what I did because I believed it was what was best for the industry.
JJ: And for your wallet as well!