Magic Smackdown!: When 'Amazing' Randi Humiliated Uri Geller

By Kellar Ellsworth
Left: James 'The Amazing' Randi in a promotional photo from a recent PBS documentary, "An Honest Liar." Right: Uri Geller failing to do his magic tricks on 'The Tonight Show' as Johnny Carson looks on. Sources: PBS; YouTube

In 1973, spoon-bending "psychic" Uri Geller appeared on The Tonight Show -- and walked into a trap set by host Johnny Carson and the magician/skeptic James "The Amazing" Randi. It was one of the great "gotcha" moments in TV history, and a highlight of a feud between Randi and Geller over the nature of magic. Is a magician a skilled deceiver, a performer who makes you disbelieve your own eyes -- or does a magician have superhuman abilities?

Geller said he could bend spoons and house keys because of his "psychic" powers. Randi said, more or less, that Geller was full of s**t, and sabotaged Geller's performance on national TV.

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