Magician Matt Johnson poses with the locks that hold him underwater when he performs his signature escape.

Magician Matt Johnson’s second crack at TV fame

Local escape artist to appear on Penn & Teller: Fool Us

Matt Johnson’s first crack at TV glory ended before it began when the tank he was trying to escape split open and spilled 260 gallons of water onto the Britain’s Got Talent stage during a rehearsal, along with his dreams.

RELATED: A crack at fame: Abbotsford magician’s TV talent show mishap

The UK-born magician came back home to Abbotsford without having had the chance to perform his great escape in front of the celebrity judges – an opportunity he spent years working towards.

But just over a month later, in mid-March, he had another chance to perform the daring escape in front of bright lights, TV cameras and two judges nearly every magician on earth looks up to. He had a slot on Penn & Teller: Fool Us.

Johnson hastily ordered a new tank – this time reinforced with metal corners – custom built in Calgary and waited for it to arrive at his Chilliwack studio. It arrived at 10 p.m. the night before he was to fly to Las Vegas for his chance to impress magic legends Penn Jillette and Teller on their popular series where illusionists from around the world try to perform a trick that even they can’t decipher.

Johnson’s new tank was three inches tighter on all sides.

“It was really, really not good because when I started getting in it, I couldn’t hold my breath because my lungs and everything were squished up from having to crouch in it more, which meant I couldn’t hold my breath as long,” he said.

The new tank allowed him only 30 seconds of breath-holding, rather than the more than two minutes he needed to pick the handcuffs off his wrists and find the one key among 31 in the tank that would release him.

Johnson shipped the tank to Vegas, followed by plane and on March 16 performed on the Fool Us stage.

He can’t say exactly how it went but said “it was kind of interesting, what happened.”

You can catch Johnson, who now lives in Chilliwack, on Penn & Teller: Fool Us at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 3 on the CW Network.


@KelvinGawley
kelvin.gawley@abbynews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Abbotsford working to ease building permit backlog: mayor

Mayor Henry Braun said tripling of applications has slowed down approval process

Spring/summer season of exhibits opens at The Reach

Opening reception on Thursday, May 23 at Abbotsford gallery-museum

Two week lock down lifted for Kent Institution

A search at the prison found nearly 26 grams of hashish and a cellphone

Abbotsford man to pay Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party $20k over lawsuit

Federal judge shut down Satinder Dhillon’s ‘nonsensical’ motion to bar use of PPC name in byelection

LIVE: Abbotsford mayor speaks at annual breakfast

Watch live as Abbotsford Mayor Henry Braun delivers address at annual mayor’s breakfast event.

Coquitlam RCMP release video in search for witness to crash that killed girl, 13

Witness is described as a slim Asian man with short, black hair, no facial hair and wearing glasses

TransLink fares to go up on July 1

Fares will increase by a few cents to a few dollars

Roadside device to weed out THC can’t detect impairment, B.C. lawyer says

‘This fact alone is likely to have serious implications for Canadians’ Charter Rights,’ lawyer Sarah Leamon warns

B.C. firefighters rescue frozen dog from ice

The fire crew found a dog stuck in the at Lake Paul on May 20

Most British Columbians agree the ‘big one’ is coming, but only 50% are prepared

Only 46 per cent of British Columbians have prepared an emergency kit with supplies they might need

Sitting and sleeping on downtown sidewalks could net $100 fine in Penticton

The measure, which still requires final approval, would be enforced between May and Sept. 30

Survey finds 15% of Canadian cannabis users with a valid licence drive within two hours of using

Survey also finds middle-aged men are upping their usage following legalization

Most Read