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Home>Magic Library>Biographies>P Biographies>Palmer, Jay

Palmer, Jay

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Jay Palmer

The Magic Kettle Act

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Jay Palmer and Doreen

  • 1899-1970
  • Real Name: William J. "Willie" Burns
  • Birthday: November 1
  • Birthplace: United States
  • Buried: ?

Jay Palmer was an American comedy magician who started out as an assistant to The Great Leon (1921) and then to Harry Houdini (1921 and 1922).

By 1923, Palmer was playing vaudeville with his own comedy magic act. Soon joined by wife Doreen, their signature routine was the Magic Kettle, a neverending liquid pouring effect.

The act was hilarious, and won many magic awards for originality. Much of the comedy came from Doreen's "bored and condescending" attitude toward Jay and his magic.

The Palmers enjoyed a long and active career, touring with their wonderfully entertaining act into the 1960's.


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