During the course of his 90s series Dave's World, Harry Anderson stopped off to bring us this CBS special with all the classic moments of the format: guest stars, behind the scenes vignettes, a little road trip (to Owen Magic Supreme, fabricators of magic props/devices/show pieces for over 100 years), and that odd mix of a little skin and family friendly fun.
An hour-long special in the 90s equates to about 47 minutes of show time, which even though longer than today's hour-long programming (42/43 min) still feels a bit short for all of the great magic Harry is capable of performing. However he included a nice variety, from card tricks to bill swaps to the rings and even a little bodily puncturing (no pins through arms with blood, but a little cringe-inducing talent with a Bic), plus some home audience participation where he makes your chosen card disappear.
Also appearing are ventriloquist Jay Johnson and juggler Peter Davison. Very talented guys even if that isn't your thing, and they add to the family-friendly carnival theme. Interweaved are some guest appearances from John Ritter, Brent Spiner, and the cast of Dave's World, who all have a little run in with Harry the Hat, and let's not forget, playing his partner in crime, JC Wendel (who played Dave's assistant Mia on Dave's World, and graciously provides the aforementioned brief moment of skin). Markie Post fans need not tune in for her flash of an appearance. Other appearances include Peter Scolari as a carny, and Tim Stack not playing a welder.
Overall entertaining but a bit short and disappointing if you're a big fan of Harry the Hat and Games You Can't Lose - simply because you want more. It doesn't suffer much from age as many of the routines are classic/timeless, but the 90s-ness seeps in, and the context of some of the guest stars may be lost on those unfamiliar with the decade. Of course if you're watching this, you're a fan! This is/was available from Harry in an autographed DVDR limited run of 500, but I think those are exhausted. Watch it if you get the chance, buy it if it's cheap enough, but don't go to the ends of the Earth.
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