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Piff the Magic Dragon Is Coming to Town With Puddles and the Dallas Showgirl Who's Now His Wife

Las Vegas magician and America's Got Talent contestant Piff the Magic Dragon, center, is on tour with the singing sad clown Puddles. Both will perform Saturday at The Majestic Theatre on their Misery Loves Company tour.
Las Vegas magician and America's Got Talent contestant Piff the Magic Dragon, center, is on tour with the singing sad clown Puddles. Both will perform Saturday at The Majestic Theatre on their Misery Loves Company tour. Screenshot from YouTube/Piff the Magic Dragon
Piff the Magic Dragon isn't a magician who needs a lot of flashy music or jazz hands to make his tricks and illusions pop. Audiences expect Piff to be droll, monotone and borderline sarcastic.

So it makes perfect sense that the long face of Piff the Magic Dragon and his chihuahua-dragon buddy Mr. Piffles would team up with the 6-foot-8-inch singing sad clown Puddles on a dual "Misery Loves Company Tour" that stops at The Majestic Theatre on Saturday, Nov. 5.

"Going back on the road, I didn't want to rush into this," Piff says. "Puddles kind of felt the same way. So we thought we'd team up and do it together and make a fun time out of it because touring can be a solitary life."

Piff the Magic Dragon, the younger brother of the more famous dragon Steve, came into America's consciousness on shows such as America's Got Talent and Penn & Teller: Fool Us. The English-born magician made a big impression on Penn Jillette and Teller in the first show of the CW magic show with his comedy as much as with his tricks. Piff insisted he be called "Mr. Piff" during one taping and chomped down on a banana during the portion of the show when the hosts attempt to break down his trick, a moment that made the famously silent Teller audibly laugh and stomp his feet on the stage.

Piff went on to score a prime spot at the showroom of the Flamingo Las Vegas Hotel and Casino and made more appearances on Penn & Teller: Fool Us, including a trick that cast Jillette and Piff's jovial father Pop the Magic Dragon, who reappeared in his YouTube special Reptile Dysfunction.

Puddles also had a residency show in Las Vegas at Cleopatra's Barge at Caesars Palace. The two became friends thanks to their shared time in the spotlight on NBC's America's Got Talent.

"We both forge our own path, and there's nothing quite like either one of us, weirdly because both of us are unique," Piff says. "It's a nice match."

Piff sometimes travels to Dallas for reasons other than performances. He appears at The Peacock Theater, the private, invitation-only magic and variety theater owned by Gearbox Software founder Randy Pitchford. He also makes more personal visits with his wife and Dallas native Jade Simone, who joined Piff's act as his showgirl assistant.

"One day, [magician Lance Burton] says to me, 'Can you do a charity show for my friend?' and I was a male guest star and Jade was the female guest star," Piff says. "We met after the show and hit it off. When I started going on the road, I knew how great she was on stage and I said, 'Why don't you come and be in the show?' We've been on the road together ever since."
Piff's return to Dallas is also a big step up, stagewise. Last time he came to town, he performed at the Addison Improv. The tricks and props are bigger now because his act is on a bigger stage. The dual act with Puddles also gives the two a chance to appear in one another's acts.

"The whole Vegas show is much bigger," Piff says. "The tricks are bigger and more Vegas-y and we wanted to take that on the road a bit. I really like it, and the audience is really responding to it even more than the old-style shows because we used to do comedy clubs and there was barely any production."

Now that social distancing isn't as necessary, Piff says he can make the show more interactive, even in a space like The Majestic.

"I'm giving a kid the opportunity to try and slay me each night," Piff says of his show. "I come from a country where dragons are persecuted. St. George [Day] and every 21st or whatever it is, they're celebrating George slaying the dragon [in England]. I always wanted to give a kid in the audience a chance to slay a dragon."

The show is the result of years of practice honing his magic skills. Piff started out as a straight magician and developed his comedic skills when he decided to make a Halloween costume a permanent part of his act.

"With magic, if you have an idea for a funny magic trick, you have to make it," Piff says. "You have to do the impossible, which can take literally years and thousands of dollars. You show it to an audience and then they can go, 'Nah, it's not for us.' Finding things that work and are also funny for an audience is difficult but I think on this tour, we've got a bunch of neat stuff and I think we've succeeded. I love to make people laugh and I try to keep the laughs the same as a comedian would, every seven to 10 seconds." 
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Danny Gallagher has been a regular contributor to the Dallas Observer since 2014. He has also written features, essays and stories for MTV, the Chicago Tribune, Maxim, Cracked, Mental_Floss, The Week, CNET and The Onion AV Club.

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