Nov. 17, 1918 – Dec. 25, 2013
Karl Norman, a popular expert close-up and bar magician who worked at Eddie Fechter’s legendary Forks Hotel in Cheektowaga, died Dec. 25 at his Kenmore home. He was 95.
Mr. Norman was born Karl Shisler in Sherkston, Ont., but went by the name of Karl Norman. He lived most of his life in the Buffalo area.
He was introduced to magic at age 8, when his father took him to see Howard Thurston, a famous stage magician. From then on, he devoted his life to magic.
Mr. Norman was considered one of the most influential magicians ever in Western New York, in addition to the late Gene Gordon and Eddie Fechter.
He started performing in vaudeville, burlesque and night-clubs in the late 1930s and 1940s. He met Gordon, who taught him card magic, while working at Bell Aircraft during World War II. He later helped Gordon start a magic store in the late 1940s.
By the late 1960s, Mr. Norman became a famous bar magician at Fechter’s Forks Hotel. He was known for his great comedic sense and performed powerful magic. He is still remembered for his card on the ceiling and coin in the bottle tricks.
Mr. Norman also was a great teacher of magic. He lectured throughout North America and Germany, and influenced many young magicians.
source: The Buffalo News