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Best in Show for January: Piff the Magic Dragon

Category Best in Show

|by Georgi Schultz |


Piff the Magic Dragon

The signature dry wit of the United Kingdom joins together with the classic clichéd Las Vegas magic show to create a comedy spectacle like never before. Hailing from South East London, John van der Put, better known as Piff the Magic Dragon, brought his trademark act to the stage in 2008. In 2011, the comedy magician appeared on the first season of Penn and Teller’s: Fool Us. Shortly after, Piff was met with a whirlwind of television and live appearances, including an opening run on a 2012 Mumford and Son’s tour. In 2015, Piff and Mr. Piffles, a tiny Chihuahua donning a dragon costume that mirror’s his own, made waves on the 10th season of NBC’s, America’s Got Talent.

Though he walked away from America’s Got Talent during the semifinals, Piff boasts his losing status on the posters and promos for his current residency at the Flamingo Hotel & Casino. Appearing every Monday and Tuesday in the Bugsy’s Cabaret Showroom, Piff the Magic Dragon hosts a private meet and greet party before every show. This January, we got the pleasure of talking with Piff, seeing him in action and even holding little Mr. Piffles. Party guests are invited into the venue by Piff’s hilarious squire who appears multiple times during the show. Piff’s lovely showgirl, Jade Simone also joined the party, followed by Piff himself! During the intimate meet and greet, Piff breaks away from his sarcastic stage persona, and truly connects with his guests. He takes the time to personalize each autograph, converse, and pass the adorable Mr. Piffles around to all of the attendees. Guests are invited to take photos with the cast, and are welcomed to sit anywhere they’d like for the show.

Securing two front row seats, we anxiously waited for the show to begin. After a comically charged introduction from the squire, Piff the Magic Dragon triumphantly takes the stage. For his first stunt, the Englishmen demands a crisp $100 bill, and a credit card from willing audience members. After a bit of encouraging, two brave guests forked over their goods, only to have them pocketed by the magic dragon. Shortly after, Piff brings Mr. Piffles and a volunteer onto the stage to assist in a card trick. Piff tells the volunteer that Mr. Piffles will be rewarded with a can of dog food when he correctly guests the card she is to choose from a deck, and subsequently write her name on. From inside Piff’s signature magic box, Mr. Piffles shoots a card up and into the funny man’s hand, only for him to discover it is the wrong card. Disappointed, Piff places the can of dog in the volunteer’s hand, and proceeds to open it. He warns his guest, that he’s “going in,” and without pause, reaches his hand into the slimy food. Amazingly, Piff proceeds to pull out the correct card, the two unsuspecting audience member’s $100 bill and credit card.

From the time he walks on stage to the time he walks off, Piff the Magic Dragon hits audiences members with trick after trick, and joke after joke. The hilarious show combines clever, wit-filled humor and mind-blowing magic in a big way. Piff’s unenthused persona and dry sense of humor delivers an added element of hilarity to the show. Mr. Piffles makes for a perfect sidekick, balancing out Piff’s haughty sarcasm with his undeniable cuteness. Jade Simone and the squire drive the show as well, adding endless glamour and giggles throughout the production.

Piff the Magic Dragon is an all-around, comedy magic experience that changes the game and raises the bar for other shows of its kind.  Get a hefty dose of laughter, every Monday and Tuesday with Piff the Magic Dragon, only at the Flamingo Hotel & Casino. 

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