Ranking David Blaine’s insane stunts

David Blaine

David Blaine

“David Blaine, your magic is real and I believe in you.” —Michael Jackson.

Never in history has a more emphatic endorsement been made for a magician than the one bestowed by the King of Pop at the 2002 MTV VMAs. But, despite MJ’s words, the reality is that a lot of what David Blaine does is less about magic and more about seeing how far he can go without killing himself.

This Friday night, the monotone magician himself is coming to the State Theatre for a live, interactive show. Will he wear a black T-shirt that is too tight? Most likely. Will he show any level of excitement? Not a chance. 

While we aren’t really sure what kinds of tricks he’ll have up his sleeve, we can speculate wildly about all the ways he might inadvertently hurt himself for your paid viewing pleasure. To get your magical mind turning, here are some of Blaine’s greatest hits.

Buried Alive

After making a splash on the magic scene in 1997 with his TV special, David Blaine: Street Magic, where kids in Compton lost their g-d minds over card tricks, Dave decided that a natural follow-up would be to entomb himself in a plastic box, buried underneath a three-ton water tank for an entire week.

That was it. That was the whole thing. Just like, stay there and don’t die.

Dude didn’t eat, didn’t drink (except for like three tablespoons of water each day), and then at the end he just came back out.

Chances are he won’t be entombed for the entire State Theatre performance, but how weird would it be if that was literally all it was?

Upside Down Man

More than a decade after being buried alive, Blaine joined Donald Trump, steak enthusiast and future leader of the free world, to announce his newest stunt: The Upside Down Man. Basically, he was going to hang upside down over Wollman Rink in Central Park for 60 hours straight, with no safety net.

That was it. Again. Just like, stay there and don’t die.

This one had some controversy attached to it, as he was allowed to come down once an hour for a medical check and to use the bathroom, making this less about magic and more about getting super dizzy.

Hold Your Breath

This one is just irritating. Long story short, dude went on Oprah, decided to spend 23 minutes inhaling oxygen from a tank, then held his breath inside of a water tank for 17 minutes.

You read that right. He held his breath for a really long time.

Admittedly, after several failed attempts we can conclude that holding your breath for 17 minutes isn’t easy. However his record didn’t even last five months, before some other joker held his breath longer later that year.

Shotgun in the Mouth

Okay, this one is actually pretty dope. As part of another TV special, Blaine would catch a bullet fired from a .22 caliber rifle inside of a small metal cup IN HIS MOUTH. He did it, it was awesome, and gave him a very cool thing to add to his Tinder bio. A few years later he did the trick again, this time on stage in front of a live audience. The trick worked, except the cup slipped and the bullet apparently shattered his mouthguard and sliced up his throat.

The lesson here for potential audience members: Wear a decent mouthguard.

As a fun game, try seeing if you can hold your breath during the entire intermission of the show Friday. It’s the best way to spend $495!


David Blaine Live
State Theatre
8 p.m., Friday, June 15