Matt The Knife, also called MTK, is a mentalist, magician and speaker who has a comedic side to his performances. He has broken 12 Guinness World Records, more than any magician ever. He has performed in 21 countries across four continents and at over 100 college campuses.
He has earned many awards in the magic industry and has been featured on more than 50 international media outlets including Discovery Channel, NBC, National Geographic, ESPN Magazine, Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim and BBC. He was even an answer on the game show “Jeopardy.” On March 21, Matt The Knife came to Clarion to mystify students.
After introductions, MTK performed one of the most famous magic tricks: sword-swallowing. He explained that he was not able to bring his sword for the trick because of airport security; so instead, he presented a clothes hanger bent in such a way that it was shaped like a sword. He asked an audience member to help him with the trick.
MTK informed the audience that if he were to bend his body the wrong way while the hanger was down his throat, one or more of his organs could potentially be pierced, causing him to die. He did this, of course, with humor.
After disinfecting the hanger with mouthwash, he swallowed the hanger, bent at the waist, and had the audience member pull it out of his mouth. “I enjoyed that he incorporated a variety of different ‘tricks’ into the show,” said Kristen Burkholder, a senior early childhood and special education major. “He did some illusionist work interspersed with mentalist work and tied the entire show together with comedy to keep the audience engaged throughout.”
His next trick was that of the mind. He called two more audience members to the stage. He asked the two assistants to inspect pieces of duct tape, ensuring that they could not be seen through. After announcing that the tape was nontransparent, MTK had his assistants place a silver dollar on each of the pieces, and then tape them over his eyes. After applying a few more pieces of duct tape and making sure he could no longer see, he instructed one member to return to the audience.
Victoria Martin, a junior sociology major, was one of these assistants.
“I thought being up on stage was fun but kind of scary,” Martin said. “It is also great that UAB brought something different to EFSN.”
The next part of the trick involved the remaining assistant going out into the audience to collect the most interesting items that the crowd was instructed to get out of their pockets. After choosing five items, the assistant returned to the stage. MTK proceeded to guess what each of the items was as the assistant held them. He guessed every item correctly.
“I think the guy was quite amazing,” said Gary Teague, a sophomore computer science major. “He was hilarious. I liked his dark sense of humor.”
Matt The Knife announced his final trick of the evening as being more serious than the others he performed. This trick was announced as being connected to an argument he always had with his ex-girlfriend about tying a cherry stem with the tongue. It involved a string and four razor blades, and he proved their authenticity by cutting a piece of paper with each.
He swallowed the string, and then the blades. He began pulling the string out of his mouth and tied each of the blades to the string with his tongue one-by-one. When he was finished, all four razor blades were connected securely to the string.
“I am still astonished by the razorblade trick because of how he was able to tie all four blades to the string with his tongue while not sustaining any type of observable injury,” Burkholder said. “I was more impressed than I expected to be with his varied performance capabilities.”
Matt The Knife will be taking his magic and humor to perform at venues in North Carolina through the rest of March and then will be showcased at various locations across the country for the rest of the year.