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The Great Whodini

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Any character who is not normally a magician, but is putting on a magic show, will use a stage name formed by taking their name and appending "-ini". Often they'll prefix "The Great", as well.

Obviously the inspiration for these names is Harry Houdini, who himself based his stage name on French magician Jean Eugene Robert-Houdin, or possibly Cardini. Never mind that Houdini considered himself an escape artist, not a magician, and never presented himself as having magical powers rather than exceptional dexterity.

Not to be confused with the 1980s rap group, though they were great.

See also Small Reference Pools, Dr. Genericius.


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  • Steve Martin often did tricks for private gatherings involving things coming out of the crotch of his pants. His alias? The Great Flydini.
  • Invoked by Denis Leary in his stand-up routine, regarding pulling his family dog out of the toilet: "Like I'm some kinda magician, the Great Learitini..."

    Films — Live-Action 

  • Edgar of Edgar & Ellen demonstrated his escape artist skills as "The Amazing Edgarini".

    Live-Action TV 
  • Magician Ricky Jay played magician "The Amazing Maleeni" in The X-Files episode of that name. Spoofed with The Stupendous Yappi, a celebrity psychic so phony even Mulder doesn't believe he's real.
  • On NewsRadio Dave called himself the Great Throwdini for his Knife-Throwing Act. He also performed as the Great Ventriloquodini.
  • On Home Improvement, there's an episode where the three sons each want to make a birthday present for their mother, but Randy, the middle son, isn't good with his hands, so he plans a magic show. At the end of the episode, his climactic disappearing box says "The Great Randini" on it.
  • One episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000 had Crow as an escape artist calling himself "The Great Crowdini".
  • Batman (1966) TV Series: In the episode "Zelda the Great", they really did the research. She has a billboard that boasts: Zelda the Great: World's foremost illusionist and escape artiste, Even Greater than Houdini!
  • An episode Drake & Josh had the boys befriend "The Great Doheney".
  • An episode of Quantum Leap has Sam step into the life of the titular professional magician "The Great Spontini". Subverted in that this is the character's real last name, not a stage name.
  • One Whammy animation from Press Your Luck has "the Great Whamini" attempting to fire himself out of a cannon, only for it to explode on him, leaving him charred and the player with nothing.


  • A Sluggy Freelance strip has Riff present himself as "The Great Riffini".
  • 8-Bit Theater has Fighter reminisce about the group's (hitherto unknown) plans for a circus act, complete with a poster showing "Fightini", "Thiefini", "Red Magini", "A Cannonball" (Black Mage) and "Fightini again".

    Western Animation 
  • "The Great Bicklini", a.k.a. Mr. Bickles in The Fairly OddParents!.
  • In the Peanuts special "It's Magic, Charlie Brown", Snoopy puts on a magic show as The Great Houndini.
  • Eddy, of Ed, Edd n Eddy, became The Great Eddy-dini upon acquiring Edd's hypno-wheel.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic: Equestria has an equivalent to Harry Houdini in "The Great Hoofdini", who is Trixie's biggest inspiration.
  • One episode of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987) had a Houdini look-alike stealing from people (and kidnapping children) while using magic (as a villain). He is known as The Great Boldini. Watch the episode here.
  • In The Little Rascals episode "Alfalfakazam!", Darla opens Spanky's magic show by introducing him as The Great Spankini.
  • Magnificent Muttley: "The Marvelous Muttdini" is Muttley's daydream of him being a famous escape artist, precipitated when Dick Dastardly puts him into the brig and says, "You'd have to be an escape artist to get out of there!"

    Real Life 
  • Johnny Carson was "The Great Carsoni" as a young magician.