Meta-magicians Penn & Teller have a word they use to describe hypnotism: "bullshit."
The Amazing Kreskin, also known for his bunko-busting ways, once offered a financial reward of $25,000 to anybody who could prove the existence of a hypnotic trance. Nobody ever earned the money. But one man's crap is another man's bread and butter. For the past 25 years, hypnotist Gary Conrad, who's appearing at the Funny Bone Comedy Club in Tunica through December 23rd, has made a living by snapping his fingers and telling people to do outrageous things. And, B.S. or no, they hear and obey.
"I'm the best hypnotist in my price range," Conrad says, divulging the secret of his success and longevity.
Conrad says he's been fascinated by hypnosis since he was a third-grader and wrote a book report about the power of the human mind. He's since refined his theories about how the brain pulses at one speed when conscious and at another when under the influence of hypnotic suggestion. Conrad has used this knowledge to help people "quit smoking, lose weight, lift more weights, you name it," he says. But Conrad is an entertainer first and prefers to make people laugh by entrancing their friends and telling them they have bugs in their pants.
"I like doing holiday-themed acts. So, we're going to do a Christmas show in Tunica," he says. "I expect we'll do an age regression. Take people back to when they were kids, then take them to sit on Santa's lap. And, of course, he'll be a bad Santa."
Gary Conrad at The Funny Bone in Harrah's Tunica through December 23rd. Tickets are $8-$17.