David Kwong: Magic Word Nerd


Friday, May 24, 2013

David Kwong is one of a new breed of magicians associated with “alt-magic,” a performance scene emerging in Los Angeles, New York, Madrid, and Tokyo. “We’re not wearing the sparkly suits anymore,” Kwong tells Kurt Andersen. “The scene is rooting everything in sleight of hand and a simple return to the theater.”

Kwong’s niche is word games and puzzles — a self-proclaimed “word nerd,” he also constructs crosswords professionally — and he wows audiences with routines using Scrabble tiles, the periodic table, and dinosaur trivia. But Kwong is no stranger to the mainstream, working with David Copperfield (Kurt compares it to Sufjan Stevens performing with Nickelback), and serving as a magic advisor to films like The Incredible Burt Wonderstone and the upcoming Now You See Me. He taught Jesse Eisenberg the snap change card trick, and Woody Harrelson hypnosis. Harrelson reports that he successfully hypnotized Mark Ruffalo, but Kurt is skeptical. “That’s what Woody says,” replies Kwong. “They’re both actors, so who knows.”

Bonus Track: Kurt tests David Kwong's Scrabble skills — from A to Z

Video: David Kwong's Nerdy Magic


David Kwong

Comments [4]

David from Studio 360

Hi Li, glad you were interested in the segment with David Kwong. You can hear his Scrabble list by listening to the stream of this week's show [http://www.studio360.org/2013/may/24/] -- it comes in at the very end of the hour, before the credits.

UPDATE: We've posted the trick as a separate clip above. Enjoy!

May. 27 2013 07:34 PM
Li from Falls Church, VA

I was cooking when I was listening to the show but assumed I could get the Scrabble list off the website...I listened to the segment with David Kwong again but NO LIST! Any way to get it???

May. 27 2013 05:39 PM
Robert Stone from Alexandria, VA

Great Scrabble list at the end. One correction, though. PFT is not playable, although PHT, PST and PSST are.

May. 26 2013 04:51 PM

Why did David Kwong spell blue as blew?

May. 26 2013 01:28 PM

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