The College Union Board (CUB) presented its first “Nooner” of the semester with comedian and magician John P. Hopkins.
Hopkins took over Brower Student Center for an hour on Monday, displaying his talent with various magic tricks and special illusions. He caught the attention of students by flinging playing cards at those sitting and walking through the student center as a way to start off his act.
When it became obvious that the audience members were skeptical about participating in some of his tricks, Hopkins began to pull unsuspecting students on stage with him. “Just so you know, you’re now my assistant,” Hopkins joked. “I shall now refer to you as Trixie.”
Hopkins’ comedic charm was evident throughout his entire act. He shocked students as he pulled out a fairly large butcher’s knife and said, “I’d like to dedicate this next trick to my ex-wife. Guys don’t know what happiness is until they’re married . and then it’s way too late,” he said.
For one trick, he took four stainless steel rings, interlocked them and took them apart again. When it seemed the trick was too simple, he challenged junior journalism major Matt Biondi to separate the two interlocking rings. After several attempts, the rings hadn’t budged.
The trick was taken to a new level when Hopkins retrieved three diamond rings from three very reluctant female audience members and interlocked the three pieces of jewelry.
“I hope you all live near each other, because I’m not sure if I can get these apart,” Hopkins said. While the three girls did not seem amused, the rest of the audience laughed.
The rest of Hopkins’ act went over just as well with the audience. At one point he seemed to “magically” turn a four of spades into an eight of spades on cue. For his last trick, he attempted to split a straw in half with a bullwhip. The catch? The straw was being held in place by the mouth of the current “Trixie.”
After the main show, Hopkins, who is often referred to as a “close-up performer,” spent a lot of time interacting with several different audience members. In that time he performed a variety of different and just as impressive card tricks.
Hopkins has been taking his act around the country for the last six weeks, performing at a variety of clubs and colleges. He recently signed a contract to perform on HBO.
CUB presents a “Nooner” every couple of weeks. Contrary to many other CUB events, the “Nooner” gives students something to do in the middle of the day, rather than at night. Most of the events take place in the student center and are free to students.