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Johnny Thompson

Johnny Thompson (born c. 1934)[1] is a Polish-American[2] comedian and Las Vegas illusionist who performs under the stage name The Great Tomsoni with his wife, Pamela Hayes. They have a comedic slapstick act with the well-dressed Thompson and his gum-popping assistant, Pam, performing illusions while enduring a series of mishaps. Within the magician community, Tomsoni is considered a virtuoso, widely known as a mentor and teacher of magic, and a creator of tricks, as opposed to simply a performer. He has worked behind the scenes with magicians such as Penn and Teller, Lance Burton, Criss Angel and Mat Franco.[3][4] In 1999, he was awarded one of the highest honors in the magician community, a Masters Fellowship with the Academy of Magical Arts.[5]

Johnny Thompson
Bornc. 1934 (age 84–85)[1]
Other namesThe Great Tomsoni
OccupationIllusionist, comedian
Spouse(s)Pamela Hayes



Along with his wife Pamela Hayes, he performs a slapstick comic magical act in which he plays the role of a dapper but buffoonish vaudeville gentleman, with a gum-popping assistant, and they endure various mishaps during their performance. One of his trademarks is producing pure white doves on stage, which are trained to play along with the act once they have appeared.[6]

He has been featured on many episodes of Criss Angel's Mindfreak, the "Hair" episode of Penn and Teller's Bullshit!, and the film The Aristocrats. His wife and assistant, Pamela Hayes Thompson, was featured in the film Women in Boxes about magicians' assistants.[7]

He is currently the producer on the television program Penn & Teller: Fool Us. As part of that job, he is responsible for making the final call as to whether the performers were able to fool Penn & Teller.[8]


Thompson's act has performed under the following names:

  • The Great Tomsoni
  • The Great Tomsoni & Co.
  • The Great Tomsoni and Company
  • The Great Tomsoni: The Wizard of Warsaw[9]
  • Tomsoni & Co.



  1. ^ a b Weatherford, Mike (September 14, 2008). "Old-timer the mind behind the magic". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved 22 January 2014.
  2. ^ Hunt, Luanne (October 12, 2001). "The Great Escape". Press-Telegram.
  3. ^ Ernst, Jerry (February 20, 2005). "See what they've got up their sleeves - Magic shows, workshops to offer a look behind the scenes". Flushing Observer.
  4. ^ Smith, Vicki (December 7, 2001). "Mystifying the magician". Press-Telegram.
  5. ^ a b Hunt, Luanne J. (October 12, 2001). "The Great Escape". Press-Telegram.
  6. ^ Einstein, Charles (July 16, 1995). "It's all smoke and mirrors as showrooms find audiences clamoring". Star-Ledger.
  7. ^ Noyes, Phil; Pallenberg, Harry (directors and producers) (2008). "Women in Boxes" (video). maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  8. ^
  9. ^ "When magicians convene, it's a night of illusions". The State. January 18, 2002.

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