If you want to find the best magic on YouTube, just type “Penn & Teller Fool Us” and hit play. Mischief managed. But if you want to find the best mentalism on YouTube… that’s going to be much harder!
While magic has been on television for decades (think David Copperfield, David Blaine, Criss Angel, etc.), mentalism has garnered far less television exposure. But that’s beginning to change! Due to the popularity of mentalism on the “Got Talent” programs and others, television producers are beginning to see the undeniable excitement and entertainment value that mentalists can provide.
Here are my favorite mentalism videos on YouTube, past and present. From TV series to talent competitions… there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
This is Colin Cloud’s first appearance on AGT, and it showcases his unique genius perfectly. Yes… his performance is baffling and entertaining, but I’m most impressed by his incredible stage presence. Watch how he instantly captivates the attention of the judges and the audience. Impressive!
Colin is well-known among mentalists for his creativity, knowledge and showmanship. I’ve been a fan of Colin since his Fringe Festival days in Scotland, and he’s come a very long way since then. He’s currently performing with AGT Winner Shin Lim in Las Vegas. Learn more about their show here.
Israel has consistently produced some of the greatest mentalists in the world (most notably Uri Geller), and Lior Suchard is continuing the tradition. Lior is incredibly successful, regularly performing at high-end corporate and celebrity events all over the world.
This clip shows Lior’s engaging theatricality and his originality. Be prepared for lots of twists, turns, and fun surprises!
Fun fact: I was performing at a trade show in Chicago a few years ago when I got the opportunity to see Lior’s full stage show at a company-sponsored event. There must have been 2,500+ people in the audience, and Lior captivated everyone. We met after the show, and he was very kind.
I’ll get straight to the point: Derren Brown is probably the greatest mentalist in the world today.
Derren is a household name in the UK. His TV series have broken ratings records, and his sold-out touring shows won Olivier Awards in 2006 and 2012. He even performed on Broadway in 2019 and 2020 to rave reviews.
This is a clip from Derren’s TV Series “Trick of the Mind.” Unlike most mentalists, Derren is happy to explain some of what he’s doing. And unlike most magic… the secret is just as impressive as the trick! Derren is a formidable storyteller. If you like this style of mentalism on YouTube, I strongly recommend checking out his channel. You’ll find many happy hours there.
Max Maven was one of the most influential magicians and mentalists to have ever lived, having published over 1,700 creations in the conjuring literature. Max worked as a magic consultant for Penn & Teller, David Copperfield, and appeared on over 30 magazine covers. His knowledge of magic history and methods was untouchable.
Max passed away in 2022. Despite his deeply intellectual and prickly persona, he was surprisingly generous and kind. I recall sharing a drink with him at the Magic Castle one night, while he pontificated on similarities between mentalism and professional wrestling (yes… really)!
Max’s performing persona was entirely his own, as you can see in this clip. The widow’s peak, the eyeliner, the earring… all of this was VERY cutting edge at the time. Max was a legend, and I still can’t believe he knew my name.
This clip is a treasure. Joseph Dunninger was one of the most important mentalists of all time. In the 1930’s and 40’s, Dunninger’s radio appearances made him a household name throughout the USA.
While modern audiences may not remember Dunninger, his impact in the 20th century mentalism community cannot be overstated. He was the most popular mentalist in his day, and performed for many of the world’s elite. This incredibly rare footage is from his TV series “The Amazing Dunninger” from 1967. While Dunninger performed a very straightforward mind reading act, he was always careful to disclaim any actual “psychic” ability.
The Amazing Kreskin
Kreskin appeared on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson a whopping 61 times. His touring show has entertained millions of people all over the world, and he has published 20 books for the general public.
In this clip from his TV special in the 1970’s, you’ll see Kreskin’s unique blend of magic and mentalism. All these years later, at age 88, he continues to entertain audiences all over the world.
Nothing Beats a LIVE Show
I believe these are the best mentalism videos on YouTube, but nothing beats seeing a mentalist LIVE and in-person. Las Vegas has multiple options (see my show recommendations here) but I suggest you check locally as well!
And remember… mentalism is the perfect interactive corporate entertainment. So if your organization is hosting an employee event, call me! 😉
But if you can’t see a mentalist in person, here’s a full performance from one of Derren Brown’s award-winning stage shows. This was filmed before a live, ticketed audience, and what you see is EXACTLY what you would experience if you were there. It’s the full show, so grab some popcorn and get comfy. Stick around until the end. You’re in for a treat!