Don Alan (1926-1999)
Don Alan, aka Donald Alan McWethy was born on February 22, 1926.
He was an American magician and author, who, after study at the "Chavez College of Magic," began his career at the "Magic Bar" of Matt Schulien; he soon gained notoriety among his peers, many of whom referred to him as the "father of modern close-up magic."
He appeared on many TV talk/variety shows, including Ed Sullivan, Steve Alan and Johnny Carson. However he was most noted for his American TV program "Don Alan's Magic Ranch."
The Magic Ranch aired from 1961 to 1962, and lasted thirteen episodes, which showcased many of Alan's popular close-up effects, and featured many of the big names in magic, such as Al Flosso, Karrell Fox, Jack Gwynne and many others.
Alan's nonchalant and comedic approach to his work was highly influential on budding magicians in the 1960's.
He also popularized the art of close-up magic on TV, exhibiting many of his original presentations on classic effects.
His most popular magic effect came about when he took an invention of Al Weatley's "Chop Chop" also called the "Chop Cup," cut it down to size and performed it on Ed Sullivan's show.
After his Chop Cup performance, magicians everywhere wanted the cut-down Don Alan version which is now known as the Don Alan Chop Cup.
Among Alan's many other popular close-up effects are Stack of Quarters, Flying Eagles, Invisible Deck, as well as an original presentation for the "Comedy Egg Can" trick.
Alan also wrote books on magic, including "Pretty Sneaky," (1956) "Don Alan's Professional Presentation of the Chop Cup," "Close-Up Time"
Alan died of complications from Alzheimer's in 1999 and was buried at Lakeside Cemetery in Colon, Michigan.
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