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Eric Weiss-Harry Houdini.

The Greatest Showman of the 20th Century, without a doubt...

All his great escapes were TRICKERY and sleight of hand of a high order...

He named one of the FUNNIEST actors in history. A man brought his child backstage to meet the great Houdini.

The child ran excitedly and fell down a flight of stairs, hitting every stair on the way down. But the kid never missed a beat. He stood up and extended his hand to a surprised Houdini.

Houdini was so impressed and delighted that he roared with laughter, and bestowed a new name upon the kid.

BUSTER. Buster Keaton...!

The London Hippodrome, St. Patrick's Day, 1904, was the scene of possibly his greatest escape.

The Daily Illustrated Mirror, a London newspaper, challenged Houdini to escape from the strongest pair of handcuffs ever made, handcuffs that took a Birmingham Locksmith 5 years and $500 to make.

They were certain the harry Houdini would politely refuse, thereby thoroughly deflating the American's reputation.

Houdini accepted with GLEE. Glee that soon turned to DISMAY as the locksmith turned the key SIX times in each keyhole....It was 3:15pm. Houdini was enclosed in a small black cabinet.

There were over 4,000 spectators...

20 minutes in, Houdini stuck his head out of the cabinet and the audience went wild-but Houdini just needed more light on the cuffs-he quickly slipped back from view....

35 minutes in, Houdini once again came forth, but this time to complain that his knees hurt. He was exhausted, disheveled and agitated. A theater usher brought him a pillow for his knees, and harry went back to work.

The audience showed no sign of boredom...

An hour in, Houdini came out again, but this time to request that the cuffs be removed for a moment so that he could take off his coat, which the man from the Mirror REFUSED...

So Houdini twisted himself into a pretzel, reached into his back pocket and produced a knife. Holding the knife in his teeth, he slashed his coat to ribbons, then stepped back into the cabinet.

One more hour passed...

Houdini suddenly burst forth from the cabinet, manacles in hand!

Pretty spectacular.

The man escaped everything but DEATH....

Be promised his wife BESS that, if HE died first, he would find some means of contacting her.

He would use the words "Rosabel, BELIEVE!"

-She waited until her death to hear those words. They never came.....

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