Michael Lauck is a columnist for iTricks. All opinions expressed in this review are his own and not necessarily those of iTricks. Part One of his 2014 Review can be read HERE.

April started with a very special story. News came from Germany that Anton James, the performer called The Naked Mentalist, had been given his own children’s show because he could promote both the importance of using one’s brain and positive body image. It was, of course, merely an April Fools’ Day joke from iTricks and I would like to thank Anton for being good enough to play along. You know, I don’t think any readers ever admitted to falling for the joke but we know for a fact that many of y’all followed the links to check out the fake press release and equally fake German production company.

As the month progressed, there were a few very real news stories. The first official trailer for Dealt, the documentary about Richard Turner, was released. Yo Hu Jin was named Magician of the Year by the Academy of Magical Arts and the world found out JJ Abrams was into magic when he teamed with Theory 11 for an unique release. MAGIC Magazine also stepped into the 21st century with its new M360 online content platform. The biggest story in entertainment was easily the announcement by David Letterman that he would be retiring in 2015. This also led to Craig Ferguson’s, a true friend of magic who was produced by Letterman’s company, decision to retire at the end of 2014. Even though I said I would not cover much about TV, I really cannot ignore that April also brought the official announcement of Penn and Teller’s Fool Us and Masters of Illusion coming to The CW summer line-up.
Television continued to provide the biggest stories in the magic world in May. Wizard Wars premiered on SyFy and introduced the world to a new kind of magic show that valued creativity and competition. Perhaps, though, an even bigger story was that Neil Patrick Harris was offered and turned down both The Late Show (soon to be vacated by Letterman) and The Late, Late Show (to be vacated by Ferguson even sooner). He hinted that he would much rather do something like host a variety show.

Summer started and June saw The Amazing Johnathan and Sia Synn getting married in Las Vegas. It’s not like they ran off to Vegas and tied the know like my mom and stepfather, either… they already lived there! The magic world was gearing up for the combined IBM/SAM convention and the general media started to hear that Kenrick ICE McDonnell would soon be named the first black president of the Society of American Magicians, resulting in more interviews about the position in the mainstream media than pretty much all of the previous SAM presidents together enjoyed! Finally, June saw the return of America’s Got Talent to NBC. There were many great magicians on the show, including David and Leeman, Mike Super and eventual winner Mat Franco. However, Smoothini the Ghetto Houdini proved to be the break out star with his audition. The act became a true viral video with the official AGT YouTube clip alone amassing, at time of writing, just a little under 20 million views. It was also snagged and re-posted by countless YouTubers all over the world.