Saturday, July 09, 2011
Carl Ballantine, known also as The Great Ballantine, was born Meyer Kessler but changed his name after spotting a bottle of Ballantine Scotch Whiskey. One of the best known comedy magicians, Ballantine performed a magic act in which every trick went hilariously awry, cracking audiences up across the nation. He was always dressed to the nines, sporting tuxedo tails for nearly every performance.
Great Ballantine (1917–2009) with Cards and Balls, c.1935. Courtesy of Saratoga Ballantine.