I’m the hidden camera magician from truTV’s The Carbonaro Effect, my childhood heroes were Freddy Krueger and David Copperfield, I love cats. I’m Michael Carbonaro, AMA!

I’m an actor, magician, and improv artist. I’ve had recurring roles on CSI Miami, Wizards of Waverly Place, and Happily Divorced. I also do this weird thing with shaving cream: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=os2uw8uyc7s

This is probably the coolest trick I pulled off: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKWRqH-vK_w

One time I made a stupid cat video and it hit the front page of Reddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/videos/comments/1iy00w/cat_sees_owner_after_6_month_leave/

Proof: https://twitter.com/M_Carbonaro/status/656952115898675201

Facebook: http://Facebook.com/MichaelCarbonaro Twitter: http://Twitter.com/M_Carbonaro Instagram: http://Instagram.com/M_Carbonaro

EDIT: Thank you guys for the questions! This was fun!!!! Catch me tomorrow night (Tuesday Oct 27th) on Conan! 11/10c

Comments: 239 • Responses: 77  • Date: 

Oneupagain18 karma

Has a routine gone horribly wrong and never made it to air?

MichaelCarbonaro18 karma

Horribly? No. Some that don't have great reactions -or where people don't really notice don't make it to air...

CodezMonkey9 karma

Looking through some of his other stuff, I found this

MichaelCarbonaro9 karma

Ok, that was a mess! It wasn't h o r r i b l e, though.

davinci197412 karma

Hi Michael, I am a huge fan of you and your show. You're so adorable! If I took you to a fancy restaurant, got down on one knee and proposed, would you marry me? :)

MichaelCarbonaro28 karma

I'll ask my husband first

ranchdepressing7 karma

Throughout your lifetime, how many jokes about a certain pasta sauce have you endured?

MichaelCarbonaro9 karma

All of them

Crusty_Munge7 karma


Edit: And don't tell me deep sediment clay. I work with deep sediment clay.

MichaelCarbonaro16 karma

It's the heat, the condensed heat, wavering through the clay.

Crusty_Munge3 karma

I work with deep sediment clay...you can't fool me.

MichaelCarbonaro6 karma

Try working with patches that have been exposed to the sun.

lyzzi36 karma

Your show inspired me to be a magician and I'll be auditioning at the Magic Castle next year to convert my membership from associate to magician. Do you have any advice for an aspiring magician?

Btw, I saw you win magician of the year for the Academy of Magical Arts and already have my reservations so I can see you in the Palace. Just wanted to say thanks for an awesome show and hope to meet you at the Magic Castle!!

MichaelCarbonaro8 karma

Thanks! See you there! -Practice in front of a mirror, speaking out loud as you will.... I always call it talking to the invisible people...

photonnymous6 karma

Hey Michael, love the show! Are there times you set up for a handful of different tricks and then choose which to do based on the person who comes up to you?

MichaelCarbonaro6 karma


CodezMonkey5 karma

Thanks for doing an AMA. Love the show! A few questions.

  • Are you finding it harder to pull off tricks without people knowing who you are?

  • I assume you perform the tricks multiple times and use the best reactions - have there ever been any creepy/scary reactions where people have threatened you or anything like that?

  • How are the scenes set up? As in under what pretenses are the people in possession of a random antique or starting out a job?

MichaelCarbonaro7 karma

-More fun disguises for me -No... I thought the time I smashed their car window, I might get in trouble, but no... people seem to have a good sense of humor -Many are set up from another business, IE an antique shop owner may work with us and may secretly send one of their workers to help at 'another shop' for the day... or the workers may be day temps who are used to having different jobs each day.

Broddit55 karma

Have you really messed up or been called out on a shoot?

MichaelCarbonaro8 karma

I've been recognized..

CodezMonkey2 karma

Any outtakes like that you could link to?

MichaelCarbonaro4 karma

There is some in the episode called, " CAUSE AND EFFECT 2ND EDITION"

Laeylyn5 karma

Do you have any plans to go on tour and do your magic tricks? P.s. Love your shaving cream bit! First saw it on YouTube on a French magic tv show.

MichaelCarbonaro10 karma

YES! Some tour dates coming soooooon! Can't wait to see you!!!

Ironrath5 karma

Do you prefer to be called a Magician or Wizard?

MichaelCarbonaro8 karma


ranchdepressing4 karma

Did you get offended when that guy called you "a 150 pound man?"

MichaelCarbonaro5 karma

HA HA! Not really... till NOW!

Ironrath3 karma

Have you ever seen Mac King perform?

MichaelCarbonaro6 karma

I LOVE Mac King!!!!!!!!!!1

Fernmelder3 karma

Hi Michael, out of fear of being too well known in the near future, will you be shooting in other countries?

MichaelCarbonaro11 karma

am being surgically reconstructed into a 76 year old Russian woman

TSilverTxR2 karma

Using, interestingly enough, tons of shaving cream

MichaelCarbonaro4 karma

Now I've been caught

CanadianTreasure3 karma

If you could die and come back any species of cat; what type of cat would you come back as?

MichaelCarbonaro10 karma

Maine Coon

BostonCreamElite3 karma

Big fan! Was Shaving Dream your first big act? If not what was?

MichaelCarbonaro4 karma

I think my first big act was performing at my junior high school Variety Show....

Benmkm3 karma

Hey Michael, how do you prepare for tricks that seem to be impossible to prepare for? (I.e. Any episode where you're a store clerk)

MichaelCarbonaro6 karma

I dont know

NegeNegeNege3 karma

Hello my name is Sophia! My brother and I watch your show and he is convinced your God! How did you get so good?!

MichaelCarbonaro13 karma

I have an instructional VHS tape, called, "Getting Good and Convincing Others You are God."

BostonCreamElite3 karma

Have you ever been injured performing a trick? If so, how bad was it?

MichaelCarbonaro6 karma

I kind of got some CO2 burns on my face from the scene in the Dry cleaner when I instantly cleaned my clothes by walking through the high pressure machine

Musicisprettycool253 karma

Hi, its Sarah Carbonaro, So proud of ur work so far! I was wondering, how has the show changed your life?

Ps. Thanks so much for what you sent to my dad, it raised a lot of money for cancer awareness at my school!

MichaelCarbonaro4 karma

You're welcome! It's been like riding a roller coaster...

Sourgummy73 karma

Do you think of all the ideas for the illusions on your own? By the way, I absolutely love your show! I never miss an episode!

MichaelCarbonaro3 karma

I have an incredible dream team of magician friends, many that I have known since I was a kid at Tannen's Magic Camp... we all sit around and playfully, sometimes painfully, come up with fun things to do.

Hawkeyesniper453 karma

First I wanted to say I'm a huge fan!

My question:

Why the heck is your cat so friggin cute?????

MichaelCarbonaro3 karma

He practices daily.

Mrinjustice12202 karma

I love your show, you're super talented. And handsome...Do you ever utilize your magic during dates?

MichaelCarbonaro3 karma

I have to

ranchdepressing2 karma

One of my favorite things about your show is the cute animals. Are there any fun stories about the animals you've used on the show?

MichaelCarbonaro3 karma

I slept with the cat from the carwash for the rest of the season, before he got adopted!

justin8342 karma

You have lots of animals on your show. What draws you into including such a wide variety of them??

MichaelCarbonaro3 karma

They are fun to play with, and they get great reactions!

JebEdwards2 karma

I saw that u posted a dare to turn one of your classic David Copperfield Tshirts into a pair of underwear....did u do it? And if so, will U show us?

MichaelCarbonaro2 karma

I DID!!!!!!!!

MichaelCarbonaro11 karma

Ok, fine! My buddy has a great company called UWAREIT.com where you can turn your fav old Tee-shirts into underwear and other fun recyclable things! I have David Copperfield in my pants! http://imgur.com/53zTpwF

CSIdestiny2 karma

Hi! I love your show! Me and my mom laugh so hard at all the people believing all the crazy things you do!! I notice you started wearing "disguises" this season and wondered if it was because people started recognizing you?

MichaelCarbonaro3 karma


CSIdestiny3 karma

Oh this made my night! Thank you so much for responding! For the record your little disguises make it so much more fun!

MichaelCarbonaro3 karma


Iriswild2 karma

I am a huge fan! Are you thinking of coming out to California?

MichaelCarbonaro2 karma

I live in California!

Iriswild2 karma

Do you live in the Bay Area?!

MichaelCarbonaro2 karma


thedreamwalker1822 karma

What is your favorite genre of music? Big fan!

MichaelCarbonaro6 karma

Lately, it's all about The Black Keys.

ranchdepressing2 karma

I love that you try to keep it pretty PG on your show (the time you dressed as a stripper who looked like a Village People video extra aside.) Do you consider that your brand, or would you branch out and do some uncensored stuff in the future?

MichaelCarbonaro3 karma

Probably not (yes)

Infinite_12 karma

If you weren't a magician, what would you want to do?

MichaelCarbonaro3 karma

Special Effects Make-up

Dr_PhilGood892 karma

Hey Michael! My family and I love watching The Carbonaro Effect! It's both mind blowing and hilarious. We love people's clueless reaction when you tell them the reason they're losing their minds is "The Carbonaro Effect". What's your favorite reaction when telling people this? Has anyone ever told you that they have in fact heard of it before? And/Or What is "The Carbonaro Effect" to you?

MichaelCarbonaro3 karma

My all time favorite piece is the Builder Beetles from the hardware store... The Carbonaro Effect is when the impossible is wrestled into the possible.

venom600rr1 karma

Hey Michael, I really like the show! Have you ever had anyone want you to show them something again that you were not prepared for while filming? How did you handle it?

MichaelCarbonaro1 karma

You have to be prepared for it

Heffron931 karma

Was it fun to film another gay movie and who pushed you to do the project? Ps HUGE FAN!!!!!!

MichaelCarbonaro1 karma

It was a blast! No one pushed me... An agent in NY sent me the script and I laughed my butt off. It was one of the greatest Summers of my life.

Heffron931 karma

That's really awesome to hear you were hilarious good thing you were picked to be the lead in the movie:-)!!!!

MichaelCarbonaro1 karma

Thanks! Such great memories!

PianoGirl781 karma

how do you come up with those stories you tell people to believe you?

MichaelCarbonaro1 karma

I try to think of something I might believe

oxywaster1 karma

Are u going to be doing anymore acting in movies??? I love to see you act...would like to see more.

MichaelCarbonaro1 karma

Yes! I'll be in the upcoming series RUSH HOUR on CBS!

Skyesrogers1 karma

Hey Michael! Huge fan here! I was wondering, would you be coming to Singapore on tour anytime soon? I would love to meet you and see your tricks in person. Love your magic and also that really cute smile you have everytime you reveal your identity! Never stop smiling xx

MichaelCarbonaro1 karma

Thank you!!!! I hope to get to Singapore! I have never been there!

sumner9291 karma

Love your show! Where do you find the people for your tricks, like the disappearing car, or the art galleries, or moving tricks? P.S. Come film in Charleston, SC!

MichaelCarbonaro1 karma

We have secret accomplices help set people up with us or hire day temps.

le-click1 karma

Hey Michael, big fan of yours! Absolutely love The Carbonaro Effect, will you be doing any more episodes?

My main question is this. My favorite act of yours is Shaving Dream and I was curious how many times you've had to practice this essentially blind, an how long you've been doing it for? Has it ever ruined a performance getting into your eyes/mouth/nose?


Ninja edit: Did anyone keep the puppies from the Buick Certified Service commercial?

MichaelCarbonaro4 karma

Thanks! More episodes soon! The wonder of 'eye lashes' keep the foam from hurting!

skyami1 karma

Hi Michael! Just wanted to say I love your show. I recognize a lot of the places you film at, living in Atlanta and all :) Hope to run into you one day!

My main question is, what is your biggest fear? Also, what is something you have given a lot of thought to lately?

MichaelCarbonaro3 karma

Biggest fear is complacency. Given a lot of thought to getting a dog.

gunsforthehomeless1 karma

what's your favorite pair of shoes you own?

MichaelCarbonaro1 karma

Nike sneakers... they are like stretchy spandexy... really comfy

Cabrillis1 karma

What is your favorite classic slight of hand card trick?

MichaelCarbonaro3 karma

Its not the one with the 'three rows'

RolainTheVariable1 karma

Hey Michael! Huge huge fan of your show.

My question for you would be, if you had to guess, how many tricks would you say are sleight of hand as opposed to high budget trickery and assistance?

MichaelCarbonaro3 karma

all of the ones highlighted in purple

JMaster131 karma

I was wondering if you ever preformed any big illusions? If so have you ever done a compression, or wringer illusion with yourself in it?

MichaelCarbonaro1 karma

I was a mini David Copperfield as a kid... love illusions. No compressor or wringer...

Palmisavage1 karma

How did you find a quarter behind my ear?

MichaelCarbonaro3 karma


ranchdepressing1 karma

Someone discovered an old FB status of yours where you posted there should be a reality show called America's Next Top Bottom. How do you think you would fare in that competition?

MichaelCarbonaro3 karma

I won the Italian version of the show.

ExcelsiorDDZ1 karma

How many times has someone seen right through the trick and outed you during filming?

MichaelCarbonaro2 karma


Fernmelder1 karma

Hi Michael, I love your show! Is there any way to learn your tricks? Do you sell a kit or book? What's your opinion on Penn & Teller?

MichaelCarbonaro4 karma

Penn and Teller are great inspirations to me.

skoldpaddor1 karma

why did you decide to film solely in Georgia?

MichaelCarbonaro5 karma

Turner is based there, and GA is really great, not to mention a 30% tax break for productions!!! More budget money for tricks!!

oxywaster1 karma

Boxers or briefs?

MichaelCarbonaro2 karma

Boxer briefs!

sincewedidthedo1 karma

Hey Michael,

Does it ever just boggle your mind that people don't question the "explanations" you give for how these things work? I just shake my head sometimes and wonder how you don't laugh at your own bs...

MichaelCarbonaro3 karma

I mean... I think why its so entertaining is that people are 'wrestling' with it... its actually not that funny when they just flat out believe it.

PianoGirl781 karma

how do those places you do magic in, allow you to do your magic?

MichaelCarbonaro1 karma


OttieandEddie1 karma

Aren't you worried that you will become so famous that you will lose your element of surprise?

MichaelCarbonaro1 karma


Dr_PhilGood891 karma

Do you have any pets? I like to imagine you practicing tricks around the house, freaking out the dogs.

MichaelCarbonaro2 karma

I have 2 cats... Chance and Quinn

jibbyjam11 karma

Do you have an identical twin? Some of your tricks only seem possible if there are two of you.

MichaelCarbonaro2 karma

I do not.

ranchdepressing1 karma

One time I googled his name and it suggested "twin" afterwards, but I don't remember seeing anything.

MichaelCarbonaro6 karma

My cat stands in for me- we look exactly the same from the back.

hellomagical1 karma

Can you tell me more about the space crabs?

MichaelCarbonaro1 karma

They are 'decorator crabs' -which are a species of crab that attach pieces of the ocean floor to themselves to camouflage...

ExcelsiorDDZ1 karma

OK. Cat question here. What is your opinion on declawing a cat?

MichaelCarbonaro4 karma

Don't do it.

Dr_PhilGood891 karma

How often do you tell people they are being pranked? Do you ever just leave them scratching their head?

MichaelCarbonaro2 karma

Sometimes I wish I could... but I do ask everyone's permission to be show on the show afterwards.

MarkMarkMarkyMark1 karma

Michael, we love the show! My kid loves magic, what trick would you recommend an 8 year old learn first??

MichaelCarbonaro1 karma

Sponge Balls

thefbguy1 karma

How do you come up with those goofy explanations of the magic trick? They never fail to get me. Also, love your show. Hope to see you live someday.

MichaelCarbonaro1 karma

I don't know where they come from exactly.


Would you ever consider going on tour? I'd love to meet you and see your work in person!

MichaelCarbonaro1 karma

Its happening...

Bveronis1 karma

Hey Michael. I have always wondered, why do people always act so weird when you tell them they are on a hidden camera magic show? Almost every time they are like "...okay...". Always wondered! Great show

MichaelCarbonaro1 karma

I think they are still trying to piece things together...

Adrianjimenez231 karma

What's up Michael? You inspire me a lot! I wish I can pull tricks on people like you do. I am curious, so how hard was it to become a Magician?

MichaelCarbonaro1 karma

Like anything else, it takes a passion and a will to learn.

ShockandSlaw1 karma


MichaelCarbonaro2 karma

I guess when we show them the show, they see that it is all in good fun?

Cornstar231 karma

What trick was actually more impressive than it appeared when shown on TV?

MichaelCarbonaro3 karma

The 3D printed man, and the melting Ice Sculpture come to mind.

Jamn4life1 karma

Hey michael! Do you know how to get to a place like tomorrowland? can you take me there. Can I help you change the world? Have you figured out how to time travel. Can we meet? You've opend my mind and to endless possibilities. My imagination has been on a non stop magiacal adventure ever since ive been exposed to you and the Magic youve shared with the us. You truly make me feel like ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE!

MichaelCarbonaro2 karma

  1. Sometimes 2. You might be able to take yourself 3. Sure 4. I don't think so 5. Someday 6. Awesome! 7. Lucky!! 8. Be careful out there!

paulvs881 karma

Hi Michael. Both my wife and I love your show. I have a question that seems quite obvious. How do you balance becoming super popular and not getting recognized during filming? I noticed you started using disguises and fake names but it seems like its only a matter of time until you are too popular to succeed. I sure hope not. It is refreshing to see a prank show that is so well done and classy. By the way could you mention the names Paul and Sharon (my wife and I) on an upcoming show?

MichaelCarbonaro1 karma

Hi Paul and Sharon! Thank you!!!!!! I have secret plans... don't you worry!

Ironrath1 karma

How did you convince TruTv to pickup the Carbonaro Effect? I'm sure they are glad that they did!!!

MichaelCarbonaro2 karma

I took them to a great Field