John Cassidy
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John Cassidy

New York, New York, United States

New York, New York, United States
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A magician, comedian and self-proclaimed “balloon freak” performed his “Balloon Freak Show” act for students and parents Friday.
As students and their families entered the Grand Ballroom of the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union, they were treated to comedian John Cassidy warming up for his act by crafting numerous balloons.
The performance began with a few minor glitches, the most noticeable being the trouble with the sound system.
Cassidy was able to improvise a few magic tricks, such as making a student pick a card, and then raising the card from the deck, in order to stall time.
Once the sound system was figured out, Cassidy’s performance went on smoothly, and Cassidy immediately went to the crowd for help, a recurrent trend in the rest of his routine.
His volunteers ranged from young children to college students.
Each of his tricks and acts were littered with comedy, magic and balloon sculpting.
At the end of every trick, his volunteers would receive prizes accumulated during his act, such as money and candy.
Additionally, each volunteer would receive a personally sculpted balloon.
Nothing was off-limits in terms of balloon-making for Cassidy.
Throughout the show, he sculpted a cow, an alien riding a motorcycle, several bicycles, numerous flowers and even Mickey Mouse.
Cassidy, who won a Guinness World Record on balloon sculpting — 747 balloons in one hour, spent most of the performance sculpting a wide array of balloons.
According to Cassidy’s website, he began his career working as a magician and balloon sculptor for children’s birthday parties.
This showed in his act, as he would often bring small children up to the stage to assist him in his tricks, although he kept his “Trunk of Terror” for the college students.
Cassidy also showed his talent as a comedian, as he was constantly commenting on the volunteers and ribbing his own act.
His comedy act was further helped by his wife, Jennifer, who provided banter with Cassidy.
She would also mock Cassidy whenever a trick failed by playing “Bad Day” by Daniel Powter.
Cassidy has taken his “Balloon Freak Show” to numerous cities, including New York and Las Vegas.
Cassidy teasingly noted in his act how much he enjoyed performing for colleges.
“I’ve done shows for children’s birthday parties and for drunks at bars. Doing college shows is great; everyone is like drunk children,” he said during his act. - The Eastern News


Keelin Guinan, Staff Reporter
October 23, 2012
Filed under A&E
“Comedy, magic and really weird things with balloons…” This is balloon comedian John Cassidy’s theme for his incredible balloon show. Cassidy took over Carthage College this past Friday to show off his amazing talents over family weekend and filled a room of students, staff and family with amazement and laughter. He mesmerized the Carthage audience with his transfixing magic and hilarious balloon tricks. This fast paced, remarkable show wowed students, staff and families throughout the show with the originality and style Cassidy offered. It was certainly a night worth going to.
John Cassidy has been praised nationwide for the originality in his shows, preforming on shows such as “The Today Show”, “Late Night with Conan O’Brien”, and “Ellen”. Before he made such a big name for himself he started as a kid’s birthday party comedian. As time went on he started to notice the adults laughing along with the children during his acts. After that he took his dream and ran and now we find him a great success as a fantastic balloon comedian. He now holds the record in the Guinness Book of World Records for the fastest balloon sculptor, for having made 747 inflated and twisted balloons in less than an hour. Nonetheless, Carthage is very lucky to have such a talent come entertain.
Overall, the Cassidy balloon comedian night was a night full of happy laughter. Cassidy did a wonderful job of clearing his audience’s minds of all seriousness for a good laugh. The interaction between the comedian and the audience was perfect, with Cassidy even scaring a student with his tricks at one point. John Morton, ’16 reacted to the show saying, “It was absolutely hilarious!” –John Morton ‘16 Overall, this show was a great success. Hopefully we will all see more from Cassidy in the future, whether it be furthering his shows or creating new records. - The Current


Some performers only stick to one trick of the trade, but John Cassidy does more than one thing on stage.
He tells jokes, makes balloon animals and performs magic tricks, and his multiple talents caught the attention of Danny Turano, the University Board chairpersom.
Turano said they discovered him at a conference where acts perform for groups and then, hopefully, get booked to perform for others.
“We were so blown away by what we saw that we turned to each other and said, ‘We need him,’” Turano said.
Booking him when other schools and organizations demanded him was a challenge, Turano said.
“Trying to work around them was difficult because we wanted to make sure we had him,” Turano said.
In an appearance on "Live with Regis and Kelly" in 2004, Cassidy made various creations out of balloons that are more intricate than the typical sword, dog and hat most balloon artists make.
When Regis Philbin asked him on the show if he considered himself a clown, Cassidy responded that he was not a clown and that he is too afraid of them to actually consider himself one.
Cassidy crafted a giant balloon that resembled a flower for Kelly Ripa and made a pair of glasses with giant eyeballs popping out from the middle for Regis Philbin.
Cassidy originally broke the record for most balloon sculptures made in one hour by making 367 out of 371 balloons.
Since then, he and Salvatore Sabbatino of Germany have competed for the title, with Cassidy defending his record several times, the latest being 747 balloon sculptures in one hour.
Turano said he and the rest of the Univerity Board felt that Cassidy appeals to more than one group of fans.
For the show, Turano said Cassidy will surprise the audience because even he has been kept in the dark about the performer’s routine.
Cassidy will perform in the Grand Ballroom of the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union at 7 p.m. Friday. - The Eastern News


Comedian and magician John Cassidy brought laughter, fear and everything in between to UTM's latest 909 comedy performance.
Children and students alike shouted vigorously when the world's fasted balloon artist would ask who wanted his next spectacular balloon creation. Cassidy was more than happy to oblige, and tossed hundreds of balloons into the audience, leaving no one empty-handed.
Cassidy’s show called for an incredible amount of audience participation; the most memorable of which was when he allowed two eager toddlers to come on stage and then treated them to balloon butterfly wings and hats made on the spot.
The audience members that took a balloon home are likely to have them for quite some time; when asked how long Cassidy’s balloon creations stay inflated, he said, “Longer than you want them to.”
Cassidy even joked that he had been burdened by balloons that refused to deflate for up to two weeks. This leads to a lot of balloon popping, which Cassidy admits has affected his hearing over the years.
Cassidy’s shows are meant to entertain everyone, including himself; one of his favorite things to do with his volunteers is scare them with several startling gags. These gags, such as spring-loaded snakes and popping balloons by remote control, sent Cassidy into a fit of giggles when done successfully. There was no harm done though, as the audience and the volunteers alike laughed along when Cassidy satisfied his urge for a practical joke.
Despite constantly inflating balloons and running back and forth on stage, Cassidy performed for roughly an hour without getting winded. He admits that he has run out of breath on stage before, but not since the ‘80s. He does make balloon animals specifically for his act while on the way to a show, but only in order to save time.
Cassidy’s wife Jen aided in his performance offstage; an arrangement that has worked well for many years. Jen’s job involved playing music for comedic effect and taking props offstage once the stage had become full, and this was just during the show. Based on the amount of work that had to be done before and after the show, Jen’s contribution to the performance was bigger than the audience is aware.


When Jen first saw the performance schedule time for 9:09, her first assumption was that it must be a mistake. When the couple noticed that the name of the comedy program was 909, Jen’s next guess was that it was a reference to the song "One After 909" by The Beatles, Jen’s favorite band. Whether this is an accurate guess or not is unknown at this time. - The Pacer


Comedian, magician, and balloon artist John Cassidy visited Manchester University to perform in Cordier auditorium during Homecoming Weekend. His act consisted of many magic tricks, comic relief, and he made and gave out many intricate balloon creations, ranging from a stripper on a pole to Donald Duck.

“It was most interesting to me that [Cassidy] was not just comedian or just a magician, but he was all three things in one!” said sophomore Ashley Dobrzykowski. “It provided for a truly interesting and fun show.”

Cassidy has been featured on Conan O’Brien and other talk shows, and has also performed with famous magicians around the country. His act is said to be original, which helped him earn some of his prestige. He has also been documented as the world’s fastest balloon sculptor in the Guinness Book of World Records®. He earned this title in 2007 by inflating and shaping 747 balloons in one hour. He also created 13 sculptures in one minute.

“I had actually read about Cassidy before in the Guinness Book of World Records® and when I realized that that was who was coming, I was really excited to see him make his balloon sculptures,” said sophomore Tisha Grimme. “I was not disappointed!”

Cassidy has also been named one of the funniest comedy magicians working today by MAGIC Magazine.

“Last year I was audited because I had $20,000 in latex expenses… And no dependents,” said Cassidy in a part of his comedy act.

Cassidy has recently performed at places like the White House, the Magic Castle in Hollywood, and the Comedy & Magic Club in California.
- Oak Leaves


By Sandy Bauers INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
POSTED: February 20, 2001
TREDYFFRIN — Jen Cassidy knelt by the clock and counted down the seconds. "Three, two, one, go!"

Her husband, John, took a deep breath and blew. He had just one hour and, if all went well, more than 436 balloon animals to go.

That's what he needed to do to win back - for the second time - the Guinness record for the world's fastest balloon sculptor.

Almost two years ago, John Cassidy, an Upper Providence magician who learned to make balloon animals quickly to satisfy the impatience of children, won the record by twisting 367 balloon animals in one hour.

He beat out Salvatore Sabbatino, a German clown who had held the record. But Sabbatino came back, making 436 "balloon sculptures," as Guinness refers to them.

The new record had not even been verified - evidently a thorough and lengthy process - when John Cassidy, 38, decided to get it back.

"No one wants to hire the second-fastest balloon guy," he said, although that could hardly matter to the parents across the region who have been known to plan their children's birthday parties around his schedule, not theirs.

Silly? Of course. "But everyone wants to feel they're special," he said. Being "the fastest balloon guy isn't much, but it's kind of nice."

So on Friday, he was back at Gator's Restaurant, where he works his magic three days a week, making wallets catch fire, stealing pens and, yes, twisting balloon animals.

He had the table at just the right height, and moisturizer to keep his hands from slipping.

He had two official counters, a judge, a prominently visible clock, and a video camera to record it all.

First, he made a dog. Then a hummingbird. Then an elephant. Rules called for him to make 30 different animals, and no two in a row.

Friends clocked him anxiously. John Cassidy had to average just under nine seconds an animal to win. Could he really do it?

"Absolutely," said his friend Keith Chylinski of Harleysville. John Cassidy "is a talented man and a good man," he said.

As for the balloons, he added, "I've never seen anything like it."

"It's just a question of him believing he can," said Steve Wallach, a friend and magician from Plymouth Meeting who spent the entire hour leaning forward on his elbows, nervously gnawing gum and watching intently.

Just in case John Cassidy looked up, Wallach wanted him to know he cared.

"He's taken this to a different level," Wallach said. "He's turned it into a creative art."

John Cassidy's sister, Christine Cassidy of Jenkintown, was confident, too. "He has more hot air than anyone I know," she teased, "so if anyone can do it, he can."

Parents brought their children or even came without them.

"I came here especially for this," said Howard Flesher, a stockbroker from Paoli whose children are grown. "He has quick hands and a quick wit. I can't believe he's doing this for an hour."

Even Gator's owner, John Thomas, was there to root him on. "Sixteen years he's worked for me," Thomas said. "He's stolen my watch, my pen, my wallet. He's great."

John Cassidy had been averaging 480 balloons an hour at home. "He's been doing dry runs every day for the past two weeks," Jen Cassidy said. They filled the living room. She couldn't get in the front door. Then he popped them while she was at work one day.

She met her husband seven years ago when she was a youth minister. One of the girls wanted to fix her up with a date - "a cool guy" who made balloon animals, she said.

The two talked on the phone and then went to dinner, where he pulled out a flaming wallet and gave her a balloon flower.

"It was kind of romantic," Jen Cassidy said.

Magic has been part of John Cassidy's life since childhood. When his sisters laughed at his first failed attempts, he decided to keep at it until he was the best.

One day in high school, John Cassidy's science teacher caught him making a balloon animal in class. Miffed, the teacher said, "Do you think you could make a living doing this?"

As a matter of fact, he did. He began working as a magician at age 13. He said it was simply a matter of finding out what you love in life, and then doing it the best you can.

These days, he entertains at three area restaurants and more birthday parties than one might think possible. He had two just yesterday, a Monday. Because people tend to forget names, one of his Web sites is simply www.thatballoonguy.com.

In a way, however, "it has nothing to do with balloons at all," John Cassidy said, although he does go through about 15,000 a month. What he likes is "watching the kids' reactions. They light up. I - Philly.com


By Alexandra Busalacchi
Collegian Staff Writer
Full of clowns, screaming children and melted ice cream cake, children’s birthday parties are often a recipe for disaster.

But for Cara Markward (freshman-biobehavioral health), the memories of seeing John Cassidy perform at her birthday parties from ages eight to twelve were enjoyable enough to bring her back to see the versatile comedian perform Thursday night.

Armed with several hundred balloons and a self-deprecating sense of humor, Cassidy brought his unconventional style of comedy to Heritage Hall as part of the Student Programming Association ’s Comedy Month.

A comedian, balloon artist and magician, Cassidy incorporated card tricks, quick one-liners and elaborate balloon sculptures into his one-hour show.

Cassidy, who holds Guinness World Records for most balloons sculptures in one hour and fastest balloon sculpture, demonstrated his balloon shaping dexterity at the beginning of the show.

Ranging from childlike to obscene, Cassidy’s balloon sculptures included flowers, aliens, a monkey on a tree and a stripper on a pole.

Cassidy said he would make anything that the audience wanted, but was stumped when one volunteer requested a Queen Latifah balloon.
Markward said the show was just as fun as she remembers from her parties.

“Not only is he the best comedian, he is also the greatest magician,” she said.

Cassidy ended the show with a signature trick involving a giant red balloon inside which he fits his entire body. Markward said she remembers Cassidy doing the same act at the end of her parties.

Ray McDivitt said that he expected there to be more jokes, but still thought that the show was “super entertaining.”

“It was more fun than funny,” McDivitt (junior-mechanical engineering) said.

Gary Jordan (junior-marketing) said that he enjoyed Cassidy’s consistently high-energy level, which some other comedians that performed on campus lacked.

Jordan, who has attended SPA’s Comedy Month events for the past three years, added that he was thankful for events, which provide a release for unwanted stress.

“It really helps with finals week coming up,” he said. “It’s just the perfect time.” - The Collegian Online


Posted on 08 February 2013.
By Sara Silvestro
Asst. Arts & Features Editor

Magician John Cassidy wows Freshman Ted Dobbert on stage.
As the lights dim, the audience eagerly awaits for the curtains to open. Techno music plays through the speakers and finally the curtains open to reveal colorful balloon animals, balloon strippers and balloon cows. Amongst all the bright colors on stage stands a man that the audience does not see right away. He is wearing a vest and tie. He approaches the front of the stage with a bionic smile and eyes that bulged out. This is John Cassidy, a comedian. No a magician. No wait – he’s both!
“My wife was like, ‘What are you giving up for lent?’ I was like, ‘Hope,’” said Cassidy in a small defeated voice.
Last Thursday, Cassidy performed for FSU students in DPAC. For his opening act, he blew up a string of balloons and, after twisting them together, suddenly revealed not a bunch of balloons, but Looney Tunes’ The Road Runner. Unfortunately, The Road Runner’s leg popped and he was now a “handicapped Road Runner,” as Cassidy put it.
Cassidy was quite the ladies’ man as he gave out balloon flowers half the size of a human body, which the female audience members were jumping out of their seats to get their hands on. For one lucky man, Cassidy provided a woman on a stripper pole made out of balloons.
“See, nothing educational tonight!” said Cassidy. “Who wants an alien riding a motorcycle?”
The audience was already amped up in just the first few minutes of the show. People were hopping up and down in their seats trying to win balloon creatures and objects, and yelling, “Me, me me!”
Blowing up balloon animals was not the most fascinating trick Cassidy performed, however. His magician half came into play when he encouraged students to text their friends to bring more people. His reasoning? He was giving out cash prizes for students who participated in the show. Even though he appeared to be the type of person to saw someone in half, students who braved the danger were walking home with money-filled pockets after the show.
Students faced a flame-throwing doll, as well as snakes, a “wild tiger” (which turned out to be Cassidy’s dog) and explosions. Of course, it was all in good fun and no one was hurt.
One lucky couple was picked to go on stage. Freshmen Christopher Bunce and Meghan Long have been in a relationship for two years. Cassidy offered to give a fortune to the couple to reveal if they were meant to be, but only if they succeeded in a card trick. Bunce and Long each had to select which card the other one chose in order to test how well they knew each other. A large stack was given to Bunce to choose from while Long had four cards to choose from.
“If it matches her card, then you are meant to be. If not, then you sir have done everything to make it work!” said Cassidy.
The crowd exploded in laughter, as did the couple on stage. Bunce and Long correctly guessed each other’s cards they had secretly chosen and awe, as well as “awwws,” overwhelmed the crowd.
After the show Bunce said his experience was very memorable.
“It was very exciting. I had a lot of fun and I didn’t know what to expect. I was glad I came. It was a funny relationship experience up there (on stage).”
In the next scene of the show, Cassidy asked the audience for a strong man. Mike Charles, a sophomore, was selected. Little did Cassidy know Charles is a magician as well. Cassidy challenged Charles to a balloon-off. Each member had to blow a bunch of balloons up until they reached a certain number. Charles was unable to blow one up even slightly. Cassidy blew ten up in seconds.
Despite Charles’ failure, Cassidy pieced together all of the colorful balloons into something that looked like a Native American headdress. Cassidy also included a pair of bulging eyes and sent Charles off stage looking very out of character. Charles was all smiles, and could be heard offering to buy his headgear.
Cassidy included “risk games” in the show, which utilized a trunk full of terror and card tricks. In one risk game, Cassidy called up a young woman named Alex Valdez. He had her sit in a chair and she was not allowed to look to her right. He called out for his “tiger.” He knocked on the stage floor and held out a box of treats. He then called out to his wife to release the tiger after he scolded Valdez for looking. The crowd screamed out when a beautiful Saint Bernese Mountain dog came onto stagewhich Cassidy picked up and sat on its haunches to greet Valdez. She appeared to be stunned.
Ricky Désir had a very different experience on stage. He was a good sport but let out a few bellowing screams and hurled himself across the stage a few times. He played into Cassidy’s tricks and games as snakes jumped out at him, explosions occurred and Hello Kitty was killed. Cassidy commented, after the explosive demise of the Hello Kitty doll, that the kitty was not saying “Hello” anymore.
Désir also had to play - The GatePost


[Feb 8]Mont Clare, PA,USA--Montgomery County balloon artist John Cassidy broke the world record for balloon sculpting by inflating and twisting 747 balloons in an hour,

''I hope I don't have to do it again,'' Cassidy says. ''I don't know how much faster I can go. But I said that the last three times.'' Photo by: Chapman Baxter, Allentown Morning Call
(enlarge photo)

Cassidy, who has broken the balloon sculpting record three times before, doesn't take any chances.

When he broke the record Nov. 14 at Bucks County Community College, a video camera recorded the entire event. It also captured a clock set prominently in the foreground and two volunteers independently keeping count of the balloons.

The video and signed affidavits from the two counters were sent to for the verification.

Earlier this year, Daniele Bottalico of Italy broke Cassidy's previous record by inflating and twisting 722 balloons in an hour.

Breaking a record isn't as simple as it seems, says Cassidy. For balloon sculpting, there are many rules. All the balloons have to be inflated by mouth, and he has to make at least 30 different designs.

To break the record, he did the 30 different balloons right away and then alternated between the two quickest sculptures -- a sword and a fish -- because under the rules, he cannot do the same sculpture two times in a row. Cassidy says he also had to make sure each sculpture touched the top of the table before Jennifer pushed it out of the way and onto the floor.

Cassidy, who recently was the headliner at the DaVinci Science Center's inaugural New Year's Eve party in Allentown, also holds world records for inflating 717 modeling balloons in an hour, fastest balloon sculpture at 6.4 seconds and most balloon sculptures in one minute with 13.

At this point, the only way to be faster, he says, is to streamline pieces of the process -- things like adjusting the height of the table on which he puts the finished balloons to help make his time a little faster.

If he hears Bottalico or any other balloon sculptors have beaten his record, he admits he will try again.

''No one wants the second fastest balloon guy,'' he says. ''Everybody wants to feel they have something special about themselves. This is my thing.'' - WorldRecordsAcademy.org


A large crowd cheered for the acrobatics of Li Liu (shown) and the balloon antics of John Cassidy at the fifth annual Family Evening of Comedy and Magic at The Maryland Theatre in Hagerstown on Saturday. The event was presented by the Safe Place Washington County Child Advocacy Center, with Antietam Exchange Club, as a fundraiser for the center, which serves children who have experienced sexual and physical abuse. Other acts scheduled to perform included the Smithsburg High School Sonix Show Choir; magician Jay Mattioli, who appeared on "America's Got Talent"; and magic act Kohl & Company. - Herald-Mail.com


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John Cassidy's bizarre antics have earned him widespread acclaim as one of the most original comedians performing today. Starting his career as a magician and balloon sculptor for childrens birthday parties, John began noticing that the parents were also finding his act to be especially hilarious and ingenious. Convention work and club and college dates soon followed for this neurotically charming performer.

The world of magic has taken a special shine to John and he is now among the most requested acts at various conventions and seminars throughout the world, and has been named one of the funniest comedy magicians working today by MAGIC Magazine. The Amazing Johnathan, in particular, has hired him as his opening act on numerous occasions over each of the past four years. In addition, Kevin James, Mac King and Teller (of Penn &Teller), the Society of American Magicians, the Academy of Magical Arts, The Magic Castle in Hollywood, CA and Monday Night Magic (New York's longest running magic show) have all made their own special requests for John Cassidy's blend of creative mayhem.

Further notoriety for John occurred when the Guinness Book of World Records documented him as the worlds fastest balloon sculptor. Currently John's record for Most Balloon Sculptures Completed in One Hour stands at 747 inflated and twisted within the course of a mere sixty minutes. John holds three additional balloon speed sculpting Guinness World Records.

John has made numerous television appearances on such shows as "Late Night with Conan O'Brien", The Today Show, The CBS Early Show, the Jerry Lewis MDA Labor Day Telethon, Martha Stewart Living and Live With Regis and Kelly. In addition, John has also been honored to have performed at the White House twice.

He currently resides in the rural outskirts of Philadelphia with his wife Jennifer, a Bernese Mountain dog (Maggie), two bunnies (Samantha and Tabitha), and a dove named Steve.