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ANDERSON IS UP TO HIS OLD TRICKS.

Byline: Nancy Hewitt Daily News Staff Writer

Harry Anderson loves illusions - especially ones that he performs.

With this in mind the magician-turned-actor goes back to his roots in ``Harry Anderson: The Tricks of His Trade.'' The CBS special airs at 8 p.m. May 29, the time period that his series, ``Dave's World,'' was in for much of the season before being moved to Monday night.

The show is staged in a circus tent, where he performed for about 50 people.

``I do parlor magic, tricks with cups and balls, linking rings, fun geek stuff like shoving a pen up my nose,'' he said. ``This is magic that goes back to my days as a street performer. It's intimate and a great kind of magic for families to have a good time.''

But Anderson is not working alone. He is joined by Markie Post, his former co-star from ``Night Court''; Brent Spiner (``Star Trek: The Next Generation''); Peter Scolari (``Newhart''); juggler Peter Davidson; and ventriloquist Jay Johnson. His adult co-stars on ``Dave's World'' - DeLane Matthews, Meshach Taylor, Shadoe Stevens and J.C. Wendel - also appear.

Anderson has been dabbling in magic since age 8. By 11, he was doing neighborhood magic shows. When he began performing professionally, his boyish good looks, magic skills and comic patter won him spots on TV shows including ``Saturday Night Live'' and ``The Billy Crystal Show.''

In the early '80s, he had a three-episode part as a neighborhood con man in ``Cheers.'' By 1984, he had the starring role of an offbeat judge on ``Night Court.'' He currently plays popular writer Dave Barry in ``Dave's World.''

Although it's been years since Anderson performed his magic on television, his love for illusions has never died. In fact, he has continued to perform for friends and family despite having to commute from Washington state to California to tape ``Dave's World.''

He is especially excited about being able to perform magic with his actor friends.

``In the show, we cut to the (circus) midway, where (the audience) sees me run fast cons on John Ritter and Markie Post. I con them out of money,'' he said. He also admits to conning his co-stars from ``Dave's World.'' ``I hustle $20 from each of them.''

The geek magic he refers to he learned from watching carnival performers as a youngster. Illusions such as running a needle through his nose, manipulating cards or picking pockets are the tricks that made him laugh - a response he has been able to evoke from his audiences.

Anderson admits to taking his cue from other magicians whose work he admires. He lists David Copperfield and Penn & Teller as some of his favorite illusionists. He also remarked that magic and illusions have never ceased to appeal to audiences.

``Special effects are very popular, they're certainly tempered art,'' he said. ``Entertainment is more visual. (People) are losing interest in the spoken word. Magic is a wonderful, visual art and we live in a great time when we have David Copperfield, the best magician in the world, performing. Then, there's the Pendragons, so there is less chance of disappointment.''

Although he will continue his role in ``Dave's World,'' Anderson said he has also realized another dream.

``I just finished filming in Vancouver. I'm playing `Harvey' in a Hallmark Hall of Fame film,'' he said. ``I've wanted to do `Harvey' for years. I've always loved the character.''

In this adaptation of the role made famous by James Stewart, the story is set in 1951 but it's a little different than the film.

``You can't have a man sitting around in a bar all day,'' Anderson explained. ``The stage adaptation is different. The audience perception of Elwood is different today.'' His co-stars for ``Harvey'' include Leslie Nielsen and Swoosie Kurtz.

Although an air date has not yet been set, Anderson hopes CBS will air it during November sweeps. ``I can't wait to see it,'' he said. ``I had so much fun making it.''

HARRY ANDERSON: THE TRICKS OF HIS TRADE When: 8 p.m. May 29

Network: CBS

Host: Harry Anderson

CAPTION(S):

2 Photos

Photo: (1--Cover--Color) HARRY'S WORLD

(Harry Anderson a nd John Ritter)

(2) Harry Anderson joins former ``Night Court'' co-star Markie Post in performing his favorite illusions.
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No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1996, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
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Title Annotation:TV BOOK
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:May 26, 1996
Words:710
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