Magician and standup comedian The Amazing Johnathan, also known as John Edward Szeles, died on February 22 after a lengthy struggle with heart illness. At the time of his death, Szeles was 63 years old.
Penny Wiggins, a fellow standup comedian, remarked on Facebook:
“Jonathan Szeles (Amazing Johnathan) died at roughly 11:30 p.m. on 2/22/22. My heart is shattered. One of my closest friends and one of the most amusing people I’ve ever met. I adored him and will never forget this lovely, fantastic, kind, hilarious, and wonderful guy.”
Anastasia Synn, John’s wife, said on February 21 that her husband was not responding and had likely reached the end of his life after an “utter horror” week. Anastasia said her husband was courageous and had asked his close friends to refrain from texting and to contact him while receiving hospice care. She went on, saying:
“I don’t believe we expected this day to arrive since he is so strong and has overcome it so many times.” Thank you for your kind words, but as the news spreads, it’s becoming too much for me, and I’m going to have to take a step back. I adore you and appreciate your help.”
Everything there is to know about The Amazing Johnathan
Born on September 9, 1958, The Amazing Johnathan’s comedy and magic show comprised mainly of antics, audience interactions, and a few legitimate magic skills. John started his career as a street performer in San Francisco and participated in The 8th Annual Young Comedians Show in 1983. In addition to hosting the 1991 game show Ruckus, he appeared on some discussion and entertainment programs from the mid-1980s to the mid-2000s.
His only appearance as an actor was on The Weird Al Show’s Obligatory Holiday Episode. Later, he appeared on Late Night with David Letterman many times and had various Comedy Central specials such as Comedy Central Presents, Lounge Lizards, and others. Szeles participated in the 2005 documentary The Aristocrats and rose to fame in Australia as a regular on Channel 9’s Hey Hey It’s Saturday. He was also the author of Every Trick in the Book, a how-to book on practical pranks.
The Amazing Underground, a members-only indoor drive-in movie theater housed inside his warehouse facilities in Las Vegas, Nevada, was later established in 2008 by the Detroit, Michigan native. Szeles also appeared regularly at the Harmon Theater in Las Vegas in 2011 and received the Las Vegas Review Journal’s Best Comedian Award. Later, he was named Nevada Magazine’s Comedian of the Year, and in 2013, he hosted an internet chat show called Burn Unit.
Fans send their respects on social media.
Since 1983, The Amazing Johnathan has garnered fame as a magician and standup comedian. When the news of his death broke, many took to Twitter to express their sorrow.
Sad to hear that The Amazing Johnathan has passed away. He was one of the greatest comedy magicians of all time. A powerhouse on stage and brilliantly funny. He’ll be missed by many. Thoughts with his family and friends. pic.twitter.com/6jrSxCsiIm
— Pete Firman (@petefirman) February 23, 2022