"a fish, a barrel, and a smoking gun"
for 30 April 1999. Updated every WEEKDAY.


Fresh from our bug-eyed viewing of ABC TV's David Blaine: Magic Man, we are boggled by the hot young magician's latest disappearing act. You may know Blaine as the levitating illusionist who has brought a frisson of urban hipness to the once-geeky art of pulling rabbits out of a hat. Performing card tricks for Amazonian bushmen, applying instant tattoos to startled audience members, and most impressive, surviving a relationship with Fiona Apple, the goateed wizard has become a sort of brooding, dangerous Houdini. In his latest high-profile stunt, he endured seven days of home burial next to Riverside Drive, with no food and only enough water to keep his supple pecs well-hydrated.

But in his clearest bid for hipness yet, Blaine appears to have dropped out of the club-hopping posse surrounding Leonardo DiCaprio. "I don't even want to mention [DiCaprio] and that whole scene," Blaine recently told an interviewer. "I have nothing to do with that anymore. It's all a bunch of nonsense."

Is there a crisis in Leo's entourage? Just a few months ago the posse was riding high, stiffing star-struck bartenders at Tunnel and Sky Bar, scamming Russian models, and delivering ass-whuppings to Roger Wilson, the D-list actor whose girlfriend, Showgirls star Elizabeth Berkley, Leo is perpetually trying to steal. Lately, though, Leo has been on thin ice - suffering from a popularity backlash that includes being thrown overboard by Thai environmentalists and watching as headlining gang members like Q-Tip, Mark Wahlberg, and Harmony Korine give way to underachievers like makeup artist Kamal and former Evening Shade kid-star Jay Ferguson.

With that in mind, we humbly suggest a handful of celebrities, unknowns and never-beens who can help fill out the ranks of Leo's posse as David Blaine, Magic Man, disappears into his own rabbit hole.

Next ... Sucking up.

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