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Opie & Anthony watch James Randi debunk "psychic" James Hydrick on an old episode of That's My Line


There's plenty of videos out there of psychics being exposed, but James Randi debunking "psychic" James Hydrick on That's My Line, in the early 80's, may very well be the most fun out of the bunch. And to make matters even funner (more fun?), this particular clip also includes commentary by radio personalities Greg "Opie" Hughes, Anthony Cumia, and comedian Jim Norton as they watch the clip for the first time. (Spoiler alert: Hilariousness ensues.)




For skeptics out there, former magician James Randi needs no introduction. He's an old, gay homunculus, and retired magician, who — much like Houdini in his later life — has been spending the majority of his time over the last 30 or so years exposing psychics, mediums, clairvoyants, and all the rest of those scam artists as the greedy tricksters they are.

The oddball who Randi is debunking, though, is quite the character himself. His name's James Hydrick. He was a self-proclaimed psychic who claimed to perform acts of telekinesis (as evident from the video). But that's not the interesting part. He was also an ex-con convicted of kidnapping and torture, who broke out of jail not one, not two, but three times; once by kicking through a wall in a Georgia jail, another by breaking through the gates at a South Carolina prison, and finally (in 1981, so that means after this TV appearance) he actually pole-vaulted over a fence at a state prison in Utah.

Hydrick later admitted — after being publicly debunked on several separate occasions — that he was a fraud. His claim was that he learned his tricks in prison, as oppose to from a Chinese master, like he'd previously told people. "My whole idea behind this in the first place," Hydrick later explained, "was to see how dumb America was. How dumb the world is."

He was later sentenced to 17 years in prison for molesting 5 boys in Huntington Beach, California. So if this clip has you feeling sorry for him, don't worry, he deserves it.