Saskatchewan magician Chester McBain can now count a baboon among his biggest fans, and a video of that particular performance has just won America’s Funniest Home Videos.
McBain hails from Indian Head, Saskatchewan, but was on vacation with his family in Phoenix in March when a trip to the local zoo brought him face to face with a bored-looking baboon.
“My daughter who performs with me says ‘hey Dad, why don’t you show her a trick?’ So I dug in my pockets, found a card and made the card disappear and she reacted like I’ve never seen a baboon react to magic before,” he explained.
McBain said he has tried performing his magic tricks for the family dog, but the reaction of the baboon was completely different.
“The baboon reacted just like a human does when I perform a different type of magic for humans,” he described. “It’s the same sequence of events. Their eyes pop open then their mouth goes huh and then they want to touch everything.”
He was surprised to see the same reaction on a primate’s face compared to a human, because she seemed to understand that what just happened shouldn’t have happened.
His daughter pulled out her cellphone to record the repeat performance on video and when they watched it later that night, his grandkids said they had to send it to AFV.
“We were contacted a couple days later and they said they wanted us on the show that we were in the top three category,” McBain said.
The family signed over the rights to the video and the producers flew all six of them down on an all-expenses paid trip to tape the show. McBain said they were happy to keep it a secret.
“People could know that we were going but we didn’t want people to know because we were still in shock when we found out. Is this for real? Like it was just amazing that this is happening over a little video like that,” he said.
When they got back home to Indian Head, word got out that they had been on the iconic reality TV show, but they still couldn’t say a word about what they won until the show aired on Sunday, April 24. He said people in the town are all very happy for him and commenting on what a great experience it must have been, and he said they are absolutely right.