Sometimes, as a guy who designs and builds magic for Penn & Teller and David Copperfield, being hunted by the FBI is just another day at the office. Kerry Pollock laughs.
“Somebody reported suspicious looking equipment I was shipping by air. They cordoned off two city blocks looking for me, called the bomb squad and blew up some of my props!”
Okay, so there was never really an office. In his 35 years in the business, Pollock traveled a lot. He would leave Ohio each fall to play casino showrooms, corporate events, resorts and comedy clubs in the Caribbean, Vegas and Hawaii. “I enjoyed my time on the road, paying my dues. I learned a lot and met a ton of people from all over. Also, I think I just wanted to get warm!”
And yet, he says, he always dreamed of opening his own club.
His vision was crystal clear: a cozy little cabaret, less of a standard comedy club and more like one of the smaller, full-service Vegas showrooms. The two to two-and-a-half-hour variety show would be 80% stand up, 20% original magic with plenty of room for audience participation. He would invite the world-class magicians and comedians he’d met to be guest acts, and he would anchor the rest.
The club would host holiday parties, weddings, business meetings and be set up to record TV-quality productions of any event. Pollock has an engineering background and loves to work with his hands so he would design and build all the systems himself—lighting, props, magic, music.
Comedy Magic Cabaret was ready for the physical realm.
But where to build it? On his many trips to Hilton Head, Pollock had noticed that comedy clubs just weren’t sticking. “Comics can be pretty offensive,” he concedes.
“There’s only a small percentage that work clean.” Luckily, he’s one of them. “One of the best compliments ever was four generations of one family laughing their heads off at my show. Even the teenagers loved it!” For a comic whose motto is “funny, not filthy,” balmy and family-friendly Hilton Head was the perfect fit.
Ten years later, Comedy Magic Cabaret is nearing 1,200 5-star reviews on TripAdvisor.
Hilton Head Reviewers rates it as #1 of 20 in the category of Dinner Theaters, Comedy Clubs and Fun & Games. Reviewers also give top marks to the “delightful hostess” (Pollock’s lovely wife, Kelly), the awesome staff and the “delicious” offerings. The consensus? “A trip highlight—we laughed all night!”
The latest addition to the venue is the VIP Close-up Magic experience, featuring sleight of hand and parlor magic with a more personal touch in the club’s new and intimate 20-seat backstage theater. Intrigued? Head to www.comedymagiccabaret.com for all the latest showtimes, the original comedy game show “Bonk” and to find out what else Pollock has up his sleeve!
By Dani Ray
Comedy Magic Cabaret
843 William Hilton Pkwy.