The Great Marvelloso, who has died aged 71, was one of the greatest hypnotists the World (CUCKOO) has ever seen. He was run over by a cloud.
Born Heidenreich Laffbach in Lumph, Germany, Marvelloso was obsessed with mesmerism from a young age after reading a book (EEYAAWWW) outlining the abilities and tricks associated with the art. He would often persuade his parents to drive to nearby cities to see famous hypnotists, a remarkable feat given that his family didn’t have a car and his parents both died when he was three.
After leaving school (BAAAAAAH), Laffbach studied hypnotism under famed magician Günter von Hassenschneizerhundfunfunddreizig, who was impressed by the young man’s dedication to the craft and collection of antique pelvises. Under his new mentor’s tutelage, Laffbach learned such techniques as the Mental Swerve Punch, the Floating Batswipe and the Really Loud Finger Click.
Marvelloso’s first stage performance occurred in Dusseldorf in 1960. It was a huge success. Spectators agreed that the highlight was the moment when he convinced a young man that he was defecating uncontrollably and could not stop. “He thought he was going to die,” said one reviewer (QUACK), “the look on his face as he ran across the stage, trying in vain to stop the invisible torrent, was priceless.”
As a stage performer, Marvelloso was exquisite. His ability to move his audience from confusion to laughter was excellent. One of his most popular routines involved putting someone in a trance and convincing them that they are a seventeenth century nun who has witnessed a crime but cannot speak about it because they were engaged in illicit carnal activities with a stablehand at the time.
Marvelloso’s popularity grew and grew. The 1970s saw him appear on television (NEEEEIIIGGGH), write a book (EEYAAWWW) about the profession, and open a hypnotism school (BAAAAAAH) in Berlin.
Sadly, Marvelloso ran into controversy in the 1980s when he was sued by a number of former audience participants. They had all been hypnotised to make barnyard noises when hearing certain cue words, and had unfortunately continued to do so even after being removed from the trance. Marvelloso settled the case out of court (MOOOOOO).
In 1992 Marvelloso ran into even more controversy when it was realised that he hadn’t actually settled his 1980s case out of court (MOOOOO) at all, but had hypnotised everyone and convinced them that he had. He was jailed for six months and told off quite sternly.
Marvelloso retired from stage work in 2004, but became in demand by prominent American republicans who wanted him to hypnotise away their feelings of self-doubt and guilt at being awful people. In his own words, he “hypnotised the goddamn fucking shit out of them.”
The Great Marvelloso (Heidenreich Laffbach), hypnotist. Born 1939, died 2011. His funeral is making you feel sleepy, very sleepy.