Harrison Greenbaum is probably the most famous Jewish magician/stand-up comedian you’ve never heard of — yet.
A native of Woodmere, L.I., and a Manhattanite for a decade, he performs “more than 600” times a year, locally and internationally, earning the Daily News’ unofficial title as “the hardest-working man in comedy.”
Interested in magic since his father showed him a card trick when he was 5, Greenbaum does shows for crowds as big as a million (New Year’s Eve in Times Square) and as small as 10 people (a private gig in a living room); he also entertains pro bono for several Jewish organizations, for seniors in nursing homes and for kids in hospitals. He volunteers as a counselor at the magic camp where he spent his summers a few decades ago, and adds some humor to family seders.
He has a typical Jewish background: Hebrew School, bar mitzvah, Hebrew High School.
“I’m a comedian who does magic,” not simply a funny magician, said Greenbaum, who peppers his act with frequent Jewish references. His material is basically clean; even cleaner, “if I’m in a temple.”
Greenbaum’s not a household name, he said, because success in show business is “part talent, part luck.” The luck, the right break, will come “eventually,” he said.
So far, he’s appeared on “America’s Got Talent” and “Last Comic Standing.” He hopes for others in the future. “I’m very good,” he said, “at getting eliminated on reality television.”
Next on his schedule: A YouTube series, “Recalculating with Harrison Greenbaum,” under the auspices of the U.S. Tour Operators Association, in which he brings his humorous travel take to such locales as Mexico City and Coney Island.
Soon you’ll hear more of him.
Seeking a way out: Greenbaum, an aficionado of Escape Room games, has solved them more than 150 times in the last few years, here and abroad, with teams of friends or participants he recruits on the road. “It’s a brain activity,” he said, “a sport for people who are not good at sports.” His teams’ success rate: “100 percent,” he said.