Kevin James Saws a man in half – Magic trick Illusion

Kevin James latest magic illusion of sawing a man in half has to be one of the best magic optical illusions I have seen in a long time. In this illusion he uses a chain saw to saw a man in half, the top half of the body is placed on an operating table. At first the upper portion of the body lifts it self in the air as Kevin James waves his hand underneath him to show that he is actually holding his upper half in the air; at first I thought this could be done with animatronics. Kevin and his lovely assistant proceed to place the upper half on a rolling table and wheel it to the front of the stage, followed by retrieving his bottom half and “stapling” it back together. The part that astonished me was once the patient was stapled back together he jumped up in the air and walked off stage; this is currently not possible by todays robotics.. at least not that moves so fluently. It is beyond me as of how this trick was pulled off. View the Video below. Dose anyone have any ideas how this trick was pulled off?



  • It’s hard to know the exact details of the illusion since the TV cameras cut away to the hosts at key moments, but I suspect I know some of how this was done. The incredible part of the illusion is how we see the top half of a man that is capable of lifting himself up while the magician waves his hand underneath. But it is only incredible if you started out with a whole person. Note the way the subject is poised at the desk-like table at the beginning. Now imagine that you are seeing two people here, one in the green pants who is bent over and his top half is hidden inside the table. The rest of the subject is a legless dwarf who is resting on top of the other man’s legs. He does all the stunts for himself, lifting himself up, etc. The magician and his male assistant carry him to the lower platform and it’s at this point (just before the “stapling”) that the cameras cut away at a crucial time. When they cut back, there have been some quick changes (such as the relocating of the “green legs” over to the shorter platform and the original table is now gone. What I suspect is happening is that the person who stands up “whole” at the end is in fact the person who was just the green legs and hidden in that table at the beginning. Note that the character wears a surgical mask and hat which I think is to help hide the fact that this person doesn’t look all that much like the original guy we saw “cut in half.” But at that point in the illusion, any approximate match will do because we’re amazed to see him “whole” again and dancing around.

  • After reading filmjeff’s explanation, I watched the video again, in frames by constantly hitting the pause button about every second. I think I have it figured out.

    The complete body is a midget on short stilts. (Stilts are from the knee down.)

    The white binding around the waist is missing when they “reconnect” the lower half, as that section probably contains an electronic device that raises the one leg at a given time interval.

    Notice how thick the upper half of the body is around the mid-section, as if he’s kneeling with his legs tucked up under the shirt.

    When the legs are put back beside him on the table, the lower part of the leg is very thin compared to the “thigh” section and immediately when the upper half is in place, you see a “bump” at the knee section, as if a tiny foot (the toes) are sticking up.

    The legs don’t curve downward when he’s on his back and, again, the shin section is very thin.

    It’s at this point, that if you watch it very slowly, as they help him up from the table, you will see that the “knee” section is very visible and looks like a tiny pair of shoes, making the knee stick out prominently.

    When he stands up and lifts his one leg, then the other to the side, it is done with the sort of little “kick” that a person with an artifical leg makes when they walk – an almost, but not quite natural flow. Watching it fast, you might miss that small movement. Notice the knees don’t bend when he jumps up and lands. Most people upon landing bend their knees for the impact – but not if they’re on short stilts like painters might use.

    Finally, notice that his green shirt is now longer, coming down past the waist to hide the join (the part with the white binding was not brought over with the leg section, as the lower section had to be open to allow the legs to go into them quickly upon “rejoining” the two parts).

  • You have a verry good point there, his chest dose look bigger to as if he was crouching in there.. hah i think you may be right! and the budge by the knees kinda adds to that theory.

    Awesome job guys! lol that one has been bugging me for a bit trying to figure it out.

  • JLynn is very observant….I’m actually impressed.

  • What about the fact that the ‘short’ guy kicks his feet outwards quite naturally?

  • Well I just found this trick & I am awestruck.
    I have read many comments on it.
    I have also seen 3 versions by him.

    1. Americas got Talent (black guy)
    2. Dirty Tricks (white guy)
    You Tube search qTs0GDfnE-Y
    3. Halloween Nights (black guy)
    You Tube search qFu6i08f9w

    Here is what I think;
    * Bottom Half Robot? – no way – check out the feet in 3. – very real – agree not so real in 1. & 2. though.
    * Bottom Half real person inside table – I reckon this has merit – just not sure how the ‘midget’ or whatever the top half is eventually combines with the legs?
    * Top Half Legless Midget? – doubt it – arms are seriously FULL LENGTH – agree about the large looking chest area though – but bewildered about the arms.
    * Top Half Man born only with top half? – hmmm possible I guess – explains normal size arms, etc – may explain odd shaped chest if born this way – no idea how he bounces away on someone elses legs or a robot though.
    So all in all from me – I have no bloody idea, but it looks terrific!!!!
    Not sure that I want to find out now!!

  • Top half is someone suffering from Sacral Agenesis? I’ve seen two TV specials about the disease. (Rose Siggins and some guy who plays basketball.)

  • you can over analyze this video all you want but its a simple illusion actually (simple is always what makes the best illusions): a midget on stilts and very clever costume design.

  • Wow this is f***ing magic.

  • Well, a dwarf actually. Look at the shoulder pads as he lifts himself. Real shoulders are obviously several inches below. Not “full length” arms as someone suggested.
    Also, watch the angle of his arms as he waves at the end. Consistent with dwarf on stilts analysis.

    Great illusion!

  • Johnny Eck is an example of this being done in 1923.

    Eck and Robert were recruited by illusionist/hypnotist Raja Raboid for his Miracles of 1937 show. Robert would be “recruited” from the audience for a hypnosis stunt, then kept on-stage for a sawing-in-half illusion. During the illusion, Robert would be switched with Eck and a dwarf wearing trousers that covered his whole body, disguising him as the subject’s pelvis and legs. Raboid would saw between Eck and the dwarf. Eck would then chase his “legs” across the stage. Stage hands would pluck Eck up, set him atop the dwarf, and twirl them off-stage, replacing them with Robert, who would then threaten to sue Raboid and storm out of the theater. Though the act met with applause and laughter, Eck would later tell stories of audience members fainting, screaming, or fleeing the theater in terror.[1]

  • Here’s the deal from what I see. You need to have the video supplied up above on and the YouTube Halloween video flano77 supplied.

    The video with Hasselhoff is the same act as the Halloween one on YouTube flano77 supplied. The only difference is that the Hasselhoff show cut out the parts that occur in the Halloween act so you don’t see:
    -when the cart rolls off (with the real legs and the guys upper 1/2 hidden inside the box)
    -when Kevin comes back out from behind the curtain with the fake legs and wisks the 1/2 man off the stage
    -when the assistant rolls back the whole man from behind the curtain

    I think filmjeff is right in saying the 1/2 man and the whole man are different looking therefore a surgical mask is needed.

    In the Hasslehoff video at 1:02 the assistant doesn’t have the staplegun (just the 1/2 man laying down) just like in the Halloween video at 3:54. But all of a sudden in the Hasslehoff video at 1:04 she all of a sudden has it in her hand just like at the Halloween video at 4:15, after they roll the (whole) man back on stage?

    And 1 more thing. Notice in the Hasslehoff video the black guy, right after he stands up he quickly moves his hands up to his waist? I think he doesn’t want us to see now that it’s the whole man because his coat arms are shorter that the 1/2 mans!
    Look at the Halloween video at 1:41, notice the 1/2 man’s length of white coat arm past the coat length of the chest area? Now frwd the Halloween video to

    4:24, now the white coat arm length is almost the same length of the coast chest length (if that makes sense). Then BAM, when he stands up, the arms come up!

    So I think in the Hasslehoff video they cut out scenes also because the music in the Halloween video is the same all the way through. The Hasslehoff video they change it to their own tune, because they shortened the act!

    I say chopped black guy is either a contortionist or only has the upper 1/2 of his body in real life.

    My 2 cents gents!

  • JLynn is right! great job I have been looking all over the internet to try and figure this out…..Thanks!

  • It is cut…
    they take him off the operation table, then you see the judges and after 2 secs you see the actors again, but the operation table has disappeared! The girl and the magician moved away from the operation table before the camera changes, so they cant have put it away, and its unlikely that a fourth person has removed it within 2 secs, so the whole thing must be cut there

  • i saw another video of this trick done by this guy, and i figured it out. they really ave a guy who is half a man.

    in the beginning they have a guy play is legs by having him bent over inside the table. then when they move the half man to the table on wheels, in the other video you see the legs run off stage (in the act, kevin james follows as if to get the legs back, when in reality he gets fake legs and brings them to stage.

    then the half man does his thing, what they don’t show you on this TV version is taht theres a part where they take this half man off stage on the cart with the legs (they edited for TV, but if you search videos you can find the full performance where they do it) they then bring the cart back on, with what appears to be the legs streched, and the top half sitting up facing the audience. its hard to explain right here, but what you’re actually seeing is a man with his legs streched turned towards the audience in a shirt that is open in the back, the shirt hangs down so it looks like its just sitting on the cart but its not. in the other version you can see his legs are slightly turned towards the audience. then when they position him, you see the legs scoot over slightly.

    so basically they use half man with guy as legs in the beginning, then half guy and fake legs while hes just chillin on the cart, then a regular guy in a shirt that is open in the back but hangs low in the front.

    heres the version i am talking about where you can see the whole thing

  • I have seen this performed live at Universal Studios Orlando by the same illusionist. No cuts or fancy editing. The live show is identical and amazing! I would support the Sacral Agenesis hypothesis.

  • Did anyone else notice that the half-a-man’s left arm bends in the wrong places when he lifts himself up and sways back and forth? Could it be that he’s a dwarf, with correspondingly short arms, who is using fake hands and wrists to give the illusion of longer arms?

  • Could it be a black magic? With help from satan, this is quite possible. Im terified now..God, help me.


  • See this video also, it cleanly say that man is really half in relay life


  • it is not a midget because prior to the act it shows them talking and it is indeed a full average person

  • I figured it out, but I feel bad telling everyone, kinda ruins the magic, know what I mean?
    What more, I have names. =)
    So only read on if you’re prepared to be … let down.

    First off it is two people, or at least one person on top of moveable legs.
    When he runs the chainsaw through the actor(s) the top actor jumps down onto the table, the second actor is bent in half with the top half inside the table. The legs are then moved by this person, and, then the person pulls inside the table, the legs they just moved are left standing by some kind of external support inside the pants, something like foam/rubber/plastic etc.

    The person now on top of the table is one of two contortionists. The black guy goes by the name Lazarus Gitu, check him out on Youtube, you’ll see he’s capable of folding himself in half (hence the big chest). The white guy is a contortionist by the name of ‘Moukhtar’ something or other. Just search for ‘World’s most flexible man’ on Youtube. The real impressive thing is how the nurse is capable of lifting this guy with Kevin onto the stage/dolly.
    The foam/rubber/plastic reinforced legs are now brought back over to the contortionist on the dolly where the contortionist slips his legs inside of them and pops up.

    Really the simplest and most logical explanation I think

  • Except for the midget that kicks him, everyone is a full grown man. The top half just has his knees to his chest, and when the bottom half gets scared and runs off stage, kevin james goes backstage to get a pair of fake hollow legs that the top half can easily punch his legs through. Why would a magician be so low as to exploit a physical deformity? I would stop watching magic all together if that were the case, EVER!

  • look at his arm when he is stood up on the table, you will notice his right arm stretches but the elbow dont move, the arms are fake, its a midget.

  • The cutaways are the key. It is done with video editing and chroma keyed editing. Often this can only be done with the audience in on the act, making the authenticity of anyone saying that they actually saw it questionable.
    None-the-less, it is an impressive illusion.

  • Well done illusion, but painfully easy to figure out for those familiar with magic… and medicine. A lot of folks in here have very inventive ideas, but many are REALLY overthinking this. There is absolutely NO question whatsoever that the “top half” is a person with sacral agenesis (a “half person”). Anyone who has seen a person with this very sad (and amazing) medical condition will instantly recognize the exact same shape of the upper body and the exact same arm positioning and hand-walking gait that these unfortunate folks have to do to get around (Criss Angel has also used a women with this condition in one of his illusions). Anyone at all familiar with sacral agenesis will very easily and instantly recognize the “top half” as a person with this condition. The “legs” are obviously a full-size person, bent over in the medical cart, who becomes the “whole” person at the end of the act. If it were not two different people, there would be absolutely NO reason WHATSOEVER for that person to be disguised with the surgical hat and mask… none.

    To the person who said “Why would a magician be so low as to exploit a physical deformity? I would stop watching magic all together if that were the case, EVER!”… well, it’s an ethical question for sure, but that has been done for countless years in show business. Quite a few “showmen” through the years have made very handsome livings exploiting just such “freaks” in the name of entertainment.

  • I fink i’ve figured it out. So the men’s torso is to thick. I think it’s midget pulling his legs up to his chest, so its almost look like a normal upperbody. The arms are fake. He is moving his fingers with strings probably. The legs beside the table are fakes too. and the man, who jumping in the end must be a totally other person, becouse if you watch it closely, the two legs aren’t mach!!

  • he moves his feet when he lands from the jump they are real feet and real legs

  • It’s looks like 2 people at start, one normal size person in legs and a half man for the body, I have seen a living half man before. During the cut away one full man comes out still looking like two, his body is just twisted a little, then all he has to do is lie down flat and get stapled. I am positive about the second part the person they wheel out is a full person.

  • I personally agree with the “contortionist and amputee theory.” It just to me makes more sense. I also heard someone that went to the show say “I went to one of his shows and I swear I saw that guy come out in a wheelchair”

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