Joe Karson (1912-1980) was owner of the mail order business "Karson Xclusives", a had magic shop in Springfield, Massachusetts, and was the inventor of the Zombie floating ball illusion.

Yup the dude that invented the Zombie! That's quite a classic. And what a great illusion when performed well. We have Joe to thank for that.

He was playing with the old impromptu trick where you interlace your fingers and pretend to float a match behind them. That inspired the Zombie.  

Joe patented the Zombie illusion in 1940.

I'd like to bring you your attention to a lesser known trick of his. A great piece of card magic called "the worlds fastest card trick".

This trick is something that Joe was known for but forgotten by modern day magicians.

I searched on Ask Alexander and found many mentions of Joe performing at conventions around the US over 50 years ago. Many times the highlight of the performance was his rendition of "the world's fastest card trick".

The effect is a lesson in performance and timing. If you learn how to effectively perform this trick for an audience you will be on your way to being a great entertainer with a deck of cards.

The trick has several "false starts", creating a fun and playful comedic tempo.  Joe has built into the routine several hilarious moments, especially after several attempts to find the card.....the spectator admits "I forgot my card", for a huge laugh!!!

Not too much has been written about Joe's original effect. But there is a brilliant book titled: Ken de Courcy discusses "the worlds fastest card trick"

I highly recommend you track it down

Ken discusses several ways to handle the ending of the effect and teaches some additional gags that add some great comedy to the already hilarious routine.

The routine can be done at the drop of a hat using any borrow deck of cards. Uses very little sleight of hand, can be performed for a huge audience and plays well even on stage. What more could you ask for?

The original Joe Karson "the world's fastest card trick" is worth tracking down. A quick search online should find it for about $2.

Have fun hunting!!!!