I'm not normally a fan of David Copperfield, but this performance of the now-famous Laser illusion is awesome (once you get past the lame dance intro). Leaving aside his big "TV effects" like the vanish of the Statue of Liberty and the float across the Grand Canyon, this is one of the best illusions Copperfield has ever done.
The inventor, Steve Fearson is one of magic's great creative eccentrics. Some years ago, he set about to invent "anytime, anywhere" versions of three great standard illusions. The first of the three was a wacky levitation, Fearson's Fantastic Floatation. Next up was the sawing in half illusion (originally named Splitting Image) that became the Laser, for which Copperfield promptly purchased the worldwide rights for a rumored six figures. The final effect was the much maligned but nevertheless fabulous Goodbye Vanish, which is about the best cheap and dirty solution to a one-person impromptu vanish imaginable. My Friday Night Magic cohort and I have probably used the Metamorphosis presentation of the Goodbye Vanish about a hundred times on unsuspecting guests; it's a blast!
Fearson is also a legendary weirdo/showman, and he frequently comes out with effects alleged to have been extracted from the dark underbelly of magic, psychological black ops, hypnosis, and the psychic underground. One of these, The Station Manager Document, was accompanied by an entertaining line of bullshit (the life of the "anonymous" tipper would supposedly be in danger were his identity known) that many took seriously.
A couple of years ago, Fearson announced that he would be selling his online magic business and starting a church. The blogoshpere buzzed, but to date Fearson is still selling magic online. He's currently in the crosshairs for giving away a number of magic ebooks for free that contain effects and secrets that are not his to give away. He's also shilling a hypnotism course for an alleged master hypnotist called "Taylor Starr" (who might just be Fearson himself).
[UPDATE - 2/21/06: See the Comments to this post. "Taylor Starr" himself claims he is not Fearson and in fact doesn't even know Fearson.]
Fearson's status as a magical creator is pretty solid, but his tendency to overhype his products has made him a controversial figure in the magic community. My own take of Fearson is that I'm happy to have someone as colorful as he is to brighten the normally gray magic world!
Copperfield link via Magic Spank.