Audience interactions in magic shows can wind up being the source of unexpected entertainment. In the case of Jeff Hobson, a performer with the Broadway stage show The Illusionists, may have thought he was lifting the watch off any old magic fan during a performance last week in Toronto. Turns out that the subject of his classic pickpocketing trick was in fact the city’s police chief.

Mark Saunders, Toronto’s police chief, was the first randomly chosen participant in Hobson’s performance. He wasn’t obviously dressed as a cop and didn’t make any mention of his profession during the trick, so Hobson had no idea who his victim really was.

“What happened is I got duped; buddy removed my watch, but he was kind enough to return it,” Saunders told the Toronto Star. “It’s shocking how good he is, he did it without anyone knowing. It was very funny.”

Let that be a reminder, magicians. You never know just who might be in that front row seat, so be sure to brush up those improv skills. 

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