While I was surfing the web the other day I came across this very unusual picture:
Now I've seen 'David Nixon Magic Sets', 'Lance Burton Magic Sets', and even 'Amazing Jonathan Magic Sets', but who was or is this 'Gay Deceiver'? According to the box he's 'The Wizard of Variety' who presents 'Magic with a smile'. Well, why wouldn't he be? He has a 'Chinese Wand that disappears and rises all by itself' and is 'Officially Approved by the Magic Square Club'
I had to know so I did what anyone else in my position would do, I googled him!
- The earliest reference I could find was in a line of an old English song 'Miss Bailey's Ghost' (1805):
One night betimes he went to bed, for he had caught a fever,
Said he, "I am a handsome man, and I'm a gay deceiver."
- Next, I found a website with an image from a silent film from 1925 entitled 'The Gay Deceiver'. The image looks strangely reminiscent of a scene from an early David Copperfield special where he does a sub-trunk using a bed instead of a box...
- I came across a New York Times photo from 1940 titled 'The Gay Deceiver'
The head bears an uncanny resemblance to the smiling face on the Magic Set, but the legs cames as a bit of a surprise.
- In 1962 an episode of 'The Andy Griffith Show' went to air titled "FLOYD THE GAY DECEIVER"
Lonely Hearts Correspondence Club member, Floyd Lawson, is about to meet his wealthy widowed pen pal. The trouble is, Floyd has misrepresented himself as a wealthy businessman.
- There was even an episode of 'Get Smart' which featured 'Gay Deceivers'... they were pills that caused people to tell lies. I'd guess the 'Gay Deceiver Magic Set' had to include a few of those!
- The next reference was a Broadway play by John Patrick called 'Gay Deceiver' with the following plot:
A young man has come to declare his homosexuality to his family, only to have his resolve eroded when he (and his lover) are unexpectedly drawn into his father's mayoral campaign.
- I went after some dictionary definitions to try to help get a handle on all of this. The first seemed to fit in with the way things were taking shape:
A womaniser; a ladies' man; a successful seducer of many women.
Though the second definition threw me a bit:
Early 20th century euphemism for falsies, a pair of pads worn inside a brassiere to give the impression of larger breasts.
- I tried typing in www.GayDeceiver.com and that confused me even further. They were suggesting that the Gay Deceiver was "an intelligent space car". A further search found a photo of this car... made entirely of Lego!
This was getting really weird... and then, I found this!
Finally... it was all over. I couldn't uncover the plot of the book on the web, but based on the information I've gathered so far, I'd say it goes something like this:
A very handsome man named Floyd who wears a red fez (and has great legs!) travels around the country in his amazing Lego car, telling lies to women everywhere and seducing them with his rising and disappearing wand. However one day, when his supply of lie-inducing pills run out, he and his good friend finally tell the truth about their relationship to his family. They are homosexuals... and they sleep together in an enormous brasseiere. He is immediately elected Mayor, but shortly after catches a fever and dies.