Michael Carbonaro uses his magic for good — not evil. The truTV prankster regularly pulls the rug out from under unsuspecting everyday people on his hidden camera TV show, but he wants you to know that he means well.
“I have a really strict moral code as to what’s fair game and what’s not,” the 33-year-old New York native tells us. “It’s a playful trap, not a surprise you’re falling into. Words like ‘target’ or a ‘mark’ or ‘trap,’ they all feel negative, and if anything makes the show — magic and my own B.S. aside — it’s the people and how they react. They’re the hero and the star of the show. A ‘mark’ implies a decoy or a dunce, and I want to let them shine. The more they talk, the better the trick is.”
The second season of “The Carbonaro Effect” premieres March 23, and the magician/improv artist — who disguises himself as a clerk, service provider or other professional for each spot — puts his co-stars in seemingly unbelievable situations. For example: a farmer’s market juicer that produces gallons of OJ from a single fruit. Or a local dog washer that compresses pups into discs the size of a vinyl record. The reactions are as ridiculous as Carbonaro’s backstories, but the increased popularity of his show has made it harder for him to go unnoticed.