Once, after a show about 25 years ago, Teller received a compliment he's never forgotten, his partner said. This came after Teller performed "Needles," one of Houdini's most famous tricks. In the trick, the magician appears to swallow 100 needles followed by thread, then pulls them back out threaded together.
"Even when Houdini did his biggest tricks, that was his closer," Jillette said. "Teller wouldn't tell you this, but I'll tell you this. Twenty-five years ago, an elderly woman came to our show. She had seen Houdini do the needles and she'd seen Teller do the needles that night, and she said Teller was better. That's all that matters."
|Teller with Houdini's original Needles at Houdini Art and Magic.
Read the full article at The Commercial Appeal, which also includes a nice newspaper clipping of Houdini doing a suspend straitjacket escape from the Commercial Appeal building on September 1, 1923.