SIM SALLA BIM! Tommy the Magician

Thomas Parer, otherwise known as Parer the Magician, is the son of Antonio’s youngest son, Estevan. Melbourne-based Tommy Parer,  was billed as The Ace of Deceivers’ and worked primarily in card tricks and manipulation.

Tommy Parer’s long career as a magician commenced on 5 October 1940 when he appeared at his first professional engagement – a party for children. Up until his death in 1985 Parer continued to entertain generations of children and adults with his sleight-of-hand magic.

It is for his work on television that Parer is most well known. On 4 November 1956 he appeared on the opening night of HSV-7 first television broadcast. Parer presented his act on The Judy Jack Show only four minutes into the opening television transmission. Parer continued performing on television up until 1966. He and his magic rabbit Frosty delighted children for many years on The Happy Show and The Tarax Show.

An article in the Herald (Melbourne, 5 March 1979) remembers this popular performer of early television days in Melbourne:


Remember yelling out the magic spell to help Parer the magician with his tricks?

He was the first person to perform on Victorian television, presenting his act only four minutes after the official opening.

And what an act!

Black cape with satin lining swirling, Parer transformed walking canes into scarves, produced doves from nowhere, blew smoke and sparked and pulled Frosty the rabbit out of that proverbial top hat.

Frosty was the little creature with the black patch around his eye and the ‘magic breath’. He must be getting on now, but he still lives with Parer in his Gardiner home and is still part of the act.

Tommy the Magician at HSV7 with camera
‘Parer the Magician’ Tommy Parer bottom right at the Channel 7 studios in Melbourne.

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