When Uri Geller was booked to appear on The Tonight Show, host Johnny Carson (a former magician himself) was understandably skeptical about Geller's claims and had called up professional illusionist and psychic head-stomper James Randi to ask how the tricks might really be done. As Randi explained, the easiest way to bend a spoon with your mind would be to spend a few minutes before the show bending the spoon back and forth with your hand until the metal is so weak that it just falls limp when you hold it up to the camera.
With this in mind, Carson surprised Geller on the show by presenting a table full of assorted spoons and knickknacks, rather than letting him bring his own props, and gave Geller free reign to pick whatever trick he wanted to perform. You can watch Geller slowly descend into panic mode, knowing that his trick won't work and millions are watching.
He thought it would be a canned, no-sweat interview, like he was on [network you hate].
It just gets harder to watch as it goes. Carson looks on, annoyed, as Geller tries to stall by ineffectually waving his hands over the table while he works out how the hell he's going to get out of this one.
For the first time, he found himself genuinely trying to call on a higher power.
After a series of the most incredibly awkward silences you will ever witness on a television broadcast, Geller eventually squirms out of the segment by claiming that he's just not feeling strong enough tonight.
Geller spent the rest of his career trying to sue James Randi over the humiliation, and after consistently losing his legal battles, he eventually quietly admitted that he was nothing more than an entertainer and not a wizard who could wield the powers of black magic. No shit?