Stevie Starr, Professional Regurgitator

Status: Magic trick
image Stevie Starr calls himself a professional regurgitator. He's been doing his act for a long time, and is quite famous. (He's appeared on shows such as Jay Leno and Ripley's Believe it or Not.) But I just became aware of him through a video of one of his performances on Google Video, and I'm at a complete loss to explain how he does what he does.

His performance includes some of the following tricks: He swallows sugar, followed by a glass of water, and then regurgitates the sugar, completely dry. He swallows a live goldfish and regurgitates that a minute later, still living. (As he does this, he mentions the urban legend about goldfish having 5-second memories.) Reportedly he's also able to swallow a (miniature) rubik's cube and bring it back up — solved. (Though the Rubik's cube trick isn't shown in the google video.)

I can't find anyone on the web who has a decent explanation for how Starr is able to do all this. Obviously he has a genuine talent with his stomach. An article about him in the Amherst Student reports that:

he was born in a children’s home in Scotland, where he lived for the first 19 years of his life. When little Stevie was four years old, he discovered this unique talent by swallowing his lunch money and realizing he could bring it right back up. Thus, a freak of nature was born.

But this doesn't explain how he can swallow sugar, followed by water, and bring the sugar up dry. Or the trick with the rubik's cube. Does he have a second stomach, or something like that? To do the rubik's cube trick I assume he must have swallowed a solved rubik's cube before the show. But like I said, I'm pretty much baffled.

Incidentally, history is full of famous vomiters, so Stevie Starr evidently isn't the only one who has ever had this talent. In 1621 there was the case of the nail-vomiting Boy of Bilston (who had been trained by a priest to simulate the symptoms of being bewitched). This was followed in 1642 by Catharina Geisslerin, "the toad-vomiting woman of Germany," who, as you might guess, had a talent for vomiting up toads. In 1694 there was Theodorus Döderlein, who vomited up twenty-one newts and four frogs. (I'm getting this info from Clifford Pickover's The Girl Who Gave Birth to Rabbits.) Pickover also reports that there have been cases of compulsive swallowers who don't later regurgitate what they swallow, including one guy in 1985 who had "53 toothbrushes, 2 razors, 2 telescopic aerials, and 150 handles of disposable razors" removed from his stomach.

Body Manipulation Food Magic

Posted on Tue Feb 14, 2006


mistake: that was meant to be 7:21, not 9:21
Posted by dan  in  Manchester  on  Tue Jun 22, 2010  at  05:50 PM
Wow. What a forum full of immature, negative posts.

Who cares how he does it on a scientific and biological level. What if he does have the unique biology to pull this stunt off without slight of hand and lies? Look at freaks from the turn of the century. Look at pictures of people who showed up in Ripleys who took canon balls to the stomach and turned their bodies around 360 degrees at the waist.

Just enjoy the show. What happened to just being entertained, being playfully curious and leaving it at that? Why does everyone have to be so rude, judgmental and accusatory?

I tip my hat to him for the entertainment and joy he has provided over the years. He seems like a great guy.
Posted by Allie  in  Oregon, USA  on  Mon Jun 28, 2010  at  01:17 AM
i met this guy once in the mens room. i was washing my hands there next to him as he was douching out his mini cube, over and over. it was at bowdoin college here in brunswick, maine. the house was packed and we were set for a show. and what a show it was.

i had never seen the rubik cube trick with him before but i knew what he was up to. it is a rather old trick. he just made it smaller.

indeed, he has a cavernous mouth, mostly on the top which is a convenient stash point. his british isles accent helps him here, one might not notice the mumble so much. especially if you are a bowdoin student from away.

as for the sugar trick, that is really easy too, another old trick. same for the goldfish.

stevie is a right good showman, i too have the arsenio hall clip and a few more. best is that he is a showman, a really, really good showman.

he would have been a regular on ed sullivan. i hate to say it, he could've topped joan rivers.
Posted by harridiot  in  world  on  Sun Aug 08, 2010  at  09:30 PM
well i jnust wanted to say that it is a very conviceing act although i still cant figure out weather he really swollows all of the stuff in his show but some of it believable .so i guess wat i am getting at is how in the hell does he swollow the pool ball and the sugar act? so if any one has an answer lst me know thank u and and have a hell of a day
Posted by charles  in  indiana  on  Tue Aug 17, 2010  at  10:58 AM
I just watched Stevie live, and then had dinner with him. He SWALLOWS things. He's learned to control his stomach and by use of memorization, he brings up what people ask for. He is TALENTED. He's not scamming anything and is an awesome guy. p.s. The dry sugar is NOT done with a bag of dry do the other objects come up dry?? His answer: control. HE'S AMAZING!!!
Posted by Megan  in  Mainr  on  Thu Oct 14, 2010  at  10:18 PM
ok for me the mystery is solved:

As someone said earlier stevie NEVER talks while having "swallowed" the big objects. Thats for a reason: He stores things in his cheek.

He definitely does sleigh of hands as you can see in this video:
whatch how he puts the golf ball in his mouth and pretends to vomit it!!

This fact clearly shows, that he is an illusionist - or why should he use this trick, if he is actually able to store things in his stomach an vomit them out again.

If you watch carefully you can even see in other videos that the big things like the billard ball go to his left side of his mouth instead of going down his throat.

He must be a master in talking while having things in his mouth and maybe he also has some kind of physical aberration that alows him to store such large objects.

No question he is great. Im a big fan!
Posted by Joe  in  Austria  on  Mon Nov 15, 2010  at  06:56 PM
(go to the 9:00 minute mark)
Posted by joe  in  Austria  on  Mon Nov 15, 2010  at  07:02 PM
Oh, of course! How silly of me not to have noticed. He must keep the cigarette smoke in his cheek... and the gas - so easy to store that sort of stuff there and then talk without letting any of it out. And of course the sugar must go there, too, as there is no saliva on the inside of the cheek. Thanks sooo much for that insight!
Posted by The manager  in  London UK  on  Tue Nov 16, 2010  at  03:00 AM
Oh yes and of course you can pop a whole billiard ball in your cheek too!
Posted by Patrick  on  Tue Nov 16, 2010  at  03:06 AM
And yet YOUR contention is that he can fit a billiard ball down his oesophagus, through his pyloric sphincter and into the stomach? Doesn't seem to make much sense does it?
Posted by Sassy  in  UK  on  Tue Nov 16, 2010  at  04:26 AM
Did you even watch the video? He DOES sleigh of hands - no doubt!
If there are people in the world who can actually swallow a billard ball then there are people who can manage to put a billiard ball in their cheek as well.
Concerning the dryness: it is definitely a matter of fact, that everything that goes DOWN his esophagus will get wet - no doubt (ask a doctor).
Maybe he has some sort of thin layer of a certain material on the inside of his left cheek - no problem to prepare that.

For the sugar. It is no sugar. Thanks to scientists we are able to fabricate substances which taste sweet and do not mix with water.

To be honest the cigarette smoke and the gas leaves me helpless. No idea about that but maybe an chemist can give insight.
Posted by Joe  in  Austria  on  Tue Nov 16, 2010  at  05:04 AM
honestly, when this guy was shortly ago at germany
Posted by janine  in  berlin, germany  on  Sun Nov 21, 2010  at  08:11 AM
Yes, it's a fake... but a good one!


Isn't it weird, that Stevie doesn't only use EACH single joke in the US & UK & Germany but also EACH single move of his hands and ALL tricks must follow in the same routine order...?

Well, magicians know, that sometimes the order of the routine is part of the trick... : one move from trick 1 leads to trick 2, because trick 2 needs this move.

Easiest to explain is the ring-trick, because you simple can SEE how it works: in the US & UK & Germany, Stevie takes the ring with his LEFT hand, even though he is a right hander. And his right hand remains always closed from leaving the scene until receiving the ring. As soon as he receives the ring with his left hand, he reaches it to his right hand... Why? - Cause there's the (first) secret locker! - While walking back to the stage you can see how he makes in each country each time a FIST that locks the ring onto the open (first) locker. He arrives at the scene and EACH TIME he puts the ring immediately in his mouth. He can't wait a second even though during other tricks he keeps talking a lot... But the ring has to get in his mouth as quickly as possible (with the locker attached to it) and ALWAYS (USA, GB, Germany) under the FULL cover of his hand - unlike e.g. the pool ball.

Why can he keep his mouth open for other objects, but NEVER for the ring? - Because there's a locker attached to it! - He "swallows" the ring (hiding in mouth) BEFORE he steps back to the people with the (second) locker. WHY couldn't he bring the (second) locker at his first walk? - Because he needed the cover for hiding the locked ring in his mouth - far from people an without waiting. THEN he hides the second locker (same key fits it) in his mouth to reveal the first locker with *magically* the ring on it.

Bla Bla...

The coins:
He simply has TWO sets with ONE already in his mouth with 5 different spots to reach it - that's why he likes to BEGIN with this trick (with mouth full of 5 coins...). You can see in some videos that the handwritten numbers on the coins are NOT the same from the ingoing and outgoing coins... so there's TWO sets of coins - he can handle the one in his mouth "AT WILL" concerning the order - that's what many magicians are able to in slightly different situations.

rings attached to each other (video Jay Leno) - BIG MISTAKE: you can see him putting the FIRST set of already attached rings in his mouth - some seconds before he "begins" the trick. Why would he reach for a split second his inner pocket without taking anything out? - And why would he then direct that hand immediately towards his mouth - the very same second? - A very quick move, but clearly visible... So the 5 open rings ar like the second set of 5 coins... etc. etc.
Posted by Spoiler  in  Switzerland  on  Sun Dec 12, 2010  at  01:03 AM
P.S.: in the video from UK you can see the locker shining in his mouth BEFORE he claims to bring it up... and backstage you can see a lightbulb after having "swallowed" remaining still back in his mouth also BEFORE he claims so bring it up.

For the sugar: again TWO sets of sugar. First already in his mouth (e.g. in a hardcover made of a hard sugar tube that he breaks) the second one gets dissolved in water and drunken. He only has to break the tube with the conceiled sugar in his mouth to pour it out dry.

So basically, he's working with TWO sets of 5 coins, two sets of 5 rings (at Jay Leno's) and two sets of sugar.

And that fact explains the TWO gold-fishes smile

He is able to hide two objects of the size of the fishes in his mouth (palatal gap... or even not!).
Posted by Spoiler  in  Switzerland  on  Sun Dec 12, 2010  at  01:18 AM
Why did I just explain that tricks?

Why couldn't I leave him "entertain" people?

BECAUSE personally, I think that it's a SHAME to hav only a handful of tricks (ball, coins, fishes, rings, ring, sugar, soap, ...) for DECADES !!!

And in ANY country he appears on TV he comes with the exaclty SAME jokes, sentences, story about childhood with coins in mouth, same order of tricks, same programm in talent show UK as Germany!!

NO - sorry, but that's NEITHER a talent after 30 years!! Nor entertainement as he is not capable to at least vary a little bit his tricks or adding new ones or making new jokes.

(so is Uri Geller btw).

COME ON GUYS!! - A little CREATIVITY!! - How can you support your own routine for so manymanymanymany years? - Be an artist / entertainer! - People don't know you in "new" countries, so why not restart with a brand-new routine?

That's why I like e.g. Cris Angel! - He wrapped "old" tricks or own tricks into different clothes. 99% of the mentalists just copy their routines out of the book. I know that because I have those books... and I'd appreciate you guys ADAPTING the written tricks at least a little bit.

Oh - I forgot: Steve has also variation: each time he hides ANOTHER object in his mouth. But come on! - That's ONE really good trick that you show in 10 ways. Even not 50 ways... even not new ways during the decades... always the same 10 variations of ONE good trick. Poor man. No artist. At least good stuff for talking... but after people's conclusions, you're OFF again.
Posted by Spoiler  in  Switzerland  on  Sun Dec 12, 2010  at  01:36 AM
@that guy from Switzerland

get a life!

He's entertaining, doesnt matter if he does
the same since decades.

..and even if only half of your conclusions are true, you still have to manage doing it.
There are tons of 'entertainers' which cannot
do anything special.
As far as I know, there arent many artists like Stevie Starr - so he's something special.
Posted by Marius  in  Germany  on  Mon Dec 13, 2010  at  12:45 AM
I simply would not allow people to participate the SUPERTALENT show in Germany, when they have already participated in other talent shows / TV shows around the world.

(One of the participants of this year has been in Big Brother UK)

In my opinion, you should NOT ALLOW professional TV appearancers to participate in this kind of show!

They simply go from one show to another and from one country to another. That's ok for ordinary TV shows, but NOT for competitions with people who need the first prize or a little publicity much more than those professionals like Stevie.

That's why I also don't accept the singer from the Kelly Family to participate in that show...

Give "ordinary" people with an extraordinary talent a chance! - They are for their very first time on stage and have great talents. But a Stevie Starr with DECADES of stage experience will just blow them away.

And for his DECADES on stage, I think that his SAME show of 60 minutes (or 3x 20 min.) is really lame! - NOT if you see it the first time, but as soon as you notice him doing it without a minor creativity a whole life! - So HE's the one who should probably "get a life". I'm happy with 3 professions and countless hobbies - one among them is mentalism and that's why I can say: "I have seen better "talents" in this branche: Banachek or as I already mentioned: Cris Angel." They at least add some creativity and have HUNDEREDS of performaces. Not just ONE with 10 variations as Stevie Starr or Uri Geller.

Nevertheless both have a talent: the talent to shock, entertain, amaze people all around the world for decades with ONE trick and 10 variations. Economy: 100 points. Creativity: 0 points. That's a talent I could not live with. I prefer a "Vincent Van Gogh" with 0% success during his live but a maximal underestimated talent and creativity! He's my "Supertalent 1860".
Posted by Spoiler  in  Switzerland  on  Tue Dec 14, 2010  at  01:58 AM
Oh dear, Spoiler, what's the problem? Did you get booted off Supertalent at an early stage with your mentalism act? Does sound like it to me. Your explanations are pretty close - apart from the fact that there is only one set of coins, only one lock & only the one lot of sugar. But you get 10 points for imagination!
Posted by The manager  in  London UK  on  Tue Dec 14, 2010  at  02:58 AM
Hi Manager!

No, I didn't participate smile it's as I said: I'm simply a) unhappy for people with talents who are NOT professionals (e.g. don't work at circuses or in professional music bands etc.) and lost their chances because of a professional and more important:

b) that Stevie at least does not claim it to be an illusion

Cris Angel swallows a needle and a threat and pulls the needle with the thread ON it out of his belly... it's a (btw simple) trick, but it's a "shocker" to the audience and HE CLAIMS IT TO BE AN ILLUSION!

So, a Banachek or Cris Angel or Wayne Houchin would never claim to have real abilities to do what the audience thinks they are doing. As soon as an interviewer REALLY wants to know whether it is a trick or not, they all claim it to be an "illusion". Period. No talking details but neither acting like if they had "superpowers".

Uri Geller never admitted (as far as I know) that all he did for the last 40 (?) years was a trick - even though the prooves started his very first years of acting. THAT'S what I don't like about this sort of entertainement: if you don't admit that it's ONLY entertainement and an illusion.

It seems to me like fortunetellers like Mike Shiva (in Switzerland) who admit in interviews not beeing able to see the future, but beeing able to help people by giving advices... one one hand.... and the very next moment you see them on screen and they do just the opposite: they answer phonecalls of people with problems, looking in the future of those people and telling what they admitted before, not beeing able to tell. It's just moneymaking - that's why they get accused even by swiss national channel (SF1).

Entertain people! Act as if you could swallow this and that - and as if you could get a ring through a locker inside your stomach... but just call this show an "illusion".

If you start claiming yourself beeing an illusionist, then you don't need cheap answers for questions like "Why is there no X-Ray picture of your stomach with the pool ball in it?" etc. - the standard answer remains either silence, or just the story about the childhood, swallowing the pocket money.

I think that also many people don't WANT to know the truth!

(part II follows here below) :
Posted by Spoiler  in  Switzerland  on  Wed Dec 15, 2010  at  07:40 AM
There's so many things I could do during the day (or my life wink ), but I just decided to spend 1 hour of research about Stevie, because I was really interested and at the beginning, I thought, that he really COULD swallow and regurgirate objects. Why not? - So many funny things that human body can do: take the 4 people on earth who can make their eyes leave their heads, or people without a lower body... so why not swalloging and regurgirate objects? ... That COULD have been possible, IMHO. But... the "locker-thing", the chosing of any selected coin etc. makes people wondering.... and me wondering, I started research and found the explanation first myself, by analysing the videos (some are VERY old, but still same procedures as today) and just after finding the solution (one that fits ALL tricks) I found videos with the tricks revealed also by other people. Still some theories that I don't believe (e.g. the magic sand... as in my opinion, you don't need magic sand - you can go with sugar, so why taking the risk?) but also some explanations that go in the same directions as mine... and better: they have videos which reveal the significant details that I found! - Thanks guys! - So, it really took me not more than 1 hour to solve the question.

Yes, I'm curious, because I'm a researcher! - Working also as a scientist, I'm open to many things, BUT I always will keep looking for explanations.

As soon as I found the explanation, I stopped researching, as I really have more interesting things to do: I'm learning 9 languages, beeing video-/photographer, washing gold in the river, collecting ancient greek and egyptian art, studiying hieroglyphs, playing music, making sports etc. etc. ... and a little time of the year I spend in mentalism/close-up magic/coin&card; magic etc. - that's the point where my interest got started for Stevie. Has nothing to do with participing myself. I couldn't, because I don't have a "supertalent" that would be worth showing... and I also think that this show MORE embarasses people than helps. It seems to me very embarassing if one participates without exactly knowing what he/she does... and many people make fools of themselves for the next decades with ONE single performance of 2 minutes... so even if I had a supertalent, I'd really think twice, participating in a supercommercial ugly-modern TV-show like this. I prefer watching the poor guys make fools of themselves and the other guys, claiming having a supertalent to regurgirate, but only having a supertalent to give stuff for discussion, amaze and entertain millions of people with almost zero creativity.
Posted by Spoiler  in  Switzerland  on  Wed Dec 15, 2010  at  07:41 AM
Posted by tony  in  tumbuktu  on  Sat Dec 18, 2010  at  02:47 PM
Spoiler is right whether you like him or not. This is a combination of sleight-of-hand and a possible knack for hiding objects in and around his mouth and/or stomach. He may actually be swallowing some of the objects in his tricks but he should definitely be identifying himself as an illusionist and not the self-proclaimed professional regurgitator that he claims to be.

In many of his tricks it's easy to see him pulling off the sleight-of-hand and (as Spoiler pointed out) the very specific steps of his routine. His voice audibly changed on several of his appearances after he "swallows" things, indicating that he probably still has them in his mouth somewhere.

But let's give the guy some credit... Despite having a tired routine of minimally varying tricks, he is very good at pulling off these convincing illusions. Just don't forget: They are most definitely ILLUSIONS.
Posted by Skeptic  in  Ontario, Canada  on  Mon Jan 03, 2011  at  07:43 PM
Im acculy starting to beleive he is just simpliy BREAITING in thiese items.
Posted by lee  in  Brisbane, Queensland, Australia  on  Fri Feb 25, 2011  at  09:31 AM
gulp i just wanna demolish the whole idea of hiding everything in a cleft palate. you cant fit a pool ball in a cleft palate, and the objects arent sterilized so he would get many infections from putting them up there. also, you see everything going into his throat, not up into the roof of his mouth...
Posted by SarahCherry  in  New York  on  Tue Apr 19, 2011  at  02:01 AM
and seriously stop saying "he has the same jokes"...etc. he's not a comedian, hes not there to tell jokes. he does what he knows
Posted by SarahCherry  in  new York  on  Tue Apr 19, 2011  at  02:04 AM
the sugar trick is kind of obvious, i dont know if any of you have done it, but you can coat sand with a water proofing agent, like you use for boots, shake it up, and repeat, it becomes waterproof. you can completely submerge it in water and it is still try, this is how they clean up oil spills, perhaps sugar can be done the same way, if maybe the wine has no oil in it? smile
Posted by Jayforlife  in  Tennessee  on  Thu May 19, 2011  at  03:17 AM
The only problem with your sand theory, Jayforlife, is that he gets someone from the audience to taste it. Now I know there are a lot of really stupid people out there but I do think they would notice the difference between the taste of sugar & waterproofed sand! In actual fact it is the sweetener Equal & is very fine, as you can see when he regurgitates it as powder flies up - again obviously NOT sand. Why don't you guys just face it - it's real.
Posted by The manager  in  London UK  on  Thu May 19, 2011  at  03:27 AM
I don't believe anyone can conceal a billiard ball in their mouth without noticing it. I think he has a section of his throat that allows objects to bypass his stomach, and he can bring them up at will. Thats why the sugar is dry. I think he is very good at what he does. Very unbievable.
Posted by bj stone  in  new york  on  Sat Jul 16, 2011  at  09:10 PM
I saw Stevie perform back in the 90's at Reading University in a side hall during a Primal Scream concert. I remember at the beginning of his set he swallowed washing up liquid and lighter fuel and proceded to blow bubbles (some full of fuel & others full of air) asking the audience to choose fuel or air and using a lighter to show fuel bubbles. he then proceeded with the lightbulb,billiard ball,goldfish,coloured disks, rings,wine glass, sugar , water etc and at the end of his act, having not touched the gas or washing liquid again blew another bubble lit it with a lighter and left the stage
One other thing he cleaned my friends ring while it was in/not in his stomach attributing it to natural stomach acids
Posted by Paul Ivory  in  Reading Berks UK  on  Sat Jul 30, 2011  at  03:28 PM
hiding some things in your mouth and back of your throat isa big trick.
Combine it with sleight o hand and misdirection , you've got a show.

And the thing is the trick doesn't end there. This guy lives the trick.
Even here read the comments whenever someone brings out an explanation on how he does anything , some guy tries to bring him down (he says I grew up with him, I saw him in in blah blah blah , I saw him swallowing a bee and bringing it out an hour later) and always the same style same choice of words smile

The trick is bigger than the man himself.

Didn't you watch "the prestige"
I'm talking about the old chinese guy with the dissapearing fish bowl. They were thinking he can barely move his body. the real thing was that guy acted like an old and sick man. That's misdirection.

Coins trick he hides the coins in his mouth than takes them out in order (which of course pre decided (I saw two different shows which was 3 first than 1 and 5 (one of them was 5 and 1) smile the order is not important anyway. The sound of the coins can not be heard if they were in his tomach. He does it in his mouth. And before he is taking the last coin out he needs to put something else first to help it come out.

The ring and lock and , rubik cube and loops all put in his mouth locked changed and connected. than hide it in his mouth and throat than take out. The audience member , show host etc all included in the trick. The sugar thing:
He makes someone taste it and pours it in the water to prove it was really sugar. That's misdirection. In this point many people would think the thing he spits out of his mouth wouldn't be sugar and miss the real trick.

He eats the sugar and drink water after it. Than the sugar is gone now way he can spit it out dry. There is no chemical to make the sugar dry etc. Simply he uses some kind of capsule or anything which he hides in his mouth. Breaks it and spits the sugar inside out , dry.

Than the fish. He puts it in the glass and and before it gets it in the mouth he makes the (it touched my tongue) joke which he uses for breking the attention. then takes the fish in his mouth and throat. 2 fish even. Hides it from the viewers point of view. than takes them out in predetermined order.

The trick is he manages to talk while these were in his mouth as his mornal way (which he already changes his normal speech to match it) and nice misdirection with the scottish accent thing.

Posted by Onder  in  Turkey  on  Sun Jan 22, 2012  at  02:34 AM
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