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


I have seen Stevie Starr performe in front of me twice and frankly he is awsome. I don't know how he does it, although I think I once saw a picture showing him having two stomachs.
For the sceptics out there, another trick he does is swallow dishwashing liquid and inhale butane gas, then he blows bubbles filled with the butane and lights then with a flame. He gets an audience member to light the bubbles and if not carefull the hairs on their arms gets singed. The fish also get high off the butane which is funny to see.
Posted by Andrew  in  Australia  on  Sat Aug 02, 2008  at  04:50 AM
Well however he is doing it....he does posses a trick/trade/talent that I do not....and he is making money doing it...

either way....the man is very good at what he does
Posted by Aimee  on  Wed Aug 06, 2008  at  07:58 PM
Look carefully on the video close-up as he swallows the billiard ball.

You can see it go into his left cheek.

He then turns his head sideways in a 3/4 to the right angle so you can't see the lower part of the cheek clearly, but if you look closely you can see a slight bulge there.

So that's the answer, and it's definitive: he's storing the stuff in his left cheek.
Posted by Xavier  on  Mon Aug 11, 2008  at  02:09 AM
I saw him tonight and I don't believe it was a hoax. He swallowed a guy's ring then a locked lock and the key to the lock(all separately. After a bunch of show and moving around he coughed up the ring and the lock(the ring was now attached to the lock) and then he also coughed up the key. Meaning he unlocked the lock, then put the ring on the lock and then locked it...all while it was in his stomach. CRAZY!
Posted by Matt  on  Sat Oct 11, 2008  at  09:04 PM

Now watch this when he swallows the billiard ball. There is no faking that. Even as he bring it back up his yell is stifled from the ball closing his throat. Give it up people. He may be the ONLY real magician left.
Posted by Daniel  on  Sun Nov 23, 2008  at  11:55 AM
I first saw him on tv in the late 80s. He swallowed and coughed up a light bulb. You cannot hide a light bulb in your mouth. He also swallowed various coins during which the tv presenter put the microphone to his stomach and you could hear them dropping in there. Surely after 20 years or more he would have been exposed as a fake by now
Posted by Jason  in  Australia  on  Sun Jan 04, 2009  at  02:15 AM
Here's a clip from Swedish television (high quality). It's kind of close-up and you can see that he has all his teeth, and you see the tricks from the front (I'm from Seden myself so I'm not sure my english is correct). Watch the billiard ball goes right down his throat and not under his tongue. And how could he possibly hide the gas under his tongue for such a long time?
Posted by Tore  on  Sat Jan 10, 2009  at  08:13 PM
I worked security in 1988 at Melbournes 21's century dance club for Stevie Starr.

I went back stage to check on him and he did the most amazing thing.

He put his mouth over the tap, turned it on full and filled his gut with litres of water.

He then turned to me and said " want to see the sprinkler?"

He turned in circles and sprayed water for almost 1 minute on all the walls in the room

ITs real and I watched him up close
Posted by DJFlex  in  Australia  on  Tue Feb 24, 2009  at  07:32 PM
The majority of these responses verify P.T. Barnum's most famous statement.
Posted by john  in  Florida  on  Tue Mar 10, 2009  at  02:46 PM
My brother is a VERY famous magician in Las Vegas. He told me EXACTLY how this is done. Nothing ever leaves this guys mouth, PERIOD! There is slight of hand to switch most items before they go in, like the billiard ball or Rubix Cube.The other items are taken into the back of the mouth and cheeks. It really isn't hard to hide smaller objects like ballons, nails or even fish. The "sugar" is really sand.

It's a great illusion, believe it or not!
Posted by jbj_elvis  in  California  on  Mon Mar 30, 2009  at  09:59 AM
He does in fact swallow the items. In regards to the Rubik's cube, he doesn't "solve" it, he makes a few rotations to an already solved one.

Isolation, and complete control of stomach muscles.
Posted by Officia.  on  Sat Apr 11, 2009  at  11:48 PM
About 10 years ago, this guy walked up to the pool table in my local pub and swallowed the white ball. right in front of me - was quite a shock as I had no idea who he was. I saw him a few times over the years and he is basically an alcoholic. would drink a ridiculous amount of beer then entertain (or shock) the people in the pub, talk about his experiences in the childrens home before the locals would have to carry him home with
Posted by emily  in  london, uk  on  Fri Apr 17, 2009  at  08:40 AM
The ONLY thing I could detect was when he supposedly swallowed key rings and linked them together. I won't reveal what I saw, but it was undoubtedly a matter of sleight of hand and misdirection. However, I believe that he does have at least some capacity for what he claims, that or there is something peculiar about the anatomy of his mouth. He hasn't been studied by any scientific means, therefore nothing is confirmed. My belief is that first and foremost, he is a gifted entertainer and showman. I believe that his presentation is a combination of sleight of hand alongside legitimate oddity.
Posted by John  in  CNY  on  Fri Apr 24, 2009  at  08:50 AM
Rubik's Cube Solution Solved trick:

He can ingest an unsolved Rubik's cube, but with modified colored stickers, that can react with saliva, and change color to match a solved cube pattern.

Simple enough.
Posted by Maurizio  in  Italy  on  Sun May 24, 2009  at  05:52 PM
I saw him this evening at a good ol' cambridge may ball, and I must say I was astounded. I've dabbled in magic myself, so usually I appreciate the skill of tricks rather than wonder how they're done - but in this case I was clueless. But I did notice a few switches and finger palms, so I guess a lot of it is sleight of hand, but I think some of it might be for real...
Posted by daniel  on  Wed Jun 17, 2009  at  01:16 AM
well I saw him live, sitting 10 feet away, and I can tell you that it looks VERY real! In his live show he will swallow some stuff, but then start a different segiment of tricks by swallowing more stuff.... and then go back to the stuff he had swalled earlier. ex swallow ten rings from the crowd... then swallow a bottle of dish soap followed by a bottle of butane, then blow bubbles full of g
Posted by roger  in  canada  on  Sat Jun 20, 2009  at  12:46 PM
The Rubik's cube trick is very simple. He shows the solved cube to the audience and tells that he will move its colors in his stomach. After that he makes some wild gestures with his hand which allow him to quickly turn the top row with his thumb and index finger. Then he puts the cube quickly in his mouth with the turned top row first so nobody can see the manipulated part. The rest is standard: He swallows it and brings it up again.

The powdered sugar trick is also simple. He puts the sugar in his mouth but puts it under his toungue. Then he swallows the water quickly not allowing it to mix with the sugar. After that he sinply releases the sugar out of his mouth. Only the absolutely dry part of the sugar comes out, the moisturized part keeps sticking in his mouth.

In my opinion Stevie cleverly mixes illusions with his undisputable talent to swallow even big objects such as billard balls or bulbs. That makes him fascinating. A similar mix of talent and illusion can be seen from Derren Brown.
Posted by Claus  in  Germany  on  Wed Jun 24, 2009  at  02:51 PM
I can
Posted by Lanarskshire guy  in  Near Glasgow Scotland  on  Thu Oct 22, 2009  at  02:20 AM
Have to agree with Emily on this one. Met him in local pub (Moss Hall Tavern - Finchley Nth London), with my mate who was his neighbour - but was more than 10yrs ago. He sat next to me getting pissed and swallowing pool balls and coins. He would carry on drinking and talking before eventually bringing them back up. No way was it sleight of hand. Good to see he is still working on his website.
Posted by Steve  in  London / Singapore  on  Mon Nov 09, 2009  at  10:20 PM
if its real why doesnt he do it slower, and show the items entering his throat. sucking it so quick, so that it seems to disappear, is pointless unless you want to conceal where the item is actually going.
Posted by cory  in  birmingham AL  on  Wed Nov 18, 2009  at  02:41 PM
I have seen this guy twice and I am a professional magician. This is legitimate. I've heard a couple explanations for how he is able to compartmentalize his stomach. This is NOT, i repeat NOT slight of hand. It does not got under his tongue, it is not a hidden pouch, it is a true human anomaly. There are no other people that do this because nobody can. He has called people onstage to look in his mouth and I've been inches away and watched him suck lightbulbs down his throat. In conclusion - totally real, totally amazing.
Posted by Magical Matt  in  Chicago  on  Thu Dec 03, 2009  at  07:27 PM
OK guys, as someone who knows Stevie very well, this is the gospel. He does NOT hide stuff in his mouth. You're not watching! NOONE can hide 2 live large fish in their mouth & talk. I don't care how famous a magician your brother might be, jbj_elvis of CA, he's talking out of his backside. Watch, Stevie gets members of the audience to put the coins, light bulb, lock, fish in his mouth. The stuff he puts in himself is always held in his teeth so you can see it before being swallowed. The sugar is not sand or any other chemical; it is Equal sweetener, supplied to Stevie in bulk from Equal Canada. And what about the butane gas & the cigarette smoke? And, as a couple of people have so correctly pointed out, if it was fake, someone else would be doing the stuff, after all Stevie makes a damn good living at it!
Posted by The manager  in  London UK  on  Mon Feb 01, 2010  at  11:39 AM
I agree. The VERY FAMOUS magician (from VEGAS of all places) is a nameless charlatan. Stevie Starr is the real deal!!! I was on stage, he swallowed my lighter, he sucked back a can of butane and he belched fire singing off all the hair on my arm. There is no WAY you can keep a billiard ball in your mouth and keep talking. The man had no shirt on and his pants had no pockets. I was 5cm away from his mouth. I saw him SWALLOW the billiard ball. There was no hiding it under his armpit or sleight of hand. Its real! Deal with it.
Posted by Pat Dickens  in  South Africa  on  Mon Feb 01, 2010  at  11:52 AM
Seen him a while ago in our students union. He swallowed a full size pool ball not 3 feet away from my face, hands behind back etc. there is absolutely no way it can be fake. swallowed someone we knews ring aswell and put it on a padlock in his stomach and removed the key. if you look he always spits the stuff out so it really isnt slight of hand or anything. Just an unusual man with unusual control of his stomach muscles
Posted by Chris  in  scotland  on  Thu Feb 11, 2010  at  02:48 PM
I was also a member of the program board who brought Stevie to our college, and we also took him out to dinner afterwards. He disgusted the waiters and waitresses there like the other folks have mentioned! I sat directly across from him, and while I know close isn't necessarily ideal for magic (sometimes it's WORSE) but I have no doubt he was swallowing it. He swallowed all sorts of items at the table, and he failed to swallow a saltshaker, gagging on it a bit.

Watch this video, and tell me how he is not swallowing the lightbulb. His hands go nowhere near his mouth, he just sucks it down.

Is he hiding it in his mouth? Maybe, but I doubt it. I don't know many people who can even FIT a billiard ball in their mouth, let alone keep it HIDDEN in their cheek or under their tongue. It's not a gumball, it's a BILLIARD BALL. Also note that he seems to have more trouble (i.e. makes more noise) for larger objects.
Posted by Sizzler  in  US  on  Tue Mar 02, 2010  at  06:49 PM
I've seen this guy in person -- in fact, i went up on stage and watched him swallow my lighter and give it back to me, and then i held the lighter while he blew out butane he had swallowed earlier and made a big fire ball. This was a small show at my college. I am very confident that it is not sleight of hand -- you can see and hear the objects going down his throat very unmistakably in person. I clearly saw my lighter come out of his mouth. It is actually quite gross.
Posted by evan  on  Fri Apr 09, 2010  at  09:42 AM
This guy is the real thing. Why do people need there to be a trick involved, or some other fakery happening all the time? He just has an incredible talent for bringing things back up.
As kids, a pal of mine could swallow an egg and bring it back hours later, unbroken, which is why I enjoy seeing Stevie Starr so much.

Some people are just made differently, that's all, but it seems some have to concoct ridiculous theories such as surgically made pockets in his mouth (grow up!!) or a deep hole under his tongue (really?) Just accept his method of making a living is just that - his job. I wish I could pay my bills doing the same.
Posted by Steve Gad  in  Mansfield UK  on  Mon Apr 19, 2010  at  10:08 AM
I saw him at Liverpool uni about 9 years ago and just now on "Britain's Got Talent" - he very defintitely swallowed a billiard ball just now and brought it back. It barely fitted between his teeth and therefore that's one hell of a gap under his tongue to conceal it. In close-up, his hands are by his sides.

Live, when I saw him at uni, he keeps his hands very much away from his sides and a girl I knew placed a ring of hers in his mouth and he swallowed it, and brought it back up in an order she requested with other stuff. His hands stay down. So unless he's empoying a pixie to live in his throat that catches and passes back up these items, he's actally swallowing it (though clearly with the rubik's cube and the sugar it's pre-swallowed). I assume it is an abnormality that he's been able to play to his advantage to make a living out of...
Posted by Chris Jones  in  UK  on  Sun Apr 25, 2010  at  02:24 PM
He is absolutely amazing!! But the stomach contains concentrated Hydrochloric acid at around pH 1.5. There is no was a fish could survive for even seconds submerged in stomach acid. He must either therefore be keeping the fish in his mouth or stopping them in his oesophagus.
Posted by Matthew  on  Mon Apr 26, 2010  at  02:09 PM
The accent is really, really off. Either he's not Scottish and the accent is just there to misdirect while his throat muscles contort, or he is Scottish but it's being distorted by something.

Either way, however he's doing it, it's an amazing trick.
Posted by harriet  on  Tue Apr 27, 2010  at  03:31 AM
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