Illusionist David Copperfield remembers some of his most iconic television specials, including the time he made the Statue of Liberty disappear!

Back in the 1980s, David Copperfield was a rock star, except he wasn’t really, he was a magician, ahem, illusionist; but he had rock star status. Before David Blaine, before Cris Angel, before Houdini — nope, that isn’t right — after Houdini, there was Copperfield. He was a very big deal, such a big deal in fact, that he convinced President Ronald Reagan to let him disappear the Statue of Liberty on live television. Yes, that Statue of Liberty.

That Time David Copperfield Made the Statue of Liberty Disappear

When a David Copperfield television special aired, families everywhere gathered together to watch the show. Millions of viewers watched as he walked through the Great Wall of China, escaped from Alcatraz, and flew in front of a live audience. But one of the best and most publicized events was when he made the Statue of Liberty disappear.

That Time David Copperfield Made the Statue of Liberty Disappear

As Copperfield tells it, his team had been planning the illusion for years but when they finally asked permission, the parks department said no. Fortunately, President Reagan was a big fan and, when asked, the president overrode the decision. David Copperfield was able to make the iconic statue disappear live on television. It was quite a show!

That Time David Copperfield Made the Statue of Liberty Disappear

Recently the illusionist sat down with GQ to discuss some of his most famous television events, watch the interview: