Cover Portrait for Karrell Fox in 1947
From the October, 1947 edition of TOPS Magazine. “By this time you’ve probably noticed that its Karrell Fox. “His Royal Slyness, King of Korn” on the cover this month The thing he holds in his hand is an ear of corn and if you like corn he’s got it – and he dishes it out – on stage and even off stage. In his more or less serious moments he’s manager of the Abbott Branch Store in Detroit.
For the past three or four years Fox has been making a national reputation for himself as the “King of Korn”, performing an act that while it has some suggestion of Magic was devised more for laughs than bafflement. He’s a favorite on shows for Magicians and has worked on several at the big time and regional conventions as well as the Get-Togethers at Colon.
And so far Karrell is not out of his teens. He’ll be 20 next January, but he has shown sense and the knack of whipping up entertainment that is far beyond his years. In this past year he collaborated on a big fashion show in Detroit, and wrote, directed, and worked in a variety show sponsored by the American Legion Post made up of veteran employees of the J. L. Hudson store. He also was one of the hits on the annual SAM show in New York last winter. Through the war years, Karrell worked many USO shows at service centers and camps in the vicinity of Detroit.
Aside from his duties in the Abbott branch store, Karrell is in demand for some of the best club dates in his hometown, and even has had offers from some of the top nightspots. The latter he has prudently declined as he feels he needs a couple more years before branching out into the night club field. He’ll be a better performer then, too, for this lad show marked improvement as an entertainer with each succeeding show.
Karrell was born in East Rainelle, W. Va., in 1928, and after a few years in Washington, D. C., where the Magic yen developed in him, his parents moved to Michigan – Hillsdale, Mich., to be exact. Since Hillsdale is only a short distance from Colon, it was not long before Karrell learned that fact an he soon began regular treks to the Magic Capital of the World and the Abbott showroom. At that time Karrell was helping his dad in the Penney Restaurant. Customers didn’t mind waiting for their orders from the kitchen for Karrell whiled away the waiting time by entertaining them with magical tricks. At that time he was performing Magic in a serious manner, albeit it may have been accompanied by the sly cracks, which are natural with the lad. But one day during a performance, Karrell did something that brought a real belly laugh. That did it, and ever since the Fox brand of entertainment has given first place to comedy. The development of the “corn” came along as a matter of course.
From Hillsdale, Karrell went back to Washington for a brief stay and when he came back to the Mid-west, he could be found behind the counter at Carlo’s Magic Shop in Toledo. From there he went to Detroit where his father had located and by the time the Abbott Detroit Branch was under way, Karrell was called in to take over.
Among his off time activities is the coaching of youngsters in Magic, and at the present time he is the mentor of six Detroit lads who are becoming Magicians under his tutelage. One of them, indeed, was one of the hits of the Get-Together Shows – Mickey Ostasky, whose performance of the Zombie was a showstopper. The other five, according to Karrell, are comers too. He also has found time to devise several tricks which have found favor in the Magic markets, his latest being the Foxy Paper Tear, which is a torn and restored effect a bit different.
Karrell has made friends wherever he goes for his effervescent personality and sincere friendliness grows on everyone he meets.”
Karell Fox (1928-1998), appeared at Abbott’s Get together in 1939, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1952, 1961, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, and 1997,