Ricky Jay was not only the uncredited narrator of "Magnolia
," he appeared in the movie as the stage manager of the game show.
Also had a very successful one-man show called "Ricky Jay and His 52 Assistants," which ran for quite a while at the Second Stage Theater in New York, at the Steppenwolf Theater in Chicago, and was supposed to run in Australia (but I don't know if it did). The show was created and written by Jay, and directed by David Mamet, who also worked closely with Jay on the movies "House of Games," "The Spanish Prisoner," and "Things Change." He was also featured in a major role on an episode of "The X-Files" in which he played two roles.
Ricky Jay also worked as a technical consultant (creating special effects) for movies such as "Forrest Gump" and "Wilder Napalm," in collaboration with another expert magician, Michael Weber.
Jay is an acknowledged expert on not only magic, but Vaudeville, cons, and all manners of arcane performing arts. His book "Learned Pigs and Fireproof Women" is a fascinating text of some of the weirdest acts to ever be performed for the public. You can see his book lying on the table in the movie "Magnolia," when the young boy is first seen studying in the library.
Ricky has had a long and interesting career stemming from his expert abilities with playing cards and other props. He has traveled the world, studied under all the masters of the craft, and was also the curator for the magician's library at the Magic Castle in Los Angeles. This library is acknowledged to be the most extensive and complete collection of literature dealing with magic. At this point in time, it's doubtful that anyone knows more about the history of magic than Ricky Jay.