“Other Side with Zabrecky”: A new séance series puts celebrities in contact with the spirit world

By on August 9, 2019

Other Side with Zabrecky is a new celebrity séance web series hosted by award-winning magician/mentalist/musician/actor Rob Zabrecky, who puts some of his comedic acting pals in contact with the spirit world.

Watch the first five episodes of this dark comedic, uniquely supernatural drama series — featuring Jack Black, Kate Flannery (“Meredith” from NBC’s “The Office”), Jason Sudeikis and Will Forte (both ex-SNL), and series co-director Jeff Marc Grossman, who contacts Nancy Reagan — on Night Flight Plus.

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We asked Rob to tell us a little about Other Side with Zabrecky:

“Other Side with Zabrecky is a comedy/drama series that I created with my wife and partner, Tommi Zabrecky (a.k.a. Mrs. Bobby Microwave). I perform host duties and welcome famous, well-known, and fascinating guests into my home to participate in a one-on-one séance to contact a departed spirit of their choice.”

“We begin each episode with a brief monologue; sometimes reflective, sometimes whimsical, and other times abstract, to provide some insight about our guest. Then, I greet the guest and we discuss the importance of the spirit they wish to contact. The guest places an offering (as payment for my services) inside a haunted cigar box and I lead an incantation — one that allows us to exit the real world and enter an exhilarating dark-ride of mystery, suspense, and afterlife madness and fun.”

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“After summoning the selected spirit, I ask questions on behalf of my guest. As we converse, an unwanted ghost interrupts the séance with a brief appearance. This presence is identified to viewers as ‘The Unwanted Ghost’ but is quickly thrown out of the séances. After the séance, my guest and I share a moment and sip milk or soft drinks and discuss our journey. Each episode is approximately 5-8 minutes in length.”

“Some of my guests have included Jack Black contacting Kurt Cobain, Kate Flannery contacting Ethel Merman, and Will Forte contacting W.C. Fields. The first season comprises of thirteen guests and thirteen ghosts. The program is filmed and edited in lo-fidelity black and white and stylized, filtered color, employing a unique color palate known as ‘Zabrek-O-Vision.'”

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“The idea for the show emerged while exploring TV/online ideas for my magic character to live outside of live performances. I’d performed thousands of shows at the Magic Castle, and hundreds of séances inside the Magic Castle’s Houdini Séance Room, so felt some type of séance show seemed like an interesting realm to explore.”

“We asked some of our entertainer friends to participate, and in little time were off and running. We also incorporated the talents of our friend, editor, and director Jeff Grossman, who has been a driving force behind the show. At present time we are half way thought the first season, so stay tuned in to see who’s joining me next!”

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Thanks, Rob!

Read more about Rob Zabrecky below.

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A sweaty post-gig Possum Dixon, circa 1993

Burbank, CA-born Rob Zabrecky was the lead singer/bassist and primary songwriter for the L.A. band Possum Dixon, who released three albums on Interscope Records during the 1990s.

Their last, 1998’s New Sheets, was produced by Ric Ocasek and featured songs Zabrecky had co-written with Jane Wiedlin and Charlotte Caffey of the Go-Gos, and Dave Stewart of Eurythmics, among others.

After their split, Zabrecky kept busy with various music projects, including fronting Human Hands and playing bass in a Gun Club tribute band, alongside original members Ward Dotson and Terry Graham.

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Rob (photo by Brian Doben)

Zabrecky first became interested in magic after being shown a nifty disappearing trick in a magic store in Baltimore (Possum Dixon toured with, among others, the Lemonheads, the Dead Milkmen and the Violent Femmes).

That night, while the band was waiting for their guitar player to re-string his guitar, Zabrecky performed the trick for the club audience, making a condom disappear.

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Back in L.A., Zabrecky made regular pilgrimages to the Magic Castle, an invite-only upscale private club , located in an early 20th century Victorian mansion.

Mae West, W.C. Fields and Bela Lugosi were all card-carrying members, among other famous celebs and magicians.

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Zabrecky spent so much time researching magic tricks in the Magic Castle’s basement library he was later given a job as a substitute librarian.

It was upstairs, however, in the Parlour of Prestidigitation and other performance spaces, where he truly shined, becoming one of the Magic Castle’s top performing stage musicians.

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Along with wife Tommi (who co-directs Other Side episodes with Grossman) and Erika Larsen (daughter of two Magic Castle co-founders), Zabrecky also hosts his own variety show, “The Zabrecky Hour,” which was first performed in an antique theater located in the backyard of Erika’s family home in L.A.’s Hancock Park.

In 2003, Zabrecky formed the Unholy Three, an offbeat cabaret trio — with British-born ex-Pixies drummer David Lovering and cable TV personality Fitzgerald — performing Dada-esque magic tricks and mentalist feats.

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As an actor, Zabrecky has appeared in numerous cable and network TV shows, including “GLOW,” “Comedy Bang! Bang!,” “The Mentalist,” and CBS All Access’s “Strange Angel,” based on the story of rocket scientist/weirdo Jack Parsons.

He’s also had numerous supporting roles in feature films like A Ghost Story, Ryan Gosling’s directorial debut Lost River, and Decay.

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Zabrecky’s memoir, Strange Cures — about the L.A. underground music world of the early 90s — was published earlier this year by Rothco Press.

Below: Rob (photo by August Bradley, 2008)

Watch Other Side with Zabrecky — future episodes include Devo‘s Mark Mothersbaugh, and the Jesus Lizard‘s David Yow, among others — on Night Flight Plus.

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About Bryan Thomas

Bryan Thomas has been a freelancing writer/critic for All Music Guide, and a contributor to Launch, Music Connection, Big Takeover and numerous other publications and entertainment websites, blogs and zines, most of them long gone. He's written more than sixty sets of liner notes. He’s also worked for over twenty years at mostly reissue record labels -- prior to that he worked in bookstores and record stores, going all the way back to the original vinyl daze. He lives in the Miracle Mile neighborhood of Los Angeles, CA.