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The Eric Thompson Story

The experiences and adventures of Eric Thompson

To use the word “accomplished” to describe the experiences and adventures of Eric Thompson would be quite an understatement.

As a professional comedian and magician, Eric has entertained audiences since the early 1980s with his unique style of uproarious comedy, improvisational hilarity, amazing magic, and indescribable illusions.

He is a gifted and highly talented comedic magician, a veteran of thousands of venues, including comedy clubs, theaters, college campuses, and private or corporate events. Eric’s distinctive variety of humor, individual flair, and cleverly adept ability to amaze have brought rave reviews from audiences and media alike.

Magic and sleight of hand

Thompson was born and raised in Warren, Ohio. After completing his high school education at Howland High School, Eric attended Youngstown State and Kent State Universities. While still a student, he began performing magic and sleight of hand at local bars and restaurants. At about that same time, he wrote a few jokes and worked on his delivery and presentation of stand-up comedy at Tickle’s Comedy Club in Warren, OH, during their weekly amateur nights.

Taking the act on the road

After winning several consecutive amateur night competitions, Eric was booked to be the opening act for several headlining comedians on their national tours.

Comedian Eric Thomson
Eric Thompson refined and sharpened his talents at open mic auditions and amateur nights at comedy clubs.

Shortly after that, and after much helpful encouragement from several famous and highly regarded comedians, Eric combined his stand-up comedy with his well-honed magic act. He refined and sharpened his talents at open mic auditions and amateur nights at comedy clubs in Pittsburgh, PA, Cleveland, and Akron, Ohio. In the mid-1980s, Eric launched his professional entertainment career with a tour through more than eight states and Canada. He performed shows at colleges, comedy clubs, nightclubs, performing arts centers, corporate events, and private parties.

With no design on slowing down after more than forty years of entertaining audiences everywhere, Eric Thompson has continued to dazzle and thrill crowds with his performance of magic and illusion while providing side-splitting forty-plus laughter with his incomparable sense of comedic timing, his boisterous sense of humor and his unrivaled hilarious, sharp improvisational skills. Eric takes great pleasure and pride in entertaining and amazing each audience he encounters.

Throughout his career, Eric has performed with some of the biggest names in entertainment, including Kenny Loggins, Engelbert Humperdinck, Peter Yarrow of Peter Paul & Mary, Sly & The Family Stone, The Spinners, Peaches & Herb, Peter White, and many others. He has also shared the stage with hundreds of comedians, including Jay Leno, Andrew Dice Clay, Drew Carey, Sinbad, Dick Gregory, Pauley Shore, Jimmie JJ Walker, David Brenner, Tom Arnold, Richard Jeni, and many more.

The seed of charity

While traveling abroad many years ago, Eric recognized that many families, especially those with children, lacked necessities that we often take for granted in the United States. Hearing about impoverished nations and seeing their suffering are two different perspectives.

Million Miles Million Smiles
The children love his comical sense of humor and awesome magic tricks. In many villages,

The seed was planted when Eric met and spoke with people lacking consistently clean water, basic nutritional needs, and access to medical treatment, schools, and jobs. He was so moved that he began to search for a way to help. When a long-time friend approached him, offering a seat on a plane heading to meet a group of missionaries in Latin America, Eric jumped at the chance. The missionary director decided the best way to use Eric’s skills as an entertainer would be to organize shows in the many villages they would visit. The news of a professional American entertainer coming to perform for them brought out large crowds and anticipation in every village they visited. This would ensure that all of the village's residents would be together for food distribution, medical checks, and other aid.

The children love his comical sense of humor and awesome magic tricks. In many villages, he quickly became known as “Senor Mago Loco,” translated as “Mr. Crazy Magician.” The children would see his show at their school during the day and bring their entire family to the village center or a large church for a second show that evening. Here, Eric had the opportunity to meet and, with the aid of translators, talk at length with many people. He learned of their plight and how they worked to combat the problems associated with poverty and hunger.

These people touched Eric in a way that no one else could. Having shared their homes, food, and fellowship, Eric knew what he would do to help. Returning to the United States, he began a campaign to raise money. The money would buy a handout for his new friends in Latin America and an opportunity to grow their food. They could be able to sell or trade the extras at the market.

Eric quickly decided that this would become his obsession, and he named his program MILLION MILES MILLION SMILES. He promised the world that he would visit as many remote, distressed, and oppressed destinations where people were void of joy and hope. Bringing his ability for magic and comedy performance, Eric helps them laugh and forget their problems, even for a little while. At many of his MILLION MILES MILLION SMILES destinations, he arranges a large donation of food for the families in his audiences to take home.

Eric has raised thousands of dollars by performing benefit shows where the proceeds went to charity. These donations were surpassed by the many fraternal, religious, and community organizations who have continued to support this cause with matching or additional contributions. Many of his oldest friends and clients have generously made private donations to some of Eric’s favorite mission groups.

Much of the money has gone to purchase pairs of chickens for families in Peru, Guatemala, and West Africa. The families take care of the chickens, harvesting some eggs for food and allowing others to hatch. Within a few months, they have a flock that gives them an endless supply of protein and nourishment via eggs and meat to feed their family and sell the extra birds and eggs at the market. Eric’s passion and generosity have created dozens of entrepreneurs worldwide in underprivileged nations. This action is helping to eliminate poverty in dozens of villages, one family at a time.

World Wide Entertainment For A Cause

Eric has performed more than one hundred shows worldwide in such far-reaching places as Guatemala, Mexico, Cuba, Haiti, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, St. Maarten, The Bahamas, Martinique, Peru, Hong Kong, China, Burkina Faso, West Africa, Israel, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and more.

Eric has spent untold hours raising money and awareness for the less fortunate in the United States, too. He regularly performs in homeless shelters, churches, and charities, raising money and awareness for countless aid organizations.

During a recent Christmas season, Eric wanted to send a few pairs of mating chickens to the families in Guatemala and Burkina Faso, West Africa, that befriended him during his time in their countries. Setting out to raise enough money to send two dozen pairs of chickens to each nation, he put the word out at a handful of his performances and via social media. Within a couple of weeks, he and his friends had collected several thousand dollars to purchase hundreds of chickens to help entire populations of people in several small villages in Africa and Latin America, where Eric spent time performing and making friends.

Many publications and organizations, including The American Red Cross, The United States House of Representatives, and the UNICEF USA Leadership Council, have recognized his work.

All his travel and travel-related expenses are done without donations or grants. Eric and his family personally pay for every trip's incidental and travel expenses. They never use any gifts or offerings for travel or accommodations on these goodwill missions. The money raised only benefits the people who need it most. There is ZERO administration cost deducted from the funds Eric collects. MILLION MILES MILLION SMILES is an idea, a groundswell of the compassion and generosity of Eric Thompson and a wide circle of his friends and family who want to help those who need it the most.

Outside of his entertainment career

Eric has been married to Susan for almost 40 years, and they have three children: Sara (Josh), Eric Thompson Jr. (Chrissy), and Katlyn. They are the adoring grandparents to granddaughters Madilyn, Emily, and Briella and grandsons Elliot, Grayson, Jaxon, and Levi.

Comedian & Magician Eric Thompson Bio
Comedian Eric is married to Susan, and they have three children and seven grandchildren.

Eric continues to live in Northeast Ohio, where he served as a firefighter and EMT (emergency medical technician) with his local Fire Department. He served two terms as an elected City Councilman and on the boards of many philanthropic, civic, business, and professional organizations over the years to make his community and the region surrounding his home and business a better place to live, work, and play. Among those non-profit committees are a shelter for women and children who are victims of domestic violence and a therapeutic horseback riding facility for physically and emotionally challenged children and adults. Local media and community groups have recognized his work with these and numerous other charitable organizations.

In addition to magic, comedy, and civic work within his community, Eric owns and operates several successful businesses, including Satolli Carpet & Floor Covering, a full-service retail carpet and flooring store, and The Warren Comedy Club, both located in his hometown of Warren, Ohio.

In 2023, Eric was inducted into the Howland Local School's Hall of Fame. He graduated from the school in 1980 and was recognized for his remarkable success as an entertainer and philanthropist. The Howland Achievement Hall of Fame is dedicated to honoring the outstanding achievements of members of the Howland Schools Community.

Thompson is frequently invited to appear on local television programs and as a speaker for groups interested in business, entertainment, and charitable efforts locally and across the United States.

Eric has been entertaining audiences for decades with his signature comedic style, magic, and illusions. He's performed hundreds of shows at comedy clubs, theaters and college campuses, and corporate events.

Comedian & Magician Eric Thompson Bio
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