Gordon Meyer shares this quotation:
After a full evening send off with Dante's party we couldn't get close to the meaning of 'Sim-Sala-Bim.Here are a few tidbits about sim sala bim from our dictionary of magic words:
—Theo Annemann, The Jinx #67
These magic words were made popular by the famous professional magician Dante/The Great Jansen. They also served as the name of his famous touring magic show. Professional magician Whit Haydn once used these words in his performances as a tribute to Dante. He explains: “Sim Sala Bim are nonsense syllables from a Danish nursery rhyme. Dante used them in his show, saying they meant ‘A thousand thanks.’ He said that the more applause, the bigger the bow, and the more thanks that the Sim Sala Bim would mean. Soon after moving to L.A. in the seventies, I bought a set of Dante’s rings from Ken Leckvold, who had bought them from Dante’s son. I really enjoyed performing with these rings, and eventually added Dante’s line as a magic word in my rope routine and silk to egg, sort of a tribute thing. I liked the Ali Baba/Aladdin kind of sound of the words.”
Sim salabim is spoken by a Turkish alchemist with magical powers in the early medieval folk play entitled Robyn Hode: A Mummers Play: “I have here a potion, brought from the east. It is called the golden elixir, and with one drop I will revive Robyn Hode with these magic words: ‘Sim Salabim.’ Rise up young man and see how your body can walk and sing.”
Dr. Herbert H. Nehrlich suggests that sim sala bim “is named after Ali Sim-sala-bim, a desert wanderer and—most importantly—a magician.”
Sim sala bim is “the Swedish equivalent of ‘abracadabra,’” and is known in other Scandinavian cultures as well.
After the Second World War, Kalanag, the stage name of professional German magician Helmut Schreiber, “toured the world with his spectacular, colorful illusion show Sim Sala Bim. . . . His show is now in the collection of the popular British magician, Paul Daniels.”
Sim Sala Bim is the name of a card trick by Kolin Tregaskes.
Professional magician Jade uses the magic phrase sim sala bim in Houdin’s Light & Heavy Chest illusion: “A box is easy to carry until—zap!—the magician Jade says the magic words. Suddenly, the box can’t be moved! In the front stage, you are invited to lift Jade’s magic chest. Then, with just the magic words, ‘Sim sala bim,’ Jade makes the chest too heavy to lift.”
Orson Welles uses Sim Sala Bim as magic words in the 1967 film Casino Royale.