James Randi is a noted magician, skeptic, and scourge of weirdos and lunatics. He does not believe in anything, including but not limited to: God, true love, and the inherent cuteness of bunnies. His mission is to spoil everyone else's fun and make them sad. He is most well known for his crusades against 'woo', which is an ill-defined conceptual nightmare, since Randi does not believe in defining things.
Career as a Magician
Randi had a long, illustrious career under the stage name The Amazing Randi (incredibly unimaginative even for him). His repertoire included such common magic tricks as pulling a rabbit out of a hat, making coins and other various small objects appear from behind audience members' ears, and making large statues and other various landmarks disappear. He soon grew disillusioned with his moderate lifestyle, and so decided to turn his back on the magical community. Randi henceforth made a living by exposing the methods of other so-called 'magicians' and proving them to be frauds. He is particularly famous for appearing with claimed 'mystifier' Uri Gellar on the Tonight Show, and demonstrating how Gellar had bent several spoons not with his mind but using a clever combination of sleight of hand and the assistance of a squad of tiny ants.
James Randi found that he'd been spreading himself a little thin over the years, because more people were having fun and getting life-saving psychic surgery. He decided to start a foundation that would make its goal the 'elimination of fun, with a secondary focus on the eradication of enjoyment'. The organization has grown steadily since its founding, and has repeatedly interrupted such propsed fun things as Psychics Convention 8 and Homopathy-O-Rama.
Recently, Randi's health has not been at an adequate level, and so he has deferred to his lackies to run his organization. Noted astronomer Phil Plait has taken the reigns of the JREF, and has performed admirably in the field of fun-spoiling by virtue of his accomplishments such as interrupting little league games by standing in the middle of the field because he doesn't believe in gravity. Despite not being involved in the day-to-day operations of JREF, Randi himself still likes to reside over its headquarters.
Million Dollar Challenge
James Randi pretends he has a million dollars so that he can sucker people into taking the JREF Challenge, which is loosely based on the Commodore 64 game Aztec Challenge. In the final stage after having made their way past the deadly spear gauntlet, the plummeting pyramid bricks, the spring-loaded booby-trap spikes, avoiding the poison darts and venomous vermin, swimming the pool of piranhas, and running over the rickety rope bridge, (like the one from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, except about 15 million times worse), the challenger must then play Randi in a game of Tic-Tac-Toe with one arm tied behind their back. Randi always gets to be X's, and always goes first. If there is a draw, then Randi wins. If the challenger wins then Randi gets to try again best out of three.
Although many people are sufficiently crazed to believe that they have actually won the challenge, Randi refuses to acknowledge the fact and wont pay them the money. This is characteristic of Randi's skeptical attitude in general, since he routinely denies the lunatics who claim proof of paranormal phenomena that is right under his nose. "C'est la vie", as they say in Patagonia - he spoils fun for a few people but at least he's not a frothing loony who believes in the paranormal: Let's face it, this isn't the fifteenth century anymore so why should anyone need to cultivate such retardedness as to believe in "woo" anyway?