Penn Teller

Penn Teller Tickets

Penn & Teller are Las Vegas headliners whose act is a combination of illusion and comedy. Penn Jillette is a storyteller; Teller generally uses mime while performing, although his voice can occasionally be heard throughout their performance. They specialize in gory tricks, exposures of fakers and of some magic tricks, and clever pranks, and have become associated with Las Vegas, atheism, scientific skepticism, and libertarianism Penn and Teller were introduced to one another by James Randi. From the late 1970s through 1981, the three made up an act called "Asparagus Valley Cultural Society" which played in San Francisco at the Phoenix Theater. This act was sillier and less "edgy" than today's Penn & Teller act. Chrisemer helped to develop some bits that continued on to be performed by Penn & Teller; most notably Teller's "Shadow-Flower" trick.
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While their social and political views are libertarian, the pair also describes themselves as teetotalers. Their book, Penn & Teller's How to Play in Traffic, explains that they shun absolutely all alcohol and drugs, including caffeine. Penn has said that he has never even tasted alcohol, and that his tolerance is so low that his doctor only had to administer a minute amount of anesthetic relative to what one would expect necessary for a man of his size to undergo surgery. Penn Jillette hosted a weekday one-hour talk show on Infinity Broadcasting's Free FM radio network from January 3, 2006 to March 2, 2007 with co-host Michael Goudeau. He also hosts the game show Identity which debuted on December 18, 2006 on NBC.

Penn & Teller have also shown support for the Bright?s movement and are now listed on the movement's homepage under the Enthusiastic Bright?s section. Their tricks include Teller hanging upside-down over a bed of spikes in a straitjacket, Teller drowning in a huge container of water, Teller being run over by an 18-wheel tractor-trailer, Teller swinging over bear-traps on a trapeze, and knives going through Penn's hands. Many of their effects rely heavily on shock appeal and violence, although presented in a humorous manner.

Sometimes, the pair will claim to reveal a secret of how a magic trick is done, but those tricks are usually invented by the duo for the sole purpose of exposing them, and therefore designed with more spectacular and weird methods than would have been necessary had it just been a "proper" magic trick. For example, in the reveal of one trick, while Teller waits for his cue, he reads magazines and eats a snack. Another example is their rendition of the cups and balls, using transparent cups. Penn and Teller perform their own adaptation of the famous bullet catch illusion. Each simultaneously fires a gun at the other, through small panes of glass, and then "catches" the other's bullets in his mouth.

They also have an assortment of card tricks in their catalog, virtually all of them involving the force of the Three of Clubs on an unsuspecting audience member as this card is easy for viewers to identify on television cameras.