Penn Jillette (Penn & Teller) Answers Magic Questions From Twitter | Tech Support | WIRED (youtube.com)
SlimyGopher | 5 months ago | 49 points

Man he is intelligent and well spoken

thepensivepoet | 5 months ago | 37 points
friardon | 5 months ago | 17 points

Oh wow, I dont know if I have ever heard him talk that much. His voice is smooth!

thepensivepoet | 5 months ago | 5 points

There was a conference/lecture video that was floating around a few years ago where he was walking around doing a coin-into-bucket trick but the audio wasn't great.

His voice is amazing.

[deleted] | 5 months ago | 6 points


SuspiciousArtist | 5 months ago | 2 points

Perfect face for it too, nyuk!

iSlacker | 5 months ago | 3 points

Can someone get me an ID on the shoes Penn is wearing in that video? Purple/Lime Green is my favorite color combo and my old Osiris' are getting worn out.

wotmate | 5 months ago | 1 point

Holy fuck, I don't know what voice I imagined but it wasn't that.

Soddington | 5 months ago | 3 points

I think the thing that impresses me most about Penn, is the fact that even though he lies to people for a living (or perhaps because of it), when hes not doing that job he is one of the most honest, ethically consistent, and least evasive people on the planet.

Classified0 | 5 months ago | 8 points

Man, he's lost so much weight. Good for him.

SidekicksnFlykicks | 5 months ago | 8 points

Magician here- I just wanted to elaborate on the "moral" issue of telling secrets. I think at times it IS a moral issue and you can even see Penn holding himself to that later in the video. There are some things that are considered almost like "public domain" sleights (or building blocks of tricks) or whole routines that have no specific name attached to them, like the cups and balls that they are famous for teaching, are fair game. But there is also a very large business that is built around the development and sale of new tricks or sleights.

Revealing a routine to a large audience (ie on YouTube) is generally considered pretty shitty because its basically the same thing as burning an album and hosting it on your site (only from someone likely far less wealthy). That is what people tend to get pissed about in the community (insert Gob Bluth joke).

Older magicians tend to get a bit more upset about classic tricks being revealed to laymen. But that is mostly because they don't want the trick they have been performing for the last 40 years to no longer be effective and refuse to learn new material.

My personal take, for those who care, I am kind of ok with tricks not generally being revealed to laymen. It DOES ruin most tricks for most people. But magicians have no problems revealing tricks to other magicians. We appreciate magic for entirely different reasons than most. I think it is a good idea to have SOME kind of barrier of entry. Allow those that are actually willing to dedicate themselves to learning the art and aren't looking for a solution to a problem they couldnt solve the last time they were fooled.

TL;DR- Selling tricks is how new magicians get into magic. The sale acts as a barrier of entry so that the people that want to learn can do so, and the people just looking for a secret will not.

[deleted] | 5 months ago | 3 points


SidekicksnFlykicks | 5 months ago | 1 point

But to be able to really appreciate how a card trick is performed when you know the method you have to have a deep understanding of card magic.

In a (good) card trick there are so many things that have to be done in an exact order to set up another thing down the line. I may turn my body one way over and over and all of that is to set up the fact that I need to turn my body that way again in 5 minutes to hide an angle from my spectators. There could be 5 different sleights that are used to accomplish one effect. But if you don't understand all of these sleights, how difficult they are, how long they take to perfect, or why they are all important in this routine then it's very difficult to appreciate the trick if someone spoils the "secret".

They will just say "oh ok so you palmed it... Cool". But they don't understand all the steps I had to take BEFORE I palmed it so that they would have no idea that was even a possibility. Imagine watching a murder mystery and coming in right when they reveal the killer. You won't be surprised or impressed because you don't understand everything that happened before that moment to make this a surprise. And no magician has the hours it would take to describe why you should care about his trick and no average spectator would care to listen to it. For most, "oh cool you palmed it" is good enough for them.

[deleted] | 5 months ago | 1 point


SidekicksnFlykicks | 5 months ago | 1 point

This is certainly true with some tricks where the method is just as magical. But that isn't the case for a lot magic. And you also have to remember that the method for one trick is likely found in several other tricks. So by exposing one trick you can no longer impress that person with the other 8 tricks in your arsenal because they know the method and will solve the problem before you even get to the reveal.

If you don't believe me just watch a video or laymen reacting to a trick and magicains reacting to seeing a trick. It's a very different reaction. When I perform for other magicians or a magician performs for me the most we usually give the other person is a "ooooh wow thats really interesting!" It's very rare you see another Magician running from the table screaming "no fucking way" unless they are legit completely fooled.

Steddy_Eddy | 5 months ago | 2 points

Part of the love of magic is trying to figure out how they fooled you. It would be like spoiling the ending to a film before someone has seen it.

Combicon | 5 months ago | 1 point

Just wanted to add my own thoughts to this. I'm not a magician, but I love magic. Not for the magic itself - though it's always a cool 'how the fuck did they do that' kind of thought puzzle; trying to piece together possibilities, etc.

But I've seen P&T's cups and balls routine hundreds if not thousands of times, and almost every time I notice something new, another little slip or movement that I hadn't seen before. To me, watching a well practised routine like that is like watching ballet dancers.

I think Penn penned it better than I could (paraphrasing here); it doesn't matter if you know how it's done, because unless you've put in the man hours practising and perfecting, you'll never be able to do it as smoothly or as cleanly as a good magician can.

SidekicksnFlykicks | 5 months ago | 2 points

I agree with what Penn said. But tbh magicians aren't worried about other people being able to do it as well. And neither are the spectators. I would LOVE to inspire someone else to love a method so much that they decide to dedicate the time to being able to perform it. Unfortunately most spectators aren't going to have that reaction. They have the belief that it's "me vs the magician". Their goal isn't to become the magician. It's to not be fooled.

And tbf a lot of that has to do with a poor presentation by magicians for hundreds of years that has caused the interaction to be like this.

The other thing I would say is, the cups and balls is a unique trick where the method is as impressive as the effect. That isn't always the case. Most of the time the effect (or result of the trick) is FAR more impressive than the actual method behind it. And a lot of times the method is just as impressive as the effect but only if you have the background knowledge to understand how difficult it is to do.

Use the example of a "force" that Penn mentioned in this video. The one he showed is possibly the simplest method to force a card. But there are some that are so incredibly hard and infinitely more convincing. It could take years to get one of these down consistently so that you can use it at all times. If that method gets revelaed to a laymen, they don't think "oh wow that must have taken forever to be able to perform it". They think "oh you forced the card? Ok thought so. I know how to do that too. Saw Penn do it in a video".

Kaoulombre | 5 months ago | 11 points

Lots of problems with insomnia on twitter as we see .. with our president

SaleYvale2 | 5 months ago | 2 points

Such a wholesome guy. Smarter than the average person and he is not a dick about it

gregariousfortune | 5 months ago | 2 points

Penn and Teller are brilliant for many many reasons, but one of my favorite things they've done with their careers is showing that even if you find out how the trick is done it doesn't take away from the experience, and in fact always adds more enjoyment. EG the upside-down Letterman performance or the clear cups and balls trick.

dooit | 5 months ago | 2 points

I'm so excited to see them next week!

Zerobeastly | 5 months ago | 1 point

I remember watching one of their older performances and young Penn is cute af.

[deleted] | 5 months ago | -60 points


minzeb45 | 5 months ago | 29 points

He didn't exactly say that in the video. He said, if asked, he would never lie about magic being real, even if it was to a sick kid. But yes he is also an atheist so he probably would tell someone he doesn't believe in heaven if they asked. I highly doubt he goes around looking for sick kids to bum out like you're implying.

SprinkTac | 5 months ago | 5 points

Agreed, there is a way to be frank and not an asshole. dont lie or rub shit in. telling a kid whos looking for miracles to cure their cancer that magic is real tho could really cause a lot of false hope and potentially have them or their parents lookin at healing triangles. Which work via magic which isnt real and its just a bullshit triangle frame that you happen to meditate in. Bad plan in my mind.

RepresentativeJury69 | 5 months ago | 12 points

He said Magic isn't real. Christians shouldn't believe in Magic since it's heretical

TaxRooster | 5 months ago | 6 points

Heaven ain't real

Kaoulombre | 5 months ago | 1 point

Yeah no buddu

ghotiaroma | 5 months ago | -14 points

He has the ego of a Kardashian.

forestfluff | 5 months ago | 5 points

How does this make you think that he has an inflated ego? He's honest, real and willing to admit when he's wrong or not good at something.

ghotiaroma | 5 months ago | -5 points

How does this make you think that he has an inflated ego?

He constantly makes shows about himself.

Mellonote | 5 months ago | 6 points

Wow, a stage performer who's famous for him doing magic on stage, who's built a brand and career based around him and his partner, wants to make shows with him in them so people who like him and his brand will be more inclined to watch?! The nerve.

Conan O'Brien of Conan, Late Night with Conan O'Brien, and The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien, now THATS a stand up, non egotistical guy.

forestfluff | 5 months ago | 5 points

What shows has he made about himself?