On Sunday, November 15th, I received my prize for successfully fooling Penn & Teller on their TV show, “Penn & Teller: Fool Us.” I got to perform at their live show in Vegas.
And not just perform, but close their show. It was wild, sitting in the audience, watching them do their craft, laughing and being astonished like everyone else. And then half-way through the show, Penn pauses and says: “By the way, we’re the opening act tonight, so stick around and after we are done, you’re gonna see the performer that fooled us.”
And you realize they’re talking about you. And that in thirty minutes you’re going to be sharing the stage with them, entertaining the same group of 1,200 people that you’re now sitting with and facing the same direction, watching these two masters at work. Wild!
Once on stage, I presented an extended version of the trick, spending the first few minutes discussing the meaning of life with Penn & Teller and finishing by shuffling the cards in the same crazy way as we had done in the episode. Being with them on stage felt like a daydream.
After each of their shows, Penn & Teller go out into the entryway of their theater to hang out with all of their fans.
Their meet-and-greet sessions have been a staple of their performing careers. They give their fans an amazing opportunity to connect and interact. They are fun, patient, and caring and take their time for all the requested photos and autographs. My family and friends who traveled to Vegas to see the show all got their photos taken with them.
My Dad made Penn laugh when he walked up to him and said — copying the phrasing that Penn said to me on the TV show — “I want to say right up front: I hate you.” Penn laughed hard and my Dad was proud to break the ice in such a great way.
Next time you’re in Vegas, do yourself a favor, and head over to the Rio and get yourself tickets to the Penn & Teller Theater. Their show is unlike anything else in magic. It’s smart, it’s interesting, it’s full of wonderful thoughts & ideas and it has killer magic tricks. As I watched Penn & Teller vanish an elephant towards the end of the night I sat there completely fooled — washed over by the feeling of astonishment.
Thank you, Penn. Thank you, Teller. For being you. And for doing everything you’ve done separately and together. You are amazing and inspirational. You’ve made an indelible impact on the art of magic. And you’ve made a personal impact on my life and career. I’ll see you at the next show. Thank you.