Hi reddit. Penn Jillette here. I'm a magician, comedian, musician, actor, and best-selling author and more than half by weight of the team Penn & Teller. My latest project, Director's Cut is a crazy crazy movie that I'm trying to get made, so I hope you check it out. I'm here to take your questions. AMA.

PROOF: https://twitter.com/pennjillette/status/391233409202147328

Hey y'all, brothers and sisters and others, Thanks so much for this great time. I have to make sure to do one of these again soon. Please, right now, go to FundAnything.com/Penn and watch the video that Adam Rifkin and I made. It's really good, and then lay some jingle on us to make the full movie. Thanks for all your kind questions and a real blast. Thanks again. Love you all.

Comments: 4720 • Responses: 70  • Date: 

fezzik01972 karma

No question here but I wanted you to know that my mentally disabled brother and I saw your show in NY (many moons ago) and you had him toss out a giant fuzzy dice. You should know that he still talks about it and it was a highlight in his life.


pennjilletteAMA1692 karma

Wow. Thanks for telling me that.

pennjilletteAMA1803 karma

We still need to the "Bullshit of Bullshit" episode and bust ourselves. We never got a chance to do that show. It looks like a deal is close to broadcast the U.K. "Penn & Teller: Fool Us" in the States, but can't say what network yet. Then maybe make some new ones.

pennjilletteAMA1302 karma

Teller and I maintain what seems to be one of the best working relationships in showbiz by having a business relationship. Over all these years, he's become my best friend, but we didn't start with affection, we started with respect. We keep things pretty formal. We probably hang purely socially about 3 times a year

JeffRyan11052 karma

Have you ever thought of an April Fools Day show where you just mime and Teller does all the talking?

pennjilletteAMA1837 karma

We've done appearances with Teller talking and me silent. Mostly for magician gatherings.

antoniusmagnus566 karma

[serious] What was clown college like? A friend of mine wants to go. Is it hard to get accepted? Are the only run by Barnum and Bailey?

pennjilletteAMA814 karma

It was wicked hard to get into Clown College. It was important to me to meet people who took funny seriously. I'd never met anyone like that before CC.

ohsweetjesusmytits515 karma

Do you firmly stand behind all of your views expressed in Bullshit? Have you changed your mind about anything since releasing an episode?

pennjilletteAMA635 karma

I'm sad to say I haven't changed much on the Bullshit topics. We were pretty careful. But, you have to pay attention to what I really say and not what people say I said, like "Global Warming" and "Second Hand Smoke."

Ashenfall486 karma

On P&T Bullshit!, I sometimes thought that the calibre of ’expert' you brought on was not really up to standard, and other people in the field may have been much harder to call 'bullshit' on. So, basically, what I'm asking is, on what basis did you choose your experts on?

pennjilletteAMA714 karma

We chose or "experts" on Bullshit mostly based on who would come on. But, we didn't cheat. We represented the "bad guys" points as best we could. We were fair but very biased.

TubbyTag480 karma

Hi Penn! Would you ever consider running for political office in some capacity?

pennjilletteAMA1420 karma

I've been asked to run for office, but I think the job I have is better.

PrincessGary458 karma

Whats the one thing that's really pissing you off right now?

pennjilletteAMA773 karma

I'm pretty bummed by the New York Times -- I may have to stop reading it.

citizen_coping437 karma

Is Gary Busey as batshit crazy in real life as he is for the cameras?

pennjilletteAMA1030 karma

Gary Busey dances beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving free. He's odder in person than he seems on TV.

stooge4ever422 karma

Hi Penn, were you teased about your size growing up? If so, are you comfortable with it now?

What does Teller's voice actually sound like?

pennjilletteAMA708 karma

Teller have a very well-modulated, kind, professorial voice. Not soft-spoken, but slow and careful. I was teased (and hit and hurt) because of my size (couple with my refusal to ever hit anyone in anger). But, we're not talking real danger to me, just annoyance.

MattDaBeast416 karma

You're a personal hero of mine, Penn! (I'm a poor judge of character)

What kind of TV shows do you watch now? (If you want to be popular, Breaking Bad is a good start) Movies?

pennjilletteAMA813 karma

I agree with everyone in the world that "Breaking Bad" is one of the greatest things ever done. It's Moby Dick. It's Dylan.

mecartistronico328 karma

I LOVE that you guys stay around after the show to meet and greet everyone, especially after how tired you must be then.

Has anyone ever done something particularly funny or said something that makes you remember that particular night?

pennjilletteAMA462 karma

I always remember signing breasts or anything sexual people say.

spicyfishtacos322 karma

WHen I was a child, I remember seeing a TV show where you and teller were showing the viewer around your homes. You had a dungeon with a sex swing and a bible cut into the shape of a gun, and Teller made a point of showing the viewer that he brushed his teeth in the shower. Did this really happen or is my 10 year old mind making it up?

pennjilletteAMA383 karma

All true.

jessebmiller300 karma

What is the most vulgar phrase you would wear on a t-shirt?

pennjilletteAMA840 karma

"Fuck God Hard"

pennjilletteAMA361 karma

I would wear most anything on a t-shirt. What you got?

Marylandman101244 karma

If you could ask President Obama one question, what would it be?

pennjilletteAMA1280 karma

What the fucking fuck?

pennjilletteAMA222 karma

Hey y'all, brothers and sisters and others, Thanks so much for this great time. I have to make sure to do one of these again soon. Please, right now, go to fundanything.com/penn and watch the video that Adam Rifkin and I made. It's really good, and then lay some jingle on us to make the full movie. Thanks for all your kind questions and a real blast. Thanks again. Love you all.

cabridges200 karma

Will you have any nude scenes in "Director's Cuts"? Just need to know how to adjust my contribution...

pennjilletteAMA327 karma

I' like to do a nude scene in "Director's Cut." Penn & Teller were the first male full frontal nude on the Las Vegas STrip.

d4m4s74191 karma

A while ago Val Valentino (the masked magician) did an AMA, and he says the event you discribed in your book (about him in a strip club) never happened. I would deny it too if anything like that ever happened to me, but really, is it true, or is it just a cool but made-up story?

Anyway, big fan. I already donated to Directors Cut a few weeks ago.

pennjilletteAMA341 karma

I believe it's true. I'm sure his memory would be different and the examples I give of who doesn't wear a mask, were not remembered perfectly, they were recreated. Also, I wasn't nearly as aggressive in reality as I tell it in the story. But, yes, he asked me to verify that he was the MM and I refused to for those reasons. And it was at a strip club. But, my memory is not perfect.

del_fino158 karma

when are you going to appear on joe rogan's podcast?

pennjilletteAMA251 karma

Whenever he invites me.

LPMcQuack146 karma

You mentioned on Twitter you were trying to get new episodes of Bullshit! picked up on a new network. Can you elaborate a little on that?

pennjilletteAMA272 karma

I can't talk about where Bullshit might end up, but we're very very very eager to make a deal. We loved doing that.

PanicAtTheSisqo145 karma

What is your relationship with Teller off-screen/stage? I know a lot of great comedy/TV duos actually aren't great friends off-screen (Jamie/Adam from Mythbusters and Colin/Ryan from Whose Line), so I'm curious as to how your guys' relationship is.

pennjilletteAMA257 karma

Our relationship is WAY better than the ones you mention. We get along fine and respect each other perfectly.

HEY_PAUL145 karma

What is the typical structure of your day?

pennjilletteAMA387 karma

up at about 9. Write and do business until 3. See my family until 6:30. Go to Rio. Half hour of business before show. Play bass for an hour in preshow. Do magic show at 9. Meet audience and talk for about 45 minutes. Eat. come home, and read for a couple hours maybe watch a 20 minutes of a movie, go to sleep at about 3.

waka_flocculonodular144 karma

I love your brashness toward American Exceptionalism. Good work!

What are your thoughts on Gob the magician from Arrested Development?

pennjilletteAMA204 karma

I've never seen Arrested Development, but I"ve heard it's wonderful.

pennjilletteAMA126 karma

We have plans to do the U.K. next summer, but that's the only overseas plans we have.

Kustio118 karma

Hi Penn, I love your magic shows, I wish I could see one of them live one of these days.

How do you manage your time? You seem like a really busy person, with magic shows, guest appearances, TV shows, writing a book, having a family. When do you get time for some rest?

pennjilletteAMA244 karma

I'm very very careful with my time. I try to do nothing that someone else could do. So, I write, I perform and I spend time with my family.

turking_account114 karma


pennjilletteAMA329 karma


armedcitizenx114 karma

Have you or Teller ever been injured doing your illusions? (Please describe)

Side note, my wife and I are huge fans and wish you still had the Bullshit show, it was great!

pennjilletteAMA245 karma

We have never been really hurt nor anyhone working with us. That's very very very important and we're proud of that. There is nothing else that is acceptable.

AnonForSenate110 karma

Hi Penn! Big fan. Blahblahblah.

How come you've never had a beer? Are you curious about it?

Hope you're well!

pennjilletteAMA258 karma

It's habit for me not to do recreational drugs. I'm always so busy.

pennjilletteAMA223 karma

I've never had a beer.

behemoth88797 karma

What's the best place to eat in Vegas

pennjilletteAMA213 karma

I like Lotus of Siam

Aero0689 karma

I feel like you're a person who enjoys meatballs.

Can you confirm?

pennjilletteAMA116 karma


KevorkianStimpack85 karma

Hi! How was it decided between you and Teller that he would never talk, and why?

pennjilletteAMA217 karma

Teller was working silently before he met me.

The_Untitled181 karma

Hey Penn! Great to hear that you're doing an AMA, I missed the previous ones! If you don't mind, I have a few questions I'd like to ask:

1) What is the magic trick that you enjoy performing the most?

2) Have you ever personally played Desert Bus, from the Penn & Teller's Smoke and Mirrors game? If so, how long have you managed to play it without losing your sanity/crashing the bus? (If anyone would like to play it, you can find it here)

3) On a scale of 1 - 10, how likely - or unlikely - would a new series of Bullshit be?


pennjilletteAMA112 karma

I like doing Cowboy in our show a lot. I've never played Desert Bus. I would give it a 4.

psyberdel80 karma

Penn, first of all I really enjoy your participation in The Apprentice. During the finale, did you at some point think that Mr. Cottoncandy Hair would do the right thing and declare you the winner? Or was it always in the back your mind that the whole season was just a build up to him finally getting back at you?

pennjilletteAMA157 karma

It seemed to me pretty unlikely that he would rise above that, but stranger things have happened. And Trace is great, so who gives a fuck?

pennjilletteAMA77 karma

Okay, I hope you're all impressed with how fast I type. I've been going since 9. I have to pee. Please check out our video at fundanything.com/penn while I'm gone. BRB

WebKoala70 karma

How did u get in to magic?

pennjilletteAMA177 karma

I got into magic through juggling and desperately wanting to be in showbiz and not having enough musical talent.

pennjilletteAMA140 karma

the best way to get into magic is to read and practice too much.

OneNamedLucas69 karma

How do you feel when other magicians reveal how to pull off tricks and illusions?

pennjilletteAMA149 karma

I like it.

SuperDaniYell67 karma

What dark side of yourself did you have to tap into when filming your Director's Cut promo? It was freaky & awesome!!!

pennjilletteAMA152 karma

There's not real dark side to tap into -- it's a celebration of life, like all horror.

pennjilletteAMA67 karma

Penn & Teller will be playing a few locations in the U.K.

duncanmarshall61 karma

What overlap - if any - is there between your politics, and the Tea Party's?

pennjilletteAMA196 karma

The Tea Party claims to want small government. I'm not sure thye really do, but I agree with the idea.

cornfedpig55 karma

As someone who obviously loves music, what's your favourite song, album and artist of all time? And what's the best concert you've ever attended?

PS - Your Vegas show was the absolute highlight of my last visit, (which incidentally included the conception of my son). It was awesome.

pennjilletteAMA104 karma

Thanks so much. Sometimes conception is less fun than the stuff leading up. I can't find better than Dylan -- I often have to go back and "talk to Bob" when I need to think. I also love Sun Ra.

MissWho49 karma

How did you come up with your daughter's middle name?! It's awesome!

pennjilletteAMA83 karma

It was my wife's idea.

FuzzyB9248 karma

I don't really have any questions, I just want to thank you for making me both laugh and be in amazement from your shows.

pennjilletteAMA114 karma

Thanks baby.

ne066747 karma

How much are your hot tubs for her pleasure ?

pennjilletteAMA105 karma

Just build one. And invite me over to watch it being used.

captshady44 karma

Big fan here, with more of a story than a question. My sister saw you in Vegas, and asked if she could get a picture with you, for me. You agreed, and while posing, I guess ever the entertainer, screamed to my sister "STOP GRABBING MY ASS". My sister laughed, and said "I'm not touching your ass", but my sweet Italian mother ... took your joke as an invitation, and pinched your ass. When my mother pinches ass, she doesn't just do a light pinch on a small amount of skin, she grabs ASS, and squeezes with the strength of a jackhammer operator. Apparently she scared the ever-lovin piss outta ya, and you took off running.

Firstly, I apologize for my saintly mother's actions. Secondly, do you even remember it? I'm not sure how often a man such as yourself gets his ass grabbed in quite that way, but the story is burned into my memory. If you're forgiving man, it'll be a fond memory.

pennjilletteAMA50 karma

Yes, women sometimes pinch my ass hard . . . and I like it.

StanDinfamy40 karma

What is your relationship with Matt and Trey?

pennjilletteAMA54 karma

I love them and worship them.

My_Body_Aches36 karma

Bugger. I'm probably way too late.

Anyway, on the off chance this gets seen, I've read your book probably 10 times, and it probably seems incredibly fake or silly after hearing it a million times, but I find you to be one of the extremely rare role models in my life.

I completely stole your balloon idea that replaces religious type things, when my grandpa passed away 6 months ago, it was devastating, and I wound up at his grave every week just talking and crying, then one day I got back in my truck and it clicked somehow that I had your book in my pack.

I ended up reading that entire chapter sitting with my grandpas gravestone, not speaking to him really, but reading for me.

The next day I got some balloons and I went to his grave site again, and I released them and it was the first time I had smiled in weeks, I was remembering him for the times we played cards on thanksgiving until 3 in the morning, laughing and sipping old whiskeys, and playing pool, and trap shooting all over the country.

Maybe it wasn't really your book, or your ritual, maybe it was just time for me to be ready to stop crying over his passing, and instead being happy for his life. I still however give you credit for vicariously helping me through that time in my life which was really difficult.

So.. I guess I don't have a question. I've just never told that story before even to the rest of my family, and I guess if you happen to see this somehow, I want to thank you for being wiser than I was at that time, and that you really did help someone.

pennjilletteAMA25 karma

Thank you and I'm so sorry for your loss.

thegerbear7135 karma


Favorite food? Favorite movie?


pennjilletteAMA96 karma

Orange jell-o with grated carrots and pineapple and Miracle Whip on top. Dawn of the Dead (Romero, although the Gunn is great too).

korn_spiracy30 karma

Hi Penn

How do you respond to the people who think that you turning to crowd funding is bad. Not that they don't like crowd funding, the ones who don't like YOU crowd funding.

For the record I think it's great. Keep up the awesome work!

Also, any hints as to what is gonna be in the grab bag of your favourite things? You've gotten me all excited to receive mine.

pennjilletteAMA102 karma

I haven't had anyone say I shouldn't crowd-fund. The people who don't want me to, should just not give money. It's an easy fix.

crapnapkins30 karma

Is it more important that your movie is a fiscal or critical success?

pennjilletteAMA72 karma

I don't rank things like that. Not my style.

pennjilletteAMA25 karma

Okay, I'm back. I've changed from Miles to Ornette and I'm back.

stale_ennui25 karma

Is it true that you're The Best A Man Can Get? or is that just hype?

pennjilletteAMA18 karma


hollywooddebi25 karma

can you discuss the director's cut script yet? maybe tell us about an interesting change adam rifkin made that you particularly like?

pennjilletteAMA45 karma

Adam made the "Director's Cut" script more gory and more sexy. He's good at that. He also made the plot clearer. He's brilliant.

unffligh22 karma


You got robbed on Celebrity Apprentice. Could you see that result coming from a mile away? You handled yourself graciously. I'm glad you gave that show a second chance, I think your personality came through much better the second time around.

pennjilletteAMA37 karma

Yeah, Donny has some problems with me. It's his show, there's no rules, he just does what he wants. Trace is a good guy, I'm glad he did well.

maguslod21 karma

Hey Bad Penn... I have already thrown coin at the project and can't wait to see it. One question about Director's Cut I have is will there be a commentary track on top of the commentary track? I love commentary tracks and it would be great to have people who have nothing to do with the movie do one (like they did with Rules of Attraction). Would be great to get some of your friends to do a track just having fun with the movie.

pennjilletteAMA70 karma

Yes, we are planning on doing a commentary track over the commentary track. We are nothing if not Meta.

sharkiness20 karma

Penn, you seem like one of the most politically well-informed celebrities out there, what are your thoughts on the government shutdown?

pennjilletteAMA83 karma

The government "shut down" seemed jive-ass. I hated all the hysterical bullshit.

dummystupid16 karma

You have stated in the past that magicians help out the new guys and bring them into the fold, have you done this with any magicians? Have you done this with jugglers or other performers? Do you think it's a sort of responsibility to the craft for more known performers to help out the lesser known? Do you think this also extends to podcasting? If so would you do my podcast?

If I get an answer, thanks. If not, Happy Birthday.

pennjilletteAMA48 karma

I don't think much about mentoring. It's just not the way I interact. "I wanna be your lover baby, I don't want to be your boss."

Heroic_Lifesaver14 karma

Have you ever refused to perform a trick because it was too dangerous?

Or have you ever been told not to perform a trick for the same reason?

pennjilletteAMA39 karma

We will not perform (or watch) any trick that is really seriously dangerous. It's morally wrong. And a morally wrong claim to make.

Raver3213 karma

Penn, are you still active in the poker scene? If so, what have you been up to recently?

pennjilletteAMA53 karma

No, I don't really play games, except MineCraft with my children.

Lochcelious13 karma

All jokes aside if I came to see you and Teller, can I take you two to dinner after sometime? Also, thank you for making God No! I knew it would be funny but I never expected it to be so humbling. Thank you for sharing your talents with us, good sir!

pennjilletteAMA27 karma

I try to eat dinner whenever I can with my family. sorry.

Protential13 karma

Why are you guys so amazing?

Best show in Vegas hands down.

You guys should tell Copperfeild to stop taking himself so seriously, his show might suck a lot less.

Edit: Last saw your show about a year ago at the Rio, any new tricks added since then? Will likely see it again soon either way.

pennjilletteAMA29 karma

Copperfield is a good friend and has a GREAT sense of humor. GREAT.

Chabbabones13 karma

Hey, man. I saw an article online a bit ago about a guy with this thing that he called, "grift sense," and he took a pen out of your shirt pocket while you guys were talking and apparently removed the ink cylinder from the pen, and then when you went to use your pen, you realized he had done all this handiwork while you guys were talking, right across from each other. Was this bullshit or not?

pennjilletteAMA15 karma

It's true, it was Apollo Robbins.

Fooofed10 karma

How Disciplined are you?

pennjilletteAMA14 karma