Penn & Teller
Penn and Teller are magicians and entertainers who have been performing since the late ’70s. Penn Jillette and Teller. The two were first introduced together by Weir Chrisemer, and on August 19, 1975, the three performed their first show together. They were called “The Asparagus Valley Cultural Society, and the three performed together from 1975 through 1981. They often played in Petaluma, California, at the Phoenix Theater. Weir helped the trio develop some bits. The most notable one is Teller’s Shadows trick, which involves a single red rose. When Weir decided to quit showbiz in 1981, Penn and Teller were on their own. They worked on a show called Mrs. Lonsberry’s Seance of Horror.
Penn & Teller Go Public
Unlike Weir, both Penn and Teller dreamed of stardom. They starred in their own Off-Broadway show, which was also an Emmy Award-winning special, Penn & Teller Go Public in 1985. In 1987, they made it to Broadway and began their first of three Broadway runs.
Two Stars Are Born
The pair started becoming famous, and soon, they were a household name. They made plenty of appearances, including starring in a Run-DMC video, appearing on Late Night With David Letterman, Saturday Night Live, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Late Night With Conan O’Brien, Today, and many others. The also had cameos on TV shows, including Babylon 5, The Drew Carry Show, The Bernie Mac Show, West Wing, Sabrina The Teenage Witch, and Home Improvement. They lent their voices to The Simpson and Futurama.
In 2003, they receive their own show on Showtime called Bullshit. On the show, they didn’t do too much magic. Instead, they took a skeptical look at religion, psychics, conspiracy theories, and the paranormal, and tried to debunk various stories about these things. The show featured critical segments on astrology, Feng Shui, PETA, weight loss, gun control, and the war on drugs. The show ran from 2003 through 2010. In 2011, they starred in a series called, Penn & Teller Tell a Lie on The Discovery Channel, and Penn & Teller: Fool Us aired on the CW in 2015.
The dream of any entertainer, including magicians, is to get a headlining show in Las Vegas. This is something that they dreamed of since they started working together. They first shot in Vegas in 1993, where they were headlined a show at Bally’s. This was the dream, but they wanted more. That dream came true in 2001 when they began their long-lasting residency at The Rio. Their Vegas show is the longest-running headlining act in Vegas history. When the two have time off from their show, they return to Broadway to appear in The Rocky Horror Show. They have been very busy over the years.
Penn and Teller spend most of their time together, which would lead most to believe that they are the best of friends. The truth is that the two don’t have much in common besides magic. Because of this, they lead different lifestyles and have different interests, and they rarely interact or socialize when they aren’t performing or talking about performing. Penn calls Teller his best friend, and his children treat him as a close relative, but the relationship is based more on respect.
Hollywood Walk Of Fame
On April 5, 2013, Penn & Teller were honored with the 2,494th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. They received the star for their achievement in the category of Live Performance. Their star is placed perfectly, just a few steps away from the famous magician, Harry Houdini. It is also located just down the street from The Magic Castle.
Anyone who has ever seen the pair perform knows that Penn is the voice of the show, and Teller communicates using facial expressions and mime-like movements. Penn and Teller are amazing magicians, but there’s a sad reason why you never hear Teller speak. When he was first starting out in showbiz, he had a debilitating fear of being heckled. He thought that if he didn’t talk and just performed, the audience wouldn’t be able to find reasons to heckle him. When he met the rather chatty Penn, the two realized that they would make the perfect team.
The pair have managed to create a fantastic career based on Teller’s silence, and it has been working for them over 40 years. Today, the duo is so talented and so popular that audiences wouldn’t heckle Teller, but he still remains quiet. He chooses not to speak because the duo figures that if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it. Teller’s science is part of the act, and they have no intention of switching things up now.