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Old 06-17-2019, 08:14 PM
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Penn & Teller Fool Us - New Season


I hope Dopers will continue to watch and offer guesses on how the tricks were done. None of the tricks on tonight’s episode were all that impressive, but does anyone have any idea how P&T did that trick for David Copperfield?
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Old 06-18-2019, 12:54 AM
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Penn & Teller Fool Us - New Season


The fooler guy - what did I miss? It looked like he literally just looked at the whole deck and sussed out what card was missing. Didn’t he?

The time travel dude was pretty good. I am thinking the drawing was no random drawing. I think it was already on the paper and the pen didn’t write it. The audience member didn’t see what he drew. Not sure how the rest of the trick worked tho!

The mouse traps I kinda feel that that was a brute force type of trick - he really did just pull it off as shown. But Penn seemed to indicate there was an actual trick to it, by having an answer to write down. Unless the answer was “holey blindfold”?

Last edited by ZipperJJ; 06-18-2019 at 12:54 AM.
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Old 06-18-2019, 01:33 AM
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Penn & Teller use a lot of rat traps in their acts. Are they rigged with weaker springs? It would still hurt but not break bones.

IIRC Penn has said in interviews that magicians can always see through blindfolds?

That's why Penn had to write it down. He can't say that in code without giving the trick away.

The handstand at the end would be an impressive trick even without a blindfold.

Last edited by aceplace57; 06-18-2019 at 01:35 AM.
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Old 06-18-2019, 02:08 AM
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Thought I understood Penn & Teller card trick. Based on David's comment he thought it was a false shuffle on a pre-loaded deck. .

But, there was something else that fooled David and it certainly fooled me.

They didn't try a force on another magician? That would be gutsy.

Last edited by aceplace57; 06-18-2019 at 02:11 AM.
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Old 06-18-2019, 05:26 AM
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It's time for my annual login to this site to discuss another new season of FU (season 6, since it's not specified in the thread title). New glitzy title sequence too.

Jan Reinder: I thought the rat trap trick was impressive. I want it to be more elaborate than "see-through blindfold." I don't think Penn would have been so coy if it was that hackneyed. Even if the traps were fake, Jan always found the empty spaces (and of course the handstand had to have been planned, so he didn't just "forget" one of the numbers). It seemed more acrobatic than magic, though.

Ondřej Pšenička: Previous fooler who got to decide his own fate tonight. I guess he was throwing a lot of tricks at them to throw them off the scent (what was the point of the beetles?). I don't think it's a coincidence that all the aces came up, so it must have been forced in some way. I thought it was very telling when Penn asked to see the cards, and Ondřej did something out of view (deck swap?). It doesn't feel like much of a mystery when he's literally looking through all the cards in the deck...twice.

Giancarlo Bernini: Wibbly wobbly timey wimey stuff. So judging from Penn's clues, the pen was the implemented device (one of those ones that remotely copy the pattern?). The phone was most likely swapped out of the bag. The platypus was a double. A clear reference to Shimshi (I'm not familiar with him). They didn't seem all that impressed although it was a fun one to watch.

Penn & Teller: The card trick seemed very ordinary, like something we've seen a dozen times on the show. I guess the novelty was David Copperfield judging them. He seemed to have all the elements but couldn't place them together, so they forced a "fool us" out of him. Kind of anticlimactic.

Poor Allison got tortured tonight, with the setting off of all the traps and getting a beetle crunched next to her ear.

Last edited by cluck; 06-18-2019 at 05:30 AM.
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Old 06-19-2019, 04:21 AM
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Giancarlo Bernini: Wibbly wobbly timey wimey stuff. So judging from Penn's clues, the pen was the implemented device (one of those ones that remotely copy the pattern?). The phone was most likely swapped out of the bag. The platypus was a double. A clear reference to Shimshi (I'm not familiar with him). They didn't seem all that impressed although it was a fun one to watch.
The pen was dry, so the volunteer never drew anything. Instead he ripped out the 2nd page of the notebook. Penn made a comment about this.

Last edited by sohvan; 06-19-2019 at 04:25 AM.
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Old 06-19-2019, 08:34 AM
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Wasn’t Penn also hinting that the pic was texted to him from someone else? Why would that be required for the trick to work?
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Old 06-19-2019, 08:34 AM
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Penn seemed to say that the rat traps were real. He talks a lot about how he doesn't condone any magician putting themselves or a volunteer in actual danger, but he said that breaking a finger or toe isn't so bad as long as it's not his finger or toe. I took that to mean that he thought that the traps were real (though they were probably not as strong as normal traps). But Alison had to manipulate the traps and Penn wouldn't allow her to be in any danger so I'm having trouble squaring those two things. Alison picked up traps with her bare hands at least twice that I recall. In one case I think that she removed a sprung trap from on top of a still-set trap. She could have sprung that trap while removing the other and I don't see how they would allow her to do that.
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Old 06-19-2019, 10:31 AM
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I assume the rat trap guy could see the traps, no magic there at all.

The drawing guy was using an existing scribble, that's the picture he took. The drawing guy had his eyes closed so he has no idea what he drew, and Penn indicated the pen was dry so he drew nothing.

The 'Smarty Pants Communist' did something to make the split likely to occur at the Ace of Spades but I'm sure he could have done the trick with any card though. Beats me how he did it. Marked cards? A deck switch? P&T should have been able to pick that up easily. Memorization? Could be I guess. He would have known what set of cards were in the middle of the deck where Alison would have cut. He had to pick out which one it was, and then just pull three cards to finish the gimmick. Since Alison picked the Ace of Spades it may have been easy for him to pull out the three aces. Notice that the third card only revealed the suit by elimination, why didn't he pull a spade? Because it was easier to locate the three aces in a hurry. That's all I got.

P&T's trick seems easy, but it may be more complicated than it seems since they wanted to make sure and fool Copperfield. They could see and hear how many cards he counted off and knew what card was there. Teller was pulling cards out of his pocket, he knew what the card was and had plenty of time to get that card into his pocket and pull it out at the right time. I don't know why Copperfield just didn't guess that even if it was done some other way.
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Old 06-19-2019, 10:32 AM
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I thought the rat trap trick was pretty great, but I'm quite sure the trick was merely a see-through blindfold and an extremely high level of athleticism. As he was making his way through the traps, his face was pointing down. No reason for that other than scoping out the safe areas. Still, mighty impressive.

Ondřej Pšenička, to me, was the least impressive. What sort of trick is it when you are overtly fanning through the deck looking at the cards and then, you stop and cut the cards where you want to place a certain card on top of the deck. He didn't even look at every card, there were at least 15 or so left in the deck at the point he stopped.

And I know this is a matter of personal taste, but I found his personality extremely off-putting bordering on annoying. I couldn't get past it. And the beetle thing? What the hell was that?

The time travel dude was a nice trick that will fool those who aren't looking too hard for a solution. I'm not saying I could reproduce it, but most of the elements are not hard to suss out. Bonus point because he seems like a nice guy.

David Copperfield segment: I used to know a similar trick, where you spell/count out the cards and land on the chosen one. I sure can't remember how it's done, though, and it did not involve placing the cards in a coat pocket.


mmm


ETA: On the card trick with the aces, if you freeze the screen on the point where the deck is splayed out and Penn is coming up to get the cards, you will see that all the low cards are suspiciously together on the left side of the deck and the right side is virtually all face cards. FWIW.

Last edited by Mean Mr. Mustard; 06-19-2019 at 10:35 AM.
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Old 06-19-2019, 11:35 AM
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I love Penn & Teller, but I had to quit this show. It ruined magic for me.

I get that "magic" relies not just on a handful of certain processes, but also the skillful presentation of those processes; that's what elevates P&T from a hack magician at a child's birthday party. But nevertheless, now that I understand a handful of those basic processes, magic is ruined for me. For example, watching America's Got Talent, not a single magician has impressed me. "He did a simple force." "That's obviously a false shuffle." And so on.

*No, I never actually believed that stage magicians were violating the laws of physics/the limits of the human brain before watching P&T. I knew they used centuries-old processes, I just didn't know what those processes were or how they worked. Now I do (some of them, anyway).
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Old 06-19-2019, 04:53 PM
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Magically appearing ace of spades theory shamelessly stolen from Reddit (with minor tweaks)

SPOILER:
The cards had color changing ink that worked under body heat. It's why it needed to be under her, not in a pocket, and why she couldn't look at it first. Any card would turn to the ace of spades under those conditions.

Then all he needs to do is protect the other three aces so they aren't the ones chosen. A 49 card deck isn't noticeably different from a 52 card deck and he could have palmed them in, or just stuck them at the top/bottom of the deck under the assumption that nobody will cut to card 1 unless P/T get to be the card cutters. Even then, stack the aces at the top for one reveal and stack JQK at the bottom for matching reveals.
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Old 06-19-2019, 06:10 PM
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The pen was dry, so the volunteer never drew anything. Instead he ripped out the 2nd page of the notebook. Penn made a comment about this.
I completely missed the tip about the pen being dry. That's definitely a much simpler explanation.

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Originally Posted by Darth Sensitive View Post
Magically appearing ace of spades theory shamelessly stolen from Reddit (with minor tweaks)

SPOILER:
The cards had color changing ink that worked under body heat. It's why it needed to be under her, not in a pocket, and why she couldn't look at it first. Any card would turn to the ace of spades under those conditions.

Then all he needs to do is protect the other three aces so they aren't the ones chosen. A 49 card deck isn't noticeably different from a 52 card deck and he could have palmed them in, or just stuck them at the top/bottom of the deck under the assumption that nobody will cut to card 1 unless P/T get to be the card cutters. Even then, stack the aces at the top for one reveal and stack JQK at the bottom for matching reveals.
She has a hot bum, so I buy it. I guess all the rest of it (beetles, shamelessly fanning through the cards) were all misdirects in order to manipulate P&T and secure the prize.
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Old 06-20-2019, 07:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Darth Sensitive View Post
Magically appearing ace of spades theory shamelessly stolen from Reddit (with minor tweaks)

SPOILER:
The cards had color changing ink that worked under body heat. It's why it needed to be under her, not in a pocket, and why she couldn't look at it first. Any card would turn to the ace of spades under those conditions.

Then all he needs to do is protect the other three aces so they aren't the ones chosen. A 49 card deck isn't noticeably different from a 52 card deck and he could have palmed them in, or just stuck them at the top/bottom of the deck under the assumption that nobody will cut to card 1 unless P/T get to be the card cutters. Even then, stack the aces at the top for one reveal and stack JQK at the bottom for matching reveals.
Butt Reading is a more likely explanation than this.
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Old 06-24-2019, 08:10 PM
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Episode 2

I thought for sure the keys were hidden somewhere in the screen that was placed around the Australian woman, but P&T didn’t even mention that possibility. Also, the screen was absurdly large. One question I would have asked her: “Could you do the exact same trick with a much smaller screen?”
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Old 06-24-2019, 09:32 PM
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Episode 2

I thought for sure the keys were hidden somewhere in the screen that was placed around the Australian woman, but P&T didn’t even mention that possibility. Also, the screen was absurdly large. One question I would have asked her: “Could you do the exact same trick with a much smaller screen?”
That was the most boring "trick" they've ever had; they might as well just said "everyone close your eyes" and it'd be just as exciting. I was actually expecting her father be locked up when they removed the screen. (But, how did she do it?)
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Old 06-24-2019, 10:01 PM
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I don’t know but I imagine the height of the screen must have something to do with it. Why not just block the view of her hands?

Also, re: the psychic woman - was Penn basically saying she had an accomplice in the audience signaling her the numbers? That would be pretty easy to do.
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Old 06-25-2019, 04:25 AM
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S06E02 - originally aired 6/24/2019

Seems like they are running out of new acts and instead inviting back all the previous foolers this season.

1. Javi Benitez - Close-up string magic. He kept saying at various points that he didn't want to "touch" the gypsy thread, yet at one point he grabs a bunch of pieces and tucks them into Allison's hand, so it seems like a simple sleight of hand.

2. Rebecca Herrera - Pulling numbers out of thin air. Did the sound of the blocks give it away, or was she concealing a device that wouldn't set off a metal detector? Would she be able to be signaled by an off-camera audience member or is that against the rules? I'm actually interested in learning more about this one.

3. Helen Coghlan - Chained behind a screen. Is it possible one of the assistants slipped a key into her hand and then she rattled around some chains in an attempt to buy time and make it seem more convincing? I don't know how else it could have been done. The screen was large but I think it was meant as a misdirect. Also, as soon as she's covered, you can see something poking through the screen...what was that?

4. Danny Cole - Tie and hanger magic, plus flying invisible chairs. I didn't understand Penn's double-speak, was he suggesting that Danny was miming all the chair stuff? I thought it was quite fun and looked impressive.

5. Penn & Teller - Silent magic of Penn Jillette. This trick actually creeped me out because I could tell there was something wrong with how Penn looked. Then near the end of the restoration, Penn's red fingernail disappeared (in another shot, you can see it fell on the floor). At that point, it was obvious what the reveal would be. Very Mission:Impossible-esque.

Also, heads up, P&T will be on Jimmy Fallon tonight (6/25). They tend to repeat acts that they've performed on Fool Us, so I wouldn't be surprised if they end up doing the same one as above.

Last edited by cluck; 06-25-2019 at 04:30 AM.
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Old 06-25-2019, 08:07 AM
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1. Javi Benitez - Close-up string magic. He kept saying at various points that he didn't want to "touch" the gypsy thread, yet at one point he grabs a bunch of pieces and tucks them into Allison's hand, so it seems like a simple sleight of hand.
Not sure about the details but he definitely throws something into the batch of string pieces, I assume an uncut string.

Quote:
2. Rebecca Herrera - Pulling numbers out of thin air. Did the sound of the blocks give it away, or was she concealing a device that wouldn't set off a metal detector? Would she be able to be signaled by an off-camera audience member or is that against the rules? I'm actually interested in learning more about this one.
I'm sure the music playing during the trance told her the numbers.

Quote:
3. Helen Coghlan - Chained behind a screen. Is it possible one of the assistants slipped a key into her hand and then she rattled around some chains in an attempt to buy time and make it seem more convincing? I don't know how else it could have been done. The screen was large but I think it was meant as a misdirect. Also, as soon as she's covered, you can see something poking through the screen...what was that?
Definitely something happening as soon as the enclosure is put around her, I assume her elbow poking into the material, but maybe that's misdirection. The key is the unnecessary time the assistants spend blocked by the enclosure. Not sure how that qualifies as no one ever being in the enclosure with her. Did they just hand her something? If they put a key in her left hand she might be able to jam it into the loop around the bar and then get her wrist over to unlock that hand. At the same time her right elbow is poking into the screen. Easy to get the other lock after freeing one hand.

Quote:
4. Danny Cole - Tie and hanger magic, plus flying invisible chairs. I didn't understand Penn's double-speak, was he suggesting that Danny was miming all the chair stuff? I thought it was quite fun and looked impressive.
Not sure what Penn's talking about, but I assume this is usually done with a lot of rigging. Using cleats on shoes to hook into the floor has become common for his sitting and leaning routine. Something moves the chair initially, after that it could all be him. Pretty well done though.

Quote:
5. Penn & Teller - Silent magic of Penn Jillette. This trick actually creeped me out because I could tell there was something wrong with how Penn looked. Then near the end of the restoration, Penn's red fingernail disappeared (in another shot, you can see it fell on the floor). At that point, it was obvious what the reveal would be. Very Mission:Impossible-esque.
I didn't catch the face but I knew those hands would turn out to be Teller's.

Last edited by TriPolar; 06-25-2019 at 08:08 AM.
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Old 06-25-2019, 08:20 AM
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Penn has put back on some weight since last season. He actually looks better. He was almost too thin last year.

He's said a serious health scare & hospitalization (90% heart blockage) was the reason for his dramatic weight loss.
https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/hea...s-potato-diet/

Last edited by aceplace57; 06-25-2019 at 08:22 AM.
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Old 06-25-2019, 08:27 AM
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It was a tough night for the Magicians. Fooling Penn & Teller twice is pretty hard.

I felt so bad for the Spanish guy with the thread trick. He performed the slight of hand so flawlessly. Such rotten luck that Teller has been researching that exact Trick to perform himself.

Anyone else shocked that Penn said they had been researching that trick for months? Months????? Just to perform a slight of hand trick with Thread?

I thought the handcuff act had potential. But that huge screen hid too much. We needed to see her struggle to get out.

Last edited by aceplace57; 06-25-2019 at 08:32 AM.
  #22  
Old 06-25-2019, 08:50 AM
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Anyone else shocked that Penn said they had been researching that trick for months? Months????? Just to perform a slight of hand trick with Thread?
Not in the least.
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Old 06-25-2019, 09:28 AM
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I understand it takes months to learn a trick.

But Penn said they researched this trick for months. How long does it take to select a interesting trick from a magic book?
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Old 06-25-2019, 10:20 AM
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How long does it take to select a interesting trick from a magic book?
That's not what they do. P&T tend to create new interpretations of classic tricks (and wholly original stuff) and it takes a lot of time and experimentation to come up with the best way to do that.

Helen Couglin bugs the shit out of me. She's managed to get two fools but she's the dullest presenter to ever be on the show. Use some damn showmanship.
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Old 06-25-2019, 06:25 PM
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Anyone else shocked that Penn said they had been researching that trick for months? Months????? Just to perform a slight of hand trick with Thread?
Many others have already made the point but hearing Penn and Teller tell the evolution and polishing of a trick for YEARS will make the point. This American Life #619 will tell the story in the magical duo's own words.
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Old 06-25-2019, 08:54 PM
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I used to do the string trick by using wax dental floss. The wax melts a bit when you rub it in your hand and puts the string back together.

This was not that, though.
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Old 06-25-2019, 09:05 PM
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2. Rebecca Herrera - Pulling numbers out of thin air. Did the sound of the blocks give it away, or was she concealing a device that wouldn't set off a metal detector? Would she be able to be signaled by an off-camera audience member or is that against the rules? I'm actually interested in learning more about this one.
Played it back and listened to the trance music. It played 5 distinct sound effects that clearly represented the numbers in order.

Neat trick, nothing I could not work on and master myself. Still, effective for an audience.
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Old 06-25-2019, 11:10 PM
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Many others have already made the point but hearing Penn and Teller tell the evolution and polishing of a trick for YEARS will make the point. This American Life #619 will tell the story in the magical duo's own words.
Ignorance fought. I didn't realize they put that much time into development.

I did notice Teller watching the thread trick very intently. It was a great opportunity to see the trick done by another skilled magician.

Last edited by aceplace57; 06-25-2019 at 11:14 PM.
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Old 06-26-2019, 12:17 PM
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Helen Couglin bugs the shit out of me. She's managed to get two fools but she's the dullest presenter to ever be on the show. Use some damn showmanship.
Man, she really is bad at it isn't she. Her tricks are mechanical in nature also. I dunno, maybe magic shows are different on the bottom of the world.

Her advantage is having unique tricks to perform that she and her dad made up. Any trick that's ever been written down or told or sold or taught or shared is easy for P&T to catch, but if it's a newly created effect they can be fooled, even without much showmanship or other skills.
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Old 06-26-2019, 04:59 PM
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Her advantage is having unique tricks to perform that she and her dad made up. Any trick that's ever been written down or told or sold or taught or shared is easy for P&T to catch, but if it's a newly created effect they can be fooled, even without much showmanship or other skills.
And showmanship and presentation count. Check out Mathieu Bich, who invented his own trick(including, I think, making the cards). In this trick, he:

- presents it beautifully
- anticipates Penn and Teller's guess and messes with them
- gets a genuine standing ovation from Teller, a true honor

It's a great trick called Spreadwave and he sells it. His newest version can do all 52 cards instead of being limited.

It's one of the great fooling moments of the show and also fits into the category of "totally fooled them" instead of getting them to guess slightly wrong.

Matthieu Bich fools P&T.
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Old 06-28-2019, 01:25 PM
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Helen Couglin bugs the shit out of me. She's managed to get two fools but she's the dullest presenter to ever be on the show. Use some damn showmanship.
I thought she looked pretty plain for a stage magician, but maybe that was part of the deception. Viewers would tend to think she was some dowdy housewife, kind of like Susan Boyle, but she uses that perception to her advantage somehow.
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Old 06-29-2019, 05:02 PM
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5. Penn & Teller - Silent magic of Penn Jillette. This trick actually creeped me out because I could tell there was something wrong with how Penn looked. Then near the end of the restoration, Penn's red fingernail disappeared (in another shot, you can see it fell on the floor). At that point, it was obvious what the reveal would be. Very Mission:Impossible-

Does anyone know what music they used during this bit? It’s very nice.
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Old 06-29-2019, 08:21 PM
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Ondřej Pšenička, to me, was the least impressive....I know this is a matter of personal taste, but I found his personality extremely off-putting bordering on annoying. I couldn't get past it. And the beetle thing? What the hell was that?
Agree 100% - maybe his humor lost something in translation, but I found the scatalogical references to Alison sitting on the card ("number 2", "dung" beetles) completely tasteless, and the "beetle" eating (I assume they were just candies or something) completely pointless.
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Old 06-30-2019, 07:55 PM
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Originally Posted by cluck View Post
S06E02 - originally aired 6/24/2019


5. Penn & Teller - Silent magic of Penn Jillette. This trick actually creeped me out because I could tell there was something wrong with how Penn looked. Then near the end of the restoration, Penn's red fingernail disappeared (in another shot, you can see it fell on the floor).
I guessed what was happening because Penn's hands seemed a little dainty for a man of his size.
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Old 07-01-2019, 11:54 AM
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4. Danny Cole - Tie and hanger magic, plus flying invisible chairs. I didn't understand Penn's double-speak, was he suggesting that Danny was miming all the chair stuff?
I'm not sure I completely understood Penn's double-speak, but it was pretty clear to me that Danny was miming the chair pulling him and that he was actually locked to the stage somehow, and holding the chair up (pretending it was pulling him up). I think Penn and Teller were a little impressed that he had a device in his pants that supported the whole length of his leg (so he could be leaning way over without falling) and yet let him walk normally.

Not sure how the string guy made the string come together, but it was obvious even first time through that he had the chance to add something at least. And one rewind made it super clear how he palmed the string and substituted the chalk or whatever he crumbled.

And I was wondering 'is that really Penn? It doesn't look like him!" during his trick.
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Old 07-01-2019, 02:49 PM
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Just caught up on the first two episodes. Most of my thoughts have been covered already.

I agree that Helen Coghlan’s trick was not good. There are three possible reasons that the assistants were out of our sight line for as long as they were:
1. They were undoing her locks. This is the obvious and most likely explanation, and she lawyered away the definition of “inside the enclosure” by contending they reached in or something.
2. They were red herrings. She wanted P&T to think this was the answer to throw them off. I don’t care for this tactic, but it’s a possibility.
3. The trick was just that poorly designed and performed. Given what we’ve seen of her, I’d believe this.
Whichever it was, this whole act was a clunker.

Regarding Rebecca Herrera, I thought maybe the chair was rigged with a thumper-type device, which would explain why Penn didn’t detect it on her person. The music explanation sounds right, though.

Going back to the previous episode, I wanted to mention Giancarlo Bernini and the time travel act. He seemed very likable, and the bit had a nice narrative flow, but unfortunately, I think it was clumsily executed. The point of having Alison hold the box off to the side was completely negated when he took it back to his own custom-made table to produce the items. Maybe the drawing was a copy, and maybe there were two platypuses (platypi?), but that wasn’t necessary, as it would be relatively trivial for a skilled sleight of hand artist to get the items from one table to the other at some point.
As for the running stopwatch, we never actually saw him open the stopwatch app; he always had the phone turned toward him. So I think we were simply seeing a video he had loaded onto the phone. That could be what Penn was talking about with the “you don’t know where it’s coming from” spiel.
With a little more polish, this kid could be really good, but he’s not there yet.
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Old 07-01-2019, 08:02 PM
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Episode 3:

The trick with the guy with his hands in the clay in the Legos was astonishing - was that the first time P&T awarded the trophy without even a discussion?
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Old 07-01-2019, 09:56 PM
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Episode 3:

The trick with the guy with his hands in the clay in the Legos was astonishing - was that the first time P&T awarded the trophy without even a discussion?
Now that I think about it: I wonder if the fact Penn didn’t have the option choose a face card is somehow the key to the trick.
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Old 07-01-2019, 10:56 PM
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Now that I think about it: I wonder if the fact Penn didn’t have the option choose a face card is somehow the key to the trick.
It makes it a little easier for sure. I don't know why they were so baffled, he needed a way to get the right card fed down his sleeve to put it in the box just like any of the 'sealed envelope' type tricks.
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Old 07-02-2019, 07:45 PM
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S06E03: The "Inventor" Episode - originally aired 7/1/19

Arkadia: Pirate-themed magic. I gotta admit, I was distracted by the red-and-black wardrobes of Arkadia and Allison, which seemed to perfectly complement each other. The faded stamp "tattoo" was pretty terrible, but the (obviously) freshly engraved "Red Bandit" was a nice touch. I'm guessing it was some sort of device in the box? Cool props, but it seemed like it needed a bit more polish.

Harry Keaton: Left/right brain tricks. I loved this act. Maybe the best part was watching P&T's expressions being transformed back to wide-eyed 5-year-old kids. I could definitely see Harry's hand going behind the box after every "transition" and somehow performing the switcheroo, but it was seamless and perplexing and amazing to watch. A well-deserved win.

Jandro: LEGO my card-o. This was a lot of fun, not least because Penn got to wield a bat. Whatever Jandro's hand was doing inside the clay, he was clearly buying time with a lot of banter. Like the previous trick, I have no idea how it was done but it was a pleasure to behold. The only thing I can think is that there was a bottom compartment to the alarmed box, but still, how could he slide a 2 of diamonds in there without seeing the card (or handling it after the fact)? I think Penn was so overjoyed by the pure illusion that he had to award it immediately because it might have started to fall apart under further consideration.

Derek Selinger: Hangmagician. A very cool visual gag with a lot at stake. I think the key to the whole thing is that we never see/verify what number the audience member pulls out of the bag (or what happens with the assistant behind the gallows). My uneducated guess is that whichever noose was pulled down around his neck deactivated the trapdoor (or maybe his standing there acted as a counterbalance of some sort). Nonetheless, I was entranced throughout.

Penn & Teller (& Mike Jones): Musical floating napkin. Invisible wire(s), right?

This was a great episode because it seemed to go back to the roots of Fool Us, which is presenting wholly original acts that the boys hadn't seen before.
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Old 07-03-2019, 08:19 AM
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My guess on the Harry Keaton one:
The box has two "rooms". The wall has the same colors as the backdrop on the stage. It looks like we can see through it, but we are looking at a divider in the box.
Allison reaches into the back room and feels the sponge or whatever, and then when the box is lifted we see the front room with the rock.
And I was wondering, for an illusion trick if Allison can see how it's done from her perspective, is the "rules" that she keeps quiet about it and act like she doesn't know?
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Old 07-03-2019, 10:34 AM
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My guess on the Harry Keaton one:
The box has two "rooms". The wall has the same colors as the backdrop on the stage. It looks like we can see through it, but we are looking at a divider in the box.
Allison reaches into the back room and feels the sponge or whatever, and then when the box is lifted we see the front room with the rock.
And I was wondering, for an illusion trick if Allison can see how it's done from her perspective, is the "rules" that she keeps quiet about it and act like she doesn't know?
You can see all the way through the box at several times, including when he picks it up and moves it around. It there's a false chamber it's incredibly well hidden.

My guess is that the items themselves are the trick. The first one is where Alison feels a sponge but then there is a rock. The sponge could be pulled into the rock somehow before the reveal. The second one has the cactus in a large planter, plenty of room to have a stuffed animal and then a hair brush on top when Alison has her hand in, then the cactus pops up out of the box for the reveal. The last one is tricky, I'll look again, but I don't think the glass of wine is shown to be real, the grapes and grass(?) she feels could be inside the glass in the end.

That's pure guess work, but at least it's a possibility.

Also, I assume Alison won't intentionally reveal anything she notices, but I suspect in the Pirate trick the Red Bandit name was forced on here with a Dual Reality gimmick, maybe what Penn referred to, that would make it not much of a trick at all. But if it was really a random name I think the plate was made of steel and engraved behind his prop table, he picked it up when he put down his wanted posters, and then it was stuck to the gun with a strong magnet.
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Old 07-03-2019, 10:41 AM
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Jandro: LEGO my card-o. This was a lot of fun, not least because Penn got to wield a bat. Whatever Jandro's hand was doing inside the clay, he was clearly buying time with a lot of banter. Like the previous trick, I have no idea how it was done but it was a pleasure to behold. The only thing I can think is that there was a bottom compartment to the alarmed box, but still, how could he slide a 2 of diamonds in there without seeing the card (or handling it after the fact)? I think Penn was so overjoyed by the pure illusion that he had to award it immediately because it might have started to fall apart under further consideration.
He spent a lot of time with the banter. I think was what he needed to select the card somehow under his jacket. Pulling his 'Magic Wand' out of his back pocket was an ideal way to have a mechanism send that card down his sleeve. Still seems complicated. I do wonder if the whole card selection and feed mechanism was in the table, or even the bottom of the Lego box.

It did look like Teller wasn't ready to give up right away though. I saw he had his eyes on the guys arm in the Legos the whole time, even when he pulled out that bat and tried other misdirection moves.

As I write this the card selection mechanism in the table or the bottom of the box sounds much simpler and cleaner.
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Old 07-03-2019, 10:51 AM
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On the first watch I was baffled by Harry Keaton's and Jandro's acts. But I watched again and have theories:

Harry Keaton: I believe the box may have hidden flaps that come down when the front piece is inserted, so that a sort of shelf is formed inside the box. The item Alison feels is on the top, and the "real" item is on the bottom. So she reaches in and feels a sponge because a sponge is actually there on the shelf over the rock. The magician had ample opportunity to insert and switch items out on the top shelf, especially small concealable items like a sponge or a stuffed animal. It was clear that his left hand was doing plenty of work behind the box whenever he gestured or moved around. I suspect the potted cactus was a rubber collapsible, though he did a good job of making it look heavy. It's also worth noting that when they said sponge, we automatically think of a full sized sponge as you might use to wash dishes. It could as easily have been a much smaller one. Likewise, the "stuffed animal" might have been a small piece of plush material that was easily concealed for the switch. The magician is the one who suggested "like a teddy bear?" and Alison eagerly went along with that description even though she might have been touching just a small ball of similar material.

Jandro: Since there were no face cards involved, that left 36 choices. He has them concealed and sorted by suit. By asking Teller if he wants this suit or that suit, he is able to eliminate each unneeded suit until he is left with only one suit of nine cards. He uses a lot of patter and jokes to give him time to go through the nine cards, presumably marked in a tactile way that makes it possible for him to find the selected card. The clay is not sealed on one end. When the clay covered box was brought out, it was clear that one end had been open and only roughly squeezed shut, not closed in a uniform or smooth way like the rest of the clay. So with the one end of the clay open, he can take the selected card, slide it into the box through a narrow gap at the seam of the box corner facing the open clay edge, and squeeze the clay end closed. The box did not have trap doors and was actually locked, but a gap small enough to slide a single card would not be immediately noticeable. P&T did not examine the box closely or look inspect the card for markings before awarding the prize.
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Old 07-03-2019, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Dingbang View Post
Jandro: Since there were no face cards involved, that left 36 choices. He has them concealed and sorted by suit. By asking Teller if he wants this suit or that suit, he is able to eliminate each unneeded suit until he is left with only one suit of nine cards. He uses a lot of patter and jokes to give him time to go through the nine cards, presumably marked in a tactile way that makes it possible for him to find the selected card. The clay is not sealed on one end. When the clay covered box was brought out, it was clear that one end had been open and only roughly squeezed shut, not closed in a uniform or smooth way like the rest of the clay. So with the one end of the clay open, he can take the selected card, slide it into the box through a narrow gap at the seam of the box corner facing the open clay edge, and squeeze the clay end closed. The box did not have trap doors and was actually locked, but a gap small enough to slide a single card would not be immediately noticeable. P&T did not examine the box closely or look inspect the card for markings before awarding the prize.
You made this even simpler. He could have the entire deck of cards in his hand to start with, attached to a device in his sleeve, he selects the one card out of the deck, the rest of the deck goes up his sleeve. The clay and the box and the lock and the alarm are nothing, we know they were all open initially until he slides the card in.
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Old 07-04-2019, 01:06 AM
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My guess on the Harry Keaton one:
The box has two "rooms". The wall has the same colors as the backdrop on the stage. It looks like we can see through it, but we are looking at a divider in the box.
Allison reaches into the back room and feels the sponge or whatever, and then when the box is lifted we see the front room with the rock.
And I was wondering, for an illusion trick if Allison can see how it's done from her perspective, is the "rules" that she keeps quiet about it and act like she doesn't know?
I'm impressed by the size of the props. That big cactus wasn't manipulated by slight of hand.

The wine would easily spill if manipulated. I wish the magician had taken a sip to prove their really was liquid in that glass.

I don't know how he got that stuff in the box.

I considered the box was preloaded off stage, but the box isn't big enough to hold all the props at one time.

I doubt a trick box with a mirror/divider would fool Penn & Teller. They didn't even use their one guess.

Last edited by aceplace57; 07-04-2019 at 01:10 AM.
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Old 07-04-2019, 01:48 AM
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Penn & Teller paper trick. Clear Monofilament line? It would require several already setup across the stage.

There were several times the paper moved vertically, straight up. Like it was being pulled. The lateral movements are harder to explain.

I am convinced clear line is at least part of the trick.

That's all I got.

If that's not it then I got nothin.

Last edited by aceplace57; 07-04-2019 at 01:53 AM.
  #48  
Old 07-04-2019, 02:13 AM
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I'm impressed by the size of the props. That big cactus wasn't manipulated by slight of hand.
The wine would easily spill if manipulated. I wish the magician had taken a sip to prove their really was liquid in that glass.
I don't know how he got that stuff in the box.
I considered the box was preloaded off stage, but the box isn't big enough to hold all the props at one time.
I doubt a trick box with a mirror/divider would fool Penn & Teller. They didn't even use their one guess.
Several observations I had that have not been mentioned...

The magician seems to be making some sort of hand movements around the box each time...

As for the stuffed animal/brush/cactus...

The question... "Does Allyson see anything from behind that she does not comment on?" She clearly does not bother to look at the back of the box as she changes sides... So could not comment.

He clearly makes a move- and moves something between the box and the back of his suit- SOMETHING is visible- as he says... "you're sure about this...?"

And then at this point... The CACTUS and it's big square planter- seem so tall... Where would Allyson have had ROOM to reach down...

But the bottom of the planter/box is so BIG- and probably HOLLOW- it could have something *INSIDE* it- (the "teddy bear" and or "hair brush.")

And during the "grapes and grass"/wine glass part... his hand is definitely behind the box doing SOMETHING- the box JIGGLES a LOT! (Just as he says, "take your hand out...")

Still an amazing and entertaining trick...
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  #49  
Old 07-04-2019, 02:22 AM
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Hangman trick

Perhaps a small hole that's just big enough for the metal stands to drop through? Black paint provides a shadow of a larger hole.

Magician knows the edges of the hole. Maybe there's a small mark. He positions his feet.

Trap doors slide open, the stands drop, and of course he doesn't drop. Completely safe. Doesn't make any difference what number is selected.

We don't see a good shot directly above the gallows. Nice way to hide the dirty work.

Was it really this simple? It's the showmanship that sells the illusion.

Last edited by aceplace57; 07-04-2019 at 02:26 AM.
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Old 07-04-2019, 02:30 AM
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I like the simplicity of that solution.

Electronic locks, counter weights and other mechanical devices can fail. That's a painful fall even if the rope is rigged to break.

Keep it simple and fool proof.

Last edited by aceplace57; 07-04-2019 at 02:31 AM.
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