Is that just his ying to Penn’s yang or is does Teller really not speak… ever?
Yes, he can, and often does in interviews…
I heard in him speak and indeed sing in the live show that I saw. When he does though his back was to the audience or he was covered with a sheet.
He also spoke at the end of “Penn And Teller Get Killed”.
And I believe he might have spoke as a guest-voice on ‘The Simpsons’: “I’m not the first Teller!!!”
I once saw Penn and Teller being interviewed once – I forget by whom, but I think it was one of your standard late-night talk show hosts, like Leno or Letterman or something. Anyway, the topic of Teller’s silence came up, at which point Penn insisted that, yes, Teller can speak. He then told Teller to say something, and he did. He said “fuck”, so that it would be bleeped out in the actual broadcast.
I’ve heard Teller do commentaries on NPR.
Hie on down to the local video rental joint and rent “Long Gone”.
Not only does Teller have a speaking role, but you’ll see William Pedersen before he started taking himself so damned seriously.
Teller speaks a lot on instructional videos (for magic enthusiasts.) He’s very good at the sleight of hand stuff.
As mentioned, Teller can speak, and does off-stage. On stage, he doesn’t speak while visible. The did a “seance” bit (I’m not sure if it’s still in the show) where Teller is tied to a chair, his tie is then stapled to the chair by an audience menber, and he is then surrounded by a portable white curtain. While hidden from the audience, he “channels” the spirit of Harry Houdini. Houdini’s ghost speaks, and even (sort of) sings answers to Penn’s questions, while the curtain is disturbed by hands and a face. It’s all Teller, the voice and the movements.
I can’t reference where I read this, but it was either in one of their books or their website. When Teller was starting performing, he got gigs at college parties. The standard magician’s patter was useless, because it was drowned out by the noise. So he found he got more attention by performing speechless.
I just saw and episode of “While You Were Out” and figured he’d drop the bit on the show but he didn’t which made me wonder.
Met him once. He has a very pleasant speaking voice. Perfectly normal guy, except for just having one name. Yes, “Teller” is his entire legal name.
Another place to hear Teller’s voice is the animated movie Light Years where he does the voice of the character Octum.
A long time ago, P&T used to do a bit with a chimp (just a cardboard cut-out, I believe), named Mofo. Teller provided Mofo’s voice (it was some kind of mind-reading act), remaining silent for the rest of the show.
I’m pretty sure he speaks in “Penn & Teller’s Cruel Tricks for dear friends”, and as in the already mentioned “Penn & Teller get killed”.
Teller can and does speak like any normal person, and has a pleasant, well-spoken, tenor sort of voice. P&T’s rule is that during performance pieces on stage, and during media interviews, Penn does all the talking and Teller does none as himself. They have several stage bits where Teller does, in fact, speak, but there’s always some catch so that the audience never hear his words or never know it’s him speaking or can hear him but not see him.
And yes, Teller is his full legal name. His American Express card says just ‘Teller’ and he had to argue with Amex to get them to accept that on his card as his full legal name.
Teller also speaks, as himself, on a documentary about stage magic. He’s got excellent didactic presentation skills.
Ah, yes… Mofo the Psychic Gorilla!
Yep. And his birth name was Raymond Joseph Teller.
I’ve seen their live performances in several cities.
Many years ago, in DC, P&T were hawking their videos outside of the theatre on the sidewalk after their show.
Teller was a regular “sideshow barker”!
Nitpick: It’s not even true that Teller absolutely never speaks as his on-stage Teller character. I saw them live several years ago. The show included a bit where Penn, running his mouth non-stop as usual, said something like “Teller never talks here on the stage, but of course he does in real life, don’t you Teller?” And Teller said “Yeah.”
Which was of course completely unexpected, and very funny. It also served as misdirection for the trick they were performing at the time, which required the audience to pay a lot of attention to Teller and none to Penn, because Penn executed the meat of the trick while standing in plain sight. It was one of those tricks that they do twice - once to fool you, and then a second time to show you how the trick was done, and how easily fooled you were. So Teller - speaking as Teller - said “Yeah” twice in this incarnation of their show.