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?

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”?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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.
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.

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).

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.[/spoiler]

I completely missed the tip about the pen being dry. That’s definitely a much simpler explanation.

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.

Butt Reading is a more likely explanation than this.

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?)

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.

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.

Not sure about the details but he definitely throws something into the batch of string pieces, I assume an uncut string.

I’m sure the music playing during the trance told her the numbers.

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.

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.

I didn’t catch the face but I knew those hands would turn out to be Teller’s.

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.