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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » Penn & Teller: Fool Us (6 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Inner circle
Hong Kong ~ Seattle
1033 Posts

Profile of Nash
All good points & great thread; for future reference, as PTFU seems to be a growing niche (more and more people from my live shows are telling me they watch that show). How can the upcoming PTFU participants capitalize on their potential 15 mins of fame when it arrives?
Don't give up, don't EVER give up.

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Eternal Order
19095 Posts

Profile of Dannydoyle
Again it is not possible to overstate the importance of preparing before it arrives.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
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Special user
Moved to Seattle to see
873 Posts

Profile of imgic
Is it just me, or is anyone else upset about some of the acts that “fool”Penn & Teller? There are two right off the bat I can think of that did not fool me, and I’m just an amatuer/hobbyist. Yet P&T awarded them FU awards. Was the fix in to supprt them? We’re P&T short on opening acts and so needed some winners? Did the magician agree to appear only if they “won?”
"Imagination is more important than knowledge."
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Eternal Order
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Profile of Dannydoyle
I doubt anything so nefarious has happened. I do think that they can get caught up in presentation and simply not be able to back track.

Don't forget they are watching live as well and the show is edited in some ways. So there are other factors.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
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Inner circle
York, PA
1829 Posts

Profile of WitchDocChris
I'm not upset at all. The show isn't called "Fool Everybody Everywhere". It's called "Fool Us".

Like Danny said, even if someone knows a technique, if it's wrapped up in a good presentation it's easy to overlook things that are obvious to someone else sometimes. We are literally seeing this through a barrier - the TV Screen. P&T are watching it live, and generally head on.

They are also stage illusionists. While no one would question the concept that Teller is an encyclopedia of magic, their primary focus is the work they do in their show. I think the close up work has evolved enough since they had to worry about it consistently that there are plenty of methods that are available they've never heard of.

But aside from all that - Fooling P&T isn't really the point, I think. An associate who's been on the show talked to me about the behind-the-scenes stuff and it made me realize that this show is basically intended as a way for P&T to use their success to help up and coming performers and friends. I think some people fool them for sure, I think some people fool them on minor technicalities, and I think some people they just say they were fooled - and I'm OK with all of those scenarios.
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Inner circle
8872 Posts

Profile of Mindpro
I agree that is why there are also many of P&Ts Las Vegas friends on the show, not to fool them but to make for "good tv." One must remember first and foremost, it is a tv show that must be interesting and entertaining to the viewing audience. It is also meant as a vehicle for P&T to make greater benefits on the back-end keeping them in the media, contemporary, and to position themselves in both the tv world as well as the magic world.

They help many including those who don't fool them just by the national exposure (what most of these performers do with that is another topic altogether), but it is more in the positioning that P&T gain the most.

It would be a boring show if they exerted their knowledge and knew how everything was done. For the drama, suspense and little guy triumph, they have to be fooled regularly. So then it becomes a matter of who they feel is worthy in a greater picture.

It is tv and there is much more to it than meets the eye. Not to mention a great way to find a steady stream of new opening acts getting their Vegas credit on the resume.
Samuel Catoe
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Inner circle
South Carolina
1251 Posts

Profile of Samuel Catoe
A good presentation can mask the simplest of moves. The premise is can you "fool" P&T, not can you do something they've never seen. If you can get them so wrapped up in the presentation of the routine that they miss something, which has happened more than once, then they miss the move altogether and you "fool" them. It's not about pulling off the knuckle busting move that no one can explain, though that also has happened, but about pulling the wool over their eyes in whatever way you can. The Frog Prince is my favorite example of this. They KNOW how the trick is done and know it cold. The very routine is in print and the creator of that routine is one of the technical advisers, and yet they were indeed fooled, not because they can't explain the trick but because they never saw the real frog coming.
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Michael Rubinstein
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Profile of Michael Rubinstein
I was on the show this past September (episode 11, the Fool Us Zone). I didn't do it for money or bookings, I did it because a lot of my friends who had been on the show had a great time, and I felt it not only would be fun, but an honor to perform on national TV. The producers selected the routine they wanted me to do, after seeing several that I had sent them. It was clear that they valued the presentation over the effect. I had changed the ending to a technique I thought might fool them, but I already knew they would know the basic structure of the routine even if the moves were unknown to them. Mike Close emphasised that it was more about putting on a good show rather than fooling them. Everyone on the show from the producers on down were friendly and helpful, and I had a great time. After the spot the handlers stuck me in a room for a while, then placed me in the middle of a hallway and left me. I had no idea what was going on, until Penn and Teller walked though some doors and I got to say a few words to them before they dissapeared into their dressing rooms while on a small break. It was a nice surprise, but honestly I was so surprised I forgot to take a selfie or ask them how they figured out my new technique. After that, the handlers took me out of the theatre area to meet my wife. The experience was class all the way. All of the magicians I know told me they enjoyed the spot, but when you look at the YouTube comments, a lot of trolls are on there bashing every little thing. Oh well, can't make everyone happy I guess. But I did get over 55,000 views on my spit alone, and close to 100,00 views on the entire show, so you do get exposure. Best thing was when one of my clients came into my office and gushed that he saw me on the show, he never knew I was also a magician.
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