Penn & Teller: Fool Us - Season 2

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Jack Shalom
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Re: Penn & Teller: Fool Us - Season 2

Postby Jack Shalom » August 22nd, 2015, 5:15 pm

Yes, that was exactly my impression, too, when I watched the clip of it.

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erdnasephile
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Re: Penn & Teller: Fool Us - Season 2

Postby erdnasephile » August 22nd, 2015, 5:47 pm

I read an interview with Penn where he said the whole "Fool Us" gimmick is really just there to let the audience know that the performances are "real" and not just set-up pranks, clever edits, or camera tricks.

I don't mind the "Fool Us" aspect of the show because I think as magicians, we're probably the only people who think it's fun to be fooled. So, watching P & T's glee at being truly fooled is really great. (Personally, I love it too! Having my brains smashed in by a daOrtiz or a Skinner is terrific!)

Finally, it appears that "Fool Us" has been picked up for a third season by CW!

http://wwlp.com/2015/08/17/the-cw-order ... r-fool-us/
Last edited by erdnasephile on August 22nd, 2015, 9:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Penn & Teller: Fool Us - Season 2

Postby Carlo Morpurgo » August 22nd, 2015, 5:50 pm

I.M. Magician wrote:Watch Penn's reaction when Kostya says that he isn't going to touch the deck as he places it on the table just after that something seemed to take place. What do you make of that?


Indeed...look what happend at 4:06/4:07. From that angle I find it hard to believe that Penn (or Teller) did not see the flipping of the bottom half... He goes "No!" immediately after that sleight (why??) and then "yeah yeah...". I am not a magician but even I know what a cull is, and I doubt that P&T were fooled by the method. On the other hand, I cannot figure out how P&T were able to separate the cards in their version... :)

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Re: Penn & Teller: Fool Us - Season 2

Postby Jonathan Townsend » August 22nd, 2015, 8:27 pm

Carlo Morpurgo wrote:
I.M. Magician wrote:...I doubt that P&T were fooled by the method. ...


I disagree. A few seconds after the performance... Teller collects a bunch of the cards and watch what he does with the cards at his seat. To me that looks like what one might do if one suspected a stripped deck.
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Re: Penn & Teller: Fool Us - Season 2

Postby Carlo Morpurgo » August 22nd, 2015, 10:04 pm

Jonathan Townsend wrote:
Carlo Morpurgo wrote:
I.M. Magician wrote:...I doubt that P&T were fooled by the method. ...


I disagree. A few seconds after the performance... Teller collects a bunch of the cards and watch what he does with the cards at his seat. To me that looks like what one might do if one suspected a stripped deck.


Please... that was in fact even the biggest evidence that Teller was NOT fooled....how can one possibly think that a stripper deck was used after the cards were tossed around randomly? No way... that was just an act...

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Re: Penn & Teller: Fool Us - Season 2

Postby Bob Coyne » August 22nd, 2015, 10:51 pm

Carlo Morpurgo wrote:
I disagree. A few seconds after the performance... Teller collects a bunch of the cards and watch what he does with the cards at his seat. To me that looks like what one might do if one suspected a stripped deck.


Please... that was in fact even the biggest evidence that Teller was NOT fooled....how can one possibly think that a stripper deck was used after the cards were tossed around randomly? No way... that was just an act...


But would he act out testing for a stripper deck? Checking for a stripper deck is something only magicians would recognize him doing. So it's a meaningless thing to act out unless you think it was targeted at magicians. The simpler explanation was that he was fooled and grasping at straws.

As for the cards being tossed around precluding a stripper deck...yeah maybe you could rule that out if you had time to think about it. But right after seeing an effect it's often hard to remember the exact sequence of events and what might matter. Instead it's natural to look for some clue that might lead to the bigger picture. Plus in this case, there was a bit of a red-herring method misdirection in the beginning where each half was shuffled independently, way before cards were flipped upside down. So there was enough different stuff going on that it made it hard to reconstruct without having a rewind button to view it a few times.

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Re: Penn & Teller: Fool Us - Season 2

Postby Bill Duncan » August 23rd, 2015, 1:25 am

performer wrote:The whole thing is ruined.

I"m afraid you couldn't be more wrong*. It may be ruined for you, but a person's individual response doesn't make a universal truth. This magazine/forum wouldn't exist if that were a universal truth. No one loves magic as much as an amateur magician, who by definition is fooled less often.

As to your other point, Kostya makes good money doing magic for laymen, as do people like Michael Ammar, David Acer, and David Ben, and (not to put too fine a point on it) Michael Close. All of them use methods that fool both magicians and laymen.

The only time creating magic to fool magicians is problematic is when you create methods that are designed to fool people who know how one version of the trick works. If your method fools people because they think you're using the other method, you've failed. If your method fools magicians because it's better than established methods it will also fool laymen.




* - It is a little wrong to say a tomato is a vegetable, it is very wrong to say it is a suspension bridge.

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Re: Penn & Teller: Fool Us - Season 2

Postby Carlo Morpurgo » August 23rd, 2015, 7:52 am

Bob Coyne wrote:
Carlo Morpurgo wrote:
I disagree. A few seconds after the performance... Teller collects a bunch of the cards and watch what he does with the cards at his seat. To me that looks like what one might do if one suspected a stripped deck.


Please... that was in fact even the biggest evidence that Teller was NOT fooled....how can one possibly think that a stripper deck was used after the cards were tossed around randomly? No way... that was just an act...


But would he act out testing for a stripper deck? Checking for a stripper deck is something only magicians would recognize him doing. So it's a meaningless thing to act out unless you think it was targeted at magicians. The simpler explanation was that he was fooled and grasping at straws.


I think it's more subtle that this... suppose he did want to act out, with the cards in his hands, in a "magician's way". Yes he then tries to check for a stripper deck, so those viewers who know what that is would think "see? he's checking for a stripper deck, he was fooled!" Those who do not know .... would just think he's "checking the deck as a magician". What could more perfect? Besides, the stripper deck is such a basic gaff that I seriously doubt that the majority of the educated viewers would not know what it is....

As for the cards being tossed around precluding a stripper deck...yeah maybe you could rule that out if you had time to think about it. But right after seeing an effect it's often hard to remember the exact sequence of events and what might matter. Instead it's natural to look for some clue that might lead to the bigger picture. Plus in this case, there was a bit of a red-herring method misdirection in the beginning where each half was shuffled independently, way before cards were flipped upside down. So there was enough different stuff going on that it made it hard to reconstruct without having a rewind button to view it a few times.


There could be a point here for an average spectator, but not for someone like Teller, and especially because he already knew what was coming on that trick, i.e. the cards were to be separated.

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Re: Penn & Teller: Fool Us - Season 2

Postby performer » August 23rd, 2015, 1:01 pm

Bill Duncan wrote:
performer wrote:The whole thing is ruined.

I"m afraid you couldn't be more wrong*. It may be ruined for you, but a person's individual response doesn't make a universal truth. This magazine/forum wouldn't exist if that were a universal truth. No one loves magic as much as an amateur magician, who by definition is fooled less often.

As to your other point, Kostya makes good money doing magic for laymen, as do people like Michael Ammar, David Acer, and David Ben, and (not to put too fine a point on it) Michael Close. All of them use methods that fool both magicians and laymen.

The only time creating magic to fool magicians is problematic is when you create methods that are designed to fool people who know how one version of the trick works. If your method fools people because they think you're using the other method, you've failed. If your method fools magicians because it's better than established methods it will also fool laymen.




* - It is a little wrong to say a tomato is a vegetable, it is very wrong to say it is a suspension bridge.


Don't be silly,Duncan old chap. I am NEVER wrong about magic! What I say IS the universal truth and I will explain my reasoning later. Suffice it to say for the moment that amateur magicians like the wrong things for the wrong reasons and there are people who take great delight in profiting from this stupidity.

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Re: Penn & Teller: Fool Us - Season 2

Postby performer » August 23rd, 2015, 10:42 pm

Now that I have more time I shall try to educate poor old Bill Duncan in matters such as these. When I said "the whole thing is ruined" I meant for ME. I don't give a stuff about anyone else. I have never been one of those who perform material designed for magicians (which usually bores the crap out of laymen).

When I perform for magicians the experience is ruined for ME because I only do simple magic that they will automatically know the secret of and discount immediately because it is not the latest technical monstrosity which requires 25 fingers to do properly or is some convuluted boring piece of crap that baffles the minds of magicians who have too much time on their hands but makes layman yawn with the tedium of it all.

Performing magic for magicians is POINTLESS. It is incestuous and serves no purpose whatsoever except to promote admiration for the wrong thing and the wrong material. It does have a commercial benefit for those who invent and produce such nonsense and it does earn them money and good luck to them. I still remember a shrewd old carnival pitchman who used to be a magician telling me "Magicians will buy anything. If you were to advertise gold plated thumbtips they would purchase them like hot cakes simply because you said they were gold plated"

I know this to be true from personal experience. I once advertised a trick deck of cards which was allegedly an improvement on "Out of This World". I called it "Absolutely Out of this World" The magicians bought it from me in great droves and it got rave reviews. However, I knew the trick was a load of crap despite the great reviews. I would never have dreamt of using it myself despite the fact that I invented it.

As for magicians devising tricks which allegedly fool the laymen as well as the magicians this is all very well providing the sole purpose of devising it was NOT to impress magicians but to entertain laymen. The fact that it also fools magicians should be a mere incidentaly by-product.

As for the noted worthies that Bill mentions by name they are indeed splendid people who have contributed a lot to magic. However, apart from one name on the list I don't suppose they average ten shows a year between them (if even that) for the lay public.

Magic is a performing art. And it should be performed to people who do not know how the tricks are done. In other words laymen. The opinions of other magicians are of no relevance whatsoever.

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Re: Penn & Teller: Fool Us - Season 2

Postby Jeffrey Korst » August 23rd, 2015, 11:37 pm

performer wrote:I don't give a stuff about anyone else.


The man knows where of he speaks.

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Re: Penn & Teller: Fool Us - Season 2

Postby Richard Kaufman » August 24th, 2015, 12:34 am

When I used to do card tricks in The Mad Hatter (a long-gone single's car in Manhattan) all the time, the one consistent behavior laymen exhibited--aside from astonishment--was checking for stripped cards.

So, if Teller (who is not a close-up card magician) did not recognize the cull, and the deck was examinable, then it's not at all surprising to me that he would suspect a stripper deck.
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Re: Penn & Teller: Fool Us - Season 2

Postby performer » August 24th, 2015, 5:54 am

Jeffrey Korst wrote:
performer wrote:I don't give a stuff about anyone else.


The man knows whereof he speaks.



Thank you Jeffrey. I appreciate you recognising my genius. In return I have taken the liberty to edit your use of the word "whereof" so it looks a little better. I am sure you will be suitably grateful.

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Re: Penn & Teller: Fool Us - Season 2

Postby mr_goat » August 24th, 2015, 4:49 pm

Just watched a clip via youtube (as I've not seen the shows cos they're not on here and piracy is bad) of Mac King (P&T's chum) doing the Chop Cup.

Who in the production team thought that would fool them?

I mean, it's not as if it's a fake show, right?
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Re: Penn & Teller: Fool Us - Season 2

Postby I.M. Magician » August 24th, 2015, 5:15 pm

Because stripped cards would be the easiest way to separate the cards, it makes perfect sense that Teller would want to eliminate that possibility first. Perhaps that was an activity he felt he needed in order to appear to be actively involved in getting to the bottom of it. In essence, a bit of acting...

In any case, if Teller would simply tells us what was going down, we could put it to sleep and spend more energy trying to figure out what's up with TMC.

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Re: Penn & Teller: Fool Us - Season 2

Postby Bill Mullins » August 24th, 2015, 5:18 pm

If you've been fooled, you don't know when or how you've been fooled. So checking the easy stuff first makes sense.

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Re: Penn & Teller: Fool Us - Season 2

Postby Fonz » August 24th, 2015, 8:49 pm

erdnasephile wrote:Quick personal opinions on 2/1:

I thought that Mr. Armstrong was the class of the show. Very polished, professional, and likable. I had read all of the reviews of the routine when it first came out and thought it sounded boring--boy, was I wrong! I hope he sells a bunch of the plungers (although part of me shudders about how many hobbyists will be aping his commercial presentation).


I've watched the plunger performance several times and enjoyed it more each time for different reasons... Sometimes the magic we may be dismiss as being not up to our performance standards can often be a delight to the average observer.

I wont go as far as shuddering when thinking of those "hobbyists" (who more than likely make up the majority of most magic related forums)aping the routine. However, I tend to hope that anyone ,hobbyist or professional, will respond to performances such as this as an inspiration to better our own presentations of effects that can read as being mediocre ,but can be presented as sensational.

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Re: Penn & Teller: Fool Us - Season 2

Postby erdnasephile » August 24th, 2015, 9:04 pm

Fonz wrote:...However, I tend to hope that anyone ,hobbyist or professional, will respond to performances such as this as an inspiration to better our own presentations of effects that can read as being mediocre ,but can be presented as sensational.


Amen, Fonz! Well put.

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Re: Penn & Teller: Fool Us - Season 2

Postby P.T.Widdle » August 25th, 2015, 10:19 am

Another great episode.

I know magicians will be talking about Joshua Jay fooling P&T, but the highlight of the show for me was Penn & Teller's performance, "Teller plays with a full deck." For a guy who is supposedly not a "card man," Teller's routine was polished and entertaining, with lots of fun little bits. And it's a routine that just couldn't exist without his partner either.

Finally, I never in a million years expected to see "Squared Circle" performed on TV. I wish I still had mine.


Entertainment Weekly's recap:

http://community.ew.com/2015/08/25/penn ... full-deck/

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Re: Penn & Teller: Fool Us - Season 2

Postby Jonathan Townsend » August 25th, 2015, 11:21 am

P.T.Widdle wrote:Another great episode.

I know magicians will be talking about Joshua Jay fooling P&T,...

http://community.ew.com/2015/08/25/penn ... full-deck/


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Re: Penn & Teller: Fool Us - Season 2

Postby P.T.Widdle » August 25th, 2015, 11:52 am

It's on the CW web site now.

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Re: Penn & Teller: Fool Us - Season 2

Postby Scott M. » August 25th, 2015, 3:34 pm

Just watched Josh Jay's routine, which was very well done, as expected.

When he started it, I was surprised. I love John Lovick's "I Dream of Mindreading," which is what he was doing, and I was surprised that he'd pick that trick to try and fool Penn and Teller. The first part of the routine tracked the original exactly, and then he threw a curve ball by producing the named card out of a blank deck. So, like a couple of other routines done to fool Penn and Teller (like John Lovick's torn and restored) it took a familiar trick (although it's quite possible neither Penn nor Teller knew the original routine) and then added a magician-fooler twist.

I'll admit to being initially stumped but then quickly realizing what happened. I guess if you rule out pre-show (which, given that the volunteer was seated from the outset, you can't really), there are a couple of possibilities, and Teller picked ringing in the deck instead of ringing in the card. Which points to something about the nature of the competition, which is that P&T get one shot to guess how it's done and if they blow that one shot in terms of specificity, they are fooled, even if they were really not.

All of that said, it was great to see Josh on the show, and I do love the routine.

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Re: Penn & Teller: Fool Us - Season 2

Postby JFox » August 25th, 2015, 5:05 pm

I would be a little disappointed if the edit/cut-a-way between Josh first placing the single card face down on the table...and THEN having the TV audience see the reveal of the 4D, was a sneaky bit of TV magic.

But still, P&T would have been keen about card switches (via an Index & 'Top Change'?), and also perhaps ask themselves why the routine began with Josh already seated behind the table.

Heck, I don't know, I wasn't there. But I have Lovick's routine, and Josh's surprise reveal just killed. Great job.

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Re: Penn & Teller: Fool Us - Season 2

Postby brianarudolph » August 26th, 2015, 12:57 am

I love Josh immensely and he has been more than helpful to me over the years whenever I had questions about various books, effects or dealer items. He always generously gives you his full attention whenever you speak with him (presuming you're not trying to collar him when he's running to perform or to introduce the next act or session or to attend to some other important business matter!)*** So I was thrilled to hear that Josh was going to be on Fool Us.

The thing that caused me a bit of concern about his performance here, however (to echo one of Sam M.'s comments) was the pre-selected/pre-seated spectator. But my concern is not whether or not that this had anything to do with the method per se. My concern is simply that it was so out of place/unusual compared to the procedure that everyone else has always used on the show. Normally you get to see a spectator selected (using various methods of randomness) and welcomed on stage, or the magician invites Jonathan Ross or Penn & Teller themselves to assist (the former being presumed truly random and the latter three being instantly above reproach because of their roles on the show.)

Any effect/routine performed after opening with a pre-selected spectator is significantly diminished for me. And again, I'm not saying that this had anything to do with method. But at that point I could have learned that Josh was the reincarnation of Erdnase and the effect would have still been significantly reduced for me. The lingering question of "Why is *that* particular guy sitting there?" tainted anything that followed - and I can't help but think that the audience noticed the deviation from the norm too.


*** The same can be said about Andi Gladwin, his partner in Vanishing, Inc. I'm not aware that Andi has ever been on the show, but I'd love to see him (or the video of him) there too.

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Re: Penn & Teller: Fool Us - Season 2

Postby Jack Shalom » August 26th, 2015, 9:57 am

I loved the Joshua Jay routine, but I think P&T were being generous. They knew what was essentially going on: three out of four elements exactly, and of the fourth element, there were only two things that could have happened--not so different from each other--and Teller picked wrongly on that one.

They've declared others "busted" on vaguer explanations, like the watch guy last week.

But I'm happy for JJ, because that was a terrifically planned and executed performance.

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Re: Penn & Teller: Fool Us - Season 2

Postby John M. Dale » August 26th, 2015, 12:16 pm

brianarudolph wrote:The thing that caused me a bit of concern about his performance here, however (to echo one of Sam M.'s comments) was the pre-selected/pre-seated spectator. But my concern is not whether or not that this had anything to do with the method per se. My concern is simply that it was so out of place/unusual compared to the procedure that everyone else has always used on the show.

...

Any effect/routine performed after opening with a pre-selected spectator is significantly diminished for me.


I felt the same way when Shin Lim was on earlier in the season. My suspicions were pretty much confirmed when a transposition or two had a "signed" card instantly change places and conveniently vanishing the cards at the end instead of giving them as souvenirs to the "volunteers."

If everyone one onstage including the "volunteers" are part of the act, how is it different from a play with an actor as a closeup magician performing for actors as the "audience" with the real audience watching through the 4th wall?

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Re: Penn & Teller: Fool Us - Season 2

Postby Jack Shalom » August 26th, 2015, 12:46 pm

If by your comments you mean that the volunteers (without quotation marks) were in on any aspect of Jay's or Shin Lim's act, that is not correct.

In each case, there is stuff going on behind the table that the volunteer does not see, but has to be pre-set at the beginning, privately. Obviously, this is not going to be shown to the television or theater audiences. Nor would the volunteer necessarily be aware of the set-up.

I was at a convention where Shin Lim did the same act, and I assure you there was no stooging.

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Re: Penn & Teller: Fool Us - Season 2

Postby Ristiharju » August 26th, 2015, 1:07 pm

Funny... People criticize decision that Joshua Jay fooled Penn&Teller here when their own guesses are as far of as Penn&Teller's was :lol: There was no deck switch nor there was switch of a card or ringing in extra card from index. The routine is published in Joshua Jay's unreal set and it is much more clever than that. So the above 3-5 commenters were also fooled by Joshua Jay ;)

That said, it seems that the show is edited in a way that every episode will get at least one fooler. There has been few that didnt deserve it really, meanly the skateboard duo since that was a clear trap and basically same thing as the method they ended up using.

Also the whole Greg Wilson thing was clearly just done as shown of appreciation instead of really fooling em. But it is a tv show and magicians tend to forget that and they need "winners" to keep people interested and generate hype and it is working really well since the show is topping CW tv monday night records and is renewed for 3rd season already. That is great thing for magic since the show is best possible advertisement for magic in tv at the moment!

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Re: Penn & Teller: Fool Us - Season 2

Postby John M. Dale » August 26th, 2015, 1:52 pm

Jack Shalom wrote:If by your comments you mean that the volunteers (without quotation marks) were in on any aspect of Jay's or Shin Lim's act, that is not correct.

In each case, there is stuff going on behind the table that the volunteer does not see, but has to be pre-set at the beginning, privately. Obviously, this is not going to be shown to the television or theater audiences. Nor would the volunteer necessarily be aware of the set-up.

I was at a convention where Shin Lim did the same act, and I assure you there was no stooging.



Ok, Jack, I guess that someone has come up with a way to dupe signatures that I'm not aware of. When I saw one signed card instantly transpose from Shin Lim's hand with the one in the plastic bag (which when I slo-moed the video was clearly a double faced card that had the signature and face of the transposed card from this hand on one side and the other signed face on the other), I assumed that the person who signed the card that made the transposition was in on it and duped their own signature. I stand corrected.

I've only been playing at magic for around 50 years, am still a rank amateur, and not into the latest and greatest thing so this modern method of duping sigs has probably passed me by unnoticed.

I'll consider this to be an enlightening moment.

JMD

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Re: Penn & Teller: Fool Us - Season 2

Postby Tom Frame » August 26th, 2015, 4:05 pm

As Ristiharju mentioned, the effect is taught on Josh's Unreal DVD set.

I just spoke with Josh, who has been a friend of mine since he was 8 years old. He stated that his method doesn't involve an index or pre-show work. I believe him.

He also said that Vanishing Inc. will offer the effect for sale just in time for Christmas.
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Re: Penn & Teller: Fool Us - Season 2

Postby brianarudolph » August 26th, 2015, 5:20 pm

I'm so far behind on my DVD-watching that it will probably be right around Magi-Fest 2016 before I get to watch Josh's UNREAL set when I finally get to it in my stack. In the meantime, I am happy to remain mystified as to the method since I'm willing to bet the farm that Josh would never ever stoop to using a stooge - and I'll gladly toss in two more farms anytime Josh makes an appearance on a high-profile show like Fool Us. Plus I'm not going to doubt Josh's word, Tom's word, and the word of those who have seen the DVD/are privy to the method.

But my concern remains that the choice to jump into the routine with a pre-selected/pre-seated spectator was noticed as a sore thumb aberration by the viewing audience (both live and at home) from the typical procedure/presentation. This in turn undoubtedly caused a good number of those viewers to conclude that Josh's routine was achieved through a pre-show set-up. So instead of being mystified by an awesome piece of magic, those people were (to use my own term for it) "dismisstified" - i.e., they were so certain that they knew how Josh accomplished the effect that they quickly dismissed the whole thing to the "obvious solution" they thought they saw - and in the process missed out on being truly amazed by a truly amazing routine.

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Re: Penn & Teller: Fool Us - Season 2

Postby Richard Kaufman » August 26th, 2015, 6:11 pm

There's a lot of editing going on in Fool Us, so it's impossible for the TV viewer to make any definitive statement. Josh's segment began with the deck already spread face down on the table and the spectator seated partially back toward the audience. Now that's just what we saw, but it's obvious that's not how the trick really begins--it's just where the editor cut in.

The editing of magicians on TV has a long and sad history. Many acts butchered. In Fool Us, at least, the edits don't make the performer look bad or result in crap. It just makes it more difficult for us to figure out what's actually going on since parts of the picture are missing.
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Re: Penn & Teller: Fool Us - Season 2

Postby Scott M. » August 26th, 2015, 7:14 pm

Tom Frame wrote:As Ristiharju mentioned, the effect is taught on Josh's Unreal DVD set.

I just spoke with Josh, who has been a friend of mine since he was 8 years old. He stated that his method doesn't involve an index or pre-show work.


Well, then, to paraphrase Penn, there's only one explanation... I was fooled. Great routine.

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Re: Penn & Teller: Fool Us - Season 2

Postby brianarudolph » August 26th, 2015, 9:29 pm

You're right (of course) Richard, about the editing of magic on TV - and especially about the bad editing of magic on TV.

I do hope that the live audience did see a complete presentation from Josh versus what we were shown on the broadcast. If everyone in the theatre saw a complete presentation, that would also make Penn's ultimate pronouncement of Josh as a Fooler! far more logical.

Unfortunately, I still think a lot of home viewers will dismisstify themselves because of that editing choice, though, believing that what they saw on TV was how it was shown live as well (an assumption that I now realize that I had been making until Richard brought up the whole consideration of editing.) I will wager that a lot of home viewers no doubt honestly think that they managed to figure out something that Penn & Teller somehow - with all of their combined years of experience and in-depth knowledge of the art - managed to miss ... and/or perhaps didn't want to even acknowledge as a possible solution.

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Re: Penn & Teller: Fool Us - Season 2

Postby Richard Kaufman » August 26th, 2015, 9:35 pm

The whole premise of the show is wacky: here you have what are being presented as "two of the greatest magicians in the world," and they are being fooled all the time.

What does that say to the lay audience?
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Re: Penn & Teller: Fool Us - Season 2

Postby Richard Kaufman » August 26th, 2015, 9:45 pm

I should add that Josh's trick is very good (and I hope he does it during his lecture at our convention). I think that in the real world, on the other hand, it is necessary for someone to see the face of the deck at some point and see that the cards have faces. Because unless I missed it, Josh started with a face-down deck whose faces where never shown once, hence the deck is blank at the start, and thus as soon as Teller thinks there was a deck switch he was fooled. Game over.

Why would you switch an entire deck when you can switch one card? Or say that the deck is actually roughed and the rear card of every pair has a face. That gives you two full suits. A little equivoque and you don't even have to switch a card.
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Re: Penn & Teller: Fool Us - Season 2

Postby brianarudolph » August 26th, 2015, 10:30 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:The whole premise of the show is wacky: here you have what are being presented as "two of the greatest magicians in the world," and they are being fooled all the time.

What does that say to the lay audience?


I think it says lots of things (and pardon my answers because some of them may be due to me already nearing the end of my 2nd Sam Adams Ocktoberfest this evening with at least one of my eyes still glancing at the fridge):

- That a lay audience doesn't stand a chance
- No one knows absolutely everything about a given field of endeavor
- The best at anything can still often be beaten (i.e., Michael Jordan didn't win every game, Tiger Woods still doesn't, the best bowler in the world doesn't always bowl a 300, Best Picture doesn't typically bring in the highest box office receipts, etc.)
- You can fool old dogs with new tricks (read "old dogs" as "respected magic professionals" - no disrespect intended)
- You can fool old dogs with old/previously published tricks
- There are lots of very skilled people in magic (or for that matter any devotion/profession) you've never heard of
- The show should be played like "King of the Mountain" meaning that as soon as the initial star(s) is/are fooled, the new fooler(s) take over as "king of mountain" and him/her/they reign as the star(s) until they are fooled. Longest three consecutive "not fooled" streaks compete for the fabulous prize package on the season finale (the three season "kings" witness an entirely new set of 8-10 acts simulaneouly ... the "season king" that is fooled by the fewest number of these acts wins the grand prize; finale "fooler acts" also win major prizes.)
- Perhaps the show should have been called Fool Me on My Own Private Island! and starred David Copperfield
- Perhaps the show should have been called Freak Me! and starred Criss Angel

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Re: Penn & Teller: Fool Us - Season 2

Postby Bob Coyne » August 26th, 2015, 10:38 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:I should add that Josh's trick is very good (and I hope he does it during his lecture at our convention). I think that in the real world, on the other hand, it is necessary for someone to see the face of the deck at some point and see that the cards have faces. Because unless I missed it, Josh started with a face-down deck whose faces where never shown once, hence the deck is blank at the start, and thus as soon as Teller thinks there was a deck switch he was fooled. Game over.

Why would you switch an entire deck when you can switch one card? Or say that the deck is actually roughed and the rear card of every pair has a face. That gives you two full suits. A little equivoque and you don't even have to switch a card.


To me it definitely looked like it was a roughed deck, especially the way he removed the selected card from the top of the deck as though he was sliding/separating it from a doubled card under it. And then at the end he only lets the spectator examine a few cards.

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Re: Penn & Teller: Fool Us - Season 2

Postby Dustin Stinett » August 26th, 2015, 11:21 pm

Teller examined the deck as I recall.

I think, right now, it is the best television program that features magic here in the USA. The viewing audience sees (mostly) exceptional magic and, most of all, the performers are given the time to introduce themselves to the audience, both via the "package" and during their turn. There's a reason it is doing so well in the ratings and has already been renewed for another season, and it's not because a pack of magicians are watching--and nit picking--it.

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Re: Penn & Teller: Fool Us - Season 2

Postby Larry Horowitz » August 27th, 2015, 12:40 am

Dustin,

"Nit-picking" is what fans and devotes do.

Baseball has its "Hot-stove" league. Football has Monday morning quarterbacks.

When the "nit-picking" stops, Genii magazine can close down.


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