David Roth on this week's Penn and Teller show

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Jonathan Townsend
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David Roth on this week's Penn and Teller show

Postby Jonathan Townsend » August 30th, 2015, 9:03 pm

This Monday: from NY TV listing
Penn & Teller: Fool Us

Star Spangled Magic 8:00 PM on WPIX 11, 1 hr 2015

Magicians Riley Siegler, Jade, Ran'd Shine and David Roth try to fool the veteran duo with their tricks.


any thoughts?
Last edited by Jonathan Townsend on August 30th, 2015, 10:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time

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Re: David Roth on this week's Penn and Teller show

Postby performer » August 30th, 2015, 9:23 pm

I think David Roth is one of the better close up magicians. In fact he may well be the best coin magician in the world. And anyone will tell you that I am not prone to flattery.

Mind you I once met that old misery Al Goshman and he seemed to have a different opinion. He was at an Irish convention and kept complaining he wasn't making any money. The Irish have a strange sense of humour and one wag informed him, "Mr Goshman-we think you are so wonderful that we are going to book you again no matter how much money it costs you"

They started to wind up poor old Al by asking who he thought was the best coin magician in the world. I suspect they knew it would irritate him. He snorted in great wonder, "You mean apart from me?" And no he wasn't joking. So they followed up with another question, "What do you think of David Roth?" He replied, "Roth has no presentation". I thought this was completely wrong as I had seen him perform at the Ramsey Reunion in 1977 and was very impressed. And I have seen him on subsequent occasions and thought his presentation was excellent despite hearing negative opinions from people who have no idea what they are talking about.

Then somebody asked him if he thought Slydini was any good. He growled, "Slydini can't handle trouble" dismissing a legend of magic in one sentence.

So of course the Irish magicians seized on this and tried to see what other awful things he would say about legendary magicians. So who was the natural choice? Vernon of course! They asked what he thought of Vernon. A look of disdain came across his face and he responded, "I have known the professor for over 40 years. I am not going to comment" which implied who knows what.

When Goshman was introduced the MC said "Mr Goshman thinks that all magicians are terrible and when you see how good he is you will realise why he says that" It was an awful introduction that only an Irishman could make and Goshman was furious snarling at the poor chap, in front of everyone, "What kind of a bad introduction is that? Now you have everyone against me"

It was hilarious. Incidentally the MC is virtually unknown among magicians (by his own choice) yet I consider him to be one of the best close up magicians I have ever seen. I shall let him remain unknown since he prefers it that way.

OK. You can go back to talking about David Roth now.

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Re: David Roth on this week's Penn and Teller show

Postby Jack Shalom » August 30th, 2015, 10:14 pm

It would be fun if Roth pulls something new out of the hat. Otherwise, I doubt P&T will be fooled. Still it's always good to see someone like Roth get his due. Maybe he'll do one of his show pieces like The Planet or The Funnel.

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Re: David Roth on this week's Penn and Teller show

Postby P.T.Widdle » August 30th, 2015, 10:16 pm

I love David Roth - saw him as a demonstrator here in NYC several times.

Interesting choice in terms of the premise of the show. Will Roth perform an extended coin routine, or will he do something simpler as far as presentation goes? If there are several effects as part of a routine, will P&T have to be fooled by only one of them? I suppose it could be similar to Shin Lim's performance on the show in that regard.

Looking forward to it.

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Re: David Roth on this week's Penn and Teller show

Postby MagicbyAlfred » August 31st, 2015, 1:20 am

My money is on Roth to fool Penn & Teller.

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Re: David Roth on this week's Penn and Teller show

Postby performer » August 31st, 2015, 3:41 am

Fooling other magicians to me is not a proper criteria that the fooler is a good magician. Faulty premise and in most cases I find that people who are good at fooling magicians are usually awful performers.

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Re: David Roth on this week's Penn and Teller show

Postby brianarudolph » August 31st, 2015, 8:20 am

performer wrote:Fooling other magicians to me is not a proper criteria that the fooler is a good magician. Faulty premise and in most cases I find that people who are good at fooling magicians are usually awful performers.


I agree. And I believe Richard was making a similar/related point in another thread focusing on the stars themselves.

But I also believe that the notion of "fooling a magician makes you a good magician" is a derivative one that has been propagated by extension from the premise of the show. The show is called "Fool Us." Simply put, Penn and Teller are challenging any and all comers to do something in front of them and the whole world that employs a method which they are unable to figure out. That's all. Nothing else.

While Penn (and silently, Teller) often give performers major compliments on their premise, presentation, sleight-of-hand skills, character, etc., the show purely boils down to one thing: you win if P&T cannot figure out the method you used to achieve your main effect; if they do figure it out, you lose. (I've always loved that the trophy, intentionally or unintentionally - although my suspicions lean heavily toward the former - allows P&T to tell you what they really think of you for fooling them by prominently featuring the show's initials.)

The show does not deny the skills necessary to be a good magician, but by choice has elected to focus on the one aspect of magic that always plays well to a lay audience: how did the magician (or to remain more precise: person performing the effect) do it? Put another way, no one would have tuned in to expressly to watch the Masked Magician's choreography or learn why he made particular choices for his musical accompaniment - they wanted to know how he did it. With Fool Us, P&T have taken the audience to the edge of exposure (yes, sometimes crossing it) but in general making the method confirmation banter between the contestant and themselves as mystifying yet as entertaining as possible to the audience. The audience feels it was "in on something" but still more often than not doesn't know exactly what (and Jonathan Ross adds to that feeling as the wonderful host he is as well.)

In the past I've been a participant, an organizer, and a judge/contest problem creator for the ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest - a competition that pits teams of the best computer programmers currently attending college against each other in an effort to solve the greatest number of incredibly challenging programming problems as quickly as possible in a time period of just a few hours with very limited resources. No one would ever argue that the code that these programmers produced under these conditions was (typically) the best possible program that solved any of these problems. And they were certainly not the best examples of fully-finished, well-polished and well-optimized programs that did it either (criteria that would certainly come into play if you were doing the same task for a major technology employer, government agency, etc.) But the contest hits on the one key aspect that makes every programmer incredibly excited: seeing a program actually work, especially for the first time. Everything else can be cleaned up, but if the program doesn't work there's no amount of polish that can help it. The contest was often criticized for encouraging "quick and dirty" programming (obfuscated code, little and usually no documentation, etc.), but it leverages the one part of programming that is the most fun for the programmers - and then challenges them to do that live and under test conditions better than their peers.

Fool Us is doing a kindred thing with magic effects. No one is going to come to the theatre or tune in to watch highly-polished, beautifully choreographed performances of "magic" whose methods are blatantly clear to everyone who keeps one eye open for ten percent of the time. And again I agree that fooling P&T does not automatically make you a good magician. Lucky for us, most of the people who do have an honest shot at fooling P&T are reasonably well-known and polished in the art already (like David Roth), or are up-and-comers who are getting there or making their initial splash on the magic scene. And it's great for the art for the public to get acquainted with these performers and a lot "what's new" in magic to help ensure that there will be interested audiences for all of our futures.

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Re: David Roth on this week's Penn and Teller show

Postby MagicbyAlfred » August 31st, 2015, 2:47 pm

I agree with Brian's observation that: "'it's great for the art for the public to get acquainted with these performers and a lot 'what's new' in magic to help ensure that there will be interested audiences for all of our futures."

Things become popular with people in great measure because of their familiarity with, and exposure to them. This has worked on Madison Avenue for years, and it is certainly true in the music industry.

In the 1940's, Dariel Fitzkee wrote a book with which I am sure many on this forum are familiar, and others, perhaps not - "Showmanship for Magicians." That book helped to change my thinking on the performance of magic, and what elements are important to make magic relevant and entertaining to the group without whom a performing art has no existence or meaning - the audience, be it magician or laymen, one or one thousand. Fitzkee lamented the fact that magic did not enjoy nearly the same overall popularity that other performing arts did such as music, the theatre and the cinema. He analyzed why this was the case. I highly recommend Fitzkee's book to anyone interested in improving the audience appeal of their magic.

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Re: David Roth on this week's Penn and Teller show

Postby performer » August 31st, 2015, 3:21 pm

Just to show you what a misery I am, I am afraid I am not overkeen on the Fitzkee book on showmanship and I am even more vehement about that awful book by Henning Nelms which I think should be publicly burned. Nelms had never done a magic show in his life. It reminds me of people yapping about how they think psychic readings work when they have never actually done one.

Oh, and just to be even more of an iconoclast (I always wanted to use a big word like that so I could sound intellectual) I am even lukewarm about the acclaimed Ken Weber book on Maximum Entertainment although I will certainly agree that it is better than the other two texts mentioned.

However, I will forgive Fitzkee anything for debunking the myth that just because someone is "working" it means that they are actually any good. He explains in his foreword that there are many reasons someone is working that may have nothing to do with his or her alleged talent.

However, I do agree with him 100 percent on pages 47 and 48 almost to the point of obsession. Look it up.

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Re: David Roth on this week's Penn and Teller show

Postby MagicbyAlfred » August 31st, 2015, 3:55 pm

Performer, sooner or later you are going to have to come out of your shell, open up, and speak your mind. No more holding back...

BTW, unlike Helms, Fitskee was a performer. And, according to Magicpedia, "Starting in 1937, Fitzkee began a column in Genii called 'Thoughts are Things' and then in October, 1938 one called 'Glimpses of Strange Shadows' which was to run almost two years. Then starting in March, 1944 Dariel began the monthly column of book and magazine reviews for Genii entitled Paper and Ink which ran for over 12 years."

Further, according to Magicpedia: "In Steve Martin's memoir, Born Standing Up, [the] comedian and one-time magician describes Fitzkee's Showmanship for Magicians as 'more important to me than The Catcher In The Rye'...It's also been told that Tommy Wonder learned English just so he could read Fitzkee's trilogy."

(The Trilogy consists of Showmanship for Magicians, The Trick Brain, and Magic By Misdirection).

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Re: David Roth on this week's Penn and Teller show

Postby performer » August 31st, 2015, 4:06 pm

Fitzkee wrote a book on card tricks which I liked rather better. It was a kind of update of Arthur Buckley's Thirty Card Problems. I forget the title. There are sections of the Fitzkee Showmanship book I quite like but I am somehow not excited by it as a whole.

The best advice I have ever come across where close up magic is concerned is the presentation section of Expert Card Technique especially the first few pages. That is just about all you need.

As for Tommy Wonder learning English just so he could study Fitzkee I have my doubts about that. Nearly every Dutch person I have ever met speaks English fluently anyway. I doubt Fitzkee had much to do with it.

I learned the svengali deck in fluent Dutch when I worked in Holland. Complete waste of bloody time since everyone spoke English there anyway. I wish someone had told me before I went to all that trouble!

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Re: David Roth on this week's Penn and Teller show

Postby MagicbyAlfred » August 31st, 2015, 4:33 pm

I believe the title of the book you were trying to recall by Fitskee is, "The Card Expert Entertains" (1948).

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Re: David Roth on this week's Penn and Teller show

Postby performer » August 31st, 2015, 6:10 pm

It is indeed.

As a result of this conversation I thought I would have another look at the Fitkee book. I must confess something he said has persuaded me to give the book another try. He wrote it in 1944 and it still applies nowadays. Here it is:

"Magic as exhibited by the majority, is the indulgence in a hobby that rarely instructs, seldom amuses and almost never entertains"

I can't argue with that. I shall give the book another look.

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Re: David Roth on this week's Penn and Teller show

Postby Jack Shalom » August 31st, 2015, 11:25 pm

I liked Jade this week. It took a bit of time to set it up, but once the premise was established, it played very well, I thought. She gets a whole lot of mileage out of very little.

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Re: David Roth on this week's Penn and Teller show

Postby luckyram » September 1st, 2015, 1:27 pm

Here's a link to the show:

http://www.cwtv.com/shows/penn-teller-fo......c4c6b19a


It pains me to say that David, who was one of the greatest coin artists ever, looked shaky with miss-steps in his performance which was pretty bad. Could be he is suffering from some early Parkinson's type issues.

There are several visible instances of palmed coins/halves able to be seen in his "covering" hand due to gaps in his fingers where the lighting/camera picks them up.

Worse, at the 27:30 - 27:34 mark of the above link, he makes a serious mistake - dropping a palmed coin/half when he sets the cup down....the coin bounces on table behind the cup before camera quickly cuts to Teller watching....No way Penn or Teller didn't see that.

It seemed obvious that Penn & Teller were not fooled at all by David but out of respect & appreciation for all he meant to magic they didn't want to bust him and saw that he got the "Fooler" trophy.....this was much the same as when they gave Greg Wilson the trophy after he produced his father & mother (Mark & Nani)from the box at the end.....they were in no way fooled but felt like they were doing the right and honorable thing by NOT saying "you didn't fool us" and letting them walk with the "Fooler" trophy.

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Re: David Roth on this week's Penn and Teller show

Postby P.T.Widdle » September 1st, 2015, 1:47 pm

My impressions as well, luckyram.

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Re: David Roth on this week's Penn and Teller show

Postby Dustin Stinett » September 1st, 2015, 2:59 pm

It burns in my throat to say it, but I feel the same. So many times I said, "Oh David" and not in a good way. I hope it was just nerves, but the fact of the matter is that he's been in front of the cameras many times and for audiences that are many times larger than the one watching last night. It's damned hard to watch heroes fail.

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Re: David Roth on this week's Penn and Teller show

Postby Bill Mullins » September 1st, 2015, 3:21 pm

Luckyram's link isn't working for me, so I haven't seen the performance. But here's one review that liked it.

(I have to note one comment in the review: "He . . . literally wrote the book on coin magic." It's David's magic, but I think some guy named Kaufman wrote it . . . )

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Re: David Roth on this week's Penn and Teller show

Postby Dustin Stinett » September 1st, 2015, 3:48 pm

I sincerely hope that Ms. Roberts is representative of the laity. No doubt, as magicians, we know what to look for and therefore see it. That is our flaw as observers of this television program.

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Re: David Roth on this week's Penn and Teller show

Postby performer » September 1st, 2015, 3:52 pm

I am sorry to hear this if it is true but I highly suspect it isn't. I will have to see for myself but alas the video isn't working for me. The fact of the matter is that magicians like to nitpick and find fault and it usually isn't nearly as bad as they make out. I do know that intricate sleight of hand can sometimes be caught on camera as the TV eye can be quite cruel sometimes.

I dunno. I would have to see it for myself. In view of that positive review I am going to reserve my judgement.

I noticed that nobody commented on his patter (I refuse to use that pretentious word "script") or his presentation. That is the most important part and all the rest is quite secondary.

I really need to see this for myself. I am highly suspicious about all this negativity.

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Re: David Roth on this week's Penn and Teller show

Postby performer » September 1st, 2015, 3:57 pm

Oh. Is that reviewer a lay person? I might have bloody well known. If that is truly the case it is all I need to hear. As I have always stated the trouble with magicians is that they think their opinions are important.

They aren't. Except mine of course.

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Re: David Roth on this week's Penn and Teller show

Postby performer » September 1st, 2015, 4:07 pm

I have now found another source where it can be watched. He is on at 28 minutes in. I haven't looked at it yet. I will now.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jXsbz60U47I

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Re: David Roth on this week's Penn and Teller show

Postby performer » September 1st, 2015, 4:21 pm

I knew you were all talking baloney! I despair of magicians-I really do! The man is absolutely brilliant! I have only seen around 10 good close up magicians in my life (most of them are dead and come to think of it I don't feel that well myself) and David Roth is one of them.

I couldn't see any of the technical flaws mentioned and I guarantee that no laymen saw them either. I did see a tiny bit of shaking which may or may not have been nerves but it was such a tiny moment on a couple of occasions that the effect was so infinitesimal that it didn't matter a jot and I bet nobody except nit picking magicians would have noticed it.

That was a terrific performance and the audience reaction was excellent. The criticism is balderdash and unimportant.

I have spoken and I can assure you all that whatever I say is gospel. I am a psychic reverend after all.

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Re: David Roth on this week's Penn and Teller show

Postby luckyram » September 1st, 2015, 4:53 pm

Here is the actual show link (don't know why the other didn't work):

http://www.cwtv.com/shows/penn-teller-f ... 53c4c6b19a

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Re: David Roth on this week's Penn and Teller show

Postby performer » September 1st, 2015, 5:01 pm

It says "the content is not available in your location".

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Re: David Roth on this week's Penn and Teller show

Postby luckyram » September 1st, 2015, 5:01 pm

"I couldn't see any of the technical flaws mentioned and I guarantee that no laymen saw them either. I did see a tiny bit of shaking which may or may not have been nerves but it was such a tiny moment on a couple of occasions that the effect was so infinitesimal that it didn't matter a jot and I bet nobody except nit picking magicians would have noticed it.

That was a terrific performance and the audience reaction was excellent. The criticism is balderdash and unimportant."


If you couldn't see it then your knowledge or magical acumen is very suspect. And it did matter...it looked sloppy and unprofessional. Listen....David Roth knows more about coin magic and was a better magician in his prime than many of us could ever hope to be. But don't come here trying to paper over what everyone could plainly see.

BTW...in case you haven't noticed, this board is for magicians (many who nitpick to critique or strive for better performances) and not Joe Public so mentioning here is not like drawing "civilians" around and pointing out all the mistakes.

It's sad that Roth's talents are apparently going downhill....he may not even realize it.

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Re: David Roth on this week's Penn and Teller show

Postby performer » September 1st, 2015, 5:44 pm

Garbage. Anyone will tell you that my knowledge of magic is encyclopediac and unsurpassed. My magical acumen is somewhat on the brilliant side and in fact I can get more reaction out of laymen doing close up magic than everyone on this board put together.

I really must inform you that you are in the presence of one of the world's greatest card magicians. Actually I happen to be the greatest but am reluctant to mention it in case you consider me immodest.

It did NOT look sloppy. It did NOT look unprofessional. It was a brilliant exhibition by the greatest coin magician in the world. The trouble with magicians is that they think faults are important. They are NOT important-you can even do tricks wrong and the audience will still love you. However, it is lack of virtues that can do you in. It is very obvious indeed that David Roth has virtues a-plenty.

"everyone could plainly see?" BALDERDASH! I didn't see it and I can assure you I am very technically adept. But perhaps I wasn't looking as closely as I could have been. That is because I trained myself to think like a layman when I watch performers. I suggest you do too if you wish to progress. I repeat. THE OPINIONS OF OTHER MAGICIANS (naturally except me) ARE OF NO IMPORTANCE WHATSOVER and should be ruthlessly disregarded as 90 percent of them have utterly no idea what they are talking about. They praise the wrong things and criticise the wrong things.

His talents are NOT going "downhill". He seems a little more tired than I remember but that is to be expected as you get older. There may even be health issues that we don't know about. But NONE OF THAT MATTERS! It is the audience reaction that matters-nothing else. And by "audience" I mean laymen. The reaction from that audience was positive and sustained. It was obvious to me that they LOVED him!

His technique is as good as ever. I have performed on televison many times and I know how cruel the camera can be but I couldn't really see anything to complain about. Bear in mind that I am a vicious critic.

With regard to the self righteous tosh about magicians criticising in order to "strive for better performances" I am afraid it doesn't seem to have worked since 90% of critics are abysmal performers themselves who as magicians have the personality of dial tones and couldn't make the contents of an empty box disappear.

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Re: David Roth on this week's Penn and Teller show

Postby luckyram » September 1st, 2015, 5:55 pm

So.....dropping a palmed coin/shell on the table doing close up is not sloppy???

Did you even watch the part mentioned (@ 27:30 - 27:34)? It seemed that Penn & Teller were embarrassed for him.

Look....I'm not trying to tear Mr. Roth down...he is probably the greatest coin magic guy ever but there may be other concerns (other than age) going on with his fumbling hand movements, etc...namely a degenerative disease, etc. and it would be a real travesty if that were the case.

Truth is, there were many mistakes made and too many "tells" in his performance...if you want to post/watch as a layman, fine, but this board is for magicians and sleight of hand practicioners and any one of them (who will be honest about it) will say the same as I did.

It seems like you're doing whatever you can to defend him or not criticize....unfortunately, the truth can be plainly seen....as much as it hurts me to point it out.

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Re: David Roth on this week's Penn and Teller show

Postby performer » September 1st, 2015, 6:14 pm

Please point out on the You Tube clip I posted at which point you think there are technical flaws. The "27;30 -27.34" bit is not appropriate to be shown in Her Brittanic Majesty's territory of Canada. However, even if what you say is true that is only a lousy 4 seconds of a 7 minute performance.

It is important to post as a layman. In other words to see things from the layman's point of view. If you cannot do this you will be at a great disadvantage in your work. Laymen don't care about the things magicians care about. They don't care about which finger goes where. They will care if you flash a move but I have as yet seen no evidence that this happened. They don't even care about your tricks that much (yes, I hate to break it to you). However they care about YOU. The image you build up, the persona you have and whether they like you or not. If they like you then they will forgive any flaws which they probably won't spot anyway.

It really is the kiss of death to a performer to associate with magicians too much otherwise there is a tendency to be influenced by them and be as awful as they are. No wonder I myself am going downhill. Luckily however, I have still managed to retain a small part of my genius and I know what is good and what isn't.

And David Roth is good. Now show me where I am supposed to look on the You Tube clip to see where he isn't good.

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Re: David Roth on this week's Penn and Teller show

Postby performer » September 1st, 2015, 6:29 pm

I have just watched the whole bloody thing again to see if I could find what the hell you were talking about. I couldn't. And if I couldn't even after actively looking for it I can assure you no layman is going to find it either.

I think I would even go so far as to say this is the best performance I have ever seen of him at work. At least he isn't being distracted by interruptions from David Letterman and I enjoyed every minute of it. It was utterly brilliant.

The audience were gasping, applauding and cheering every few seconds.
Maybe I just imagined it of course.........................

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Re: David Roth on this week's Penn and Teller show

Postby observer » September 1st, 2015, 6:52 pm

performer wrote:At least he isn't being distracted by interruptions from David Letterman.


Something we can all agree on!

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Re: David Roth on this week's Penn and Teller show

Postby Munken » September 1st, 2015, 7:26 pm

Great performance. A few mistakes, yes but he corrected them on the fly. I could not see any flashing. If you running over the performance in slow motion you may catch it but you are not able to do that live!
I dont think a shell is involved.
David's performance is still better than most of us can do at our peek performance.
:D

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Re: David Roth on this week's Penn and Teller show

Postby luckyram » September 1st, 2015, 7:40 pm

"I have just watched the whole bloody thing again to see if I could find what the hell you were talking about. I couldn't."

Ok...I just watched the Youtube clip.....the timing is not the same as the actual show clip I mentioned previously so that actual part where he flubs the palm and drops the coin/shell behind the cup is at 30:23 or 30:24 of the Youtube clip.....soon as it happens the camera cuts to Teller reacting and then P&T applauding (due to the cut there is no way to tell how he recovers or whether the coin bounced off table to floor).

And now I see why you're not seeing what I was seeing with the other flashes & tells.....the Youtube vid is small and somewhat grainy....it is in no way HD or enough of HD (or size) to see what I was referring to.....If you can get to the main show in HD you'll see all the stuff I was mentioning....I looked at it on a 21" HD computer monitor.....I assume the mistakes would be even more noticeable on a 40 - 60 inch HD television.

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Re: David Roth on this week's Penn and Teller show

Postby Richard Kaufman » September 1st, 2015, 8:16 pm

I've probably seen Roth perform more than anyone on this Forum.

Despite what Penn Jillette said, I wrote the book, as we all know. That was many months spent with David.

That the segment was edited is evident: there was a large pile of coins on the table that suddenly vanished at the start, and yes, it appeared that David dropped something but some editing mostly disguised that. There was also an edit in the middle of the segment toward the end where he vanished the three coins one at a time.

There are two possibilities to explain what I just saw watching the show: either David was extremely nervous (which I've seen before), or he's taking some kind of medication that makes his hands shake (which has afflicted more than one magician I've known--Ron Wilson, for example).

Unfortunately, it would appear to me that it was nerves. David looked and sounded extremely nervous. He did more sleight of hand in his segment than almost anyone else has done in that same amount of time, rushing through his tricks. They might have told David, for example, that he only had 10 minutes instead of 15 an hour before the show. That would explain the nerves and the speed at which he was working--he doesn't normally work that fast.

And David himself knew, because he mentioned this in response to Jonathan Ross's question at the end, that Penn & Teller might have known what he was doing, but he was pretty sure he fooled them with the vanish of the three coins at the end. So, he's on a show trying to fool two guys whom he thinks know all of his stuff except one item.

It would seem highly doubtful to me that either Penn or Teller have read my books CoinMagic or David Roth's Expert Coin Magic because neither of them are or have ever been close-up magicians. P&T are very well prepped by their staff.

I think it was what we call a "mitzvah," albeit a well-deserved one. You don't invite the guy responsible for the gigantic renaissance in coin magic since the 1970s on your TV show and take a dump on him because he was nervous.

I do know one thing: having now watched the performance twice , he certainly did fool me with the vanish of the three coins toward the end (using the chopstick as a magic wand) where he showed both sides of his hands empty after each vanish. Is he flashing--absolutely, on two of the vanishes you clearly see the coin in classic palm through his right fingers. Unfortunately the way it was lit, the edges of the well-polished coins glinted in the light (the lesson I would take from that is to polish the fronts and backs of the coins but not the edges). So I know that the coins to be vanished went into classic palm, but where they went from there I do not know. The easiest thing to believe is that he dropped the palmed coin into the cup with the visible coins. But then where did it go? Is he using a Lassen set of some type? Why not?

I don't know, but it fooled me. And I like that.

I certainly can't criticize anyone for being nervous on TV, particularly if you're a big gun and you have a reputation to live up to.
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Re: David Roth on this week's Penn and Teller show

Postby performer » September 1st, 2015, 8:30 pm

I'll tell you what does make me uncomfortable. This site comes up on search engines. And we are talking about methods. That might do more damage than the odd flash or two which I can't see anyway. Maybe it won't do any harm at all and it is the mere curse of the internet. I don't like it-that's all.

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Re: David Roth on this week's Penn and Teller show

Postby Richard Kaufman » September 1st, 2015, 8:45 pm

If laymen are searching the internet for information on how magic is done, I think we're pretty low on the damn list.
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Re: David Roth on this week's Penn and Teller show

Postby performer » September 1st, 2015, 9:04 pm

Agreed. But they might be looking up "David Roth" "magician". Or possibly not. I dunno.

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Re: David Roth on this week's Penn and Teller show

Postby luckyram » September 1st, 2015, 10:35 pm

Mr. Kaufman,

Thanks for your response and explanation.

I watched the clip several more times.....it did seem like he was rushing and that combined with nerves and him being slightly "out of his wheelhouse" (large audience, big stage, TV, P&T watching, etc)would seem to cover his dodgy performance.

And I totally agree that P&T did the proper thing in saluting Mr. Roth and his legacy....it would have been unthinkable for them to call him out on his mistakes or point out his errors/tells and they did the right thing.

I had addressed it here as, like you point out, I doubt the general public is visiting a Genii forum to research Mr. Roth's performance and my discussion was obviously geared towards workers and to note (what seemed to be) a possible degeneration of the skills of a master that would have been better off not being publicly broadcast....If it was only nerves then that's great & understandable...much better than the other alternatives being postulated about his health or well-being.

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Re: David Roth on this week's Penn and Teller show

Postby Dustin Stinett » September 1st, 2015, 10:51 pm

Everything Roth performed has been published either in Richard's books or on the many DVDs he's been involved in, including the chopstick vanish. None of these routines used any kind of gaff. It's pure sleight of hand and brilliant construction.

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Re: David Roth on this week's Penn and Teller show

Postby observer » September 1st, 2015, 11:18 pm

It's David freaking Roth, man.

What the **** would he have to be nervous about?

Serious question.


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