Penn and Teller : fool us and it's message

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Bliff, May 29, 2018.

  1. Teller is one the best performers I have ever seen and my inspiration to get to this art. I got to admit, the show "Penn and Teller : fool us shouldn't be seen by layman. It makes our art to be perceived as just deception, secrets, and methods. It also creates the illusion of "me against you". Look at the name
    "Fool us", layman will take this
    to mean what we do is all about "fooling". Yes, fooling is one part of our performance but it isn't the core or the most important part. Watch how Penn reacts when a performer
    "fools him", he acts like he is disappointed. Again layman interprets this to mean you have lost when you don't know how something is done and win when you know.I could go on and on why I don't like this show but I think this
    is enough for now.
  2. I think you have read too much into the show. It's meant to showcase talent that people outside of magic wouldn't normally see. A lot like Wizard Wars.
    You could make a case against any popular magic program. The hit movie Now You See Me, could be bad for magic as it makes people believe Magicians can alter reality eg.. making it rain in the opposite direction.
    Enjoy the popularity of magic on TV and Movies it won't last forever eg.. Zombies.
    Between Copperfield and Blaine/Angel... we had nothing...
    Antonio Diavolo likes this.
  3. While I'm not disagreeing with you, I do wonder - where are you drawing this conclusion? Have you spoken to laymen who watch the show to ask their opinion?

    I originally did not like Fool Us for this very reason. However the more I've learned about it, the less bothered I am.

    Fool Us exists in its current format so that Penn & Teller can give magicians stage time in front of millions of people. That's it. Fooling them or not is irrelevant. I'm betting several of the people that "fooled" them didn't actually fool them, they just wanted to help the person's career.

    P&T proposed this format of show because they knew the networks wouldn't let them just have people up on stage to perform. They created this, basically, fake competition format and maintain it so that the networks will let them keep inviting people to be on the show.

    With that in mind, and with how Penn codes his responses, it doesn't bother me. I wish it had a different title, or really, I wish it could have had the format they'd really prefer, but it is an unbiased chance for magicians to get on TV in front of a fairly large audience and that's pretty cool. Unlike B/AGT which has the contractual right to represent the talent in any way they please (even if it's wildly inaccurate).
  4. I've frequently been asked if I've seen specific acts from the show. It's never about Penn and Teller, it's always the people they have on. Hell, I think Penn even said that more people talk about Shin Lim's act than they do any other part of the show.

    However, I have seen a few (like maybe 3 or 4 comments) of laypeople acting like fooling P&T is some sort of litmus test as to who is a good magician. I forgot exactly what they said but some were like "He's good, but I can't tell for sure unless he fools Penn and Teller." or someone telling me "Have you fooled Penn and Teller? Then you're not a real magician". This is a small minority of people though.
  5. My sense is that the underlying premise does contribute to the idea that magic is a contest to see if the magician can fool the audience or the audience can figure it out. Within that, entertainment and art get lost. @christopher T point is well taken about being a venue for magic on television.
    Antonio Diavolo likes this.
  6. This is not a show about revealing magic. This is just a show about magic. The audience always try’s to figure it out, regardless of whether or not p and t are around. The contest is between the magicians, and no one else.
  7. Oh contrare', P&T frequently and openly 'reveal' magic tricks....I watch the show and love some of the real magic they do, but I dislike much that they do pushing a particular political view when performing, especially outside of the show 'Fool Us'!
    Peter Slim and CWhite like this.
  8. Conversely, it could get laymen into magic. In our hypothetical, let us say that Penn in his "coded" speak mentions a poker player named Marlo and he used to tilt a lot. Filtering out the amount of people in the audience just enjoying a P&T show + other performers, you might have one who goes and googles "marlo poker tilt" and then stumbles on possible these very forums, or the cafe and then they want to know more...

    Also the "Trophy" is literally a giant FU. I think as stated, the fooling aspect isn't that relevant to what the show's platform is really serving as.
    Peter Slim and Antonio Diavolo like this.

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