Penn and Teller: Fool Us

In Penn and Teller:  Fool Us, one the world’s top magic double acts looked forward to being completely baffled by brilliantly executed tricks.

Surely no-one could fool these experts – but astonishingly, two people actually managed it, earning themselves a trip to Las Vegas to dazzle audiences with their plausible patter and sleight of hand.

Here was a talent show with a difference, such a welcome change from the likes of the X Factor, as these were all class acts, talented individuals who were dedicated to their craft and had clearly spent much time and effort honing their skills.

Penn and Teller were also treated to a new version of the oldest trick in the book, which involves taking the head of a chicken (plus a duck too in this case) a feat first recorded in ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs dating back thousands of years.

Another remarkable element of the show was the emotionally charged scenes when grown men were moved almost to tears. The first was ex cop John Archer, who was overwhelmed when his cheerful but simple comic routine with five envelopes managed to baffle the judges, earning him a ticket to Vegas.

In an up-close routine involving only a simple pack of cards, it was Teller’s turn to look moved as he watched young magician Ben Earl handle the cards with such dexterity that he was left dumbfounded. As it happens, Teller never speaks during the pair’s double act, but at this point, the expression on his face was worth a thousand words.

Penn suspected a “false shuffle” was involved, or at the very least, “false half shuffle” but Ben denied this, and after  some persuasion from host Jonathan Ross, the judges granted him his trip to Vegas.

This well-executed  and watchable show  was a one-off special but could be repeated in future if deemed successful. More in a similar vein is likely to be well-received, provided it remains fresh and different.


~ by A_A on January 10, 2011.

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