For nearly 40 years Penn & Teller have defied labels – and at times physics and good taste– by redefining the genre of magic and inventing their own very distinct niche in comedy.
Penn & Teller: Magicians
The pair were first known to the British public with their highly successful Channel four series ‘The Unpleasant World of Penn & Teller’ 1994 Ch4. This was followed up by TV specials and eventually by ITV 2011 ‘Penn & Teller Fool Us’ hosted by Jonathan Ross, challenging magicians to perform a trick to Penn & Teller, which they could not guess how it was done. With sold out runs on Broadway, world tours, Emmy-winning TV specials and hundreds of outrageous appearances. On everything from Letterman to Leno, Friends to The Simpsons, Chelsea Lately to Top Chef; comedy’s only magic team, show no signs of slowing down.
Magicians of the Year
With an amazing seven wins, including 2013, as “Las Vegas Magicians of the Year,” their 12-year run at The Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino makes them one of the longest running and most-beloved shows in Las Vegas history, outselling every other resident magician on The Strip.
Penn & Teller: BS!
Their acclaimed Showtime series, “Penn & Teller: BS!” was nominated for 13 Emmys and is the longest-running series in the history of the network. The show tackled the fakes and frauds behind such topics as alien abduction, psychics and bottled water. Their latest television venture, “Penn & Teller Tell A Lie” for the Discovery Channel premiered last October and Penn recently showed his business savvy once again on the newest season of NBC’s “All-Star Celebrity Apprentice.” Their acclaimed documentary, “Tim’s Vermeer,” follows Texas-based inventor Tim Jenison on his quest to discover the methods used by Dutch Master painter Johannes Vermeer. The film, which was nominated for a BAFTA and shortlisted for the 2014 Oscars, is currently in theaters.
Along the way, they’ve written three New York Times Best-Sellers; hosted their own Emmy nominated variety show for FX; starred in their own Emmy winning specials for ABC, NBC and Comedy Central; and produced the critically lauded feature film documentary The Aristocrats.
As individuals, they are just as prolific. Teller directed a version of Macbeth that toured the East Coast to raves from The New York Times and Wall Street Journal; and co-wrote and directed the Off-Broadway thriller “Play Dead”. Penn has written three books, including the 2011 New York Times Best Seller, “God No!”, hosted the NBC game show Identity; and donned his ballroom shoes for the 2008 season of ABC’s hit Dancing With The Stars.
Penn & Teller Are The Answer
With inclusions in the New York Times Crossword Puzzle, as answers on Jeopardy and Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. Their status as cultural icons and the preeminent duo in comedy magic; was once again reinforced when Katy Perry personally asked them to co-star in the video for her #1 song, “Waking Up in Vegas.”
In April 2013 they were honoured with their very own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
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Matthew Willetts MA is the Director of Comicus who has over 35 years experience in television, film, theatre, and comedy club/cabaret entertainment, working as a performer, screenwriter, producer and agent. He lectured at Southampton Solent University in Comedy, Screenwriting, Television, Theatre & Radio. Matthew can sometimes be seen and heard on TV & Radio and often quoted in the national press and media publications. As well as speaking regularly at festivals and industry conferences, he has been a judge at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and the Montreux Television Festival.
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