Penn Jillette makes surprise call to NJ 101.5: Today’s magic is blowing wide open with diversity
You gotta be careful who you talk about on the radio because you never know when they might be listening or just decide to call in.
Last night, after talking with Michael Carbonaro about doing radio with Penn Jillette in Philadelphia when he filled in for Howard Stern, our phone rang, and there was the other half of Penn and Teller, calling from his theatre in Las Vegas.
Penn had gotten a call from fellow magician Doc Swan who was listening and called in singing both the praises Swan and Carbonaro, whose "Lies on Stage" tour will be coming this Saturday night April 16 to the New Jersey Performing Arts Center. Get tickets here.
I asked Penn who just came off being revealed with Teller as The Masked Singer about today's magic, you can listen to our conversation On-Demand at 1:23:35:
"The big difference, and it's a wonderful difference, is that 20 years ago everyone in magic looked like me. They were all old white guys. And now we do our show 'Fool Us' and there are people that are not gender-specific, there are people that don't identify as white, there are people that don't identify as heterosexual, it's fabulous and that whole new blood has made it so on our show we see all sorts of people with new ideas."
"The internet opened things wide open. As you know, magic 25 years ago was the international brotherhood of magicians. The Magic Circle in London wouldn't even let women in until the 90s, and now it's blowing wide open and it's really great. There are so many wonderful magicians doing such crazy stuff and they're doing stuff that fools the hell out of me and I love it."
In the studio with me was comic magician Johnny "Gemini" Lombardi who's a huge fan of Penn and asked him: "When you're doing the magic and you get a new trick that's just awesome, are you doing it for you or are you doing it to see the look on those people's faces that you just played God for a minute man?"
"I don't know if I ever hit that," says Penn. "But there was one night, we were playing the Hammersmith Apollo in London and we have a trick that I think is one of our best and I'm really proud of it. Some nights things just go a little bit better and there was one night it was in the summer and it was in London and it was sold out over 3,000 people, and there was one moment that there was a reveal in the show and it was when an audience member turns into Teller. You know you always function at about 60-70 percent but that night we got lucky and everything just hit and I heard the entire audience gasp all at once and I gotta tell you it's one of the great feelings of my life. You don't get it often but once in a while you get it right."
Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Steve Trevelise only. Follow him on Twitter @realstevetrev.
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