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#151
Old 07-09-2015, 09:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Mahaloth View Post
If you figured it ou,would you please share? How did he do it?
My take was the same as TriPolar, solve the three sides not seen by the audience and flip it around.

But also keep the cube lubed enough to manipulate it with just a finger or two. It was very apparent how easily it moved.
Then pre-set the cube while doing your pre-trick talking to be 3-4 moves from solved. Then placing it into the bag, or around his back, allows him a few finger flicks while the cube is hidden and wow, solved cube.
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#152
Old 07-09-2015, 10:05 AM
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I'm not sure about the plunger. Penn gave a big hint about a breath, though I'm not positive what that means. I suspect some sticky stuff, wax or post-it-note glue is involved, but perhaps there's something else. I did notice that when he showed just two cards and the top one was not stuck to the bottom one, the top one was bent a little, so it didn't quite lie flat on the bottom card. Then he pushed it down to lift both together. Then when he lifted 15 cards there was a bit of crimp at the edge of one card, maybe the 15th or 16th. I recall both P&T both talking about the invisible thread trick long ago, I think a bit of wax on a card to make it pop up which is why I'm thinking of sticky stuff.

None-the-less, Penn's comments during the trick, and about it's quality and originality afterword were far greater praise than simply fooling them.

Last edited by TriPolar; 07-09-2015 at 10:10 AM.
#153
Old 07-09-2015, 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by xizor View Post
Then pre-set the cube while doing your pre-trick talking to be 3-4 moves from solved. Then placing it into the bag, or around his back, allows him a few finger flicks while the cube is hidden and wow, solved cube.
That could just be it, but it's possible he had a device on his back to pop up a pre-solved cube. However, he was so good and fast at the manipulation he may have just done what you say, a couple of quick spins before actually tossing it over his shoulder. Although not difficult to see possible ways all of it could be done, I'm simply impressed with his quick solving skills done with barely a glance at the cube pattern. Very impressed.

Last edited by TriPolar; 07-09-2015 at 10:10 AM.
#154
Old 07-09-2015, 11:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TriPolar View Post
That could just be it, but it's possible he had a device on his back to pop up a pre-solved cube. However, he was so good and fast at the manipulation he may have just done what you say, a couple of quick spins before actually tossing it over his shoulder. Although not difficult to see possible ways all of it could be done, I'm simply impressed with his quick solving skills done with barely a glance at the cube pattern. Very impressed.
I didn't see the trick...I mean illusion, but I recall someone quickly solving it by slapping "solved" stickers on the cube.
#155
Old 07-09-2015, 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by lost4life View Post
I didn't see the trick...I mean illusion, but I recall someone quickly solving it by slapping "solved" stickers on the cube.
I've done solves that just moved the individual stickers on the little faces just to fool people, and also make their cubes unsolvable (the first ones were made with stickers). But in this case he'd need one big sticker for each face and he begins to spin it again right after the solve. Not impossible to have one three faced thingy to cover the cube for his reveal that is easily snatched away, but he's so adept with the gizmo that I don't think he needs to do that. I think it's a pre-loaded cube, maybe not normal patterned to make 3 sides look very scrambled while the other 3 appear solved.
#156
Old 07-09-2015, 04:14 PM
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Both these guys make my skin crawl for some unknown reason.
#157
Old 07-09-2015, 10:18 PM
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I think cube guy used a variety of techniques, actually. Sometimes he simply solved them, but I'm pretty sure there were at least 3 cubes involved, not just two. He definitely forced a cube on Penn at the beginning, and I think he switched the one he gave to teller to a pre-set one.
#158
Old 07-10-2015, 12:46 PM
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I have two questions- what's to stop one of the prestidigitators from just saying "No, that's not it." when P&T have actually guessed correctly?

Next- why so few female practitioners?
#159
Old 07-10-2015, 01:23 PM
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Originally Posted by DrDeth View Post
I have two questions- what's to stop one of the prestidigitators from just saying "No, that's not it." when P&T have actually guessed correctly?
On the British version, they alluded to a magic expert backstage who was told/shown the secret of the trick beforehand.
#160
Old 07-10-2015, 01:36 PM
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In the case of quibbling over details they avoid actually revealing the secret but if they think the magician is lying about the technique they can push harder and reveal more. Besides which I don't know that they win anything, and a magician who claims to have fooled P&T and they say he hasn't then he's not gonna get much mileage out of that claim.
#161
Old 07-10-2015, 04:14 PM
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The only interesting bits to me were the Rubik's cube guy and the suction cup guy. But, as I've said before, I'm also a sucker for close-up magic over stage magic. The French sance guy, while very polished, didn't do anything special. The Shocker guy was practically a hack.

I noted the show 3 sides before then show 3 other sides after thing for the millisecond trick. But haven't figured out the rest. I had considered that there were magnets/rubber bands inside so that when released it would "spring" back to the solved state. But there's too many issues with that. Note in the film intro he showed the cop the trick using a 4x4x4 cube. Too bad all he used on the show were 3x3x3 ones.

As to the suction cup:

At first I considered a magnetism based trick. There's a strong rare earth magnet in the plunger and one of the cards is magnetic. He could place the magnetic card above the selected card and pull off the top of the deck, revealing the selected card on top. But ... the selected card is under the pulled group.

Also, a magnet in the suction cup would be a problem if it got near certain jewelry or people's glasses if they held it close to their faces.

I focused on Penn's use of the word "breathe". Is air somehow involved? E.g., pinholes in the cards allow suction to pass thru them in most spots, but if a card is turned around, it's pinholes don't line up, allowing the suction to grab on it from above. But Penn was allowed to examine some of the cards as well as both held onto cards at other times.

One thing to note is how little card manipulation the guy did. Shuffles or standard cuts. He seemed keen on preserving order in the deck.

Stepping thru the "pulls" showed that the deck really wanted to stick together. The bottom cards lifted up en mass and separated after a bit and plopped down together with very little disturbance. I think that generally the cards stick together but a little offset would "break" that. He could set the offset, then do the pull.

P&T's bit was disappointing. Lot of extraneous misdirection crap. Having something hidden inside something inside something is boring.

The camera work was awful as usual. Cutaways are critical moments. Agh.
#162
Old 07-10-2015, 04:39 PM
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Rubix guy had some good magic, but his show wasn't all that impressive. He needs to develop better patter.

Overall, I liked the plunger the best. Fun gimmick and decent magic.

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Originally Posted by ftg View Post
The Shocker guy was practically a hack.
I expect that they bring in almost any magician willing to appear on the show, just to pad it out to multiple episodes, so long as they think the audience will enjoy it.

But The Shocker's bit wasn't just poor magic, it also wasn't very entertaining. One would think that a guy in a wrestling outfit would be sort of zany and funny, but his performance was really pretty pedestrian.
#163
Old 07-11-2015, 12:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Zerc View Post
My guess is that when the audience member's phone rings the first time the ringtone is recorded by the mic that Penn is holding. The box with the fish also contains a radio that then plays the sound of the ringtone. The phone is never in the fish but Teller has been hiding ever since Penn apparently threw it in the bucket and using sleight-of-hand makes it appear to come out of the fish.
People have posted the videos from the phone trick. Teller definitely has the phone. You see the hand off.
#164
Old 07-11-2015, 03:14 PM
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Phone goes into bucket and backstage guy puts it into A fish. Is that enough of a clue?
#165
Old 07-11-2015, 03:37 PM
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The audience member's phone isn't thrown into the bucket - it's handed off via the Criss Angel prop.
#166
Old 07-11-2015, 03:54 PM
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Originally Posted by zombywoof View Post
The audience member's phone isn't thrown into the bucket - it's handed off via the Criss Angel prop.
Nope, nope, nope. Just before Penn puts the lid on the cup he has an "oops" where he shakes the cup. "Almost dropped it on you, Jay. Sorry." You can easily see the phone flying into the bucket Teller is holding in slo-mo. The cardboard prop is long gone by that point.

The audience is intended to see the phone flying and think it's in the bucket as it is raised up, making the question of how it got into the box come up in the minds of the audience. Of course, at that point Teller already got it out of the bucket before it was raised. It was never put into the box before it was retrieved. That would have attracted a lot of audience attention. The phone ring was recorded and played back via a radio in the box. It isn't until Teller does his stuff with the fish that it is put into it.
#167
Old 07-11-2015, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by ftg View Post
Nope, nope, nope...The cardboard prop is long gone by that point.
Yep - along with the (audience member's actual) phone.
#168
Old 07-11-2015, 04:10 PM
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If I were to make a signed coin appear inside an sealed aspirin tin, I'd also have a few aspirin in there so they would fall out along with the coin when I dumped the coin onto my, table, er, other hand.
#169
Old 07-11-2015, 04:34 PM
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There are a few videos on YouTube uploaded from audience members' phones at the P&T Vegas show. Those confirm that the audience member's phone is switched behind the Criss Angel prop with another phone and THAT is the one that is thrown into the bucket. So I ammend my previous statement on the phone to bucket aspect. The rest of my clues stand, as this only affects the way the phone moves from Penn's hand to backstage.

This makes sense because it assures that the audience member's phone is never thrown through the air.
#170
Old 07-11-2015, 10:25 PM
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Originally Posted by randwill View Post
This makes sense because it assures that the audience member's phone is never thrown through the air.
And, of course, it adds a layer of deception - Penn's throw of "his" phone into the bucket (with a knowing wink to the audience) leaves them to wonder how it was retrieved, since the bucket hangs unmolested in plain view over the stage the entire time.

Last edited by zombywoof; 07-11-2015 at 10:28 PM.
#171
Old 07-12-2015, 08:16 PM
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Originally Posted by DrDeth View Post
I have two questions- what's to stop one of the prestidigitators from just saying "No, that's not it." when P&T have actually guessed correctly?
They have a "consultant" who is told the trick and arbitrates. On a previous show, Penn used the words "false shuffle", which got declared he was wrong.

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Next- why so few female practitioners?
I assume that's a question for the magic community, and women's interest level.
#172
Old 07-14-2015, 12:11 AM
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RE: tonight's episode. Penn was obviously trying to say "Thumper" without actually saying it. OK, so what was the cartoon guy trying to 'thump' that would make the volunteer draw the right colors? Or was the thump from the markers being dropped into the bin significant in some way?
#173
Old 07-14-2015, 12:42 AM
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I think it's more of a terminology thing for having someone cueing him in some unobvious manner, not necessarily audible thumps in this case. My take is that the audience guy wasn't in on it, but someone else offstage would ID the color of the marker and that is when he would tell the guy which part of the diagram to color. He had 5 marker colors, two sets of each, and said "pick 5 different ones". Then he's sufficiently blindfolded. Then he has the guy pull a marker, gets informed some surreptitious way which color was picked, and tells the guy what to color in. That's why the order of the items was so haphazard, rather that starting at the top and working down, or some other sensible order.

The first two, Leon and Romy, were on America's Got Talent a couple seasons ago. This was a better trick than what they did there. What I loved is that it was expertly crafted to use the magician's craft against the magicians. They had an excellent use of decoy misdirection with Romy. It was the obvious handoff, so obvious that even Penn and Teller fell for it. She took the card bags and walked off stage one direction while Leon had the audience paying attention to him and Jonathan. I was right there with Penn and Teller, totally caught by it, too. I went back and watched it a second time, and I totally see it now. That whole bit with the "safety helmet" wasn't just for amusement, and it wasn't to distract from Romy transferring the card - that was the plant of the card, and Romy was the misdirect. Nicely done! Even first time through I got puzzled over why they put Jonathan in a helmet, then just had him stand off to the side.

That's the beauty of watching a second time, after you see what the act is supposed to be. It's much easier to see things when you know what to expect. Often magicians use the fact that the audience doesn't know what the trick is going to be to execute the trick move before the audience knows to look for it. In this case, the trick is right in front of you, but you expect them to do it one way, so they did it a different way.

Mike Hammer was the drawing guy. Somehow his personality wasn't a winner for me. I wasn't sure until Penn made his comments, then was able to piece together my expectation.

Shin Lim's performance was artistic, but I didn't think it so fooling. There were a couple obvious things, and a couple things I have to guess at. But I have a hard time believing P&T couldn't figure out how he made the marker disappear. Doesn't he just stuff it in his vest? The second one, he slides behind his back hand and then drops behind the table.

Peter Boie did the classic spiritualist act. I like that he didn't try to claim anything mystical, just used the historic set up to show the kind of things they did. I respect that approach to doing the performance. I didn't need Penn's remarks to know what he did. We've discussed this kind of act with respect to David Blaine on the boards, so I was looking for the invisible touch, which was masterly done and well-hidden in plain sight. Took rewatching to spot it. Note how when he asks her where she was touched, she tries to reach over her shoulder to her shoulder blade, not on top of the shoulder. And the part about no gimmicks was nice, even if I didn't know the name he dropped. I didn't need to. I saw a version on AGT a season or two ago where the guy did use a gimmick - the chair was rigged. Definitely classier to do it this way.

The slate trick was also expected. At least on AGT the guy who did it incorporated a prediction and number combo into the slate message. Peter had a good delivery of an act I thoroughly saw through.

Teller is a mesmerizing performer, making it look like the ball was alive. No need for a trick hoop.
#174
Old 07-14-2015, 08:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Irishman View Post

Teller is a mesmerizing performer, making it look like the ball was alive. No need for a trick hoop.
I ran across this article that goes into some depth about the lengths that Teller went to practicing this trick. I thought it was very interesting.
#175
Old 07-14-2015, 09:24 AM
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The Rubiks Cube guy did an AMA on Reddit. He's apparently a big Redditor, and contributes to /r/magic and /r/rubiks a lot.

He says he used only two cubes in a new way to do the trick, and deliberately didn't do certain things in order to give Penn and Teller a chance to screw up. He also accidentally made it look it look like he did a switch at one point.

In fact, he's awfully talkative for a magician. I'm going to be archiving the page in case it disappears.
#176
Old 07-14-2015, 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Irishman View Post
Shin Lim's performance was artistic, but I didn't think it so fooling. There were a couple obvious things, and a couple things I have to guess at. But I have a hard time believing P&T couldn't figure out how he made the marker disappear. Doesn't he just stuff it in his vest? The second one, he slides behind his back hand and then drops behind the table.
The guy's performance was superb. I'm sure P&T could take a guess at how each part of the routine was done, some parts of it were obvious, others less so. His movements were obvious clues to much of what was done, yet he did not actually let the motion of the items themselves be seen. In that regard though P&T could guess reasonably what he had done, they had not actually see it. Still they were not fooled, but did what I think the show should be about, selecting the magician to perform in a night, not the one that managed some minor manipulation unseen. I'll guess that Teller saw a routine he himself could not perform so well and wanted the man to get credit for that.

Leon and Romy were boring. I saw them before on AGT doing unimpressive stage magic. They don't have charisma, with Romy to look at they'd have nothing. I don't understand why P&T just didn't mention the two obvious ways the card could be handed off instead of just one.

In contrast the drawing guy was entertaining. His bit was edited because of the time it took for the guy to draw, but he does the comedy well. I had no idea what Penn was talking about afterward so I had to go look up Wikipedia's list of fictional rabbits and then knew what he meant. But that's not really the gimmick of course, it can be done many other ways and he did leave the tape sufficiently open for a nose peek, though in this day and age I don't know why a magician would bother.

The spiritualist, meh, I don't understand their praise.
#177
Old 07-14-2015, 05:14 PM
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Originally Posted by TriPolar View Post
The guy's performance was superb. I'm sure P&T could take a guess at how each part of the routine was done, some parts of it were obvious, others less so. His movements were obvious clues to much of what was done, yet he did not actually let the motion of the items themselves be seen. In that regard though P&T could guess reasonably what he had done, they had not actually see it. Still they were not fooled, but did what I think the show should be about, selecting the magician to perform in a night, not the one that managed some minor manipulation unseen. I'll guess that Teller saw a routine he himself could not perform so well and wanted the man to get credit for that.
But that hasn't been their MO in the past. I'm specifically talking about the guy who did sleight of hand that Penn described as spending over 4 decades perfecting the moves, yet they still didn't call themselves fooled, even though they let him come on twice, and still took him to Vegas. To me, the point is not to reward good acts, but to get something past P&T. They can also reward good acts a if they choose, but that's independent of the show.

Maybe they rethought the premise a bit in light of the other guy. Still, that rankles.

Quote:
Leon and Romy were boring. I saw them before on AGT doing unimpressive stage magic.
I did, too, and thought the same thing. Especially that one act "from behind" that only had one trick and too much of one cheesy gimmick.

Quote:
I don't understand why P&T just didn't mention the two obvious ways the card could be handed off instead of just one.
Because in this case they were truly fooled. They thought they saw the move. To turn around and say "Oh, then I guess it was" isn't playing fair. Sure, they've hedged bets before by leading in with the possibility of two or three different things. But in this case, they were thoroughly sure they knew, so they were decidedly fooled.

In fact, that's why the trick was perfect for this show, but wouldn't have been as impressive on AGT; because we got someone to state the obvious, and reasonable assurance they didn't just lie about it.

Quote:
In contrast the drawing guy was entertaining.
His stage act wasn't bad, but the part about picking up the ladies was bad, not funny, lame.

Quote:
His bit was edited because of the time it took for the guy to draw,
What drawing? The sketch was up there to begin with, and the audience member only colored in, and that didn't take that long. He had banter to fill the time, and predictably the guy was standing in front of the paper. Anyone without stage awareness is going to do that.

Quote:
I had no idea what Penn was talking about afterward so I had to go look up Wikipedia's list of fictional rabbits and then knew what he meant. But that's not really the gimmick of course, it can be done many other ways and he did leave the tape sufficiently open for a nose peek, though in this day and age I don't know why a magician would bother.
It was the gimmick, or he wouldn't have agreed they weren't fooled. Sure, the "same trick" could be done other ways, but his version used some firm of "roger rabbit"*, even if audible thumps weren't it.

Quote:
The spiritualist, meh, I don't understand their praise.
He had the audience's attention, he presented it without declaring the supernatural as real, and most importantly, he didn't use a prop or secret gimmick. He simply performed the touch under the watchful eyes of the audience, most of whom still missed it.

SPOILER:
He touched her on her back right shoulder twice while waving his hands wildly in a way that appeared his hands were never close enough to touch her. By swinging them around very widely at the first, he established there was a gap between him and her. At just the right moment he removed the gap, but most of the audience didn't notice. I had to back it up and check again to be sure.

Then he stepped over to the guy, gave his pause and clear moves. During the rest of the act he is sufficiently clear he couldn't touch her. That's what the audience sees.


A different version will use string on his hand, or even a rod on the chair to give the touch. That's what Penn meant by being pure, no gimmick. The audience could inspect the furniture afterwards and not discover the trick. Thus, it is much more flexible, can be performed almost anywhere with little prep, and actually takes skill in mastering the moves of the performance.

That link by BigT has a spot where the rubix guy discusses the show dynamics. He said you perform for the producers, then break it down and show them how it works. For the US version at least, he named two big names in magic (other than P&T) who are producers in the room. Those are the checks that P&T are fooled.
-----
*He's not in Bambi? Crap.

Last edited by Irishman; 07-14-2015 at 05:15 PM.
#178
Old 07-14-2015, 07:35 PM
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I got a laugh out of the fact that they thought it was necessary to subtitle Shin Lim gesturing/asking the audience member to "Pick a card" etc.
#179
Old 07-14-2015, 08:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Irishman View Post
But in this case, they were thoroughly sure they knew, so they were decidedly fooled.

In fact, that's why the trick was perfect for this show.
They fooled them, but in a "meta" sort of way geared to the format of the show, which is why I didn't like it - the obvious move they worked into the trick (hoping Penn & Teller would fall for it - which I, like you, did) made for an overall effect of a rather lame/obvious trick, despite the fact that the way it really worked was more clever...to me it was somewhat reminiscent of the infamous Brynholf & Ljung fake move from the original show.

Last edited by zombywoof; 07-14-2015 at 08:17 PM.
#180
Old 07-14-2015, 09:00 PM
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You know what's the most fun about this show?

Watching it on Hulu a day (or two) later and watching it while reading how all you magic lovers break it down. Ms. Cups and I love magic, and watching theories on how it's done just make it more fun for us
#181
Old 07-14-2015, 09:53 PM
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What is a thumper? Can anyone just lay out what that is and how the dude does the trick?
#182
Old 07-14-2015, 10:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Mahaloth View Post
What is a thumper? Can anyone just lay out what that is and how the dude does the trick?
My guess as far as I can tell - say the different colored markers are given numbered codes, 1=red, 2=blue or whatever - someone offstage is signaling to the magician in which order the guy is picking up the markers, if not by "thumping" on the stage with his boot (as Penn alluded to - maybe how they did it in the old days?) then via some sort of device, maybe a vibrating one in his pocket.

Last edited by zombywoof; 07-14-2015 at 10:07 PM.
#183
Old 07-15-2015, 02:13 AM
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Originally Posted by zombywoof View Post
I got a laugh out of the fact that they thought it was necessary to subtitle Shin Lim gesturing/asking the audience member to "Pick a card" etc.
I noticed it, too. They didn't do it for the first, but did for the first. Which is particularly stupid, because (a) the audience wasn't hearing it, why did we need to? and (b) he specifically said he did his act without any words.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zombywoof View Post
They fooled them, but in a "meta" sort of way geared to the format of the show, which is why I didn't like it - the obvious move they worked into the trick (hoping Penn & Teller would fall for it - which I, like you, did) made for an overall effect of a rather lame/obvious trick, despite the fact that the way it really worked was more clever...to me it was somewhat reminiscent of the infamous Brynholf & Ljung fake move from the original show.
But that's why I loved it - they geared the trick to the specifics of the audience. Now their AGT stuff was all bland, and if they'd done this trick there, it would have been nothing. But they got the point of this particular audience over AGT, and used the techniques of magic to a beautiful turn. Now if they can find a way to use that creativity to their regular show, they would be better for it. But I love that what they did was much cleverer than it appeared. That only works for this format, of course, unless they can find a twist, like Penn and Teller explaining how their tricks work afterwards. No, that's not what they should do, they have to find their own "magic".

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mahaloth
What is a thumper? Can anyone just lay out what that is and how the dude does the trick?
Apparently you can buy a device called a "thumper". I presume it's a magic term for a method of signaling, a secret communication language.

As I said before, someone offstage is watching the show, sees which marker the audience guy picks, and signals the color via the thumper. An electronic device that vibrates quietly in the magician's pocket is much more subtle than thumping the floor with your boot, or whatever.

So he picks the order for coloring once he knows the marker color selected.

In an interesting bit of recursion, searching for "thumper" lead me to this reddit, citing our thread and me. I bring it up because that links to a very interesting video about using magic to connect with your audience, and applying that in life. Good TED talk, but also relevant for the bit where he explains how he did a magic act for a blind man once. You should watch it just for that experience, because he explains his thought process as well as the technique he used.
#184
Old 07-15-2015, 07:29 AM
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Quote:
They fooled them, but in a "meta" sort of way geared to the format of the show, which is why I didn't like it - the obvious move they worked into the trick (hoping Penn & Teller would fall for it - which I, like you, did) made for an overall effect of a rather lame/obvious trick, despite the fact that the way it really worked was more clever...to me it was somewhat reminiscent of the infamous Brynholf & Ljung fake move from the original show.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Irishman View Post
But that's why I loved it - they geared the trick to the specifics of the audience. Now their AGT stuff was all bland, and if they'd done this trick there, it would have been nothing. But they got the point of this particular audience over AGT, and used the techniques of magic to a beautiful turn.
Couldn't disagree more.

Watching magicians perform tricks that are so baffling that not even seasoned magicians like Penn & Teller can work out how the effect(s) are achieved, is one of the huge appeals of this show.

Or.. take a fairly bland magic trick, but perform it with a few fake/bogus moves, but make them look like real moves, then hope Penn & Teller, armed with only one guess, choose one of the fake moves? Huh? That's a thousand times more boring.

Last edited by KellyCriterion; 07-15-2015 at 07:31 AM.
#185
Old 07-15-2015, 07:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KellyCriterion View Post
Or.. take a fairly bland magic trick, but perform it with a few fake/bogus moves, but make them look like real moves, then hope Penn & Teller, armed with only one guess, choose one of the fake moves? Huh? That's a thousand times more boring.
That's what happened with Leon and Romy. Anyone could take a simple trick using multiple possible handoffs and then P&T have to work out which one it is?

Now it's just a show, that's the premise, they win a funny looking FU trophy, and good magicians get exposure anyway even if they don't fool the guys.
#186
Old 07-15-2015, 11:47 AM
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Thumper review and explanation. Yes, it's exactly what Irishman described. A device that vibrates by remote control.
#187
Old 07-15-2015, 11:53 AM
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... Once you know that...well I can see why the guy was so quick with the STOP and "Oh yeah thanks everybody bye!" as soon as he got what they were getting at with the cartoon rabbit thing. My original line of thought was along the lines of the old foot-tap, but in a large venue that would be tough to hear, so maybe the deal with the jokes in between was so that his partner in the audience could signal with a certain laugh, or number of guffaws or something for each color and it would be discernible to him but not out of the ordinary. Knowing he's just got a wireless doorbell in his pocket seems slightly less clever, or less "magic" or something.

Last edited by troub; 07-15-2015 at 11:54 AM.
#188
Old 07-15-2015, 12:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KellyCriterion View Post
Or.. take a fairly bland magic trick, but perform it with a few fake/bogus moves, but make them look like real moves, then hope Penn & Teller, armed with only one guess, choose one of the fake moves? Huh? That's a thousand times more boring.
But I don't think P&T are limited to one guess. They've done an "either" in the past with at least 3 options, and done the "I thought it might be, but Teller thinks it is" before. Simply in this case, the craftsmanship of the misdirect was aimed at P&T, and it worked.

Now maybe it's less interesting if all magicians just start doing fake moves, but I just think this was a beautiful turn of the magician's art against P&T.

Maybe it's too meta, I'll accept that. For me, it was great precisely because it was twisting the expected. You see a lame execution of a bland trick, but that's not how it was done.

By the way, that's largely what magic is - doing something incredibly simple that you miss because you see the obvious misdirect and fall for it.
#189
Old 07-15-2015, 08:09 PM
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I think everyone is underselling Shin Lim's performance. That was one of the most beautiful and baffling acts I've ever seen. Sure some of his moves could have been cleaner, but the fact that everything was done so slow and out in the open really made it so impressive. I think Penn's comment about the marker was just eluding to the fact that there were MANY pieces of the act that fooled them (at least they couldn't say FOR SURE how parts were done).

Two parts in particular have me baffled. I don't think I've ever seen the effect where a deck full of cards gets compressed down to a single card. You can kind of see where he has an opportunity to do a deck swap for what must be a gimmicked "non-deck", but still, it's a beautiful how it folds away to nothing. And then to have it come back in the other hand, wow.

The other part I don't get is when he has his back to the audience. He clearly has the signed card in his right hand near his belt, but then without moving either hand, it suddenly appears in the other one?! The only thing I can think of is that he must have some apparatus in his clothing that can pull the card from his belt up through the sleeve of the other hand, but even in slo-mo, I caught nothing. Or else there are somehow TWO signed cards all along, but that just raises more questions. Kudos on a great routine.

The only other thing on this episode that I'm stumped by is the chalk in the two slate boards. If the boards were "not gimmicked", how did the message get in there? I can imagine he could manipulate a hidden piece of chalk to write the message when collecting them from the volunteers, but unless there was a big camera cut that hid it, I don't see how he had time to write all that.

I'm loving the discussions here, thanks all for the participation and inside info!
#190
Old 07-15-2015, 08:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irishman View Post
But I don't think P&T are limited to one guess.
The Rubik's cube guy in the Reddit AMA linked to above says "Penn and Teller get only one guess... If they say I used a trick or gimmick cube essentially they lose. I did so many things to draw them in thinking it was a gimmick or trick cube."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Irishman View Post
By the way, that's largely what magic is - doing something incredibly simple that you miss because you see the obvious misdirect and fall for it.
The big difference to me, though, is the end result - "Wow, I can't tell AT ALL how they did that!" vs. "Oh, that was just a red herring? Meh..."

Last edited by zombywoof; 07-15-2015 at 08:19 PM.
#191
Old 07-15-2015, 09:43 PM
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I can see how, by the rules of the show, "I don't know how you did that" and "i know two ways you could have done that, and one is slightly more likely bit oops it was the other." both count as fooling Penn and teller.

But if you want to ask what impressed them? There's only one choice out of those two.
#192
Old 07-15-2015, 10:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSexton View Post
But if you want to ask what impressed them? There's only one choice out of those two.
Back in my thread from 2011 about the original run of the show, I and others wondered whether "impressing" P&T would be a better criterion for the show rather than "fooling" them, after an act successfully did so by obviously gaming the system with the addition of a false move to their trick...I guess the lesson wasn't learned!

Last edited by zombywoof; 07-15-2015 at 10:33 PM.
#193
Old 07-16-2015, 12:01 AM
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With regard to the guy coloring on the paper, we concluded that the caps of the markers made a distinctive sound and that's how he knew where to direct the audience member to do his coloring.

We've watched both episodes of this season and had a weird problem. The audio is about half a second off from the video. Lips don't match the words; sounds don't match what we're seeing. This has happened in both episodes. We also watch Whose Line is it Anyway on the same channel immediately after P and T that show doesn't have that problem. We're watching the Austin CW affiliate via DirecTV. Anyone else having this audio problem?
#194
Old 07-16-2015, 09:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zombywoof View Post
Back in my thread from 2011 about the original run of the show, I and others wondered whether "impressing" P&T would be a better criterion for the show rather than "fooling" them, after an act successfully did so by obviously gaming the system with the addition of a false move to their trick...I guess the lesson wasn't learned!
I wasn't a part of that original discussion, and at the risk of re-hashing it here...

I don't think that would be a good premise for the show because it almost seems too mean. "Your magic was boring and didn't impress me, so you don't win" seems out of character for the nice guys that P and T are.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drum God View Post
We've watched both episodes of this season and had a weird problem. The audio is about half a second off from the video. Lips don't match the words; sounds don't match what we're seeing. This has happened in both episodes. We also watch Whose Line is it Anyway on the same channel immediately after P and T that show doesn't have that problem. We're watching the Austin CW affiliate via DirecTV. Anyone else having this audio problem?
We watch on Hulu and don't have that problem
#195
Old 07-16-2015, 10:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joey Tightlips View Post
I
The other part I don't get is when he has his back to the audience. He clearly has the signed card in his right hand near his belt, but then without moving either hand, it suddenly appears in the other one?! The only thing I can think of is that he must have some apparatus in his clothing that can pull the card from his belt up through the sleeve of the other hand, but even in slo-mo, I caught nothing. Or else there are somehow TWO signed cards all along, but that just raises more questions. Kudos on a great routine.
I believe he has duplicated the signature on a card while his back is turned, perhaps twice to finish the trick.
#196
Old 07-16-2015, 11:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zombywoof View Post
Back in my thread from 2011 about the original run of the show, I and others wondered whether "impressing" P&T would be a better criterion for the show rather than "fooling" them, after an act successfully did so by obviously gaming the system with the addition of a false move to their trick...I guess the lesson wasn't learned!
Well, let's think long term. There is absolutely nothing stopping P&T from taking a talent that impressed the hell out of them while not technically fooling them, and offering that person a job, grooming and training them, and generally promoting their career.

Whereas a pair of unimpressive, dull magicians that "win" the show on a technicality are going to get what's promised: an opening slot for P&T. Once. And unless they step up their game a helluva lot, then that's it for them. I doubt P&T are at all happy with Romy and Leon, and probably don't plan to do a thing for them beyond the minimum that was promised.

I think the premise of the show is a good one, and having a loophole like that is great. It tells you who wants to be genuinely amazing, and who is satisified with winning via loophole.
#197
Old 07-16-2015, 01:20 PM
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Quote:
The only other thing on this episode that I'm stumped by is the chalk in the two slate boards. If the boards were "not gimmicked", how did the message get in there?
I think when they said he wasn't using a gimmick, it referred specifically to the "invisible touch" or "psychokinetic touch" trick, which is apparently sometimes done by rigging the chair. I think (I didn't look it up and I don't think it was discussed here yet) that the chalkboard was just an invisible ink sort of thing -- it was written on the board from the start, but invisible, and activated by the wiping to turn white in a minute or so. The wiping was made sure to be very deliberate, very thorough, but really, if the board's blank, it's blank right? But it had to be wiped anyway. Of course everybody thinks the volunteers are confirming that the board is blank, and that seems like a great place for the actual misdirection to be that they are unwittingly activating the appearance of the pre-written text. Maybe there's another way to do it -- a really quick Google seems to tell me that "appearing ink" isn't really a thing. But I can't believe you can't find some substance that will turn white (or dissolve, exposing the white underneath) after a time after being exposed to some other substance. But I might be wrong, and there may be a non-gimmicked way to do this, too.

Quote:
...we concluded that the caps of the markers made a distinctive sound and that's how he knew where to direct the audience member to do his coloring.
That's an interesting thought. It's pretty clear from Penn's comment that he was using the "Thumper" device, though, but a somewhat interesting twist would be if it was triggered not by an assistant, but if each marker was rigged to send a unique signal when the cap was removed. I seem to remember they certainly looked large enough to house the necessary components for that. Neat thought.

Last edited by troub; 07-16-2015 at 01:20 PM.
#198
Old 07-16-2015, 01:43 PM
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Got around to watching. A ... peculiar range of strategies to win.

The last guy with the slates wasn't remotely trying. Standard stuff you can buy at certain specialty stores. No real "art" to it once you buy the stuff. Hence Penn just dropping a name was enough to send the guy packing. A waste of time.

The couple went the other way. Doing so many fake moves for getting the card off stage just hoping P&T couldn't figure out which one is the right one. My guess is when the guy went over and got the hardhat. You can see his left hand with the deck dip below the stand. And since that stand was right next to where the skateboarder appeared ... . Not much style or finesse or anything to recommend them.

The marker guy was a so-so. Nice way to end it, etc. But once you notice that he asks the guy to pick a marker and then tells him what to color, the magic's over. Made the rigamarole of applying/removing the duct tape practically pointless.

Shin Lim has good and really bad stuff about his act. Being mute hurts a lot when he has audience interaction. Do one or the other, not both.

I have no idea why Penn made the comment about the marker disappearing. In the first case, you can see the marker being turned inwards and then his hand makes a pass close to the edge of his vest. They should have seen that. In the second case, when he seems to be inserting the marker between his hands, it's actually going behind his left hand which then drops down below his leg. Nothing new there either.

The worst was the last move. When I saw him sweeping the table with one hand and drawing the box back with the other I knew he was going to do a switch right then. So I saw the other box pop up weirdly. I also figured out he was going to crunch the new box before it happened. You could even see the slight right hand move to push the crushed carton off the table.

He made quite a few moves at that level of obviousness. OTOH, there were quite a few that were much, much better. If he "evened" out his act and varied the type of moves more, he would be fairly top notch.

I want to make a special comment on Teller's thread and ball bit. This demonstrates the amazing range of persona that Teller has. A lot of the time he does pretty gruesome stuff. Arms being chopped off, etc. But at the other end, he can also adopt a child-like persona. And he's 67 for Pete's sake!

I couldn't help but just sit back and enjoy the bit. This is how a good magic trick works. You stop being interested in how it's done and just watch it.
#199
Old 07-16-2015, 01:47 PM
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The slate trick is usually done with an extra loose slate sitting over another slate in one of the frames. The message is already there, when he reopens the device the extra slate from one of the frames is now covering the slate in the other frame. The message is written on the back of that and the original slate that it was covering. With an extra slate in both frames he could close them up again and then reveal an entirely different message.

With the drawing guy, a 'thumper' was used, simple enough with all the wireless electronics these days. But the guy was good at the core of the gimmick, entertaining the audience sufficiently with his patter that they don't notice that he is telling the volunteer what to color in after he knows what the color is. If he really wanted to impress P&T he should have found a way to use the same color caps on all on the markers. But really he's doing a comedy routine, the magic isn't that important.
#200
Old 07-16-2015, 01:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TriPolar View Post
The slate trick is usually done with an extra loose slate sitting over another slate in one of the frames.
Ah, got it. That would work too

EDIT: but he puts the chalk pieces in between the slates before he closes them up and hands them off. That's throwing off my visualization now...Is there room in that frame for extra chalk pieces between the "middle" slate and the bottom slate, too? (For it not to look obviously like one of the slates is way thicker than it should be)

Last edited by troub; 07-16-2015 at 01:59 PM.
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