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#1
Old 07-13-2017, 06:37 PM
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Penn and Teller Fool Us (season four)

Penn and Teller (and Hannigan)'s first episode of season four is tonight on The CW, starting at 8:00 Eastern.

Last edited by whitetho; 07-13-2017 at 06:38 PM.
#2
Old 07-13-2017, 07:26 PM
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Thanks for starting this. Been watching since the UK series. I know they are repeating magicians nowadays, but I still enjoy the show a lot.
#3
Old 07-14-2017, 07:07 AM
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I enjoyed the season premier, but one thing that surprised me was that, even as a person who doesn't know much about magic, other than the first act I don't see how either the performers or the producers thought there was a chance that any of the other acts could fool Penn and Teller. So overall the program seemed to just be a showcase for good performances of standard tricks.

Richard Turner's card manipulation was very impressive, but I assume mostly standard sleight-of-hand. My question is whether he won the trophy because Penn and Teller couldn't figure out how to do standard tricks without ever seeing the cards.

Young & Strange's comment that there is now a waiting list for performers was interesting, since Penn said that originally there was a lot of skepticism about the show by magicians. But given five years to prepare, why perform (quite well) a standard routine that had absolutely no chance of fooling Penn & Teller?

Kayla Drescher's paper cutting routine, while charming, also had no chance of winning a trophy. I was impressed that Teller was able to participate without instructions, although this was also a sign that he was familiar with what was going to happen. Also, Alyson Hannigan seemed happy to have a rare opportunity to stare with another woman -- I think she hugged Drescher twice.

Mike Super's number prediction routine was also nicely done, and I have no idea how he did it, but I also recognized that it was based on a standard concept and there didn't seem to be anything unusual about it that would fool Penn and Teller.

Last edited by whitetho; 07-14-2017 at 07:11 AM. Reason: Made my previous comments DISAPPEAR!
#4
Old 07-14-2017, 07:14 AM
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In the above comments, please replace "to stare with another woman" with "to share the stage with another woman". Thank you

Last edited by whitetho; 07-14-2017 at 07:15 AM. Reason: And now I want to disappear...
#5
Old 07-14-2017, 08:48 AM
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Originally Posted by whitetho View Post
Mike Super's number prediction routine was also nicely done, and I have no idea how he did it, but I also recognized that it was based on a standard concept and there didn't seem to be anything unusual about it that would fool Penn and Teller.
I don't know what the protocol in this thread is for discussing tricks, so I'll spoiler my mere speculation on how it was done.
SPOILER:

Penn's comments ended with "we really flipped our lid on this" - I assume that was his signal to Super that they knew how it was done, since Super's manipulation when opening the box was a little more than deliberate. I'm guessing maybe a very small printer inside?
#6
Old 07-14-2017, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by whitetho View Post
In the above comments, please replace "to stare with another woman" with "to share the stage with another woman". Thank you
Aww, I thought this was some news about Alyson that I didn't know about. Not that there's anything wrong with that....

I liked Richard Turner's personality, but I wonder if P&T really knew what was happening (was it a simple deck swap?) and gave him the FU award just because of what a nice guy he is.

I remember Young & Strange from their earlier appearance; where else on TV have I seen them? (America's Got Talent perhaps?) You could see the last stick jiggle even before he starts pulling it out. I was hoping it would be their missing female assistant in the box; that would have been a great trick.

Kayla Drescher's heart trick was simply fun to watch. It was really sweet of Teller to play along.

Mike Super could have been done with audience plants, but I think that's against the "rules" of the game. What Munch said in the spoiler box is a better explanation.

After watching this I recalled how much I enjoy this series. If you like P&T Midnight with Chris Hardwickon 7/12 had P&T as guests.
#7
Old 07-14-2017, 01:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Munch View Post
I don't know what the protocol in this thread is for discussing tricks, so I'll spoiler my mere speculation on how it was done.
SPOILER:

Penn's comments ended with "we really flipped our lid on this" - I assume that was his signal to Super that they knew how it was done, since Super's manipulation when opening the box was a little more than deliberate. I'm guessing maybe a very small printer inside?
In another thread we gave up on spoilers after a while. Since it's the first page of this thread maybe a good idea to use them for now.

I think you are right.
SPOILER:
He could have done it better if he had the tiny printer secreted somewhere under his clothes and only slipped the ticket into the box instead of the obvious manipulation of the box top to hide the printer.


The first act was fantastic. Teller was ready to give him the prize just from his first trick.

Not many acts have a chance of fooling the guys, there wouldn't be much of a show if the producers limited it to only acts that were likely to fool them.
#8
Old 07-14-2017, 02:49 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnGalt View Post
I liked Richard Turner's personality, but I wonder if P&T really knew what was happening (was it a simple deck swap?) and gave him the FU award just because of what a nice guy he is.
Slow motion didn't seem to show any deck swap on this trick, and I figure P&T would have noticed that anyway, especially from up close. Perhaps he
SPOILER:
stashed the four kings before P&T shuffled half the deck each (being an excellent card mechanic, after all), and then just dealt those when he needed to? The odds of the other three faceup cards leading to a hand that could beat four kings would be miniscule, after all.
#9
Old 07-14-2017, 03:00 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnGalt View Post
I liked Richard Turner's personality, but I wonder if P&T really knew what was happening (was it a simple deck swap?) and gave him the FU award just because of what a nice guy he is.
Possibly, maybe, they decided not to make a guess. But if they had actually seen anything he did I don't think they'd give him a pass.
#10
Old 07-14-2017, 04:54 PM
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Originally Posted by TriPolar View Post
The first act was fantastic. Teller was ready to give him the prize just from his first trick.
His second-deal is among the most amazing things I have ever seen. Remind me not to play poker with that dude. The four kings trick is figure-outtable in slowmo replay, but I don't blame P&T for missing it close up in realtime.
#11
Old 07-14-2017, 05:31 PM
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Ah okay we have a new thread finally.

SPOILER:

Richard Turner: no idea. fancy card trickery obviously

Young & Strange: it kinda annoys me that you can clearly see there is a giant bulge in the inner part of the box when they show it at the beginning which is hiding the pizza box. Penn has talked a lot about the barrel trick on his podcast (specifically the ones after he visited England a month ago) and how tight it is in there.

Kayla Drescher: loved this bit, even though the magic is relatively well known as P&T say. Still it really worked and is a really nice implementation of that bit

Mike Super: thought this was a meh trick honestly. the way he removes the lid from the box was kinda a big give away.

P&T: a classic from Penn and Teller's Cruel Tricks for Dear Friends. If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend it.


Also P&T were on a recent This American Life talking about the red ball trick.

Last edited by numeroussyrup; 07-14-2017 at 05:32 PM.
#12
Old 07-14-2017, 07:14 PM
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Originally Posted by TriPolar View Post
The first act was fantastic. Teller was ready to give him the prize just from his first trick.
A couple more thoughts on Richard Turner. I've often read that one problem with scientists testing "psychics" is that they are unaware just how good a person skilled at sleight-of-hand can be. This shows that even completely blindfolding a highly proficient person may not be enough. Also, magicians regularly make videos recordings when they are learning a trick, to make sure there are no tells. Turner has to work out his routines without being able to do that.

Last edited by whitetho; 07-14-2017 at 07:15 PM. Reason: So that's why my "cut the lady in half" trick turned tragic...
#13
Old 07-14-2017, 10:40 PM
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So Mike Super was printing the ticket in his pocket the entire time and simply slipped it in the box when he turned it to open it?

Can anyone find a video showing how a "pocket printer" works? It's neat.
#14
Old 07-14-2017, 10:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Mahaloth View Post
So Mike Super was printing the ticket in his pocket the entire time and simply slipped it in the box when he turned it to open it?

Can anyone find a video showing how a "pocket printer" works? It's neat.
Based on what Penn said, I think the printer is in the lid. Watch how he carefully never shows you the inside of the lid. My guess is that there is a small home-made device that just prints a few numbers. How it could work, I have no idea but a little poke around youtube tells me that people can make printers out of simple toys so I guess it's just taking that principle and making it smaller. You only need to print a few numbers which makes it much simpler. Plus a simple wifi connection to get the numbers to the little device.

I also rewatched Richard Turner's performance and here is how he does the tricks

SPOILER:

For the first trick, with the cutting and shuffling, notice how he never actually squares the deck so the halves for the riffle shuffle are always the same. He also never cuts the cards and if you watch carefully the order is always the same. You can really see these when he does the moves one-handed.

The dealing with the 7 of hearts is just amazing. He tells you what he is doing but I can't see it at all. Even knowing what to look for it's just so well executed.

The third trick is rather simple. If you watch, when he deals Teller's cards, he bottom deals. All he needs to do is get the kings to the bottom. Perhaps the kings are gimmicked? He does mess with the cards a bit before he deals.

Regardless, absolutely flawless execution. Completely fooled me the first time and only through watching it again (and in slow-mo) could I figure it out.

Last edited by numeroussyrup; 07-14-2017 at 10:59 PM.
#15
Old 07-15-2017, 01:21 AM
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Hey fuckers! It's good to be back.

So I have to be the resident idiot and say that I thought all the tricks on last night's program were great.

1) I think Richard Turner won it just for being blind. That's freaking crazy. I couldn't do that with two eyes. Everything was just so glossy and seamless in his hands.

2) No idea about the Young & Strange trick. Was the guy in the box the whole time? I didn't get it. I know I've seen the blades through the box trick 1,000 times before, but the method is escaping me at the moment. It looked convincing.

3) I loved Kayla Drescher's routine. She's so sweet and the whole thing worked so nicely, it almost seemed rehearsed. Good thing Teller is so good at performing. But yeah, I've seen lots of variations on this trick before.

4) I guess the consensus is that Mike Super used some tiny printer to print off the numbers. That's cool, I guess.

Rando comments:

Nice to see Alyson come back for another round. She's really grown on me since the last season, although it would be nice for Wossy to come back (he's too busy in merry ol' England, of course).

Penn sheared his hair?! When did this happen? I don't like how it looked so poofy.

I almost kinda prefer we stayed on the old thread (which I had bookmarked). This one was harder to find. Hopefully the rest of the guys find their way back here.

And yeah, I saw them on @midnight the other night. I was kinda hoping Teller would talk.

Last edited by cluck; 07-15-2017 at 01:21 AM.
#16
Old 07-15-2017, 09:54 AM
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Originally Posted by numeroussyrup View Post

Also P&T were on a recent This American Life talking about the red ball trick.
And here is the red ball trick if anyone wants to see it. It's well done and is, as far as I understand, done with a thread. I don't get how it works, though.

Red Ball Trick
#17
Old 07-15-2017, 11:43 AM
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The Young & Strange trick - I've seen it done before, but this was a very good presentation. I don't know how it is done, but I am guessing...

(are we spoilering?)

SPOILER:
The outside person drives the dowel in just a short distance, the inside person grabs it and pulls it through the other side. As this is done, the outside person acts as if it is he doing the thrusting.

The inside person ends up with dowels all around him, probably contorting himself a bit to fit in between them. I imagine the box is more roomy than it appears.

That said, it must take a ton of rehearsal to get it right.

Anyone know if i am on the right track?


mmm
#19
Old 07-15-2017, 02:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Mean Mr. Mustard View Post
The Young & Strange trick - I've seen it done before, but this was a very good presentation. I don't know how it is done, but I am guessing...

(are we spoilering?)

SPOILER:
The outside person drives the dowel in just a short distance, the inside person grabs it and pulls it through the other side. As this is done, the outside person acts as if it is he doing the thrusting.

The inside person ends up with dowels all around him, probably contorting himself a bit to fit in between them. I imagine the box is more roomy than it appears.

That said, it must take a ton of rehearsal to get it right.

Anyone know if i am on the right track?


mmm
Not exactly.
SPOILER:


No assistance is needed from the assistant but they made guide the stabby things to the right spot. Inside the box, the person knows where the next sword/dowel/pointy-thing is going to be put through and moves their body and limbs out of the way. When the traditional swords are used with pre-cut entry and exit points in a box the assistant may have to guide the sword to the exit hole. There's usually plenty of room in the middle of the box, as well as along the sides and the bottom and top, until the last few things are driven through it. As in this case the magician may make it look like he has to force the last one through but that's just a way to do it slowly and carefully when available space has been used up. Sometimes at the end you'll get to see the person inside the box, they'll look like they are entwined among the implements of impalement in way that would be impossible to do without getting stabbed but they moved into that position at the end. This is a dangerous trick, the assistance sometimes gets stabbed or cut accidentally.

Last edited by TriPolar; 07-15-2017 at 02:10 PM.
#20
Old 07-15-2017, 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by TriPolar View Post
Not exactly.
SPOILER:


No assistance is needed from the assistant but they made guide the stabby things to the right spot. Inside the box, the person knows where the next sword/dowel/pointy-thing is going to be put through and moves their body and limbs out of the way. When the traditional swords are used with pre-cut entry and exit points in a box the assistant may have to guide the sword to the exit hole. There's usually plenty of room in the middle of the box, as well as along the sides and the bottom and top, until the last few things are driven through it. As in this case the magician may make it look like he has to force the last one through but that's just a way to do it slowly and carefully when available space has been used up. Sometimes at the end you'll get to see the person inside the box, they'll look like they are entwined among the implements of impalement in way that would be impossible to do without getting stabbed but they moved into that position at the end. This is a dangerous trick, the assistance sometimes gets stabbed or cut accidentally.
This is specifically how the Hans Moretti box is done? I thought that kind of box was different somehow.
#21
Old 07-15-2017, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Mahaloth View Post
This is specifically how the Hans Moretti box is done? I thought that kind of box was different somehow.
I had to look up who Hans Moretti was. The illusion isn't quite the same. The guys on P&T seemed to be doing the traditional version, just using a cardboard box and dowels.
#22
Old 07-15-2017, 06:08 PM
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Originally Posted by TriPolar View Post
I had to look up who Hans Moretti was. The illusion isn't quite the same. The guys on P&T seemed to be doing the traditional version, just using a cardboard box and dowels.
Uh, I thought Penn and Teller specifically said that the two guys were using a Hans Moretti box. If they just did that traditional thing, it's even lamer.

I kept saying to my wife, "There is no way they would come on here and just do "swords through a box" trick. We all know how that traditional trick is done.
#23
Old 07-15-2017, 06:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Mahaloth View Post
Uh, I thought Penn and Teller specifically said that the two guys were using a Hans Moretti box. If they just did that traditional thing, it's even lamer.

I kept saying to my wife, "There is no way they would come on here and just do "swords through a box" trick. We all know how that traditional trick is done.
I'd have to look more into it. There is the 'secret' pocket with the pizza in it, nothing special about that, and it was pretty obvious. There are several Moretti videos online, I only looked at one, I'll check out some others. But other than using cardboard and dowels instead of a special box and swords I'm not seeing anything different about the illusion on P&T. Didn't even look like they penetrated as much space as Moretti did in the video I watched.
#24
Old 07-15-2017, 06:29 PM
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Originally Posted by TriPolar View Post
I'd have to look more into it. There is the 'secret' pocket with the pizza in it, nothing special about that, and it was pretty obvious. There are several Moretti videos online, I only looked at one, I'll check out some others. But other than using cardboard and dowels instead of a special box and swords I'm not seeing anything different about the illusion on P&T. Didn't even look like they penetrated as much space as Moretti did in the video I watched.
I agree and yet, they chose this for their second attempt on the show. Obviously, they just wanted advertising of their act. There is zero chance Penn, Teller, or most intelligent people would not know how this trick is done.
#25
Old 07-17-2017, 03:26 AM
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Season 4 Ep 1

Nice to see thin-Penn has finally been added to the graphics. No offence Allyson, and I know that men don't get these kinds of comments, but men don't usually wear creative clothing as much as women; but Allyson's very wide pants were a little odd to me. Her delivery of those tacky jokes at the top of the show remains painful. Also, did Penn do something to his hair (enhancement?)

Richard Turner

He may have been embellishing with his 'thirteen' methods comment, but I wouldn't doubt that he wasn't. I don't even plan to try to break this one down. Card manipulation includes hundreds of techniques that are super fast and hard to track and he did them pretty damn flawlessly so I mean... we all know that he manipulated the cards into order. If there's one grant overall technique he used to get from "out of order" to "in order", I'd love to know, but all the little tricks in between, it doesn't matter to me what they are, as he did them so well.

The only thing I noticed is that when he did his "casino" riffle/cuts, he did seem to obscure and shuffle very deliberately, and I'm sure there was more than met the eye there. My only other comment is that while being blind might seem like an impediment, I feel as though master card guys can (and must to avoid giving moves away) do this stuff without looking, so his blindness is more of an impediment to his learning the technique than ultimately performing it. Kudos to him though. Very nice.

My only two very minor criticisms are:

Asking "how many people come to the table" and then offering only a range of 5, 6 or 7 is a very limiting choice. I'd rather see it more open to something like "2 to 7"

Given his demo of dealing from NOT the top card, he could easily stack the deck for 5 hands, then if Penn chose 6 or 7, he could deal those extra 2 hands from elsewhere in the deck and the top of the deck would remain in the order he intended. Being 4 of a kind Kings means whatever cards he deals everyone else is meaningless. Can't beat 4K with the common cards he dealt.

In fact, the only cards he really needs to control are the community cards, and the final hand that is Teller's. Which leads to the second slight criticism - the trick would be more astounding if he didn't assign Teller's hand. If he asked Teller to pick a hand (even before he dealt - Teller, from 1-6, pick which hand is yours). It would seem less "forced". The manipulation itself was still wonderful.

Young and Strange

This season continues the trend towards dismay of tricks we've all seen many times over being performed as if they have any hope of beating P&T. This wasn't even one with multiple possible secrets as has been the trend, but I go back to my thesis that this show SHOULD be about unique and invented tricks that P&T can't figure out a way to do - not tweaks on existing tricks that fool P&T because they don't know which of 4 possible ways you did it.

Agreed with Penn, that the cardboard and spikes was a nice touch to simplify the trick; the stage patter and likability was very good. I liked the surprise addition of a second bundle of spears - until that time, I noticed the bottom-left corner was noticeably un-speared and the extra ones were a nice touch. Definitely very aggressive puncturing made for a great entertaining version of the trick, but come on - you know you aren't going to fool P&T with a classic textbook trick (that they do themselves).

I will note that while in replay (and these days, with TV, replay is relevant), it's obvious the pizza was hiding in the box when it was shown as "empty", I myself didn't notice it until 2nd viewing when someone here pointed it out, as I didn't expect to be looking for something hidden in the box lining. Maybe others noticed it right away. I did notice that even at the end, the BACK of the box, the spears were a very tight grouping in a line up the midline of the box.

I'd assume it's just a play on the traditional assistant weaving around the spears, knowing where they are coming, but perhaps the Moretti version has a twist. Not certain. Someone with more time perhaps will research the point

Minor nitpick: I would have used the water bottle joke with some light patter - something like "Allyson, I don't think there's any way they are going to figure out how he avoided getting punctured by all those spears..." [drink... water comes out 'holes']

Kayla Drescher
Cute routine that played nicely to including Teller, but there was a pretty obvious moment where she put her purse to the side with some deliberate motion and appeared to palm something (i.e. the two folded reveal hearts). The way she was holding the purse before moving it was a bit to unnatural, and it was a bit obvious from her grip she was palming something in her right hand for the rest of the trick.

As others have said, this is just a play on one of the most common amateur magician tricks that P&T would absolutely be familiar with (any trick you can learn on youtube is not going to fool P&T)

Mike Super
Very nice presentation (if he does this trick a lot, I don't envy his ball budget...). He does pretty well not handle the box much (certainly not enough to influence the contents) and using a printed lottery ticket, and not a handwritten prediction takes away from the feeling in those other versions that the magician somehow jotted the numbers down afterwards.

Penn's implication is that the trick has to do with the lid of the box, but he also mentions there are no "outs". He mentions "flipping lids". The implication is that the lid of the box is involved (he is careful to remove the box face-down - a printer in the box lid remotely controlled by an off-stage assistant?) the lack of outs may suggest that the ticket was printer afterwards rather than a prepared prop?

P&T
Not much to say. A nice demo of one of the simplest card forces. They've done this one on TV in the past with other sitcoms (was drew carey one of them long ago?) I've always wondered what a convincing way would be to segue into startup up your dvr, going to a show and starting to watch from halfway through the show...

Anyway; I do find that after all these years, Penn is almost presenting this segment in an exaggerated way as if even he thinks it's a pretty silly. I feel like they used to present it with an air of it being a serious trick you could use.
#26
Old 07-17-2017, 03:37 AM
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Originally Posted by whitetho View Post
My question is whether he won the trophy because Penn and Teller couldn't figure out how to do standard tricks without ever seeing the cards.
I think it was respect plus him legitimately doing so many things to control the cards that they didn't even want to sit there and try to pull apart 13 different tricks (if you believe his own claimed number, which I kind of do)

Quote:
But given five years to prepare, why perform (quite well) a standard routine that had absolutely no chance of fooling Penn & Teller?
Perhaps because they are two very personable young guys, who are content to add a nice flare and spin to presenting existing tricks, but they aren't the guys who innovate their own novel illusions. I believe from reading magic message boards (especially researching after watching this show) that there are lots of magicians out there who make their living "perfecting" their own presentation of famous existing tricks - often purchasing props for existing tricks and modifying them or just inventing their own presentations for them.

Quote:
I was impressed that Teller was able to participate without instructions, although this was also a sign that he was familiar with what was going to happen.
Not necessarily; I've seen a couple of tricks on this show and otherwise where the audience member is directed non-verbally to perform certain actions via mime or whatnot and it usually goes well. Enough times performing the trick and you perfect how you direct audience members such that you get the result you're looking for. In early attempts, perhaps you get mishaps, so you adjust your mannerisms to be clearer and eventually you develop a routine that is clear to follow. I think the papers had outlines of a heart on them so Teller knew the shape to cut (it also ensures the one Teller cuts is roughly the same shape as the prepared one she swaps out for).
#27
Old 07-17-2017, 06:04 AM
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Originally Posted by TheHYPO View Post
...My only other comment is that while being blind might seem like an impediment, I feel as though master card guys can (and must to avoid giving moves away) do this stuff without looking, so his blindness is more of an impediment to his learning the technique than ultimately performing it. Kudos to him though. Very nice...
I had this same thought. I have been teaching myself to shuffle poker chips recently, and I surprised myself when I realized that I do much better when I am not looking at them.


mmm

Last edited by Mean Mr. Mustard; 07-17-2017 at 06:05 AM.
#28
Old 07-17-2017, 05:21 PM
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Originally Posted by TheHYPO View Post
Kayla Drescher
Cute routine that played nicely to including Teller, but there was a pretty obvious moment where she put her purse to the side with some deliberate motion and appeared to palm something (i.e. the two folded reveal hearts). The way she was holding the purse before moving it was a bit to unnatural, and it was a bit obvious from her grip she was palming something in her right hand for the rest of the trick.

As others have said, this is just a play on one of the most common amateur magician tricks that P&T would absolutely be familiar with (any trick you can learn on youtube is not going to fool P&T)
I'd agree that it was nothing special (by a magnitude or two), from a magic standpoint, but I really liked the presentation.

At this point in my life, I've probably seen enough magic acts that there's something to be said for the presentation of the act over the technical skill involved. Particularly for a working magician, where most people in your average audience aren't magic fans or brainiacs that want to take everything apart, it's less about what you do than how fun it is to watch. On that basis, I think she had one of the better bits in the show.

The only downside to it was that it was at least largely helped by the fact that she had a professional entertainer as a partner to work with. Other performances of the routine, with a random person from the audience, probably wouldn't be as good.
#29
Old 07-17-2017, 05:26 PM
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One of the things I was more impressed by with Turner, actually, was his mannerisms. A lot of blind people that I have seen have some odd ticks (because they can't see people looking at them) and do a poor job of making the standard body gestures that one usually would, like looking at someone when you talk to them.

As someone noted, he had to develop his tricks, keeping the dirty work secret, without being able to do any footage tests or whatever else. I suspect that he has an awesome ability to visualize the world and how people act and move and see within it. He's got a great 3D spacial sense, the geometries involved, and how things would "look" from other perspectives.
#30
Old 07-19-2017, 12:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Sage Rat View Post
I'd agree that it was nothing special (by a magnitude or two), from a magic standpoint, but I really liked the presentation.

At this point in my life, I've probably seen enough magic acts that there's something to be said for the presentation of the act over the technical skill involved.
I 100% agree with you. A well done classic beats a terribly presented trick I can't figure out - but this show is about a game - is your trick so original and creative that it can fool P&T? It's not about finding the most entertaining magician. It's about finding the best tricks.

Quote:
One of the things I was more impressed by with Turner, actually, was his mannerisms. A lot of blind people that I have seen have some odd ticks (because they can't see people looking at them) and do a poor job of making the standard body gestures that one usually would, like looking at someone when you talk to them.
I agree. For a little bit, I was wondering if the 'blindness' he mentioned in the intro was just a joke or part of his character, as he seemed to make eye contact and generally look where a sighted person would look; and he dealt cards into piles very nicely.

Quote:
As someone noted, he had to develop his tricks, keeping the dirty work secret, without being able to do any footage tests or whatever else. I suspect that he has an awesome ability to visualize the world and how people act and move and see within it. He's got a great 3D spacial sense, the geometries involved, and how things would "look" from other perspectives.
So you're saying he's Daredevil...
#31
Old 07-19-2017, 12:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheHYPO View Post
I 100% agree with you. A well done classic beats a terribly presented trick I can't figure out - but this show is about a game - is your trick so original and creative that it can fool P&T? It's not about finding the most entertaining magician. It's about finding the best tricks.
Eh, I'm sure that Penn & Teller are delighted whenever they are fooled, but they got to the top at least in large part because of their abilities as showmen. I'm pretty sure they recognize that the audience cares a lot less about whether P&T were fooled as having a nice magic show. They are, after all, allowing the producers to bring on challengers that clearly aren't going to win and they're very nice about providing feedback on an act as they are about commenting on the method. It's only when both sucked that Penn looks like he's really staining to say something.

Last edited by Sage Rat; 07-19-2017 at 12:50 AM.
#32
Old 07-19-2017, 10:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheHYPO View Post
I 100% agree with you. A well done classic beats a terribly presented trick I can't figure out - but this show is about a game - is your trick so original and creative that it can fool P&T? It's not about finding the most entertaining magician. It's about finding the best tricks.
I'd say the show is ostensibly about fooling P&T, about "winning" a contest. But it's pretty clear that it is also about showcasing talented magicians who have no hope of fooling P&T. In other words, helping the careers of good magicians, with only the slightest pretense of performing an original trick that won't fool P&T.

FWIW, I enjoy watching all of the performances, even ones that are clearly variations of tricks that P&T must know.
#33
Old 07-20-2017, 03:13 PM
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I added "Penn and Teller" to the thread title. Betcha can't figure out how I did it!
#34
Old 07-20-2017, 10:21 PM
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RE: the Psychic Chicken. Could the secret have had something to do with the pen? It seemed odd that he insisted on taking it back and putting it in his pocket.
#35
Old 07-20-2017, 10:48 PM
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Jonathan Burns: I just so happened to be watching Mac King's version earlier today . I like Mac King's version better. Although the cheese is kinda funny.

Jo De Rijck: huh. I was going with smell but he claimed it wasn't. However perhaps there is another secret about the papers. He said no funny smells or hidden candies but that doesn't mean there couldn't be something else. Maybe something hidden that we humans can't see but chickens can?

David Caserta: hmm... well a principle of magic is that objects that appear small aren't actually. See P&Ts version of the trick. Maybe he somehow is spread his legs out to the side of the device? It looks like there is plenty of room there. Also Penn mentions the blood hit but we barely see it. Hiding a move with an edit? Another minor annoying editing point, the discussion at the end clearly cuts out time and it makes what Penn says a little awkward. I wonder what the disagreement was about.

Jimmy Ichihana: on first watch I assume that he is doing some form of top and bottom dealing to get the patterns right. However Penn just straight up tells us it is "Call to the Colour" and googling that leads to a lot of performances of it. My suspicions are correct and you can read the details here.


P&T: another classic that they've done many times on many shows.

Last edited by numeroussyrup; 07-20-2017 at 10:50 PM.
#36
Old 07-20-2017, 11:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by numeroussyrup View Post
Jo De Rijck: huh. I was going with smell but he claimed it wasn't. However perhaps there is another secret about the papers. He said no funny smells or hidden candies but that doesn't mean there couldn't be something else. Maybe something hidden that we humans can't see but chickens can?
That was my immediate thought. My overall impression (based on nothing much) is that birds are not known for having particularly acute senses of smell. On the other hand, some birds have extraordinary eyesight, like raptors spotting field mice scurrying about hundreds of feet below them.

And it's well-known that bees see a different range of light than humans do, so that many 'plain white' flowers to human eyes are anything but to a bee.

It was known ahead of time which piece of paper would be used for the real dream. Perhaps it has some mark on in it in infra-red ink that a chicken can distinguish from the plain white ones used for the fake dreams? Or it could be the ink in the pen she used for the first card was different from the ink she used for the other. Different to the eyes of a chicken, I mean.

Should have googled first:


How Chickens See
Chickens see the same way we do. Light comes in through the cornea and iris and then stimulates nerve endings in the retina at the back of the eyeball. One of the big differences, however, is that chickens have tetra-chromatic vision, while we have tri-chromatic. Chickens have four wavelengths (blue, red, green and ultraviolet light) while we can only have three (blue, red and green.)

Chickens’ color vision is different from ours because they have colored filters mixed with nerve cells. They are like little drops of oil filtering out different wavelengths and act similarly to wearing yellow goggles when skiing.
The fact that chickens see an extra sector of the light spectrum means that everything they see looks different from what we see. We have no description or idea for how much ultraviolet light is reflected from any substance.

Last edited by StarvingButStrong; 07-20-2017 at 11:17 PM.
#37
Old 07-20-2017, 11:17 PM
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I think the chicken peeked when she was writing on the first sheet of paper. Chickens are well know for cheating. That's why people rarely play poker with chickens.
#38
Old 07-20-2017, 11:19 PM
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Took too long to get the cite in. That quote is from https://backyardchickens.com/art...yesight.67301/
#39
Old 07-21-2017, 01:40 AM
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I knew Teller was going to have the 3C because of the force. But I didn't need to see those contacts right before bed.
#40
Old 07-21-2017, 07:16 AM
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Behold! The Power of Cheese!
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The Edge... there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over.
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#41
Old 07-21-2017, 02:07 PM
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Schedule alert: Yesterday's program will be repeated tonight (Friday 7/21/2017) at 9:00 on The CW network.

Last edited by whitetho; 07-21-2017 at 02:07 PM. Reason: I bet this time the chicken messes up...
#42
Old 07-21-2017, 02:53 PM
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More seriously now, it sounds like P&T discounted the idea of a trick pen, but did mention it? Does that mean they were fooled because they assumed there was a cue from someone else?

Chickens may have bird brains but they are trainable. It could be a trick pen, paper. Maybe even an odor though they are not supposed to have a great sense of smell, but possibly there is something they are sensitive too. I don't think of this as a great trick exactly, but none-the-less they fooled P&T so it's pretty good.

And now thinking about it, P&T thought the magician was cued to then cue the chicken to the right paper, but what if the chicken were cued some other way, like with something inside the fence post prop that was triggered from backstage? Would that have counted?
#43
Old 07-21-2017, 11:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TriPolar View Post
I think the chicken peeked when she was writing on the first sheet of paper. Chickens are well know for cheating. That's why people rarely play poker with chickens.
Hey, I resemble that comment.

So once again, I thought this was a thoroughly entertaining episode. I thought about the chicken routine for awhile.

First off, Penn discounted that the paper was treated in some way, but Jo never acknowledged that, and that wasn't their legitimate guess. I still feel like the first paper must have been treated in some way.

I watched it again, and he tells Alyson to turn the first piece of paper (with the real dream) over. I noticed as Jo is explaining the rest to her, he takes a quick glance down at what she wrote. Not sure if this is significant in any way, but he could have easily made out the backward writing from the sharpie marker showing through the back. But I'm starting to think it's the act of placing the paper face down on the bench that may be the key to everything. Notice he doesn't tell her to do that with the rest of the pieces of paper. I'm thinking (and this might be way out there) that there was some sort of scent or "treat" on the bench which the first paper picked up. The chicken pecked at the correct paper, maybe thinking it was food? That's the only thing that makes any sense to my fevered brain.

I've got to say, the chicken is a very good performer, though. She walks the entire length on cue and actually considers all four pieces of paper before settling on the right one. What's to stop her from outright choosing the "treated" paper right off the bat? I thought that was interesting.

I thought David's trick was very, very cool. I like how far he elevated the gap. Of course, I thought there were mirrors in play until the assistant stuck her head through the hole. I'm guessing the dude was planking or something? When they're turning the contraption around, you never actually see the full back. But how is he able to get in and out of the pants? It's edited very cleverly.

I really liked the card trick from Jimmy. Very fun to watch. I looked at that Call to the Color method and I still don't get it, since the camera was pointing face down and it seemed like he was always dealing from the top. But since P&T weren't fooled, I guess I shouldn't lose sleep over it.

So, I'm guessing P&T's trick was basically...where the hell do you buy contacts that look like a "3" and a suit of clubs? That's amazing!

By the way, in regards to last week's episode with Richard Turner, HYPO wrote this:

Quote:
I agree. For a little bit, I was wondering if the 'blindness' he mentioned in the intro was just a joke or part of his character, as he seemed to make eye contact and generally look where a sighted person would look; and he dealt cards into piles very nicely.
It's funny, I was thinking the exact same thing throughout the act, since it wasn't really explicitly stated. Then I looked up his biography and saw that his poor eyesight started at age 9. I started thinking...what if this was just one whole long con he's been performing his whole life? Wouldn't that be cool! But I think those dumb "Now You See Me" movies may be influencing my logic. Still, it could be possible...

Last edited by cluck; 07-21-2017 at 11:40 PM.
#44
Old 07-22-2017, 05:00 AM
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On Episode 308 of Penn's Sunday School, they spend quite some time discussing the first episode of Fool Us and also the whole premise behind the show. It's very interesting to listen to and I recommend it. Penn gets into the whole philosophy of what it means to be "fooled".
#45
Old 07-22-2017, 09:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cluck View Post
First off, Penn discounted that the paper was treated in some way, but Jo never acknowledged that, and that wasn't their legitimate guess. I still feel like the first paper must have been treated in some way.
That's a key point: he didn't respond to what Penn said when he was dismissing the paper. Well, as you said, it wasn't their 'official' guess yet, but likely he didn't want to lie about it in case Penn circled back and actually made it the guess after rambling a bit.

The paper didn't necessarily have to be 'treated', it could have come exactly as is from the package it came in, but the sheet to be picked simply comes from a different line or different manufacturer than the others. If you've ever looked at a paper supply catalog you'd be amazed at how many variations of 'white' paper there are -- how white is their white? Which bleaches and optical brighteners does Georgia-Pacific use in their process versus Hammermill? All you'd need to find is two brands that look to a human eye the same but which have different levels of ultraviolet brightness. (I cited in my previous post that chicken eyes have receptors sensitive to UV which humans simply don't have.)

I can't prove that that is how it's done, but it's such a simple explanation and would perfectly 'solve' the problem, I really do think it's the explanation. And so easy: set up a skinner box setup for a while, give the chicken a piece a corn every time she pecks at the paper that is 'bright' in UV and none when she chooses the 'dull' one. I bet she's got it mastered within an hour.

Along the same lines, one of the acts that made it through on this years "America's Got Talent" involved a chicken playing a song on a little electronic keyboard. I immediately thought the trick involved little lights above the keys which a computer would turn on so the chicken pecked the right note. I couldn't actually see lights going on and off, but I figured that might have just been due to the camera angle or maybe the lights were recessed so you your eye would have to be close up and down on the key level to see them.

Now I think those were probably UV lights as well -- no risk of the judges or audience spotting them that way.

And the fact that I've seen TWO separate acts involving trained chickens within a month, when I've never seen any before, might come from the discovery of chickens UV light sensitivity being a relatively new thing and that info percolating about in magician circles.
#46
Old 07-22-2017, 10:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StarvingButStrong View Post
...And the fact that I've seen TWO separate acts involving trained chickens within a month, when I've never seen any before, might come from the discovery of chickens UV light sensitivity being a relatively new thing and that info percolating about in magician circles.
(my bold)

I think you meant 'incubating'.

Anyway, not much discussion here about the guy who sawed himself in half. I was pretty impressed with it. I know there are probably mirrors, definitely contortions, and absolutely camera angles involved, but still a remarkable effect. I would love to see the behind-the-scenes exposÚ on how that was actually accomplished.


mmm
#47
Old 07-23-2017, 02:11 AM
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The cheese trick itself was not terribly impressive, but what a great act. He was funny and entertaining. Well done!

The only act that "fooled" P&T was easily the weakest of the night. As discussed, there were a number of ways it could have been done. They guessed wrong, and actually seemed kind of pissed that they have to give this guy a spot in their show now.

David Caserta's bit was nicely presented, I guess. But it was simply based on the optical illusion that there was more space concealed by the contraption than it appeared. He was essentially sitting there cross-legged while cranking himself upward. Now, had we seen him step into and out of the box, I'd have been much more impressed. But we didn't, because of course those weren't his legs.

Jimmy Ichihana was fantastic. I don't believe there were any gimmicks there (trick cards, deck switch, etc). He was truly manipulating the cards, and Penn was rightly impressed by how well he did so and how difficult it is. Just amazing.
#48
Old 07-23-2017, 11:12 AM
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Burns: Half his act was incredibly annoying, half was uproariously funny. I could see the opportunities he gave himself to manipulate the cheese. The second time watching it, I could clearly see him "palming" (when I knew what the outcome would be).

De Rijck: I think Penn and Teller overthought themselves on this one. I think the first piece of paper was treated in some way that a chicken could tell the difference, but a human could not. If not, the magician would have had Allison choose the piece of paper she wanted, to make the trick look harder.

Ichihana: I usually don't try to figure out the close up card tricks. There are so many ways to manipulate and the magicians are so good mechanically, that it's impossible for me to see what's going on. I absolutely loved his enthusiasm and the way he laughed.

Caserta: Lamest trick of the night by far. You could see right away that those weren't his real legs. I'm surprised the SDMB had a tough time with this one. Partway through the act, I noticed he was sitting Indian-style, and after that it was impossible not to see it. The cut that was made was a few inches lower than normal, giving him more room to hide his legs. It also made the fake legs look really awkward. It was probably harder for the audience and P&T to see because of the angle, which is why P&T didn't nail the exact position he was sitting in. But they were close enough for the judges.
#49
Old 07-23-2017, 12:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monocracy View Post
Caserta: Lamest trick of the night by far. You could see right away that those weren't his real legs. I'm surprised the SDMB had a tough time with this one. Partway through the act, I noticed he was sitting Indian-style, and after that it was impossible not to see it. The cut that was made was a few inches lower than normal, giving him more room to hide his legs. It also made the fake legs look really awkward. It was probably harder for the audience and P&T to see because of the angle, which is why P&T didn't nail the exact position he was sitting in. But they were close enough for the judges.
My wife and I immediately realized it wasn't his legs when he went up there. Are the legs we see a video screen?
#50
Old 07-23-2017, 01:57 PM
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I just watched the sawed-in-half guy again to be sure. The legs never move during the act, they're just fake legs. At the end they cut the light, you see the guy and the legs in silhouette, then the camera cuts away to P&T, when it comes back he's back down on the stage and you don't see any legs left in the device. So there's some detail missing, but from the beginning I thought that those fake legs were just shells, maybe open in the back, and he could put his legs and feet back down into them at the end. During the act they rotate the machine a few degrees left and right but not all the way around where you can see anything from behind.

Watched the chicken too. I assume it's the paper but I don't know. When he first puts the chicken on the table it walks all the way down to the other end looking at the table. Then it turns around and walks back stopping to look right at each paper. That is one damn welled trained chicken even if it picks the wrong one. And the chicken did peek at what she was writing!

Last edited by TriPolar; 07-23-2017 at 01:58 PM.
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