Bring Your Questions For Penn Jillette
Penn Jillette is a magician, comedian, actor, producer and, generally, a curator of interesting and intelligent things. But he is best known as the self-described “larger, louder” half of Penn & Teller, a stage show that Penn and his magician partner Teller have put on since 1975. It currently plays at the Rio in Vegas. I saw it there not long ago, and it was phenomenal.
The pair also has a weekly Showtime series called Penn & Teller: Bulls–t, which aims “to aggressively shoot down whack-jobs and fuzzy thinkers, no matter where they originate.” It has gleaned 11 Emmy nominations. Here’s a clip from the show about nuclear energy; you will find that Jillette’s take on the topic almost fully intersects with ours. (Caution: the language in the clip isn’t remotely safe for work.)
Jillette also created and produced the documentary The Aristocrats (website also N.S.F.W.), in which more than 100 comics tell their variations of the same dirty joke.
Jillette is a graduate of Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Clown College. He and Teller have jointly won an Obie and an Emmy award, and both serve as visiting scholars at M.I.T.
You can read Jillette’s daily rants on his Penn Says video blog, where he explains, among other things, why he named his kids Moxie CrimeFighter and Zolten Penn.
Jillette has agreed to answer your questions (yes, you can ask about his red fingernail), so fire away in the comments section below. As with past Q&A’s we’ll post his answers here in a few days.
Addendum: Jillette answers your questions here.