Penn & Teller Have No Chill When Other Magicians Outsmart Them — and It's So Fun to Watch!

Rebecca Macatee - Author

Aug. 26 2019, Updated 1:05 p.m. ET

has anyone fooled penn and teller
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Penn & Teller: Fool Us is unlike any other show on TV. It's a competition series that features top magicians performing their tricks for legendary magician-comedian duo Penn & Teller. If Penn Jillette and Teller can figure out how the trick is performed, they win, and the magician loses. If they can't recreate the trick themselves, though, the guest wins an opening-act slot in Penn & Teller's Las Vegas show

So has anyone fooled Penn & Teller? Here's what you should know! 

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Has anyone fooled Penn & Teller? Yes, and it's always fun to watch.

Penn & Teller: Fool Us premiered in 2011, and in the six seasons since, they've been fooled more times than we can count. Penn & Teller doesn't want to admit defeat, but they will — even if it's begrudgingly.

When corporate magician Kostya Kimlat outsmarted the duo in 2015, Penn was comically angered. "I hated [your trick] from the moment you walked out," he said. 

"I tell you, when I saw him sitting there with his beady little eyes, I wanted you as dead as a hammer," he continued. "I knew you were going to fool me from the moment I saw you sitting there, and yes, you did, but who cares?" 

When the audience broke out in uproarious applause, he could barely stand it. "Shut up! Shut up! Shut up," Penn exclaimed.

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Fooling Penn is easy, but tricking Teller is the real challenge. 

"Two-thirds of the people on here fool the big dumb guy," Penn told a contestant, referring to himself. "But when you bring that [banner] down, when you say 'Fooler! Fooler! Fooler,' that's when you fooled Teller."

Teller doesn't talk as part of the act, but his input is obviously hugely valuable to figuring out how fellow magicians and illusionists are pulling off their best tricks.

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Penn & Teller have faced some backlash in the magic community.

Penn & Teller faced criticism for unveiling how magic tricks were performed long before the launch of Penn & Teller: Fool Us. But as Teller explained to Vanity Fair in 2015, he and Penn aren't actually doing anything wrong by revealing a few tricks of the trade to a larger public audience.  

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"There’s an aesthetic rule in magic that to allow the audience to be amazed, you don’t explain your trick," Teller said. "It is an aesthetic rule, not a moral rule... However, it has gradually seeped into magic lore as being a moral rule. 'Giving away a trick is an evil deed.' No, it’s not! The person who wrote the magic book that got you started in magic gave away a trick. Was that an evil deed? No!"

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Source: Instagram

Follow Penn & Teller on social media!

To learn more about the inner workings of magic, follow Penn @pennjillette and Teller @mrteller on Twitter. You can also follow Penn & Teller's joint Instagram account @pennandtellerlive.

Make sure to tune into Penn & Teller: Fool Us  Mondays at 8 p.m. on The CW.

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