Earlier this spring we were contacted by producers about appearing on the show Penn & Teller: Fool Us on the CW Network. They had seen us on Wizard Wars and we were recommended by some of the show’s consultants. They specifically were hoping that we’d perform an illusion on the show, since so many of the performances featured are card tricks. We were hesitant at first because we definitely didn’t expect an illusion to fool P&T and the majority of our illusions were onboard the Disney Wonder where our show is headlining all spring and summer in the Walt Disney Theatre. However, they reminded us that Fool Us is more of a showcase of great magic and they agreed to fly us out in between our shows on the Disney Wonder, so we saw it as an opportunity to perform our magic for a national audience in a first class production. Our goal was to have fun and not take ourselves to seriously, and we agreed to be a part of the show! Flights were booked and we were able to use one of our extra illusions that we had kept at home in Las Vegas, our Ring Escape. We chose this illusion because it’s pretty rare and hasn’t been seen on TV in the US, and it could showcase our style of allowing the audience to get up close and involved in the magic.
In late March, just before we were to begin our spring contract in the Caribbean, the production crew came to our house to film our introduction package, which lets the audience get to know us a bit. We filmed all day and only a few scenes made the cut, but we were happy with the way it turned out because it was lighthearted and fun. I got a kick out of the scene we were filming in the front yard, where I was strapping Kyle into a straightjacket. I’m sure our neighbors must think we’re crazy!
Filming of the actual performance for P&T was done onstage at the Rio Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. That was a hectic week for us to say the least! We performed shows on the Disney Wonder that Sunday and Monday, then Tuesday we flew to Las Vegas from Cozumel, Mexico. Our flight was supposed to land that evening around 7 PM but the winds were so strong that we tried to land unsuccessfully and the plane was back up in the air and now headed to Phoenix, AZ since landing in Las Vegas wasn’t an option. Kyle and I were panicking and already considering driving up to Las Vegas from Phoenix if we needed to, but after about an hour, the plane was headed back to Vegas and we landed successfully around 1 AM. We were exhausted and thankful that we didn’t have the early morning filming that next day!
The next afternoon we drove up to the Rio and waited in a holding area for several hours before we performed, and it was actually a nice time to hang out with the other magicians who were also filming that day. On the day of our filming we were there with a good friend of ours Rick Lax (and creator of Wizard Wars), as well as Chad Juros, John Carney and Shin Lim. It was all very secretive though, and when one person would leave to perform there was no talking to them when they returned, so as not to reveal whether they’d fooled them or not. Check out the photo below to see the group shot of all of the magicians performing that day as well as show’s consultants Johnny Thompson and Michael Close.
We had one quick rehearsal onstage then it was back to the waiting area for several hours, but we grabbed a few photos onstage first!
Once it was our turn we were excited to perform, and when we walked out onstage Teller instantly recognized us and smiled and waved. The host of the show Jonathan Ross was great to work with and a lot of fun. He had me laughing the whole time he was dancing behind me, and he’s not in on any secrets, so he showed a genuine reaction for our performance.
Once we got feedback from P&T, then both came onstage to show us a little drawing that Teller had made. It wasn’t exactly right but it was close enough, and before we knew it, the drawing went up in flames! Teller kissed me on the cheek and both he and Penn were very complimentary of our act. After the cameras stopped rolling, to my surprise Kyle pulls out his camera to snap a selfie and Teller runs over to photobomb us! Such a fun memory of a great experience.
The next day were were back on a plane flying into Miami to catch the ship for shows again that night on the Disney Wonder. It was a whirlwind week! This experience was actually very different for us than our experience filming Wizard Wars. In Fool Us, there was no pressure to create new magic under limited situations and time constraints, so it was much less stressful for us. We didn’t fool P&T on Fool Us, but ironically we actually did fool them on Wizard Wars! In our final round we created an effect with a judge’s borrowed ring that reappeared inside a solid, real egg behind the judges. When Penn announced that we were the winners he said that it “came down to deception and they were all scratching their heads over that damn egg!” After the show Teller asked Kyle if he could have a guess about the method, and he guessed wrong. So we didn’t win an “FU” trophy on Fool Us, but I’ll take the $10,000 we won on Wizard Wars any day 🙂
Overall, we were very happy to be showcased on national TV for a second time this year and have our magic viewed by millions of people, and the entire Fool Us team treated us well and was very professional. The show has been breaking ratings records and we are honored to have been a part of it. To see video from both of our TV appearances on Fool US & Wizard Wars click HERE and keep watching the show as it continues into October featuring new magicians each week, many of whom are good friends of ours! – Thanks for reading, Mistie