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Mike Powers

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Reply with quote  #1 
I really enjoy P&T Fool Us even though it tends to encourage analysis of magic tricks which is a negative. The show is still fun to watch and does promote magic.

They generally seem to apply the same standards to most of the acts viz. if they get most of the explanation right, the act is busted. But sometimes I notice a bias. For example, the recent show with Christian Engblom seemed to reveal a double standard, at least it seems to be so for me. I'm curious as to whether others see this as I do. Here's what I'm talking about:

Generally, P&T bust an act when they know a lot about the mechanics of how it was done. There have been many acts in which I'm pretty sure they didn't know how several things worked. Nonetheless, the act was busted because they knew much of the inner workings.

With Christian Engblom, they knew all the important details of how he accomplished the magic. But they didn't know how he found the selections (and neither did I). It seems to me that had this been a "Joe Blow" they'd have claimed to have busted him even though they didn't know how the selections were controlled. Somehow they let Mr. Engblom off the hook and gave him the trophy. I'm thinking that had I been on the show, and done that routine exactly as Christian did it, they would have claimed to have busted me, even though they may not have known one detail viz. how I controlled the cards. They certainly knew everything else.

What do you guys think?

Mike
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Bmat

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Reply with quote  #2 
The show is heavily 'weighted' and you are spot on.  Some get a pass, some don't and it often depends on who is performing. I remember there was quite some 'debate' about both Martin Daniels and Greg Wilson, both were excellent performers and blast to watch. But nobody believed they were able to fool Penn and Teller yet both Penn and Teller claimed to be fooled.  Overall the formula for the show is working and that is all that counts. 
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Michaelblue

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Reply with quote  #3 
I think you're right. They had to know everything David Roth did, but they gave him the trophy. It seemed like sort of a lifetime achievement award. They do get fooled, though. Suzanne smoked them.
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Anthony Vinson

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Reply with quote  #4 
It's not just you. I felt similarly after the Christian Engblom segment. In the past they've busted acts when they "knew that they knew" even if they couldn't pin down the exact method. Cards were controlled. Period. Were the cleverly controlled? Yep. Were they invisibly controlled? They were from my perspective, and apparently theirs as well. But as you point out, cards were controlled. Period. In the past Penn has pointed out - and I paraphrase - that knowing anything about the method disqualified the act from earning a trophy. Ah well, it's their show and I enjoy watching.

That said, I really  enjoyed the presentation. I have heard about Christian Engblom for years, but this was my first time seeing him perform - And perform he did! What a wonderful, warm, genuine personality. He was joyful and exuberant and obviously loved performing. 

An aside: I was disappointed when, on a recent episode, they were fooled by a smart watch. Seriously? Even the performer appeared incredulous to have been awarded a trophy. Then again, my wife actually caught that one before I did, so there's that. I wondered at the time whether they might've just given that act a bye... And still do.

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ZAVIADELITA

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Reply with quote  #5 
I love watching the show but I agree with you Mike, if I did the Jeff McBride water bowls or the Ramsay coin stack like Paul did I doubt I would have a FU trophy on my shelf.
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Gareth

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Reply with quote  #6 
I agree, weight of decisions don’t seem entirely consistent. There are instances like Eric Mead where they know the routine but if performed ‘perfectly’ you get not a ‘fool us’ trophy in the literal sense but a ‘good effort’ trophy, that 21st century phenomenon. Which is something I could imagine Penn ranting about perhaps. The consultants, Mr Thompson etc have an input too if the call is close.

To their defence though, as with Simon Coronel, they have made efforts to accept where they have made a mistake and correct it.

I haven’t watched it for a while. Kostya still my favourite.
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EVILDAN

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Reply with quote  #7 
I think Penn and Teller have given a nice gift to the magic world with their show "Fool Us." Yeah, the gist of the show seems to be to do something that will fool Penn and Teller. But, I don't think people are watching the show to find out how things are done.

Fool Us is not an exposure show. It could have been one if someone else came up with the concept, but it's not. 

Now, we all know that magic is about trickery, smoke and mirrors, etc. Penn and Teller divulge that, but they also showcase magic done really well. They make comments about how there are a lot of people out there that perform something but that this one person does it the best. I think Penn and Teller let the audience know that magic takes practice, skill and showmanship. Penn and Teller are doing their best to make magic a legitimate art form. 
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Harry Lorayne

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Reply with quote  #8 

         They closed the last show I saw doing my A MUCH BETTER CHANCE - 10-card poker deal thing. Interesting.

 

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