Handless magician fools Penn & Teller

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2016/07/28/handless-magician-fools-penn.html


Wow. Maybe it’s time to come up with a more inclusive term?


That was pretty awesome.


Just awesome.


“Scarce of Hand Magic”?

Does he have to show them later how he did it?

How much money is this getting a winner? Shit, when I worked for a wirless carrier I lied all day for 12 bux an hour.


i’m always impressed when people overcome what seems like insurmountable obstacles to achieve greatness. it inspires me and reminds me of the potential in all of us, which is an even bigger trick then then cards. thanks.


I’m glad to see Alyson Hannigan found a new gig!


The winners get flown to Vegas to open for Penn & Teller, which can be a huge career boost.

I’m not sure about Mahdi, but in the past I’ve seen P&T huddle with the magician after they’re fooled so they can learn how it’s done. Plus they’ve actually gone on to hire some past winners to work for Penn & Teller, such as Piff the Magic Dragon, who’s designing their tricks now.


I watched all of the original BBC version, but never saw the new CW stuff. I guess Hulu has this new season, but I will need to find the old ones some time.

That was very impressive. His trick was very simple, but the fact he can’t palm it like a lot of traditional magic tricks makes it just that much more magical.

He reminds me of this 3-Gun competitor who has nearly identical shaped arms (though I think his feet are ok) and can still manage to deftly perform tasks one would think would be impossible or too difficult to do well.

Really? That’s great! He was great on the BBC show and other than his last trick, I loved his stuff on AGT.

1 Like

I actually was mistaken, he didn’t win “Fool Us”, but his clip on there is wonderful. When he comes out, P&T are rolling their eyes and looking irritated, especially Penn. He does his trick and they look utterly baffled, and by the end, when he’s casually eating a banana as they try to figure his trick out, Teller’s face is pure glee, open-mouthed, love at first sight.


“Slights” or, in this case, “card slights” would probably be the existing term that would cover it better. Still might have some of the “hand” baggage, but it covers a bit of a broader field.

Though, the drawback is that it’s probably not as immediately recognizable to folks who don’t do magic…


I’m trying to think of some, and nothing good comes to mind. Prestidigitation won’t work, and legerdemain literally translates to “light of hand.”

Other than “card tricks” or “card illusions,” I can’t think of anything really inclusive.

There are a few extremely cool performers with disability around. Francesca Martinez, Steady Eddie, etc.

I can’t remember the name, but I recall seeing an awesome routine by a UK comedian with cerebral palsy.

He uses crutches to walk, and began by coming on from the side of the stage. It took him so long to reach the centre that he was occasionally tossing comments over his shoulder along the lines of “don’t mind me, talk amongst yourselves, I’ll get there eventually”.

When he finally reached centre stage, he grabbed the microphone stand for support and let his crutches clatter to the floor. He then looked down at them sadly and said:

“Look at those things. They’re useless without me.”



I had this episode on my DVR, and happened to have watched it a few hours ago. All the other illusions were pretty simple to figure out. But I watched this card trick 3 times, and never saw him doing anything hinky. P&T apparently thought it was some version of the Invisible Deck mechanics, based on their comments, but it seems that wasn’t it.


They must also show the producers how it’s done ahead of time so they can determine if P&T were fooled or not.

1 Like

I was skeptical about that because I wouldn’t think they would show the trick to someone who wasn’t a guild member, but Johnny Thompson produces the show. So I’m certain you’re right.

1 Like

I don’t think so.

I remember someone who did a whole bunch of tricks, making it look like he’d done them the most common way they’d be done, and then nodded as P&T listed off the things they thought he’d done, and went home. He later pointed out in the videos what he’d actually been doing, claiming that yes, he’d fooled them, but hadn’t claimed the prize.

1 Like

You’re probably thinking of Jay Sankey. Apparently Penn has responded to his claims… though, unfortunately, an inordinate part of it is just joking about his name.

Sankey’s method for a torn&restored card is pretty decent, but he really likes to advertise himself. Since he agreed with P&T rather than letting them have a dialog about the method, he can’t really flat out claim he fooled them. And whether or not he had shown the method to the producers… what could they do, come out after he claimed that P&T were right, to say they were actually wrong and make everyone involved look stupid?


Hole Lee Shit. That’s fucking awesome.