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Penn Jillette

Penn Jillette

Birthday: 5 March 1955, Greenfield, Massachusetts, USA
Birth Name: Penn Fraser Jillette
Height: 201 cm

Penn Jillette was born on March 5, 1955 in Greenfield, Massachusetts, USA as Penn Fraser Jillette. He is a writer and producer, known for Penn & Teller: Bullshit! (2003), Tim's Vermeer (2 ...Show more

Penn Jillette
My tolerance for crazy people is, I think, high a tolerance as you're ever going to find. I love bei Show more My tolerance for crazy people is, I think, high a tolerance as you're ever going to find. I love being around David Allen Coe. I would have loved to hang out with Tiny Tim. I can listen to Sun Ra on a tape-recording rant. Hide
The definition of a stupid thing is something that if you do everything right, you still get hurt. F Show more The definition of a stupid thing is something that if you do everything right, you still get hurt. Fire-eating and love are stupid things. Hide
I don't want anyone as president who promises to take care of me. I may be stupid, but I want a chan Show more I don't want anyone as president who promises to take care of me. I may be stupid, but I want a chance to try to be a grown-up and take care of my family. Hide
People like Bill Maher, who brags about being a cynic, it sickens me. I am the least cynical person Show more People like Bill Maher, who brags about being a cynic, it sickens me. I am the least cynical person I know, and I am very, very skeptical. Hide
Every nut who kills people has a Bible lying around. Every nut who kills people has a Bible lying around.
Religion is often just tribalism: pride in a group one was born into, a group that is often believed Show more Religion is often just tribalism: pride in a group one was born into, a group that is often believed to have 'God' on its side. Hide
I think one of the things about Donald Trump that's interesting is he lives in a rarified atmosphere Show more I think one of the things about Donald Trump that's interesting is he lives in a rarified atmosphere where it's possible that he doesn't get enough feedback, enough people rolling their eyes at him. It's a danger more in show business than it is with wealth. Hide
Don't waste too much time wishing, hoping, and being envious; it'll make you bugnutty. Don't waste too much time wishing, hoping, and being envious; it'll make you bugnutty.
Counterintuitive action makes a fellow feel smart. Counterintuitive action makes a fellow feel smart.
I don't want everyone to read anything; I like us all reading different books. I don't want everyone to read anything; I like us all reading different books.
I'm totally clean and sober my whole life. I'm totally clean and sober my whole life.
'Psycho' is fascinating philosophically, because the point of 'Psycho' is that everything that's bad Show more 'Psycho' is fascinating philosophically, because the point of 'Psycho' is that everything that's bad happens because of love. Hide
One of the things that Teller and I are obsessed with, one of the reasons that we're in magic, is th Show more One of the things that Teller and I are obsessed with, one of the reasons that we're in magic, is the difference between fantasy and reality. Hide
From 1985 to 1994, I lived in Manhattan in a big old loft right off Times Square. I could walk to wo Show more From 1985 to 1994, I lived in Manhattan in a big old loft right off Times Square. I could walk to work, which was in a couple of Broadway theaters, to Howard Stern's studio, and to 30 Rock for 'Letterman' and 'SNL.' Even in New York, walking to work is homey and folksy, like living in a small town. Hide
You can't believe how pro-gay and pro-freedom-of-speech I am. I'm way out beyond anyone on the Left. You can't believe how pro-gay and pro-freedom-of-speech I am. I'm way out beyond anyone on the Left.
I read a lot of books to my children, and they all seem really good. I think people have gotten real Show more I read a lot of books to my children, and they all seem really good. I think people have gotten really good at children's books. Hide
A two-party system is way too good for those two parties. A two-party system is way too good for those two parties.
If you like the stuff I do, my chances of liking you go up. If you like the stuff I do, my chances of liking you go up.
I'm totally against straight marriage - even though I'm married. I don't think heterosexual marriage Show more I'm totally against straight marriage - even though I'm married. I don't think heterosexual marriage is any of the government's business. Hide
The pure unadulterated disgust of Washington seems to me to be a really good thing. The pure unadulterated disgust of Washington seems to me to be a really good thing.
I like movies that are scary, but I don't want them to be dirt dumb. I want a movie that gets my blo Show more I like movies that are scary, but I don't want them to be dirt dumb. I want a movie that gets my blood racing, makes me laugh, but also gives me something to think about, with maybe a little sexy thrown in. Hollywood doesn't make movies like that. Hide
There never was a God. 'God is dead' is a halfway measure I won't go with. There never was a God. 'God is dead' is a halfway measure I won't go with.
[on the environment, June 20, 2008] Every bit of my bullshit detector goes off like crazy over globa Show more [on the environment, June 20, 2008] Every bit of my bullshit detector goes off like crazy over global warming, and every fucking thing Al Gore says. He seems to me like a lying sack of shit who's wrong about everything. Hide
Everybody is designing magic iPhone apps that do things that are really, really beautiful, but a rea Show more Everybody is designing magic iPhone apps that do things that are really, really beautiful, but a really important thing about magic is that the gimmick has to be ugly. Hide
One thing you learn doing magic tricks for a living is how close every performance of every magic tr Show more One thing you learn doing magic tricks for a living is how close every performance of every magic trick is to disaster. There are no robust magic tricks. They're all hanging from a thread - sometimes literally. Hide
It's amazing to me how many people think that voting to have the government give poor people money i Show more It's amazing to me how many people think that voting to have the government give poor people money is compassion. Helping poor and suffering people yourself is compassion. Voting for our government to use guns to give money to help poor and suffering people is immoral, self-righteous, bullying laziness. Hide
The only difference between Obama and Bush is that Obama is killing more people. The only difference between Obama and Bush is that Obama is killing more people.
I had e-mail in 1984! I had an e-mail address then, which means that all you could write to was Stev Show more I had e-mail in 1984! I had an e-mail address then, which means that all you could write to was Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. There were three of us, writing to each other. Hide
I get along so much better with fundamentalist Christians than I do with wishy-washy liberals, who w Show more I get along so much better with fundamentalist Christians than I do with wishy-washy liberals, who want everyone to get along. Hide
If I were trying to avoid embarrassment, I wouldn't have stumbled my way through 'Dancing with the S Show more If I were trying to avoid embarrassment, I wouldn't have stumbled my way through 'Dancing with the Stars.' Hide
The vast majority of people who have mental illness problems never hurt anybody. The vast majority of people who have mental illness problems never hurt anybody.
When I was a kid, politicians wanted to avoid talking about religion if they could. John F. Kennedy Show more When I was a kid, politicians wanted to avoid talking about religion if they could. John F. Kennedy couldn't duck the issue, being Catholic and all. So how did he address it? By reminding Americans that religion shouldn't be an issue, that he was concentrating on big things like poverty and hunger and leading the space race. Hide
Cars mean nothing to me. I'm not a car guy. Cars mean nothing to me. I'm not a car guy.
I've never revved my car at a light for an attractive woman or an auto-rival, not even as a joke. I've never revved my car at a light for an attractive woman or an auto-rival, not even as a joke.
If there are two things Penn & Teller stand for, it's the truth & lying, although not necessarily in Show more If there are two things Penn & Teller stand for, it's the truth & lying, although not necessarily in that order. Hide
Modern American magic, late 20th century magic, is tremendously disrespectful of the audience. Modern American magic, late 20th century magic, is tremendously disrespectful of the audience.
Showbiz is just there to give people something to talk about. Showbiz is just there to give people something to talk about.
'Christian' used to be a throwaway word. People didn't used to use it much. People didn't start self Show more 'Christian' used to be a throwaway word. People didn't used to use it much. People didn't start self-labeling or getting labeled Christian until the last part of the 20th century. Before that, you might identify as a Baptist, or a Southern Baptist or a Methodist. But there wasn't one identifier that put you in a fold with all the other believers. Hide
As much as I disagreed with every second of 'Fahrenheit 9/11,' the fact that it is out made me jump Show more As much as I disagreed with every second of 'Fahrenheit 9/11,' the fact that it is out made me jump for joy. Hide
One of the things that Teller and I are obsessed with, one of the reasons that we're in magic, is th Show more One of the things that Teller and I are obsessed with, one of the reasons that we're in magic, is the difference between fantasy and reality. That is the subject that, if you have a brain in your head, is always dealt with in magic. The smarter the tricks you're doing, the more that' s an important thing. Hide
The skills that we have are the actual magic skills - not the performing skills. We have to separate Show more The skills that we have are the actual magic skills - not the performing skills. We have to separate those. But the actual skills that make the tricks work, we don't get to use again. Hide
You can't allow people freedom and then change your mind when the things don't go your way. You can't allow people freedom and then change your mind when the things don't go your way.
You have in Vegas the most heterogeneous audience you're gonna get anywhere in the country. In Bosto Show more You have in Vegas the most heterogeneous audience you're gonna get anywhere in the country. In Boston, Chicago, Miami, you know who goes to the theater. In Vegas, you have people who only see one theater show a year, and it's in Vegas. Hide
Believing there's no God means I can't really be forgiven except by kindness and faulty memories. Th Show more Believing there's no God means I can't really be forgiven except by kindness and faulty memories. That's good; it makes me want to be more thoughtful. I have to try to treat people right the first time around. Hide
Cheerios bring back memories. I actually don't think I ate them much as a kid, though; maybe it's so Show more Cheerios bring back memories. I actually don't think I ate them much as a kid, though; maybe it's some sort of Jungian memory, I don't know. But they have so much sugar, it's great. Hide
I believe the fast track to atheism is reading the Bible. I've read it three times all the way throu Show more I believe the fast track to atheism is reading the Bible. I've read it three times all the way through. It's a big part of our culture, a big part of our history. I don't just read things I agree with. Hide
Every day, TV, newspapers, and the Internet bombard us with a message that we're destroying the eart Show more Every day, TV, newspapers, and the Internet bombard us with a message that we're destroying the earth. Ice caps are melting, rivers are dying, polar bears are drowning, and trees are doing something. Hide
My love of computers, besides being practical, is very direct and visceral. I love the way things lo Show more My love of computers, besides being practical, is very direct and visceral. I love the way things look on the screen. Hide
The only place we were really told to tone it down - where other people would use the word censorshi Show more The only place we were really told to tone it down - where other people would use the word censorship, but I wouldn't - was when we did MTV right after the Beavis and Butt-head thing. Hide
It wasn't success, because Teller and I, by the time Asparagus Valley got together - within a year, Show more It wasn't success, because Teller and I, by the time Asparagus Valley got together - within a year, we had achieved all our goals. I mean, our goal was to earn our living doing exactly what we wanted. Which is many people's goal. Hide
A joke is a way to say, 'I'm going to do something funny now. If I don't get a laugh at the end, I'm Show more A joke is a way to say, 'I'm going to do something funny now. If I don't get a laugh at the end, I'm a failure.' Hide
Even if I disagree with Obama on many, many things, he is certainly qualified to be president. He is Show more Even if I disagree with Obama on many, many things, he is certainly qualified to be president. He is certainly competent to be president. Hide
Whereas you have someone like Houdini, who works really, really hard to get really, really famous, a Show more Whereas you have someone like Houdini, who works really, really hard to get really, really famous, and then has actual intellectual ideas that he puts into the culture that stay there. Hide
I've never had a drink of alcohol or any drug in my life. I've never had a drink of alcohol or any drug in my life.
I believe in individual rights so much that I don't like any sort of 'what's good for the cause'-typ Show more I believe in individual rights so much that I don't like any sort of 'what's good for the cause'-type questions. Hide
I was always a little embarrassed when there was an act on television that requires a great deal of Show more I was always a little embarrassed when there was an act on television that requires a great deal of skill but is a little goofy, and the host comes over and acts like the person doing this skill is some sort of fool for having learned to do something that's very, very difficult. Hide
Jay-Z, he knows precisely who he's going for - 14-year-old white suburban girls. Jay-Z, he knows precisely who he's going for - 14-year-old white suburban girls.
We celebrities are desperate pigs. We celebrities are desperate pigs.
I think the media spends a lot of time fooling itself. I think the media spends a lot of time fooling itself.
I don't believe the majority always knows what's best for everyone. I don't believe the majority always knows what's best for everyone.
Trey Parker did 'Book of Mormon.' It's the best Broadway show I've ever seen. He does 'South Park.' Show more Trey Parker did 'Book of Mormon.' It's the best Broadway show I've ever seen. He does 'South Park.' It's wonderful. Hide
There is no reason for the government to limit political speech. There is no reason for the government to limit political speech.
Bacon is so good by itself that to put it in any other food is an admission of failure. You're basic Show more Bacon is so good by itself that to put it in any other food is an admission of failure. You're basically saying, 'I can't make this other food taste good, so I'll throw in bacon.' Hide
A lot of people, to attack an outspoken atheist, one of the things they'll do is say, 'You are as ba Show more A lot of people, to attack an outspoken atheist, one of the things they'll do is say, 'You are as bad as the fundamentalist Christians.' And my answer is always, 'I hope so.' Hide
Penn & Teller don't know jack about global warming. Penn & Teller don't know jack about global warming.
Once you have somebody that is telling you, 'We are interpreting God for you,' it seems like you eit Show more Once you have somebody that is telling you, 'We are interpreting God for you,' it seems like you either agree or you don't. You either say, like Martin Luther, 'I'm going to have a direct relationship with the word of God,' or I''m going to go through a conduit of God on Earth,' which would be the Pope. Hide
The First Amendment says nothing about your getting paid for saying anything. It just says you can s Show more The First Amendment says nothing about your getting paid for saying anything. It just says you can say it. I don't believe that if a corporation pulls all the money out of you or a network pulls their money away or you get fired, you're being censored. Hide
The one kind of person I have a lot of trouble understanding is the kind of person that says the exi Show more The one kind of person I have a lot of trouble understanding is the kind of person that says the existence of God or religion doesn't matter, it's not an important decision. I think it's vitally important; it's what all our lives are based on. Hide
One of the things video games do is allow a playfulness of fear and aggression, to explore in that s Show more One of the things video games do is allow a playfulness of fear and aggression, to explore in that space and be comfortable without anyone getting hurt. Certain horrors in our world we can't defeat. Death is certain. Pain is certain. Suffering is certain. We can't fight that in the real world, and yet in art we can. [Controlling fear of those certainties through any kind of art is] the strongest 'fuck you' to death and suffering we're able to give. [February, 2016] Hide
The secret truth of 'Celebrity Apprentice' is that it isn't very hard... 'Celebrity Apprentice' is e Show more The secret truth of 'Celebrity Apprentice' is that it isn't very hard... 'Celebrity Apprentice' is easy like junior high is easy. All the arithmetic, the creative writing and the history are super simple, but like junior high, you do that easy work surrounded by people who are full-tilt, hormone-raging bug nutty. Hide
Counterintuitive actions prove we can trust real knowledge and do the opposite of what we feel makes Show more Counterintuitive actions prove we can trust real knowledge and do the opposite of what we feel makes sense. Hide
We aren't people who believe that just because we're performers our opinions on everything need to b Show more We aren't people who believe that just because we're performers our opinions on everything need to be known. Hide
My hair is way, way long. I've hitchhiked across the country a zillion times. I've ridden in every c Show more My hair is way, way long. I've hitchhiked across the country a zillion times. I've ridden in every car. I was never a hippie. It takes more than long hair. Hide
There is this tremendous amount of arrogance and hubris, where somebody can look at something for fi Show more There is this tremendous amount of arrogance and hubris, where somebody can look at something for five minutes and dismiss it. Whether you talk about gaming or 20th century classical music, you can't do it in five minutes. You can't listen to 'The Rite of Spring' once and understand what Stravinsky was all about. Hide
I love the feeling of shredded wheat. I love healthy bird food with a fun-to-eat feel. Then you spra Show more I love the feeling of shredded wheat. I love healthy bird food with a fun-to-eat feel. Then you spray them with sugar, and I'm there. Hide
I love the idea that horror and fear is a celebration of health and life. I love the idea that horror and fear is a celebration of health and life.
Magic is the Special Olympics of entertainment. Magic is the Special Olympics of entertainment.
In my private life, I'm not around any drugs or alcohol. In my private life, I'm not around any drugs or alcohol.
For better or worse, in the 21st century, reality shows are the variety show. For better or worse, in the 21st century, reality shows are the variety show.
I'm always fascinated by the use of the first-person plural talking about sports. I'm always fascinated by the use of the first-person plural talking about sports.
In reality, many people let go of religion later in life. In reality, many people let go of religion later in life.
There's no job in show business that's harder than any other job outside show business. There's no job in show business that's harder than any other job outside show business.
The vast majority of people who have guns never hurt anybody. The vast majority of people who have guns never hurt anybody.
Juggling is very, very straightforward; very, very black and white; you're manipulating objects, not Show more Juggling is very, very straightforward; very, very black and white; you're manipulating objects, not people. And that's always appealed to me. Hide
The purpose of art is to collide the intellectual and visceral together at the highest speed possibl Show more The purpose of art is to collide the intellectual and visceral together at the highest speed possible. Hide
If you don't pay your taxes and you don't answer the warrant and you don't go to court, eventually s Show more If you don't pay your taxes and you don't answer the warrant and you don't go to court, eventually someone will pull a gun. Eventually someone with a gun will show up. I want everything the government does to be done, I just want it to be done voluntarily. Hide
My mom, if you asked her if she was interested in whether or not people gambled, would say no. My mom, if you asked her if she was interested in whether or not people gambled, would say no.
We need a president who realizes that there's no government business in show business. We need a president who realizes that there's no government business in show business.
The reason I'm an I.B.M.-type guy today is that I really needed a laptop back in 1986, and I just co Show more The reason I'm an I.B.M.-type guy today is that I really needed a laptop back in 1986, and I just couldn't wait for the Powerbook. Hide
I'm not misunderstood. I am brash. I make my living being brash. I'm not misunderstood. I am brash. I make my living being brash.
I live in Vegas, and I see people by the side of the road with cardboard signs who seem like they mi Show more I live in Vegas, and I see people by the side of the road with cardboard signs who seem like they might have tried that spending their way out of debt thing. Hide
You should think about the world and feel about your heart. You should think about the world and feel about your heart.
TV networks are dying. The death throes of religion give us jihads. The death throes of television g Show more TV networks are dying. The death throes of religion give us jihads. The death throes of television give us reality shows. Hide
America was founded on Christians not trusting each other, and they sometimes seemed more willing to Show more America was founded on Christians not trusting each other, and they sometimes seemed more willing to reach out to the godless than to someone from another sect. Hide
Part of the experience of being entertained is sitting back and plugging into someone else's vision. Part of the experience of being entertained is sitting back and plugging into someone else's vision.
I believe very much that the most damning thing you can say about Muslims is that you're afraid to s Show more I believe very much that the most damning thing you can say about Muslims is that you're afraid to say anything because they'll hurt you. Hide
I love when violent, dangerous art is done by people who are not violent and dangerous. I love that Show more I love when violent, dangerous art is done by people who are not violent and dangerous. I love that when George Romero was making 'Dawn of the Dead,' he was coaching his son's little league team. Hide
I have no evidence that libertarianism leads to a better life. I just think it is morally right. I have no evidence that libertarianism leads to a better life. I just think it is morally right.
I'm always surprised when the corporate world does stupid things, because they're often not very stu Show more I'm always surprised when the corporate world does stupid things, because they're often not very stupid in hindsight. Hide
The fact is that violence gives you a rush. The fact is that violence gives you a rush.
When you look at the actual numbers, the number of people who died after 9/11 was greater than the n Show more When you look at the actual numbers, the number of people who died after 9/11 was greater than the number of people who died in 9/11, even if you are talking Americans. But you know, I don't like to talk Americans. I want to talk everybody. More innocent people died after 9/11 because of 9/11 than died in 9/11. Hide
You have to be careful as a libertarian because you can sound very Republican. You have to be careful as a libertarian because you can sound very Republican.
Technology adds nothing to art. Technology adds nothing to art.
I've been fired from a situational comedy with a script they wrote specifically for me because of my Show more I've been fired from a situational comedy with a script they wrote specifically for me because of my voice. Hide
Religion cannot and should not be replaced by atheism. Religion needs to go away and not be replaced Show more Religion cannot and should not be replaced by atheism. Religion needs to go away and not be replaced by anything. Atheism is not a religion. It's the absence of religion, and that's a wonderful thing. Hide
Comedy is taken care of by a free market. Comedy is taken care of by a free market.
People still seem to think that they should vote themselves money. They seem to think there is stuff Show more People still seem to think that they should vote themselves money. They seem to think there is stuff which they think is the government's job, when it's really the individual's job. Hide
Building a professional relationship on respect as opposed to affection is a very good idea. Running Show more Building a professional relationship on respect as opposed to affection is a very good idea. Running your art projects the way you'd run a dry-cleaning business is also a really good idea. You shouldn't go into work like you're going on a date, like you're hanging out with friends. Hide
It is really funny to see people that you know acting unpleasantly just because there are TV cameras Show more It is really funny to see people that you know acting unpleasantly just because there are TV cameras on. Hide
Barack Obama is way smarter than Bush - so way, way smarter than me. Obama is way more charismatic t Show more Barack Obama is way smarter than Bush - so way, way smarter than me. Obama is way more charismatic than me. Hide
Religion is faith. Faith is belief without evidence. Belief without evidence cannot be shared. Faith Show more Religion is faith. Faith is belief without evidence. Belief without evidence cannot be shared. Faith is a feeling. Love is also a feeling, but love makes no universal claims. Love is pure. Hide
I grew up as a Christian. I suppose at some level I wanted to believe someone was watching over me. I grew up as a Christian. I suppose at some level I wanted to believe someone was watching over me.
I've voted Libertarian as long as I can remember, but I don't really remember much before the Clinto Show more I've voted Libertarian as long as I can remember, but I don't really remember much before the Clintons and the Bushes. Those clans made a lot of us bugnutty. Hide
In my run-ins with Christians... I find that they really are good moral people. And we overlap on ev Show more In my run-ins with Christians... I find that they really are good moral people. And we overlap on everything, and they don't seem to be the kind of people that are waiting to hear voices to tell them what to do. Hide
The most important part of life is work, it's the flow, it's getting stuff done, feeling like you're Show more The most important part of life is work, it's the flow, it's getting stuff done, feeling like you're doing something. Hide
If you want to turn out an atheist child, unconditional love constantly is a good way to do it. If you want to turn out an atheist child, unconditional love constantly is a good way to do it.
All David Blaine is is a good-looking magician. All David Blaine is is a good-looking magician.
I came to magic absolutely hating magic on a very, very deep level. I came to magic absolutely hating magic on a very, very deep level.
I will not counter the insanity of the PATRIOT Act with an overblown fear of my rights being taken a Show more I will not counter the insanity of the PATRIOT Act with an overblown fear of my rights being taken away. Hide
When someone is trying to interpret something for you, they always have an agenda. When someone is trying to interpret something for you, they always have an agenda.
You have two choices with Obama. You either believe that he is a man of Christ... or you think he's Show more You have two choices with Obama. You either believe that he is a man of Christ... or you think he's a liar. And I'm surprised by the number of atheist free thinkers that support Obama, and their argument is essentially, 'He's lying about being religious 'cause you have to do that to get elected.' It's a horrible reason to like somebody. Hide
The only secret of magic is that I'm willing to work harder on it than you think it's worth. The only secret of magic is that I'm willing to work harder on it than you think it's worth.
If you want to talk about magic, the stuff that blows me away is the stuff that's done close up. If you want to talk about magic, the stuff that blows me away is the stuff that's done close up.
When I was 15, 16, 17 years old, I spent five hours a day juggling, and I probably spent six hours a Show more When I was 15, 16, 17 years old, I spent five hours a day juggling, and I probably spent six hours a day seriously listening to music. And if I were 16 now, I would put that time into playing video games. Hide
I was about 12 when I heard my first Lenny Bruce record. He was already dead. But it changed my life Show more I was about 12 when I heard my first Lenny Bruce record. He was already dead. But it changed my life and really did change the world. Hide
I'm not bothered by the idea of getting old, or I guess you could say by having arrived at old. I wa Show more I'm not bothered by the idea of getting old, or I guess you could say by having arrived at old. I was 10 when my mom turned 55. For 1955, she was a very old mom. Hide
Freedom means the freedom to be stupid, and that's what I want. Freedom means the freedom to be stupid, and that's what I want.
To drive a car in rural America is freedom. Before I had a car, I'd never seen a rock and roll show, Show more To drive a car in rural America is freedom. Before I had a car, I'd never seen a rock and roll show, I'd never seen a comic or a show. Hide
Charities are really good. To a certain extent, the ones you pick are arbitrary. Charities are really good. To a certain extent, the ones you pick are arbitrary.
Obama is a great leader. He can fire people up and get them to do what he wants. Obama is a great leader. He can fire people up and get them to do what he wants.
I don't think I'm made of the right stuff to be a politician. I think I'm made to be a loose cannon. I don't think I'm made of the right stuff to be a politician. I think I'm made to be a loose cannon.
For the most part, any serious magic show is not using very much technology newer than theatrical li Show more For the most part, any serious magic show is not using very much technology newer than theatrical lights. Hide
My parents were teetotalers and my grandparents were - it's all the way back. It's New English purit Show more My parents were teetotalers and my grandparents were - it's all the way back. It's New English puritanical tradition. Hide
Poker has the feeling of a sport, but you don't have to do push-ups. Poker has the feeling of a sport, but you don't have to do push-ups.
There are performers who have built their whole career doing magic on TV and can't really perform li Show more There are performers who have built their whole career doing magic on TV and can't really perform live at all - don't really have jobs and skills. Hide
Democracy without respect for individual rights sucks. It's just ganging up against the weird kid, a Show more Democracy without respect for individual rights sucks. It's just ganging up against the weird kid, and I'm always the weird kid. Hide
We know what racist people look like. They don't deny it. They just don't! We know what racist people look like. They don't deny it. They just don't!
Tommy Smothers is a hero of mine. Tommy Smothers is a hero of mine.
This is going to sound horrible, but I don't even know how much I make in a year. It must be, you kn Show more This is going to sound horrible, but I don't even know how much I make in a year. It must be, you know, a couple of million dollars, a few million. I know it's more money than my dad, a jail guard, made in his lifetime; more money than I'll ever need. Hide
I don't question things that go against what I believe very much. But boy, the stuff that I really w Show more I don't question things that go against what I believe very much. But boy, the stuff that I really want to believe, I really question a lot. Hide
The medium is not the message - the message is the message. The medium is not the message - the message is the message.
I will forever stick up for Catholics and Christians in general. With a small number of very horribl Show more I will forever stick up for Catholics and Christians in general. With a small number of very horrible exceptions, they do play by the rules. Hide
I'm an amazing mama's boy. I'm an amazing mama's boy.
I think it's pretty cruel to give a kid a name that others are going to have. I think it's very impo Show more I think it's pretty cruel to give a kid a name that others are going to have. I think it's very important to have a unique name within any group you're likely to be in. Hide
I didn't learn fire-eating to conquer my fears. I learned fire-eating because I desperately wanted t Show more I didn't learn fire-eating to conquer my fears. I learned fire-eating because I desperately wanted to be in show business. Hide
[on his son's name] Zolten is a common Hungarian name, it's my wife's maiden name and most important Show more [on his son's name] Zolten is a common Hungarian name, it's my wife's maiden name and most importantly, it's the name of Dracula's dog. Hide
I'm a big fan of huge populations of people, so you'd think with 300 million people in the country, Show more I'm a big fan of huge populations of people, so you'd think with 300 million people in the country, you don't even have to please 1% to be phenomenally successful. Hide
Before you can read, you know the difference between a story and reality. And, of course, by the tim Show more Before you can read, you know the difference between a story and reality. And, of course, by the time you're old enough to do any real damage with an Uzi, you've learned that difference. Hide
'Moxie' is a name that was created by an American for the first national soft drink and then went on Show more 'Moxie' is a name that was created by an American for the first national soft drink and then went on to mean chutzpah, and that's nice. Hide
Everybody prefers to see a nut - they're more fascinating. Everybody prefers to see a nut - they're more fascinating.
When you tell other people to do stuff they don't know how to do, they tend to freak out. When you tell other people to do stuff they don't know how to do, they tend to freak out.
The Tea Party claims to want small government. The Tea Party claims to want small government.
Tolerance is you saying something crazy and me smiling and saying, 'That's nice.' Tolerance is you saying something crazy and me smiling and saying, 'That's nice.'
There are magic tricks that look astonishing, and that - if you knew the secret - you would think ar Show more There are magic tricks that look astonishing, and that - if you knew the secret - you would think are a little easy. Magic strips that out in an almost burlesque caricature way: to conceal how it's put together. When someone in music plays an effortless riff - when you hear John Coltrane play something that just flows out of the sax easily and comfortably - the fact that he was doing tedious work to get there is supposed to disappear, exactly the same as a magic trick. Hide
Everyone's goals are the same with very small differences. I mean, the goal of a socialist and the g Show more Everyone's goals are the same with very small differences. I mean, the goal of a socialist and the goal of a libertarian are exactly the same. The goals are happiness and security and freedom, and you balance those. Hide
Direct confrontation, direct conversation is real respect. And it's amazing how many people get that Show more Direct confrontation, direct conversation is real respect. And it's amazing how many people get that. Hide
Everybody wants clean, safe energy. Some people think nuclear is the way to go. Some people think co Show more Everybody wants clean, safe energy. Some people think nuclear is the way to go. Some people think coal is the way to go. Some people think wind is the way to go. And there's always balances on that. Hide
My body really, really wanted to reproduce when I was 15. It took a lot of civilization, socializati Show more My body really, really wanted to reproduce when I was 15. It took a lot of civilization, socialization, willpower and some emulsion polymerization technology for me not to reproduce at 15. Hide
I'm a big fan of gospel music, and you cannot be a fan of rock and roll, you cannot be a fan of coun Show more I'm a big fan of gospel music, and you cannot be a fan of rock and roll, you cannot be a fan of country western music, and you can't really be a fan of jazz without listening to a lot of music that's religious. Hide
The highest ideals are human intelligence, creativity and love. Respect these above all. The highest ideals are human intelligence, creativity and love. Respect these above all.
Computers absolutely changed my life. Before I had a computer, I had never written one thing. Not on Show more Computers absolutely changed my life. Before I had a computer, I had never written one thing. Not one thing. I'm a very bad speller and I was embarrassed by that. When I would type, the little mistakes would make me nutty, and I would never edit anything. Hide
I never wanted to be a magician. I never wanted to be a comedian. I never wanted to be onstage. I never wanted to be a magician. I never wanted to be a comedian. I never wanted to be onstage.
Asking someone else to do something immoral is immoral. Asking someone else to do something immoral is immoral.
If I had to imagine omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent power in the universe that chose to make my Show more If I had to imagine omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent power in the universe that chose to make my mother suffer, I don't know how I would make that make sense in the universe. Hide
Someone who is a good person should have no fear of the government whatsoever. Someone who is a good person should have no fear of the government whatsoever.
'Celebrity Apprentice' has more integrity and is the most straightforward show I've ever seen. 'Celebrity Apprentice' has more integrity and is the most straightforward show I've ever seen.
Bob Barr is not crazy enough for my taste. Bob Barr is not crazy enough for my taste.
Having a Hummer is stupid. It's stupid to waste that much gas. It's stupid to waste that much money Show more Having a Hummer is stupid. It's stupid to waste that much gas. It's stupid to waste that much money on gas. It's stupid to parade your insecurities on public roads. Hummers are stupid-looking. Hide
My whole family is missing that sports gene. I hope I didn't screw that up by marrying a great golfe Show more My whole family is missing that sports gene. I hope I didn't screw that up by marrying a great golfer. Hide
I don't know what's best for other people. I don't know what's best for other people.
Mentally ill people come from all belief systems. Mentally ill people come from all belief systems.
I think people under age 55 come to Vegas with a certain sense of irony. I think people under age 55 come to Vegas with a certain sense of irony.
When I buy Windows 98, I'm not only buying something useful, I'm giving money to Bill Gates, which i Show more When I buy Windows 98, I'm not only buying something useful, I'm giving money to Bill Gates, which is a really good thing. Hide
I hate that not everything ever written is on iBooks. Man, I hate paper. I hate that not everything ever written is on iBooks. Man, I hate paper.
When 9/11 hit, the second thing I said to myself was, 'This really is what religious people do.' Tho Show more When 9/11 hit, the second thing I said to myself was, 'This really is what religious people do.' Those people flying the plane were very good, very pious, truly faithful believers. There's no other way to paint them. Of course, they are extremists by definition, but they certainly aren't going against Islam in any real way. Hide
I like to read in the dark. I like to go into the bathtub, turn out all the lights, and in the dark, Show more I like to read in the dark. I like to go into the bathtub, turn out all the lights, and in the dark, read my books. Hide
I intend to do the Penn & Teller show until they pry my cheesy magic wand from my cold dead fingers. I intend to do the Penn & Teller show until they pry my cheesy magic wand from my cold dead fingers.
The first thing I said to myself on 9/11 was, 'There go our civil rights.' I found out by comparing Show more The first thing I said to myself on 9/11 was, 'There go our civil rights.' I found out by comparing notes later that George Carlin and I both said that at the exact same time. That's the first thing that popped into our head. Hide
I'm really happy with all the art that was inspired by religion, and I think I'd be tickled to littl Show more I'm really happy with all the art that was inspired by religion, and I think I'd be tickled to little tiny pieces if art in the future was inspired by other things. Hide
Penn & Teller stopped doing practical jokes, and the reason is we got much too good at it. Penn & Teller stopped doing practical jokes, and the reason is we got much too good at it.
Teller and I worked Renaissance Festivals and street performing - actually more real, no kidding aro Show more Teller and I worked Renaissance Festivals and street performing - actually more real, no kidding around, Philadelphia street performing than we did Renaissance Festivals. Hide
It's only the losers named 'Dave' that think having an unusual name is bad, and who cares what they Show more It's only the losers named 'Dave' that think having an unusual name is bad, and who cares what they think? They're named 'Dave.' Hide
Bob Saget is the dirtiest comic who's ever lived. Nobody touches him. Bob Saget is the dirtiest comic who's ever lived. Nobody touches him.
I like things matching. I have an upright bass, a drum kit and a grand piano that's the same color. Show more I like things matching. I have an upright bass, a drum kit and a grand piano that's the same color. I tend to overthink things. Hide
I do believe that a belief in God is crazy, but that doesn't mean that the people who believe in it Show more I do believe that a belief in God is crazy, but that doesn't mean that the people who believe in it are crazy. Those are two different things. Ideas can be stupid and crazy, and the people who hold those ideas are not necessarily stupid and crazy. Hide
The cliché of the nerdy kid who doesn't go outside and just plays games is completely untrue. And i Show more The cliché of the nerdy kid who doesn't go outside and just plays games is completely untrue. And it's also true for the nerdy kid who studies comic books and turns into this genius, and it is also true for the nerdy kid who listens to every nerdy thing that Led Zeppelin put out. That kind of obsession in a 16-year-old is not ugly. It's beautiful. Hide
A lot of older parents worry about being older parents. I hear people say, 'I don't want to be too o Show more A lot of older parents worry about being older parents. I hear people say, 'I don't want to be too old to play baseball with my son.' They worry that their kids will be embarrassed by their parents' age. Hide
But it's much more exciting to make Die Hard. One of the reasons that I think that movie is so succe Show more But it's much more exciting to make Die Hard. One of the reasons that I think that movie is so successful is it deals with those very important blue-collar relationship themes. But it's more visually beautiful to show things blowing up. It just gives you more on the screen. Hide
I'm a hardcore libertarian - I want everything legal - but I also believe that you have the right to Show more I'm a hardcore libertarian - I want everything legal - but I also believe that you have the right to free association. Hide
I am a huge fan of proselytizing. I am a huge fan of speaking your mind. The only way we can share t Show more I am a huge fan of proselytizing. I am a huge fan of speaking your mind. The only way we can share the universe... is by talking very strongly about what we believe. Hide
If I go out to dinner with you and you order wine, I leave. I won't be around drugs and alcohol at a Show more If I go out to dinner with you and you order wine, I leave. I won't be around drugs and alcohol at all. Hide
If you spend a lot of time lying to people, you think a lot about what the truth means. If you spend a lot of time lying to people, you think a lot about what the truth means.
Behaving morally because of a hope of reward or a fear of punishment is not morality. Morality is no Show more Behaving morally because of a hope of reward or a fear of punishment is not morality. Morality is not bribery or threats. Religion is bribery and threats. Humans have morality. We don't need religion. Hide
World War II proves there's no God. World War II proves there's no God.
I started out as a juggler, so I know what it means to spend eight hours a day, seven days a week pr Show more I started out as a juggler, so I know what it means to spend eight hours a day, seven days a week practicing something that people just dismiss with a wave of hand. Hide
I don't want people who are in poverty, in pain, or suffering, to suffer because it's for their own Show more I don't want people who are in poverty, in pain, or suffering, to suffer because it's for their own good and they can pull themselves up by their bootstraps. I want to help them. I want us all to help them. Hide
I don't speak for all Libertarians any more than Sean Penn speaks for all Democrats. I don't speak for all Libertarians any more than Sean Penn speaks for all Democrats.
I have more contact with people who consume, for lack of a better word, my product than any other pe Show more I have more contact with people who consume, for lack of a better word, my product than any other performers. Hide
No one can tell you the rules of 'Celebrity Apprentice.' No one. Donald Trump just does what he want Show more No one can tell you the rules of 'Celebrity Apprentice.' No one. Donald Trump just does what he wants, which is mostly pontificating to people who are sucking up to him, while the network people try to manipulate him into making the highest-rated show they can. Hide
Performers have the right to say what they want to, and anyone paying money has the right to accept Show more Performers have the right to say what they want to, and anyone paying money has the right to accept or reject the art and entertainment that's available. Hide
I have a very specific definition of censorship. Censorship must be done by the government or it's n Show more I have a very specific definition of censorship. Censorship must be done by the government or it's not censorship. Hide
I don't believe in vengeance. Really, when all is said and done, I probably don't believe in punishm Show more I don't believe in vengeance. Really, when all is said and done, I probably don't believe in punishment. Hide
I think voting for the lesser of two evils in game theory always leads to more evil. I think voting for the lesser of two evils in game theory always leads to more evil.
Every poker player is smarter than me. Every poker player is smarter than me.
When you're watching Psycho, there' s that moment when you have a visceral reaction to watching some Show more When you're watching Psycho, there' s that moment when you have a visceral reaction to watching someone being stabbed. And then you have the intellectual revelation that you're not, and that's where the celebration comes in. Hide
We knew that we were kind of odd and creeps, and we wanted to do odd, creepy stuff for people who wa Show more We knew that we were kind of odd and creeps, and we wanted to do odd, creepy stuff for people who wanted to see that. Hide
I'm very happy being big and effeminate. I'm very happy being big and effeminate.
Poker would have never gotten on TV when we only had three networks. Poker would have never gotten on TV when we only had three networks.
Penn Jillette's FILMOGRAPHY
All as Actor (93) as Creator (2)
Penn Jillette Penn Jillette'S roles
Himself, Himself - Special Guest
Himself, Himself - Special Guest

Penn Jillette
Penn Jillette

Rebo
Rebo

Dr. Cecil P. Rizzuto
Dr. Cecil P. Rizzuto

Himself
Himself

Drell
Drell

Show More
Gomovies