Moderated by Victoria Montgomery-Brown, co-founder and CEO of Big Think
The year 2020 will go down in history as one that shook our inner and outer worlds.
In this Big Think Live session, magician, author, and cultural critic Penn Jillette will discuss the giant upheavals of 2020 through the lens of what he knows best: illusions. Which social, personal, and governmental illusions have been shattered this year, and how (and what) should we rebuild? Jillette, one half the world’s most famous magic duo with Teller, will also give tips on how to foster long-term business partnerships and sustain creativity, and how he maintains a clear, rational mind in the noisiest era to date.
In the mid ’80s, magician Penn Jillette and his touring partner, Teller, went from playing the tiki lounges at various Ramada Inns to being one of the most popular, big budget, death defying, nightclub acts in the country. After killing it in movies and SNL appearances, the duo went on to have their own Showtime series where they attempted to debunk everything from male enhancement pills to UFO sightings. Penn has independently produced the stand up comedy tribute film, The Aristocrats, and hosted a successful podcast with Ace Broadcasting, Penn’s Sunday School. Penn & Teller: Fool Us, a current CW series, began its first season in London and now it has just begun its seventh, under the dazzling lights of Las Vegas.
Penn Jillette is a cultural phenomenon as a solo personality and as half of the world-famous Emmy Award-winning magic duo Penn & Teller. His solo exposure is enormous: from Howard Stern to Glenn Beck to the Op-Ed pages of The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the Los Angeles Times. He has appeared on Dancing with the Stars, MTV Cribs, and Chelsea Lately and hosted the NBC game show Identity. As part of Penn & Teller, he has appeared more than twenty times on David Letterman, as well as on several other TV shows, from The Simpsons and Friends to Top Chef and The View. He co-hosts the controversial series Penn & Teller: Bullshit!, which has been nominated for sixteen Emmy Awards. He is currently co host of the Discovery Channel’s Penn & Teller Tell a Lie and the author of God, No! and Presto!
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