#405: Penn Jillette on Magic, Losing 100+ Pounds, and Weaponizing Kindness

"One of the biggest challenges we face is staying kind with profound disagreement—and staying kind when a mechanism has been set up to make money and power out of hate." — Penn Jillette

Penn Jillette (@pennjillette) is a cultural phenomenon as a solo personality and as half of the world-famous, Emmy Award-winning magic duo and Las Vegas headliners Penn & Teller.

Together since 1975, Penn & Teller's live show spent years on Broadway and is now the longest-running headliner show in Las Vegas where it plays nightly at The Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino. The pair has been awarded Las Vegas Magicians of the Year an amazing eights times.

As part of Penn & Teller he has appeared on hundreds of shows, from The Simpsons and Friends to Billions. He recently co-wrote an episode of the Emmy-winning Netflix series Black Mirror.

He co-hosted the controversial Showtime series Penn & Teller: Bullshit! which was nominated for thirteen Emmy Awards, won him a Writers Guild award, and was the longest-running show in the history of the network. He currently co-hosts the CW Network hit competition series Penn & Teller: Fool Us! which was nominated for a 2017 Critics' Choice award.

Penn's latest book, The New York Times Best Seller Presto! takes an insightful and very humorous look at his recent weight loss journey. His previous book, God No! Signs You Might Be An Atheist and Other Magic Tales, spent six weeks on The New York Times Best Sellers list.

His weekly podcast, Penn's Sunday School, was the number one downloaded podcast on Apple Podcasts during its debut week, and was named a Best New Comedy Podcast by Apple Podcasts.

On the big screen, Penn produced the critically lauded 2005 documentary The Aristocrats, which features over 100 of the biggest names in comedy telling their versions of the dirtiest joke in history. He produced Tim's Vermeer, which follows the journey of an eccentric inventor determined to solve one of the art world's oldest mysteries. The Sony Pictures Classics release was nominated for a BAFTA and was shortlisted for the 2014 Oscars. He has recently completed the documentary Gambler's Ballad profiling magic legend Johnny Thompson.

Penn & Teller have their very own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and triumphantly returned to Broadway recently with Penn & Teller On Broadway, which was the highest-grossing non-musical for the entirety of its run.

Please enjoy!

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