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The Crazed Spruce

Season 7: Still Fooling After All These Years

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3 hours ago, rr2911 said:

lynxfx and  Taeolas, thanks for explaining the show. Ok, just to see if I understood you all. There are judges that know the trick. Penn is explaining how they think the trick worked "in codes". The judges confirm to Penn whether or not P&T got fooled or not. Right?

I've been to a taping and the interview time with Allison is about 5 minutes which is mostly cut for TV. During this time P&T go over in detail how they believe it is done. The backstage judges hear all of it. The only time they are conferred with is if the magician doesn't think they weren't fooled. Allison has an ear piece and will get a confirmation from the judges. This happens very rarely. 

Otherwise the magician will concede that they know how the trick is done based on his code talk. 

One thing that is impressive is how Penn comes up with meaningful and sometimes elaborate codes. That is all done on the spot. No scripts, no time to think it up. 

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14 hours ago, rr2911 said:

lynxfx and  Taeolas, thanks for explaining the show. Ok, just to see if I understood you all. There are judges that know the trick. Penn is explaining how they think the trick worked "in codes". The judges confirm to Penn whether or not P&T got fooled or not. Right?

There are judges off stage who the Magicians explain their tricks to ahead of time. This makes sure the tricks are safe, and are not gimmicked in an unfair way (like with camera tricks or stooges in the audience and what not). 

Then the magician does their act on the stage. 

Penn and Teller at that point will talk over the trick(s) they see, and figure out how they were done. Once they finalize their guess, they probably contact the judges to make sure their explanation is clear enough; I doubt the judges will confirm or deny anything at that point unless Penn is legit saying "We have no F-ing clue". But the Judge's would likely confirm "Yes, you've described it enough to make a call".

The speak in code is something Penn probably writes up on the fly. A lot of the 'code' is just masking common magic terms. ("Force" is a term they will use a lot in some way for example). If he drops a name, it's probably the name of a magician who invented or popularlized that style of trick; and it is something all Magicians should know of, especially if they are doing that style of trick. A specific name could also be a reference to a particular gimmick as well; like a special flip book the magician might use to force a 'random' pick. 

I think some of it can also be the banter between Penn and the Magician as well. If the Magician agrees that what Penn is describing (or what Teller sketches out and shows them) is how they did it, then that's that; the judges don't get involved, even if they know that what P&T are describing is not really close enough to what was actually done. Though I think I've heard of at least one instance when a magician retroactively got an FU trophy because of a language barrier mixup, he didn't quite understand what Penn was saying and agreed that Penn got the trick. I think the Judges stepped in and said Penn was wrong, so they refilmed the explanation scene and awarded the trophy.

 

Note too that Penn can sometimes OVEREXPLAIN a trick, resulting in an FU trophy. Over in the spoiler thread, I linked a video where Wes Barker, who showed up on Season 2 Ep 5, explains his trick that fooled P&T. At various points Wes says how if Penn had just stopped right there, Wes would have agreed that P&T knew the trick... but Penn kept talking, and eventually talked Wes into an FU trophy. He goes into the guess stage of the trick around 14:45 of the video. 

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On 2/10/2021 at 8:45 PM, lynxfx said:

One thing that is impressive is how Penn comes up with meaningful and sometimes elaborate codes.

Penn's speaking in code is actually what got me interested in the show.  It wasn't the magic, it was seeing how tried to explain it in a round about way without giving it away.  If it was just a regular magic show, I doubt that I'd be watching.  

When he says things like "force", I'm surprised if that fools anybody.  But when he name drops some magician, implying that their method is being used, I can't always catch those.  I'm not a magician, but I used to like to read magic books to see how some of these tricks are done.  I'm sure real magicians would hate that lol.

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Just saw the episode with "Psycho Jack". I have to say, I think this being on kind of proves they book some guests knowing not only that it won't fool Penn and Teller, but probably not even the audience. 

Don't mistake me, it's fun to watch. But I'm at a loss to see how anyone (at least of average intelligence) won't realize what's actually going on here. A black curtain, a few people working in well practiced coordination, and some clever gear behind the curtain to move someone around quickly, isn't rocket science. 

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On the other hand, there have been a few acts on who did what looked like a "duh we all know how that is done" and then they were like "nope, didn't do it that way". I personally dislike that kind of trick because it still doesn't impress me if the method seems obvious, but it does seem to be a genre of attempt type on this show.

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Wow, when Jandro became a three time Fooler, I thought Alyson was going to have a stroke lol.  

I'm a little suspicious about Penn and Teller being fooled there though.  I mean even I at least had some guesses.

Teller's Wonder Show at the end was cute.

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Teller's Wonder Show has me fooled. I can't see how Penn's daughter was in that house the entire time, but I also can't tell when they would've slipped her in without a cut (which is against the spirit of the show). Penn does keep his hand on the roof of the house for most of the act, obviously (in hindsight) to keep the shell stable in case she moves; but like most of those hidden person acts, the space does NOT look big enough to hold someone. 

 

Still, after the Father and Son act and Penn mentioning his daughter's interest in magic, I wasn't completely surprised when she showed up in the last act. 

 

As for the triple fool, after ruling out a pre-filming peek, and having an uninterrupted view of the field from when the envelope is opened to the reveal, it is hard to figure out how it was done. I don't have a clue myself. The only way I could think of

Spoiler

is to have someone in the key domino; literally in it, who can set up the revealed number and do a swap while it is still standing and thus not obvious to the drone. 

 

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7 hours ago, theatremouse said:

Didn't Penn guess the same? And it was a no?

Penn's guess was similar; he guessed people hiding in the field; my guess is someone hiding in the tile. It is probably enough of a difference to be considered a miss; but that's just my own feel.  Granted I don't think my guess is correct either so I have no idea how it was done. 🙂 

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9 hours ago, Taeolas said:

Penn's guess was similar; he guessed people hiding in the field; my guess is someone hiding in the tile.

I thought he actually mentioned someone hiding in the tile.  But he never asked the guy directly, he just said they ruled it out and that he fooled them.  If he had actually said that as an official guess, maybe he would have been right.

He said they also ruled out a high tech answer, and a pre-peek, either one of which could have been possible also.  But they just gave him the trophy.

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On 4/6/2021 at 12:58 PM, Taeolas said:

As for the triple fool, after ruling out a pre-filming peek, and having an uninterrupted view of the field from when the envelope is opened to the reveal, it is hard to figure out how it was done. I don't have a clue myself. The only way I could think of

Spoiler

I thought maybe the number bricks were actually faced with arrays of LEDs which could be controlled remotely.  The relatively low resolution would be easier to hide when shot from a distance with a low resolution drone camera. Not sure if that counts as high tech,

 

Edited by Totale
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Totale's answer was similar to what I was originally thinking.  That the high, long distance view actually helped obscure what was really going on.  I wasn't thinking LEDs but something more along the lines of the simulated text they have in e-readers.  Penn said they ruled out anything high tech, but it seems like at least one of the three guesses we've talked about could be correct.

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