Articles, Blog

Penn & Teller Give a Lesson in Misdirection Using a Vanishing Chicken

October 26, 2019

-Ladies and gentlemen,
Penn and Teller! Oh, my goodness!
[ Cheers and applause ] Nice to see you, buddy. Pleasure to see you. -Thank you again.
Welcome back to the show. First of all, I want
to congratulate you on — you guys have
the longest-running headlining act in Las Vegas.
-In history. -In history.
-Not just now. The longest-running headliners
in history of Las Vegas. -Congratulations.
That’s just amazing. -And we just signed for another
four years, so until 2022. -At the Rio?
-We intend to die in office. [ Laughter ]
That’s our plan. -Oh, man.
I can’t believe — I love that. Now let’s talk about
the fifth season, “Penn and Teller: Fool Us.” Explain the show to the people
if they haven’t seen the show. It’s a good premise. -Greatest magicians
in the world. And we’re into the fifth season,
it really is the world. We get people from all over. They come on,
and they do a magic trick that they think can fool us,
and if they fool us, they come out and play with us
in Vegas at our theater, the conveniently named
Penn & Teller Theater. And if they don’t,
they go away crying. [ Laughter ]
-Yeah, exactly, yeah. -This season,
we’re also bringing back — which is not thrilling us — We’re bringing back people
who fooled us before. Fan favorites to come back on
and try to fool us again. -Fool you again.
-Yeah. -Okay.
Now you always bring a cool thing
or do something amazing, some type of illusion or trick, and so you’re
doing something tonight. I never know what it is. -We didn’t let you in
on the rehearsal. -No, I never know.
All right good. What do I do?
-Stand right over there. You watch it right there.
-Okay. -You know, there’s a word —
misdirection — that’s used by laypeople a lot. It’s a magical term.
It’s a term of art. And the way laypeople use it
is wrong. Because laypeople often use it
as a synonym for distraction. Like, “Hey!
Look over there!” do something sneaky here,
and then you look back, and the trick is done. That doesn’t fool anyone.
-Mm-hmm. -The way we use
the word misdirection is kind of a curating
of attention, giving the audience a story
they can tell themselves that lets them not really know
they were distracted. And we’re gonna do a trick
right now using misdirection. I’m gonna tell you what it is. The trick is
The Vanishing Chicken. There’s a chicken in there.
We’re gonna make it disappear. Now, when I say “Give you
a story to tell yourself,” it’s not some jive-ass story
like this is Clucky McCluckface, and this is the chicken-coop
rocket ship to Mars. No, a real story,
which is you know it’s a vanishing chicken.
I’ve told you that. -Yes.
-You know we’re Penn and Teller. You know we do magic tricks. So as soon as I
cover up this chicken, you’re telling yourself
what you’re gonna do. You’re telling yourself a story. You’re making yourself
a promise. ‘Cause you’re
promising yourself right now that at no time
will you allow your attenti– [ Cymbals crashing ] [ Laughter ] -[ Laughing ] Oh, my goodness. -Misdirection.
-Yeah. -Now, Jimmy, I want to see
how well this works. Can we have the house lights up
so I can see people? Yeah, just want to see —
Show of hands. How many of you saw
the gorilla with the cymbals? Should be everyone! It’s a goddamn gorilla
with cymbals! [ Laughter ]
Should be all of you! -Yes, yeah.
-Now some set of that, how many of you saw Teller
walk out here, cop the chicken, and split? That’s almost everyone, too. Now here’s where
the misdirection comes in. How many of you,
during all of that, saw us sneak the gorilla
into the cage? [ Audience “Oohs” ]
How many people saw that? Because that’s misdirection.
-What? -Oh, my gosh.
[ Cheers and applause ] ♪♪ -That’s Georgie Bernasek.
Georgie Bernasek. -Are you kidding me? Oh, my gosh!
That is — -Only we would take the showgirl
and put her in a gorilla outfit. -In a gorilla outfit.
Unbelievable right there! Penn and Teller!
[ Cheers and applause ] How did you do that? “Penn and Teller: Fool Us”
premieres Monday at 8:00 p.m., on the CW.
You guys are the best. We’ll be right back!


  • Reply Joe Rasmussen July 24, 2019 at 11:39 pm

    Two gorillas of course, Teller may well have taken the chicken away and even help the 'blond girl' gorilla get into place. Note that the red cover covers the rear when we see the chicken before being covered up again. Note also that when we see the chicken, the box looks shallower. This takes a bit of a trained eye and when see a box from the front on, depth of view is compressed, but there is something behind the cover. When the gorilla is revealed the entire cloth cover comes off. Penn's body position, almost rubbing his side against the box for much of the time. I believe these are pointers to what really happened, if not the exact explanation.

  • Reply Maurice Power July 25, 2019 at 1:05 am

    The showgirl is many times the real magician. Especially when the the dude does the misdirection, and she does all the work…

  • Reply Slim Pickens July 25, 2019 at 3:40 am

    Whatever else you think about Penn and Teller, you have to admit:

    That is a fine freaking jacket that Penn has on.

  • Reply Christian Mcmillan July 25, 2019 at 3:57 am

    Iโ€™m smart.
    I can make simple connections
    Look at me
    I need attention too


  • Reply Dylan Owens July 25, 2019 at 5:29 am

    Penn and Teller are gods among men and I suggest you let that one marinate

  • Reply Christian Lang July 25, 2019 at 6:49 am

    I love how they thought of havin Penn sorta lean on the box the whole time to cover up it rocking about while the woman inside moves in front of the chicken.

  • Reply David K July 25, 2019 at 11:35 am

    Wow!!! How the hell did they do that.. amazing guys

  • Reply Jesus Christ July 25, 2019 at 5:05 pm

    Jimmy: How you doing whatโ€™s up?

    Guest: Well Jimmy not so well I just got a divorceโ€”

    Jimmy: ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

  • Reply Grasshopper K July 25, 2019 at 6:52 pm

    The pair I have on my shelf of Idols…
    I don't know any other show level magicians, who take, what is really a "show" art… And then make the art of it… A show…
    Two men, who care so much about the magicians secrets, yet show so much of the effort made, yet so little of what is done.
    As someone who has studied film, and production arts, as well as psychology. It's always fun getting to see how they present and display. Although I'm now thinking, what's in my head, probably isn't getting explained well here… Too much of the same or similar words on an almost incepted topic xD

  • Reply Christopher Koertge July 25, 2019 at 9:04 pm

    Holy shit. They still get me after all these years and explanations.

  • Reply katherine July 26, 2019 at 12:29 am

    You didn't fool me ๐Ÿคช๐Ÿคก

  • Reply Still Hold'n That L July 26, 2019 at 1:23 am

    Now how many of you heard the fake laugh

  • Reply Hubalubalu July 26, 2019 at 1:43 am

    So he literally says," you're promising yourself "right" now no "time"" probably for their trigger.

  • Reply Brandyn Tillman July 26, 2019 at 5:53 am

    No, GTFO off my recommended.

  • Reply Dante Mand July 26, 2019 at 8:48 am

    Jimmy Fallon's acting is like taking a scene straight out of "The Room"… "What…. oh my god…!"

  • Reply rawdog42 July 26, 2019 at 11:21 am

    Jimmy's ridiculous overreacting…

  • Reply Jeremy Harris July 26, 2019 at 12:01 pm

    Front row ticket at the Sydney Opera House locked and loaded ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply Chris Hewitt July 26, 2019 at 10:59 pm

    Jimmy Fallon wouldn't have a job anywhere else in the world. He is awful.

  • Reply Hope Lee July 27, 2019 at 12:13 am

    I'm sorry but if you can't appreciate the joke it's obviously not for you. This isn't about out smarting a performance but enjoying it, everyone's a critic and that's why comedy is dead

  • Reply John Paine July 27, 2019 at 4:42 am

    The gorilla in the cage was not the same one that was beating the cymbols. A cloth shim separated the chicken from the gorilla.

  • Reply ninformant July 27, 2019 at 6:25 am

    god i hate jimmy.

  • Reply Paul Mutzel July 27, 2019 at 7:38 am

    I don't think the cage was species fittingly big enough for the Gorilla! PETA where are you? ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Reply Mark Rebehn July 27, 2019 at 8:54 am

    Missed-erection: poor slide-of-hand skills.

  • Reply the habbening July 27, 2019 at 2:47 pm

    Nice trick, I like how the best vanishing trick and joke on stage is Fallon's pathetic career

  • Reply David Leunufna July 27, 2019 at 7:26 pm

    If you look closely at 3:10 , you'll see that in the middle row, bottom right, theres a girl wearing white tops, didn't raise her hand, and then you'll see her friend beside her is laughing at her afterwards.

  • Reply C John July 27, 2019 at 11:10 pm

    Love these guys, keep magic relevant and interesting

  • Reply shazzthedon July 28, 2019 at 8:50 am

    They are tricky jews. Be wary

  • Reply alexis bourke July 28, 2019 at 8:08 pm

    Iโ€™ve never heard jimmy sound more serious or interested in something then at 2:15

  • Reply Isham Trivedi July 28, 2019 at 8:28 pm

    You can even see that there's a grey background when the chicken is in there, and it's all net when the woman comes out. So, they aren't even trying to hide it.

  • Reply Brian Wells July 28, 2019 at 11:55 pm

    So the front of the cage is just a video display?

  • Reply Mark Squared July 29, 2019 at 3:47 am

    Should have turned jimmy fallon into a chicken.

  • Reply BBM42 July 29, 2019 at 5:45 am

    STFU Jimmy!

  • Reply Vince Black July 29, 2019 at 12:48 pm

    Only time I can make a chicken disappear is when itโ€™s on my dinner plate

  • Reply BVE July 29, 2019 at 10:58 pm

    Any chance they can make Fallon disappear?

  • Reply JB_ Race July 30, 2019 at 12:53 am

    You can see the separation wall inside. Especially when he places his hand on top of the cage. The shadow of his arm only covered the back part of the split. If it was solid youโ€™d see his full arm shadow

  • Reply Autotrope July 30, 2019 at 12:35 pm

    Is it just me or was there clearly a purple partition in the chicken cage behind which she would have been sitting the whole time and the gorilla with the symbals was simply someone else?

  • Reply hassan palomo July 31, 2019 at 6:41 am

    The camera fucked up the trick

  • Reply A- 113 July 31, 2019 at 12:44 pm

    They lied its not misdirection because the gorilla has been there the entire time. Look at the back of the cage at the start when the chicken was there. You can see a sheet of wood then look at it when the gorilla came out. Exactly it was made of wire mesh. The wood covered the gorila behind the chicken and when penn came behind it to "steal the chicken" he actually did more than that he took the wood aswell. Its so easy.

  • Reply Quinn Moore August 1, 2019 at 2:26 am

    Penn looks and acts so much healthier. I'm happy for him

  • Reply History, Politics and Beer August 1, 2019 at 6:51 pm

    1. The gorilla that came out with the symbols has different shoes than the gorilla that got out of the cage 2. The purple backing behind the chicken disappeared when the gorilla showed up 3. The girl in the gorilla suit was in the cage the whole time behind the purple backing. I guess not every Penn and Teller trick is good.

  • Reply Yahel Weiss August 2, 2019 at 9:11 pm


  • Reply MikeJones August 4, 2019 at 12:29 am

    Purple wall behind the chicken is gone i noticed that. Less go imma magician now

  • Reply Orchade August 7, 2019 at 6:31 pm

    I'm pretty sure they had the lady in the gorilla suit hide behind the purple curtain, and as they covered it she went to the front and Teller retrieves the chicken. You can see that the purple curtain is removed after you see the gorilla come out

  • Reply 14razer14 August 10, 2019 at 12:08 am

    Look how far back the cage really goes

  • Reply Laurie Glover August 11, 2019 at 3:47 pm

    That doesn't fool me

  • Reply Tehui1974 August 12, 2019 at 2:26 am

    The best distraction is the subtitles. I can't see shit.

  • Reply Andy Snow August 13, 2019 at 8:56 pm


  • Reply 1822138 August 14, 2019 at 1:56 am

    For their next trick Penn and Teller will make Jimmy Fallon's laugh sound genuine.

  • Reply Chance1957 August 15, 2019 at 5:52 am

    Why is Jimmy โ€œfake laughโ€ Fallon still on TV?

  • Reply August 16, 2019 at 3:59 am

    They did not fool me look at the box were the chicken is in its purple and wen he covers the cage shes behind that purple background probably made of paper or something and gives the chicken to teller and maybe the purple paper to make as a background for the chicken and wen he reveals it she comes our and the cage is see threw ๐Ÿค”๐Ÿ˜‚

  • Reply HarpoMarxTheSpot August 17, 2019 at 4:35 pm

    I once vanished a chicken. It was delicious! Ba-dum-bum

  • Reply Brisys Consulting August 17, 2019 at 5:11 pm

    Jimmy rocking some serious high heels on his shoes all the time. ๐Ÿคฃ

  • Reply Harry Prabowo August 17, 2019 at 6:09 pm


  • Reply Dave C August 17, 2019 at 7:13 pm

    At 3:00 minutes. Pause the video and look at the legs of the cage

  • Reply Michael Martin August 17, 2019 at 11:03 pm

    What came first the chicken or the gorilla?

  • Reply jaycee320 August 18, 2019 at 9:47 am


  • Reply Matthew Coolness August 18, 2019 at 6:10 pm

    Iโ€™ll cry when Penn passes away… Goodbye Christopher Hitchens.

  • Reply Asten Boi August 18, 2019 at 8:18 pm

    I never noticed the gorilla, but I noticed Teller the whole time ๐Ÿ˜†

  • Reply Infinity August 19, 2019 at 6:59 am

    Here is a lesson in trickery…

  • Reply Jersh Mersh August 22, 2019 at 8:24 am

    Mirror in chicken cage. You can see it reflect Penn

  • Reply CubeMatrix Studio August 22, 2019 at 4:53 pm

    Such a fake laugh.

  • Reply FINISH2START August 23, 2019 at 5:57 pm

    And that same technique is what social media, Movies, theme parks, news, sports, shows like this do to us. They distract us from the real issues that are going on.

  • Reply Anthony Barratt August 24, 2019 at 7:06 pm

    How did the gorella get in the cage?

  • Reply Krumple Themal August 24, 2019 at 11:28 pm

    Notice how the chicken is nearly pressed up against the door of the cage? Notice how when the gorilla bit occurs there is no longer a backing of the purple backdrop in the cage seen earlier? Possibly depth perception trick where there is enough space to squeeze her in behind the chicken purple backdrop and possibly slightly out of the back of the cage for enough room to fit her. Penn touching the cage is misdirection because she might vibrate or cause the cage to move while she changes positions. Its to cover any of these mistakes to make it seem as if its him causing the cage to move or shake. The covering of the cage also helps conceal her half way out of the back of the cage. She is already a contortionist since at the reveal she is squeezed inside the cage itself.

  • Reply MTS BOUR August 25, 2019 at 5:48 pm

    some people didn't see teller
    they need help

  • Reply Lazy Modder August 26, 2019 at 11:14 pm

    The misdirection was making the audience think the trick was going to happen in the future, when the trick had already happened.

  • Reply 0bservatory August 29, 2019 at 8:33 am

    At 2:43 the box moves with a subtle thump sound and making the fringes of the cloth move as well.

  • Reply Bill Zussman August 31, 2019 at 4:19 pm

    Idk if anyone ever noticed, but penn and teller always wear Purple and Teal ties, respectively. P&T.

    Dont know if anyone else ever noticed.

  • Reply Abduxp August 31, 2019 at 9:20 pm

    2:27 the box is moving under his hand i think it will be better if the background has the same color

  • Reply Potato August 31, 2019 at 11:10 pm

    This is so simple yet to so good.

  • Reply jacmeade September 2, 2019 at 7:00 am

    Jesus fucking Christ Fallon is awful.

  • Reply ULTRA SaVaGe September 3, 2019 at 7:05 am

    2:00–2:13 notice penn arm shadow is dark on top and light on bottom. Meaning its a clothe infront covering the gorilla.

  • Reply Red X September 3, 2019 at 9:17 pm

    Shit, it's so obvious how the trick works!

  • Reply Philly. Kid September 4, 2019 at 6:42 pm

    We have the dumbest people in the world in this comment section ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ… the chicken is clearly fucking real!! Teller actually snuck out the chicken while the showgirl in the gorilla costume was there the whole time behind the purple cloth in the back (false back).. she gave him the chicken (cymbals covered up any noise) then voila.. chicken gone gorilla appears

  • Reply Edris Lopez September 5, 2019 at 7:59 am

    The horse's name was Friday

  • Reply Admin 333 September 6, 2019 at 10:10 pm

    Trap door!!

  • Reply OriginalGod Leo September 6, 2019 at 10:28 pm

    I hate this lame ass nigga Jimmy, the audience is shit too. God when will it end.

  • Reply Houston Mkenzi September 7, 2019 at 3:48 am

    2 parts of the cage only the 1 with the chicken was shown to the audience

  • Reply Ravi Kumar September 8, 2019 at 2:36 pm

    Teller is a damn ninja

  • Reply Riccardo Franchini September 10, 2019 at 9:41 am


  • Reply Liam Watson September 15, 2019 at 1:53 am

    Penn lost his ponytail.

  • Reply Dozo September 17, 2019 at 10:13 pm

    The whole concept of their act wraps around itself and becomes the explanation simultaneously with the mysterious part… its fucking genius

  • Reply Samuel Fischer September 18, 2019 at 4:23 am

    Pen purposely leans on the box while stretching his arm across the top to distract from any movement the showgirl might make when getting into position. I think you can even see a lump in the top of the box under the curtain from her head popping up. Clever.

  • Reply Joe Ben Stamper September 20, 2019 at 1:46 am

    Love penn and teller. Hate jimmy fallon.

  • Reply furrykef September 20, 2019 at 7:37 pm

    Camera cuts to Jimmy at 2:45. That's when they sneak the gorilla in.

  • Reply cameron pain September 23, 2019 at 9:03 am

    Ive noticed a very poor like to dislike ratio on almost all magic videos.

  • Reply itaysevenfoldhamri October 2, 2019 at 11:32 am

    Owww my gash!
    – Jimmy 2019

  • Reply ThatSpyGuy October 5, 2019 at 9:11 pm

    Why is Fallon so terrible at his job?

  • Reply taran gregoire October 6, 2019 at 3:30 am

    next time use the same color cloth

  • Reply Govind Singh October 11, 2019 at 1:37 pm

    So easy

  • Reply Kingthaz _06 October 13, 2019 at 9:11 am

    Not meant rude but is teller deaf

  • Reply agauerm October 13, 2019 at 10:41 am

    The gorilla was there at the back of the cage all along, you can see how the chicken is compressed and canยดt barely move.

  • Reply skipjack02 October 13, 2019 at 11:52 am

    0:44 gives a good view on how deep the cage looks from the front and how deep it actually is

  • Reply RachelsSweetie October 15, 2019 at 5:39 am

    If Penn were humble I met actually like them.

  • Reply Welcome to Terminal October 15, 2019 at 7:22 pm

    I know how they did it! It was two cards the whole time!

  • Reply Daniel Scruffletop October 16, 2019 at 3:29 am

    fuck you jimmy fallon i love penn and teller though

  • Reply BM Khalid Hasan October 19, 2019 at 4:18 am

    The chicken was the misdirection! There were two compartments & a curtain in the box, chicken was at the front side, Teller took the chicken & curtain. The 2nd gorilla girl was in the box the whole time.

  • Reply shane brennan October 21, 2019 at 6:21 am

    Longest running headline act ?? Yeah right for the Blue oyster room with a maximum seating of 250 'tourists' !!
    Ouch … What's Teller got to say about that…

  • Reply Eric Andrade October 23, 2019 at 4:39 am

    After watching the magicians code lol this shit was beyond easy. There are two gorillas, same built. The lady is already behind the cage,since you can't see, behind the cage is bigger to hold her in. The other person (gorilla) walks out and teller gets the chicken out and the lady has a split second to open the compartment and get into position. She really is the whole act, extremely talented lady.

  • Reply SKrawn 128 October 25, 2019 at 8:44 pm

    Very easy to do with all those camera cuts…๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ

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