Watch CBS News

'We Did Not Expect To Be Successful': Penn & Teller On Career, Creating Magic Tricks, CW Show 'Penn & Teller: Fool Us'

(CBS Local)-- Las Vegas has hosted some of the most famous acts in the world, but nobody has done it longer in Sin City than magicians Penn & Teller.

The magicians have performed together in Vegas for 18 straight years and are back with a new season of "Penn & Teller: Fool Us" on The CW.

Penn Jillette and Raymond Teller first met in the 1970s and have been working together for 44 years.

"When I first met him, Teller was already working silently," said Jillette in an interview with CBS Local's DJ Sixsmith. "I think he was really interested in seeing if he could lie to people without speaking. By the time I met Teller, he was a good magician. I was a juggler. I wasn't a funny physical comedian and then I decided I wanted to do more talking. We're from middle class backgrounds. My father was a jail guard, Teller's dad was a commercial artist. We came to New York on a whim in 1984. Producers took a shot on us and we did not expect to be successful.

The Sit-Down: Penn & Teller by CBS Local News on YouTube

The duo's CW show gives magicians the opportunity to fool two of the most well-known magicians ever. Penn & Teller even turned the tables this season by trying to pull off a trick themselves for David Copperfield.

"If you didn't see the first episode, we did something that no show like this has ever done," said Jillette. "We decided to put ourselves under the same pressure that the people on our show are on. We went out to try to fool David Copperfield. We put David Copperfield in our seat and we went out to see if we could win our own show. I have not seen Teller shake in 20 years and I had to call out for a glass of water because my mouth went cotton mouth dry."

Penn & Teller are most famous for their double bullet catch trick. The duo enjoys bringing out old tricks while also coming up with new ones. Some new tricks can take years to develop.

"We did that trick for many years and it was very well known and then we just stopped doing it," said Jillette. "Since we've been in Vegas the past 18 years, we've done six or seven hours of brand new material. It is possible to be non-monogamous with your material. You can love that material and still want to do new stuff."

"Penn & Teller: Fool Us" airs Monday nights at 8pm EST/PST re-airs Wednesday nights on The CW.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.