The comedy illusionist duo explore various topics and debunk what they consider misconceptions about them.
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Nominated for 13 Primetime Emmys. Another 1 win & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Series cast summary:
...
 Himself - Host (89 episodes, 2003-2010)
...
 Himself - Host (89 episodes, 2003-2010)
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Storyline

Using a combination of set ups, descriptions, rants and film of practitioners, Penn & Teller show the bullshit that's everywhere. The initial show covers mediums or Talkers to the Dead. Penn Jillette explains in the first program that while calling someone a liar or a con man is actionable, "bullshit" is safe. Each show has a topic such as Mediums, Feng Shui, Medical devices or Penis Enlargement. Using humor and experts, they debunk the bullshit. Written by jlvogel@comcast.net

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Taglines:

Magic's an illusion. This Bullshit is for real! See more »


Certificate:

TV-MA | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

24 January 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Penn & Teller: BS!  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Neither Penn Jillette nor (obviously) Teller swear once during the "Profanity" episode. See more »

Quotes

Penn Jillette: [Penn's introduction to someone that doesn't agree with Penn & Teller's views on the show's subject] And then there's *this* asshole...
See more »

Crazy Credits

Disclaimer at the end of episode 2.6: "The characters and events depicted in the damn bible are fictitious. Any similarity to actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental." See more »

Connections

Referenced in Kathy Griffin: Everybody Can Suck It (2007) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Entertainment, not Science
17 October 2005 | by (Berkeley, CA) – See all my reviews

Speaking of bullshit, that's kind of what this show is. Not that it's bad-- it's good entertainment. But less critical viewers will need to be reminded that it's entertainment, not thorough scientific research.

While Penn and Teller do sometimes offer scientific research to bolster their arguments, the tend to present it in a manner that contradicts the purpose of serious investigation. I take issue with the way they enter their investigations with the assumption that something is "bullshit" and how they subsequently mold every piece of information that becomes available to them to reinforce their pre-determined conclusion. A real investigation would not involve them going into their research with the determination to prove it a fraud; it would involve a suspicion which they either prove or disprove after careful examination of the evidence.

I feel that the show manipulates your judgments by doctoring evidence, cutting and pasting phrases out-of-context, repeatedly showing loaded footage, making dismissive commentary without backing, relying on 'straw men' to win arguments, calling people "assholes" for having differing opinions, creating irrelevant "experiments" whose outcomes, at first glance seem to corroborate their point, but upon re-assessment, are not logically congruous with the evaluations you will make based on them (in other words, the experiments are misleading).

P&T essentially bully the viewer onto their side by creating an atmosphere in which you will feel dumb if you disagree; their ridiculously biased presentation ensures it. I'm not saying that most of the stuff they take on isn't bullshit, but their methodology is more akin to "Inside Edition" than, say "BBC News"; it's like a sloppy email forward, filled with ad-hominem attacks and hot-headed rhetoric, not a well-researched feature article. If it seems funny, well-intentioned, and consumer-advocatory, it is; but it's also manipulative and intellectually dishonest, at least for something that you given to understand is an unbiased documentary. That, in and of itself, should be a good reason to watch with caution if you're trying to get anything out of it besides entertainment.


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