Penn & Teller: Bullshit! (2003– )

TV Series  |  TV-MA  |   |  Comedy, Documentary
8.2
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.2/10 from 10,176 users  
Reviews: 58 user | 26 critic

The comedy illusionist duo explore various topics and debunk what they consider misconceptions about them.

0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

$0.00 with Prime Instant Video

WATCH NOW
ON DISC

Editors' Spotlight

What to Watch: "Mad Men"

In the latest installment of "What to Watch", IMDb's TV Editor Melanie McFarland chats with "Mad Men" stars Jon Hamm, January Jones, John Slattery, and series creator Matthew Weiner about the drama's extraordinary legacy, as AMC prepares to air its final seven episodes.

Related News

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

TV
a list of 36 titles
created 01 Jan 2012
 
a list of 37 titles
created 11 Mar 2014
 
a list of 38 titles
created 10 months ago
 
a list of 26 titles
created 3 weeks ago
 
a list of 36 titles
created 2 weeks ago
 

Related Items

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Penn & Teller: Bullshit! (2003– )

Penn & Teller: Bullshit! (2003– ) on IMDb 8.2/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Penn & Teller: Bullshit!.

User Polls

Episodes

Seasons


Years



8   7   6   5   4   3   2   1  
2010   2009   2008   2007   2006   2005   … See all »
Nominated for 13 Primetime Emmys. Another 1 win & 6 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Penn & Teller enjoy playing jokes on each other. When Penn says on an interview show that he wishes he has someone threatening his life so that he "wouldn't sweat the small stuff," each of ... See full summary »

Director: Arthur Penn
Stars: Penn Jillette, Teller, Caitlin Clarke
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Penn and Tell practice their unique brand of magic and comedy in the Carribean and underwater.

Director: Star Price
Stars: Aaron Carter, Penn Jillette, Daran Norris
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Penn and teller visit China, Egypt and India to see local magicians perform.

Stars: Penn Jillette, Teller, Lyla Pinch Brock
Play Dead II (2012)
Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Directors: Shade Rupe, Teller
Stars: April Andres, Trey Johnson, Drea Lorraine
Tim's Vermeer (2013)
Documentary | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Inventor Tim Jenison seeks to understand the painting techniques used by Dutch Master Johannes Vermeer.

Director: Teller
Stars: Tim Jenison, Penn Jillette, Martin Mull
Wizard Wars (TV Series 2014)
Game-Show
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Teams of master magicians create and perform original magic routines using random props.

Stars: Justin Flom, Christen Gerhart, Ellen Fox
Horror

Herbert Blount aspires to replace the real director of a movie and make it his own by capturing the lead actress and inflicting much horror upon her in his version.

Director: Adam Rifkin
Stars: Missi Pyle, Penn Jillette, Harry Hamlin
Penn & Teller: Fool Us (TV Series 2010)
Game-Show
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Penn & Teller go to the U.K to find a magician who can "fool them" If Penn & Teller can figure out the trick performed the magician is out but if they do not get it the magician wins a ... See full summary »

Stars: Penn Jillette, Jonathan Ross, Teller
Penn Jilette's Street Cred (TV Series 2014)
Reality-TV
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Stars: Penn Jillette, Tonya Kay, Sherrod Small
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Penn & Teller perform some of the routines they have used on American tours and specials for a British studio audience. A well-known, usually British, guest helps out. There are some forays... See full summary »

Stars: Penn Jillette, Teller, Dawn French
& Teller (2008)
Short | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Teller decides to keep a video diary when an epidemic infects the populace of Las Vegas.

Directors: Frank Ippolito, Teller, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Corneleus, Cathe Jones, Mike 'Jonsey' Jones
Penn & Teller Go Public (TV Short 1985)
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Penn reads "Casey at the Bat" while Teller escapes from a straight jacket; Penn does a not-wimpy card trick; Teller gives the illusion of reality with a cigarette; Penn eats fire; and the ... See full summary »

Director: Cordelia Stone
Stars: Penn Jillette, Teller
Edit

Cast

Series cast summary:
...
 Himself / ... (85 episodes, 2003-2010)
...
 Himself / ... (85 episodes, 2003-2010)
Edit

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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

They can smell it from miles away! See more »


Certificate:

TV-MA | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

24 January 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Penn & Teller: BS!  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The show was created to honor the spirit of master magician Harry Houdini, who devoted the latter part of his life to debunking some widely accepted (as he called it) "Humbug". The episode on profanity featured the title "Humbug" instead of "Bullshit!" 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

In episode 2.10 ("Profanity") the title sequence ends with the word "Humbug" superimposed on the usual "Bullshit!". See more »

Connections

Featured in MoonFaker: Carrying the Liar (2007) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Iconoclasim at its finest: "Bullshit" is a must-see, fiercely mounted attack against shysters and media sacred cows
17 August 2005 | by (www.liquidcelluloid.blog.com) – See all my reviews

*Reader Discretion Advised* Network: Showtime; Genre: Reality/Documentary; Content Rating: TV-MA (pervasive profanity, nudity and occasionally explicit sexual content); Available: DVD; Perspective: Contemporary (star range: 1 - 4);

Seasons Reviewed: 2+ seasons

Everybody knows of Harry Houdini as the world famous magician and escape artist, but not so many know that Houdini made a life's work of debunking the myths and mystic around scam artists and shysters of his day. Now, magicians, atheists and skeptics Penn Jillette and his partner Teller follow in the footsteps of their idol, in a Showtime series taking on modern day scam artists, hucksters and debunking the hell out of those myths that have perpetuated to the point of conventional wisdom.

As Penn describes in the opening episode the word "bullshit" (and all the other expletives freely used in this meaty only-on-Showtime series) is something of a non-litigious catch-all for "shysters" and "liars". That, and "nobody knew what 'humbug' meant". Each week Penn & Teller set their laser sites on an aspect of American culture that is believed as a matter of faith or has been perpetuated by the press and pop culture by those attempting to capitalize on the trusting and sometimes emotionally unstable public.

Some of it is easily laughed off as only believed by nuts ("End of the World" is hilarious), the more controversial episodes are things most people have come to accept such as second-hand smoke, recycling, bottled water and romantic love. Some of it might seem like harmless fun until P&T get into the grit of it. That when talking to the dead the mediator can implant false memories of the loved one into the fragile bereaved. ESP may sound cool, until psychics starts leading police into a marsh and wasting precious time while kidnap victims remain in danger. And hypnosis may seem worth a shot until cancer patients try it instead of seeking actual time-sensitive medical procedures. Even (maybe especially) if you know this stuff already, watching our duo tie everything together is a beautiful thing.

Penn & Teller stake out their position, then line up every scientist and researcher they can get on camera from every repeatable institution they can find to back them up. Giving ample airtime for the opposing side just lets them talk long enough to put the rope around their own head. Then for the next 30 minutes they proceed to rip their subject to shreds, and with that amount of time focused on a single subject they can fully exploring every aspect of that subject making sure to tick of each and every reason someone might make an argument for it. This includes detailing the usually unbelievable fallacious origins, discrediting the perpetrators (they savage John Edward and John Gray) and explaining why people have come to believe and vehemently defend it. They go toe-to-toe with environmental lunatics and PETA. One of their best, "Creationism" is a white-hot wad of anger lobbed against teaching "intelligent design" in school that would make Roger Ebert proud.

At first, Penn's abrasive style may be off-putting. Jillette is unrelentingly verbose and Teller, of course, remains everybody's favorite mute. Penn & Teller have a lot of fun with this, reveal personal stories about themselves and do not hesitating to bring in the hot naked women for the vaguest reason. The show is packaged with their wicked, self-referential sense of humor and framed precisely with Gary Stockdale's terrific musical score. Plus, I like a good smash-cut ending and this show has some doozies.

With the content freedom given by Showtime, "Bullshit" is able to give us an open-eyed, uncensored look at some things needed to really hit their point home. They don't shy away from slaughterhouse torture of animals. We see explicit porn and specifically The Puppetry of the Penis (which I could have gone my entire life not seeing). We see a dead body. We see the actual Botox injections bleeding and bubbling up the skin. And we hear George Carlin's 7 Dirty Words.

In a TV climate that perpetually seeks to humiliate the public, Penn and Teller take an uncommonly warm approach to the people who by into and are victimized by these scams. The best part of the episodes is often while wrapping up Jillette gives us an empathetic explanation for why someone would, say, believe they where anally probed by aliens. Occasionally the show appears to take a "Candid Camera" approach (like a poor women who wears a suit of magnets and a disgusting bit involving snail mucus face masks - that's right), but then throws out the safety net and turns the tables. "Bullshit's" free-wheeling libertarian ethos never blames the consumers.

Occasionally, the show slips off the rails when it, having already made its point brilliantly, puts the camera in the face of a grieving father or mother in an attempt to rattle our emotions to their cause. That is cheap, manipulative, hackneyed Michael Moore stuff and Penn & Teller are usually above it. "Bullshit" is put together with a massive amount of material laid out in interviews, and footage that is as unedited and indisputable as you can get in this day in age. They have a keen ability to anticipate what the audience will be thinking and how to answer it.

Do they go over the edge sometimes? No doubt. "Bullshit" is a mounted attack, cleanly crafted against shysters and sacred cows. It is a persuasive iconoclastic essay in a time of political correctness that deserves to be seen and spark water cooler debate. A must-see documentary TV series. Eye-opening, through-provoking and damn addictive too.

* * * * / 4


17 of 28 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Problem I have with capital 'L' libertarians bobisbob52
Cato Institute and Dishonesty thetrueoppo
Is Penn and Teller anti-American? johanngr
talking to the dead was a very weak episode bald_tony
Circumcision Episode haxmya
Were they serious? hi5339
Discuss Penn & Teller: Bullshit! (2003) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page