Penn & Teller’s Non-Controversy

Inside Magic Image of Magician and Author Penn JilletteThe article’s opening line is clever but belied by the real story.  “Copperfield is no Penn pal,” says The New York Post‘s Gossip Column.

We are guessing it has something to do with Penn & Teller’s upcoming NBC Special.  Got to stir the stink — especially during Sweeps Month.

The columnists don’t let up, though.  “David Copperfield and Penn Jillette’s greatest illusion may be their supposed friendship.”

The faux controversy surrounds to Penn Jillette’s reaction to Mr. Copperfield’s plans to impregnate a girl on stage.  Mr. Copperfield added, “Naturally, it will be without sex.”

Mr. Jillette snapped back “The only way Copperfield can reproduce is with a cheesy magic act.”

Okey Dokey.

Before we go on we should note this controversy was less than a tempest in a teapot.  There was only one paper covering it.  Sure, the story was re-printed in The Las Vegas Review-Journal, but that’s about it.

We’re guessing Mr. Jillette made the comment to The New York Post Gossip Columnist or someone tight with the paper.

The Post contacted Mr. Copperfield in Paris, was read the quote and asked for a response.

We’re kind of proud the way the peripatetic Mr. Copperfield responded.

“Penn invokes my name whenever he needs publicity, which is often. We’re actually pals. Privately, he treats me like a king. In fact, his nose is blacker than his fingernails from being up my a– for 20 years. If his reputation were as big as his gut, he wouldn’t need to include me in his press release.”

Copperfield added that Penn is “not a bad guy,” but he prefers the silence of his partner, Teller, who “doesn’t talk out of both sides of his mouth.”

Mr. Jillette wanted to be sure to keep the “Bad Boy of Comedy” rep going.  He told The Post he does his baby-making the old-fashioned way, “censored.”

So where are we in the libretto?

Oh, yeah, we need to make sure the subtle dig wasn’t lost on The New York Post readers.

The columnist suggests Mr. Copperfield may be gay by pointing out he has denied the very allegation in the past.

Can we stop for a second?

We have no problem with anyone trying to create publicity.  As we say in Montreal or Paris, “il n’ya pas de quoi,” t’aint nothing but a thing.

But is it necessary to take cheap-shots at someone’s sexual lifestyle?

But then again, as they say in Paris, “Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose” or “Same different clowns.”

Mr. Copperfield confronted such attacks in the past and apparently he’ll have to continue to do so. It is a shame Mr. Jillette, NBC, and The Post believe Mr. Copperfield’s lifestyle is anyone’s business or matters.  But Penn Jillette, the NBC publicity machine, or The New York Post, are sure you’ll be salacious intrigued and want to watch Penn’s special on Sunday night at 8:00 pm Eastern.

The Post article ends on-message:

Meanwhile, Jillette is staying busy with a new book, “How to Cheat Your Friends at Poker,” and a Penn & Jillette TV special, “Off the Deep End,” that airs on NBC on Nov. 13.

“I’ll never grow tired of shoving women into boxes,” says Jillette. “I do it in my private life as well.”

It may be too subtle for you and me, but we think Mr. Jillette is not only saying “tune-in” but also “I’m not gay.”

Whatever and who cares?

Il n’y pas de quoi.

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