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Penn Jillette



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Penn Fraser Jillette, the larger (6’6”/1.98 m compared to Teller’s 5’9”/1.75 m), talkative half of Penn & Teller, once attended Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Greatest Show on Earth Clown College, for which he has since apologized. Jillette became disillusioned with traditional magic acts that presented the craft as real by watching The Amazing Kreskin on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. At age eighteen, he saw a show by illusionist James Randi (The Amazing Randi), and became enamored of his presentation of magic that openly acknowledged deception as entertainment rather than a mysterious supernatural power. Jillette regularly acknowledges Randi as the one person on the planet he loves the most besides members of his family.

He met Teller (magician) in 1975, where they formed part of a three-person act called ‘’Asparagus Valley Cultural Society’’ which played in San Francisco. In 1981 he and Teller formed Penn & Teller|their partnership and went on to perform in their off-Broadway show and subsequent fame.

Penn married television producer Emily Zolten during an impromptu ceremony at a Las Vegas wedding chapel on November 23,2004. Penn has alluded to living a Polyamory|polyamorous lifestyle while on the Adam Carolla radio show. Their first child, daughter Moxie CrimeFighter Jillette, was born on June 3, 2005 and their son Zolten Penn Jillette, on May 22, 2006. On a January 2006 episode of the radio show ‘’Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!,’’ Jillette explained that his wife suggested they use “CrimeFighter” because she herself does not have a middle name, people don’t generally know other people’s middle names, and they might as well “have some fun with it.”

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