Penn Jillette has been showing his talent to a loyal audience for over 40 years. He has performed everywhere from stages across the country to the big screen. Jillette is an American with many talents: magician, comedian, musician, actress, filmmaker, and best-selling author, to name but a few. He began his career as part of a three-man show with Teller and another friend. He is also half of the popular magic show duo Penn & Teller.
Some of their popular shows in the 80s and 90s included Penn & Teller: Fool Us and Penn & Teller: Bullshit. Penn Jillette demonstrates his showmanship in his capacity as the group’s speaker and narrator. He has also published numerous books such as God No!: Signs You May Already Be an Atheist and Other Magical Tales. He was also featured in the popular television series Sabrina the Teenage Witch in the late 1990s.
Early Days and Career
The popular magician was born on March 5, 1955, as Penn Fraser Jillette in Greenfield Massachusetts. For someone who has made a considerable portion of his livelihood from magic, it is surprising to find that Penn does not like magical acts like The Amazing Kreskin. His problem with Kreskin is that he presents his performances as authentic magic. Jillette rather agrees with the idea that magic is simply a well-made deception for the sole purpose of entertainment and not some supernatural power. That’s why he credits illusionist James Randi, who, along with his family, has the same way of thinking as his favorite person on this planet.
After graduating from high school in 1973, Jillette worked with his buddy Michael Moschen from high school to develop and perform a juggling act. The following year, after graduating from Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Clown College, he met Raymond Joseph Teller through a mutual friend, Weir Chrisemer. One thing led to another and a group of three came into being. They performed in places like San Francisco and Amherst in County Hampshire and called themselves the Asparagus Valley Cultural Society.
Seven years later, in 1981, Jillette and Raymond Teller founded the popular Penn & Teller group. They performed successfully throughout the country in successful off-Broadway and Broadway theatre shows. The success of the show continued into the late 1980s. The success of the show prevented Penn from continuing with the Mariachi band he had joined, in which he played bass guitar. However, this only happened after they released an album with the well-known musician and composer Mark Kramer.
As a writer/columnist, Jillette wrote an article for a magazine that focused on PC and computers. From 1990 to 1994 he was a regular guest. He left the magazine in September 2014 because he felt that the new editor was trying to control his creative flow. Around the same time, he was working as a regular columnist, he was also the main spokesman for Comedy Central.
In 1994, the magician bought a house in the Las Vegas Valley. The house, which was equipped with a studio, attracted the attention of various publications and television shows. In an effort to give his family more privacy, he sold the house in 2016, and he and his family moved to a more private place.
Jillette had previously appeared on various television shows. In 1996, he portrayed the character Drell, the head of the Witch Council, in the television series Sabrina the Teenage Witch. His partner, Raymond Teller, also appeared in the film as a member of the council of witches.
In 2003, Showmax began producing and hosting a show for Penn and Teller called Penn & Teller: Bullshit. Two years later, Penn Jillette co-produced with actor Paul Provenza a documentary film called The Aristocrats. From early 2006 to early 2007 he hosted a one-hour radio talk show with Michael Goudeau. He hosted the show from his Vintage Nudes studio in his Las Vegas home until he quit in March 2007. Penn did this to spend more time with his family.
In 2008 he participated in a competition for Dancing with the Stars, where his dance partner was the professional dancer Kym Johnson. He and his partner were the first to drop out. In 2012 he enrolled as one of the candidates for the fifth season of Donald Trump’s The Celebrity Apprentice. By week 11, he was fired from Trump. The following year, however, he returned for The Celebrity Apprentice all-star and made it to the finals, where he raised over $663,000 for the charity Opportunity Village.
That same year, Penn & Teller received its greatest honor yet – a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in recognition of its live performances. The star was tactfully placed near the star awarded to the infamous magician Harry Houdini.
On 16 March 2018, he released an album with jazz pianist and friend Mike Jones. The ten-track album was entitled The Show Before the Show.
Jet’s business ventures include the opening of a private recording studio in his Las Vegas home, the Vintage Nudes Studio. He also invented the Jill-Jet in 1999, a hot water jet designed to give women the ultimate in sexual pleasure. Originally he wanted to call it “Clit-Jet”, but he chose the former because his name was included in it.
Jillette’s Family: Parents, Wife, and Daughter
The famous magician and all-round entertainer were born by Samuel Herbert Jillette and Valda Rudolph Jillette. His mother was a secretary, while his father was employed at the Greenfield Prison in Franklin County Jail. They died in 1999 and 2000, respectively, within a year of each other. In honor of his parents, Penn wears his father’s ring and red nail polish on one of his fingers all the time.
He is married to Emily Zolten Jillette. Information about their marriage date is not known. The couple has two children. The first, Moxie CrimeFighter, was born in 2005 and the second, Zolten Penn, was born the following year.
Penn Jillette’s Religion
Jillette did not start out as an atheist: He grew up as a Christian. However, at some point in his early teens, he began to ask some difficult questions about the faith, that he was asked to leave the church in his youth group because his questions threatened to make some of his peers skeptical.
In August 2011 Jillette published his book God No! Signs You May Already Be an Atheist and Other Magical Tales was published. The book became a New York Times bestseller just twelve days after its publication.
Read his license plates for his cars: “Atheist”, “Nogod” and “godless”. However, Jillette appreciates his theistic fans and has publicly said so by quoting an example of a fan who gave him a Bible after one of his performances in 2008. Penn says he knows the fan was just trying to help. He often advocates open discussion and debate about the question of God’s existence. Penn feels that it is a topic that is too important for people to keep their opinions about it a secret.
His Height and Incredible Weight Loss
In another life, Penn may have had a successful career as a basketball player. The magician stands at a height of 6 feet 5 inches (1.99 m), which is dizzying even for an athlete.
Penn Jillette weighed much more before his blood pressure skyrocketed and he was hospitalized in December 2014. Between that date and his birthday on March 5, 2015, he had lost 48 kg of his weight. To maintain the weight loss, Penn Jillette is on Dr. Fuhrman’s Nutritarian diet. This diet plan does not include meat, dairy products, added sugar or salt, processed cereals, etc.