Every contestant on Penn & Teller: Fool Us needs to divulge how their trick works to magic expert Johnny Thompson, before the show, so that he can resolve disputes (whether Penn and Teller were fooled) if needed.

Do Penn and Teller learn how the trick works after the show is over, either from him or from the contestant themselves?

2 Answers 2


From his appearance on NPR's "Ask Me Another", Penn detailed that while there is no requirement to do so, most contestants reveal it to them afterward.

(For those that actually open the podcast, the segment with Penn's interview begins at 14:40 of the podcast. The section quoted below comes from closer to 22:43)

Ophira: And do you find out how the tricks that fool you are done?

Penn: There's no formal way of that, but I'll tell you as soon as we finish the guy runs to our seats and goes "Yeah! It was a double face card and a rough smooth! I was so sure you were going to bust me! It's just a double facer!".


...most people, because you're jacked up on the show and your mind - you run over and go "I'll tell you everything!"


Apparently not as a requirement.

"Foolers" are required to tell how the trick was done to two magic consultants on the show (not Penn & Teller).

The consultants listen to Penn & Teller's discussions to confirm whether or not they were fooled.

Reddit AMA with Vinny Grosso, who fooled P&T.

Q: Dear Vinny, did Penn and teller actually ask you how you did the trick backstage or something like that? Cause I was curious, couldn't a random magician lie about fooling . Do they have like a way to verify someone had fooled them?

A:You have to tell the magic consultants how the trick is done. They also serve as the judges of whether or not Penn & Teller have been fooled (they listen in to P&Ts discussion)

  • 4
    I don't think any of this indicates that they don't find out after the show, just that they don't before or during. Aug 13, 2017 at 19:25

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