How much do you know about the quiet, shorter half of Penn & Teller? Here are some little-known facts about Las Vegas magician Teller:
- He has been profoundly inspired by a line from Stephen Sondheim’s Sunday in the Park with George. The line that moves him to tears is the line which says ‘Look, I made a hat where there never was a hat’ saying about it “I can’t say that line without choking up, because it states, in profoundly poetic terms, what I have always wanted to do with my life. It’s so simple and so funny, but boy, it hits me deep.”
- Directed and co-wrote the Off-Broadway show Play Dead.
- Describing his partnership with Penn Jillette, Teller says “We are artistic and business partners, not primarily friends. When we look at each other, we don’t think: ‘Now there’s a likeable chap!’ We think about the projects we are doing and how we will get them done. When we were first working together, we didn’t have such thick skins. But we recognized how useful we were to each other. And that prevailed.”
- Co-authored an article for the journal Nature Reviews Neuroscience called “Attention and Awareness in Stage Magic.”
- He was born as Raymond Joseph Teller. He legally changed his name to, simply, Teller. His driver’s license lists his name as “NFN Teller.” NFN stands for No First Name.
- At the age of five–whilst convalescing at home with the heart ailment toxic myocarditis–Teller “dutifully sent away my fifteen cents and 3 Mars bar wrappers” for a magic set which had been advertised on the Howdy Doody television show.
- Taught English and Latin at Lawrence High School in Lawrenceville, New Jersey.
- Teller is of Cuban and Russian Jewish decent. He only found out about his Jewish heritage when he was fifty years old.
- Designed his home in Las Vegas. The home includes a hallway window with a spectacular view of the Las Vegas Valley, below. Teller encourages his guests to take in the incredible view as he accompanies them during the tour of his home. Unsuspecting guests, halfway to the window, walk into a wall and discover that the “window” is only a reflection and the hallway contains a meticulously angled, mirrored door.
- His hallmark of performing in silence began when he worked as a magician during his early days of performing for college fraternities. Teller found that performing in silence kept the audience from heckling his performance and throwing beer. (Article continued, below.)
You may see Teller perform in his permanent home at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino.
Venue Contact Information:
Penn & Teller Theater in the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino.
3700 W. Flamingo Road. Las Vegas, NV 89103
(702) 777-7776 or (888) 746-7784
Did you enjoy this article? You can receive e-mail alerts when new articles are available! Simply click on the “Subscribe” link. Cari Hahn is the National Magic Examiner as well as the Las Vegas Magic Examiner. You may also follow Cari Hahn on Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook. You may reach Cari Hahn at: [email protected].