Penn says… go to TAM!

By Phil Plait | May 19, 2009 12:37 pm

Penn Jillette — the louder, bigger 2/3 of Penn & Teller — has made a short video talking about the live testing of the Million Dollar Challenge the JREF will be holding at The Amaz!ng Meeting 7 in Vegas; the meeting is from July 9 – 12, with the live test being on Sunday the 12th.

Awesome. You should come.


Comments (28)

  1. I totally should. They should have, like, an essay contest where the winner gets a trip to TAM, ’cause the new transmission took all my TAM money. …Not that I can get my husband on a plane, anyway… :-(

  2. I can’t go to TAM, Phil, because it’s bloody well sold out.

  3. Daniel, this is the TAM in Vegas, not London.

  4. Siphoneuphoria

    They should have, like, an essay contest where the winner gets a trip to TAM

    Heck yeah!

  5. «bønez_brigade»

    BTW, Penn will be on Glenn Beck’s show today @ 5PM EST (which should repeat later in the night, I think) — and that’s in ~17min. The topic will likely be politics, but hopefully he’ll get in some words about skepticism & critical thinking.

  6. Oded

    Wow, I want to go to this so much, but it is incredible how much this would cost me.. I live in Israel, so the flight alone is $1,200 at least.. And I just checked, there’s a Zero-G flight from Las Vegas at just the right time!! I’ve been wanting to do that ever since I heard of it… But man, that’s expensive.. I could easily buy half a car with the amount of money it would take me to enjoy those 2 weeks…

    I figure the whole ordeal would be… $8,000 or so.. Which is for me two and a half months salary… Which I have.. But wow, it seems insane to spend all this on just 2 weeks…

  7. I stopped listening to anything Penn says when he started hanging out with America’s #1 @$$-hat, Glenn Beck. Being a guest on Beck’s show does not do anything for their credibility.

  8. Davidlpf

    Penn does have some good points once and while, but on others I can not agree with him. He is like everyone else on Earth not perfect.

  9. Bad Albert

    Wow. Vegas in July. Do they have AC on the streets yet?

  10. dhtroy

    Penn made the statement “I’ve never been to one of the live million dollar challenges before”, indicating that perhaps, there were “other” live challenges?

    If so, when and where can I get those videos? Would love to see them (I’ll go Google for them now, but if someone’s got linkage, that would be super).

  11. scotth

    @Oded, TAM is like nothing else. The only thing I’ve found to top it is a JREF cruise. If you can swing it, you’ll probably not regret it.

  12. J. D. Mack

    Penn’s comment was actually “I’ve never been to one of the *real* million dollar challenges before.” The JREF has conducted many of these challenges over the years, but they’re not usually open to the public.

  13. Michelle


    Why can’t I have superpowers huh? Then I’d have a million bucks and I’d go to TAM!

  14. MadScientist

    I could swear I heard the Blue-Nosed Gopher say “Billion Dollar Challenge”.

    I can confidently predict the outcome of the challenge though; after all, the applicant is being tested by one of the most amazing mentalists around – I’m rather surprised that anyone would claim to demonstrate psychic abilities in front of Banachek – could it be she’s never heard of him? On the other hand, if she can pull one over Banachek she probably deserves the money and should probably go into the magic entertainment business.

  15. I did not know he was from Nova Scotia.
    (click my name)

  16. Beelzebud

    I find it pretty sad that Penn goes on a show like Glenn Beck. If there is one person on TV that is against rationality, critical thinking, and science, it’s Glenn Beck.

    The first time I thought he was on there I assumed it must be because he didn’t realize all of the conspiracy laden nonsense Beck puts on his show. Now that he’s been on there a bunch of times, the only thing I can conclude is that Penn is just fine with the guy.

  17. @Beelzebud:
    Beck has been around a long time. His radio show has been on for years before he went on TV. What irks me, is that every time I have seen Penn on Becks show, he ends up agreeing with Beck. That’s not good.

  18. Cheyenne

    Of course Penn is on Beck’s show. He’s a Libertarian, and a rather forceful advocate of it. He’s also a freaking genius in my mind (and no, I don’t always agree with him, but the guy has stones and dares to speak out). Check out his show Bull**** on Showtime (you can rent it from Blockbuster). Awesome.

    He’s not just a magician. He’s one of those freaky out of left field guys that makes you actually think about some of your previous assumptions. But speaking of the magician stuff – if you have to be dragged to that false front town of Vegas definitely see his show. I went and it almost made my trip worth it.

  19. Ken

    Penn is an entertainer, and says and does whatever he thinks will win him viewers. I recall how he and Joe Rogaine (or whatever his name is – the Fear Factor guy) ganged up on Phil over the moon hoax stuff on his radio show (a few episodes before Penn got bored with the radio show and dropped it). So much for being a “cheerleader for Science”. It’s great that Phil appears to have gotten over it. I’m not sure I would have.

  20. Porky Pine

    I’ve stopped caring about anything Penn has to say since his second hand smoke episode on Bull****.

  21. Beelzebud

    Being a Libertarian doesn’t make one a critical thinker. Especially when your libertarian friends are the likes of Glenn Beck.

    And as for his show, Bullshit is a great name for it. His episodes about NASA or endangered species was all I needed to see to know that he’s no friend of science. He criticizes others for using emotional pleas, and then pretty much made a whole series of shows doing just that.

  22. Sili

    I allow me to complain about the soldout London TAM too. It was sold out even before I saw your announcement.


  23. Robbie Clark

    What some of you are practicing in these comments is not skepticism, but cynicism. Tsk tsk.

  24. Bill

    Sigh…I live in Phoenix. Vegas is SO close, and TAM is SO tempting. But balanced against the very real possibility of layoffs in my department later this summer, I think I’d better stash that money away for a rainy day instead.

  25. «bønez_brigade»

    BTW, Penn’s appearance was almost all politics, with only a little about GW.

    [Methinks the new comment-numbering here is a plus, BTW.]
    [Ooooh, and the edit feature!] — [though the timer may be set a little high]

  26. Davidlpf

    I kind of like time limit because there a few here posting from work and sometimes you have to something else for a few minutes.

  27. testing

    Is this thing even working anymore? My comments are not showing up.

  28. @Robbie Clark: So? 😉

    (Click my name for a history lesson.)


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