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The world according to Penn and Teller

What would a trip to Vegas be without Penn and Teller?

What would a trip to Vegas be without Penn and Teller?

The tall-and-short duo held nightly shows this week at Bally's, and we decided to add some more spice to our coverage by getting their take on Comdex.

We got a little more than comments, actually. We got physical.

 
Teller, the short one, is known for being silent during interviews as well as the show. I decided that I was going to do whatever I could to make Teller speak, even if meant making him mad. Needless to say, my approach worked, sort of.

I asked him why he endorsed the V-chip even though he is strongly opposed to all forms of censorship. Penn, as always, answered for him and screamed, "We don't endorse the V-chip! Are you crazy?" Well, maybe, but I really wanted Teller to tell all. It didn't work. His veins popped out of his head before he strangled me, but unfortunately he never said a word.

Penn, known to many as a very wired man, spoke loudly about AdultDex, geeks, free speech, and computers, as Teller looked on and made the many faces he is known for.

RA: What did you think about AdultDex?
Penn: It wasn't very good. I think they decided that since the only things that sell in Vegas are pornography and Penn and Teller, and since they couldn't get Penn and TellerDex, they would do a little AdultDex and charge people $5 a pop. And it was about the size of a church banquet room filled with 80,000 geeks and nerds. It was really awful.

RA: How was it in comparison to Comdex?
Penn: At Comdex you get 210,000 people...and the locals hate it, just loathe it. [Comdexees] don't gamble.

RA: What do you think about censorship on the Internet?
Penn: Reed Hundt [of the FCC], what an evil, bad person. What a scumbag. [Censorship is] the most evil, awful thing. The First Amendment doesn't say you can't make laws limiting free speech unless you're Reed Hundt. We elected a beer-drinking retard for the president of the United States that allows him to do whatever he thinks will make working mothers happy. "Oh, I have an idea: Why don't you let this guy from Arkansas raise your kids instead of you?"

RA: Have you ever dealt with censorship on your show?
Penn: We don't deal with sex or drugs or even politics in our show, although we have strong politics outside of our show. The only times we have trouble is with violence, but we're working in a realm of live theater that's pretty rarefied, and you'll find that the elite never gets messed with on free speech.

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RA: Do you think there are any advantages to technology becoming mainstream?
Penn: Technology becoming mainstream doesn't interest me very much. The advantage is that technology will always be faster than the government because technology is being done by people who are smarter than bureaucrats. We are going to lose every single fight we have on freedom of speech on the Internet. We're going to lose them across the board when it comes to voting because the other side is so insidious and evil. But we will win on the technological front. It would be nice if the people that ran our country lived up to the most wonderful ideals for a country ever.

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RA: We heard you had an interesting run-in with Bill Gates. What do you think of him?
Penn: I think the fact that that smart geek is the richest man in the world is exactly what should be happening in the '90s, and I just love that he is some sort of media star. I mean, I just think he's a good guy. I don't think he's fond of me because I made a joke that he didn't get where I yelled in his face and pushed him against the wall. I think that after you cross like $10 billion, the number of people who yell at you goes down exponentially as your money goes up, so I think he was a little startled. We have a good Bill and an evil Bill in the country now--Gates and Clinton. And the friends of the good Bill told him I was just a cuddly guy who didn't mean any harm.

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