Penn Jillette and Objectivism

Kyrel Zantonavitch's picture
Submitted by Kyrel Zantonavitch on Wed, 2016-08-03 04:08

Rebel magician and entertainer Penn Jillette's new book Presto!: How I Made Over 100 Pounds Disappear and Other Magical Tales came out today. He gave a talk this evening at a Manhattan bookstore to promote it.

I asked him if he was an Objectivist, and without hesitation or elaboration he said yes. Just to be sure, I asked him again, and he replied the same. I then asked him if he was an Objectivist "with any adjectives". He paused to think, and then said no. I told him I was a "free-thinking and non-cult Objectivist". He said yes to this, as if it described him too. I then asked him if he had ever taken any philosophy classes from Leonard Peikoff or David Kelley -- as I had previously heard -- but he said no. However, he said his magic partner Teller had, from Peikoff. I got the distinct impression that Teller was an Objectivist too. I finally asked Penn if he was a transhumanist, and he immediately said yes.


Kyrel Zantonavitch's picture

Penn Jillette could be the world's biggest celebrity Objectivist -- equivalent to Tom Cruise's being the world's most famous Scientologist. Eye


Doug Bandler The Second's picture

Jillette's a market anarchist; essentially a Rothbardian. I'm not sure about Teller. But they have been floating in Objectivist and libertarian intellectual circles for decades. 'Bullshit' was a good show so far as it goes. It was pro-market, anti-religion, pro-gun. Basically "fiscally conservative, socially liberal, pro-atheist". It was more anti-left than I thought you could get away with but of course they were only allowed to attack the Left if they attacked Christianity which they did.

Penn and Teller

Kyrel Zantonavitch's picture

I've been a Penn and Teller fan for over 30 years. It shocked me when I found out these two were also atheists and libertarians. Now they both seem to be Objectivists and transhumanists too. Amazing. Their longtime t'v' show Bullshit! was basically outstanding.

I once saw

Tore's picture

I once saw a poster for a movie called penn & teller get killed. I thought, "i wish". They are annoying as hell. Their smug show "bullshit", was typical condescending crap you get from that crowd; just argue your case, and people will see the light and change their minds. Yeah, right.

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