Well, the last of the NYC
press is over. The Daily News and the Post have big
pictures and articles today. Jackie wasn't thrilled that
the Daily News said to me "Tell us how you really feel" to
try to temper my passion about Von Prague, but Krasher
thought it was great. If NYC wants to see a couple guys
with passion, they will sure get that. The picture in the
Daily News is about my favorite picture of me, it's a full
page, and I'm very happy with how I look. They didn't make
me smile and I love it. I think it's a great picture. My
arms are all scarred up and I'm tired, but I think it was a
great round of press. Let me detail it here.
I was up early and I did the Jay Thomas show. He seemed to
be more interested in me never doing drugs or drinking and
my bad high school record, but that's okay. As long as they
say "Penn & Teller," "Beacon," "TicketMaster," they can
talk to me about anything. And he did lots of that. It was
After that we were joined by Renee French, who wanted to
play entourage for a day. It was great to have her around,
even though she made me think about my little touch of "Dog
Jaw" all day long. It's fun to have a posse.
The next show was some "Today" spin-off with Florence
Henderson. All these shows treat us so great. They're just
wonderful to us. We did the trick we call "Joyce Brothers"
(the first one we tried it on) and it really played. I felt
up and on, and that made me happy. Asha, the co-host did
part of the trick and then during break told me she waited
on me in Minneapolis in an Indian restaurant around 1980 and
she served me a VERY hot vindeloo. It's amazing. I
remembered that! I always say that I've been to NYC,
London, and Delhi, and the hottest Indian food I ever got
was in Minneapolis. She said, "How hot?" and I said, "We're
in Minneapolis, try to do your worst." The bitch damn near
poisoned me. I had such fun talking to her.
Next was some other "Today" spin-off (both this and the above
are being held to be aired, either today or tomorrow). This
one was local. I had the host check out my "Dog Jaw" and
that got the ball rolling. She was great. We did the
Teller trick called "Muffins" that he just thought of a
couple days ago. Man, it's great. I was throwing food all
over and it was just chaos. We're at our best with chaos.
She was laughing so hard at the end she couldn't get out of
the spot. It turns out we ran way too long and she's going
to just show the interview (which was also funny) and that
gives us another virgin trick in the bank. We're very happy
Renee and I came back to the room and she sat next to me on
a bike while I worked out and then she surfed the Web while
I took a 45 minutes nap. I woke up ready to rock. We went
out for a nice lunch together and then hit Conan. Man,
Conan is great. He's just great. He's smart and nice and
just brave and perfect. Frank Smiley was there (producer)
and he loved the "Real Tattoo" bit. The idea was that
Teller would carve into my arm on stage with a
Tattoo needle with no ink. I'm sure everyone I know knows
about the "Tattoo of Blood," Lou wrote a song about it, The
Captain Howdy" recorded it, it's in "How to Play in
Traffic," and it was a NYT magazine piece. I did some of
the jokes from those articles. It was pretty intense. I
was going to do a bit on how tattooing is only
"de-criminalized" in NYC and Teller could be hassled, but
the producer ran scared. Backstage we had a lot of trouble
with the needles, but Nathan came through and we were okay.
Out on stage it was pretty great. It's amazing how high I
got with the nervousness of a TV shot coupled with the
endorphins of getting sliced up on the air. I ran into the
audience and let them play with the blood. It was pretty
great. He was banking it, so it doesn't air until the night
of Wednesday the 7th, so you might want to check it out. I
think it was one of our best spots. Thanks to Jamy on this,
we worked it out over tea a while ago. I think it rocked.
The Goo Goo Dolls (who are tattooed themselves) were
watching it backstage and saying it was the sickest thing
they'd ever seen. I think we came off pretty crazy and I
like that. It was also an amazing card trick (thanks to
Jamy), but I'm not sure anyone will notice. Teller's
freehand tattoo work was strictly jailhouse, especially the
one he did on the air, man, he just scrawled all over my
arm. That'll be there for a while. Renee assured me that
my arms looked okay on the air. That's all I cared about.
I took fresh pictures of each arm when I got back to the
hotel. You should really check them out.
We didn't even change out of our suits. I just dressed my
wounds, changed to a real P&T costume shirt (I had to have a
VERY "Sopranos" t-shirt and suit look to get to my arms for
Conan) and we headed to Jon Stewart. It's hard to say too
much good about Jon Stewart. He's smart and funny and a
great guy. I tell you, it's such a dream to work with Jon
and Conan. We did the Dead Rock Stars bit and Teller got to
do his Hendrix impersonation. I think it was a great spot.
Jon read the punchline cold and did a great job with it. We
were very happy. It was a good day.
I went out to dinner with friends, got some nice sleep, and
woke up to do the last day of press. The last thing we did
was "The View." You know, this isn't the kind of show one
would look forward to on the surface, but, man, they're
smart women and it's really fun to do. Once again, we were
treated great. I don't mean to be a suckup (it's not my
nature), but these NYC shows are full of talented people
doing fine work. They all made it very easy for us. We
were doing a mind-reading thing. Backstage they filled our
little black heart with joy. It turns out they had Von
Prague and some other evil freaks on, and the mail they got
was AGAINST the cranks! Let's hear it for the American
people. I'm so happy about that. And the hosts think
they're frauds too. They've even had Randi on and we were
told not to pull any punches. I think it was Joy Bahar that
said, on the air, "Von Prague in a fraud." That's the truth
in plain language, huh? They were great to work with. It
was fun to be out there. She even busted US on how we did
it. She was wrong, but it's great to see that critical
thinking. It's a good show. I tell you, as long as this
show is doing well, so is America.
I came home, worked out and now I'll go to Carnegie Deli for
a snack before soundcheck. The press is over. All we have
left is stuff airing that is in the can, and a few reviews. We
hope those are good, but we have so little control, it's not
worth more than hoping and that's worth nothing.
We went into 3 weeks of work and wrote all new TV bits and
it was great. It was such a wonderful idea. And we still
have 5 good ones in the bank, with the NYC press done.
It's been a good time. And my arms are all cut up.