Comedy-magic team Penn & Teller recently welcomed guests to their theater at Rio Las Vegas for a celebration of their 20th anniversary as headliners in Las Vegas.
The duo began their successful run in Vegas back in 1993, and have been at Rio Las Vegas for the last 12 years.
To thank their friends and supporters, Penn & Teller put on a short show on Feb. 8, 2013, doing three segments featuring bits they had in their show when they first arrived on The Strip.
Wait for it.
When we asked Teller (who never speaks onstage) to reflect upon the 20-year anniversary, he stated, “Twenty years is just a little more than half the time we’ve been working together, so, it really doesn’t seem like all that much time.”
Some would disagree! With the announcement of a new, six-year contract extension, Penn & Teller will have the distinction of being the longest-running headlining act at an individual hotel in the history of Las Vegas.
Penn, never one to be politically correct, had a surprising take, “We’ve been here longer than anyone else because a tiger didn’t bite our head off.”
Fellow magician, and Harrah’s Las Vegas headliner, Mac King (above), was in attendance at the celebratory event at Rio, and had a unique take on Penn & Teller’s influence.
King said, “I’ve been married 27 years. Before we were married, I was living in L.A. and she was living in Kentucky. I flew her out to L.A. to see a magic show at the L.A. Stage Company. It was the Penn & Teller show. My thought was, if she didn’t like that show, I wasn’t going to date her anymore.” So, technically, not only have Penn & Teller been one of the most successful acts in the history of the Las Vegas Strip, they are also, apparently, a great litmus test for romantic compatibility.
One of our favorite moments at the anniversary event was meeting a certified comedy legend, Marty Allen.
Allen, pictured below, was part of an iconic comedy team, Allen & Rossi (with Steve Rossi), and appeared 40 times on “The Ed Sullivan Show,” including on the same episode as The Beatles (their second time on the show). Allen was also a regular on classic game shows like “Hollywood Squares” and “Password.”
There’s more to come from Penn & Teller, to be sure. The timeless team will soon receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and Penn Jillette will soon return to reality TV in an all-star edition of “Celebrity Apprentice.”
Congratulations to Penn & Teller on an epic run and for ensuring laughter, mystery and irreverence will continue to be a part of the entertainment landscape in Las Vegas.