Penn and Teller

... Penn Gillette
... Teller



Teri Garr: [still wearing her fur-trimmed red bikini top from the previous sketch] Ladies and gentlemen, Penn and Teller.

[Cheers and applause as we dissolve to illusionists Penn and Teller in front of a corrugated metal wall. Teller, a small man who seldom speaks, is strapped into what appears to be an electric chair. Penn, a tall man in gray suit, stands nearby. Also visible is a poster of the chair labeled, AMAZING ELECTRIC BOY and ADDICTED TO AC?]

Penn Gillette: Good evening! We are Penn and Teller. My name is Penn Gillette and this is my partner Teller. [Teller waves a hand to the crowd but his wrists are strapped to the chair] Also known as the Incredible Electric Boy! You've seen him on national television, you've read about him in the Guinness Book of World Records. Teller, the Amazing Electric Boy, an incredible medical oddity that is also educational. Doctors, nurses and medical students with picture I.D. admitted free!

Eighteen years ago, before Teller was internationally known as the Incredible Electric Boy, cute little Teller was playing in a tree -- in the biggest tree in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, during a thunderstorm, with keys in his pocket and a five-iron in his up-stretched right hand! The golf club, being the highest point in Pennsylvania, was struck by lightning, sending an estimated one hundred and twenty-three million volts of electricity through the golf club, through the Electric Boy's body and through the tree, in its frantic search for ground! The golf club was completely destroyed! [holds up a charred, bent club] The tree was completely destroyed! [holds up purported X-ray of Teller's thigh] The keys were permanently wedged into Teller's upper thigh and Teller became known as the medical oddity we know as the Incredible Electric Boy! Wherever you are, fall down on your knees right now and thank the Almighty that YOU were not holding a five-iron over your head in Bucks County on three-oh-four p.m., August seventeenth, 1967!

While you're down there on your knees, also give thanks that during-- due to the miracles of modern medical science, Teller has been able to live a fairly normal, although personally empty, life! With a very few exceptions, Teller's been denied physical contact with would-be friends and lovers for fear that one caress or handshake would spell DEATH to the very person he was trying to learn to love! Having become an AC addict, his lonely life is also tethered to the length of the available extension cords to the nearest outlet!

And now -- avoiding the spirit of morbid sensationalism and only in the name of the advancement of science -- we bring you Teller, the Electric Boy, a living human oddity! [off a generator next to the chair] This device right here keeps Teller's brain functions and body functions operating at a slow crawl. I will now turn them up and demonstrate what God in His quirky wisdom has chosen to bestow on this nondescript vessel. [turns up the juice, meters on the generator inch upward] He now has four hundred and twelve volts at seventeen amps coursing through his system. This is enough raw electrical power to kill six two hundred pound men, providing they're standing barefooted in water, holding hands.

[carries long thin bulb to a woman in the crowd] I will now take this perfectly normal, standard GE fluorescent light bulb. Ma'am, would you stand up here, from the audience? [hands her the bulb] Would you look at this light bulb? Are there any wires hitched to it in any way? Are there any battery packs? [guides woman on stage] Would you come up here, near Teller, the Incredible Electric Boy and, please, without touching his body with your flesh, touch the light bulb to him -- and watch the electrons get excited! Bring it right down there, ma'am. There's no danger to you at all. [Woman lowers bulb to Teller's arm] That's right. Bring her right over here. [the bulb lights up] Okay, now, you're supplying the ground, ma'am. Bring it in closer. Look at this. Now, move a little bit closer there, then move away. Slide it across him, ma'am. Jeez O'Crow, you could read by that sucker! [takes bulb, to woman] Thank you very much! Go away!

[Applause for woman who retreats to her seat. Penn cranks up the generator.]

And now, we turn up the voltage and, through the wonders of fully insulated rubber insole boots [taps boot] and nerves of steel, we will present this living religious tableau entitled "God Giving Life to Adam"! I play the part o' God. This is great. [Penn touches his index finger to Teller's wrist - sparks fly] Whoa, ha ha ha ha ha ha! Okay! [Penn cranks up the voltage again - by now, Teller is shaking] We turn up a little bit more and we see -- a little bit more right here -- that electricity's older sister, fire, is also given birth by the Amazing Electric Boy. [touches the end of a fire-eater's torch to Teller's wrist, the torch ignites] Goodness gracious, look at that, will ya?

[Penn, a talented fire-eater, tilts his head back and swallows the flame, crowd applauds. Meanwhile, Teller's eyes are bugging out and he trembles violently.]

Teller! [laughs at Teller] I think - I think you're overplaying it a little bit, Teller. Just put it down a bit. [Teller stops shaking and stares at Penn, offended.] I don't mean to drop it entirely but, see, the thing is, when you play it up like that, you do the whole shaking thing, it looks like a Saturday Night Live sketch. It doesn't look like you've really got the volts going through ya, you know? [Upset, Teller rises and crosses his arms -- the leather straps around his wrists and neck were not really keeping him in the chair.] Now, I wanted to say. Now, let me just tell ya-- Let me try it this way, Teller. [to the crowd] Ma'am? If I had just said it was one point seven megahertz at seven hundred fifty milli-amps -- that's the real amount, and it's only comin' off this plate here. [indicates a plate in the arm of the chair, talks to Teller] If we try to sell it as real instead of doin' that whole bug-out eye thing like it was some sort of big deal, man-- I mean, the way we did it, you know, we could've gotten Randy Quaid and Terry Sweeney, you know. And he prob'ly - prob'ly'd done it in drag and get some laughs, ya know?

[Teller takes off his straps and throws them down angrily] Now, just cool out, man. I don't mean to get all panty-bunched, I'm tellin' ya that, uh, that it's not that big a deal. We shoulda played it for real, man. Magic does not work on TV. [Teller gestures for Penn to sit in the chair] Now, now, Teller's tryin' to point out that, it is - it is a good-sized tingle, man. [to Teller] Now, just sit down in the chair and we'll do-- [to the crowd] We had this great finish, the Peace on Earth Goodwill toward Men Living Electric Christmas Tree. [to Teller] Now, go ahead--

[But Teller pulls out a larger leather neck strap for Penn and snaps it noisily, gestures for Penn to sit in the chair.]

Okay, man, sure, sure. Turn it down. [turns down the generator] You want me to do that, huh? Okay. [explains to the crowd] I have not run through his before but I'm sure it's not that bad. It's a little bit of a tingle. [Penn removes his jacket, to Teller] I'll do it, man. Okay? [to bandleader Howard Shore] Hit it, Howard!

[The SNL band plays mellow version of "O Christmas Tree" as Penn climbs cautiously into the chair and Teller straps him down.]

[to the crowd] If this would have been Teller, then I would have had lines to cover this whole thing but-- [Teller hangs a bundle of blue fluorescent light bulbs around Penn's neck.] These are just fluorescent tubes, here. They're not gonna hurt that much, I don't imagine. [Teller cranks up the generator, the bulbs light up, Penn reacts] Whooo! [Penn laughs nervously, trembles] It's a little bit of a tingle. It's not -- not bad at all. [Teller puts a candy cane-shaped bulb in Penn's hand -- it promptly glows] And this is the candy cane, symbolizing, I suppose, food for everybody on Christmas. There's definitely a feel to this. [Teller hands Penn a green wreath-shaped bulb which glows and tries to stick a star-shaped bulb on Penn's head. As he does so, he flips the long fluorescent bundle to reveal MERRY XMAS printed on its back.]

Merry Christmas, everybody!

[Applause. Teller waves gleefully to the crowd. Penn continues to shake as we fade out.]


Submitted Anonymously


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