Welcome to China! Penn & Teller make a visit to the Great Wall, a traditional Chinese magic show, a magic school, various villages, to see how traditional Chinese magic is still performed today.
Notes:Magicians will spend their whole life perfecting a single trick, such as the man who does nothing but produce bowls, or the mask changer. Tricks are passed down from master to apprentice, and the apprentice will not change one thing about the act, even the banter, unlike in the Western world, where new performers always try to improve and personalize each new trick they learn.
Penn & Teller brought their own chicken fried rice and chop-suey from Canada, instead of eating the crickets, sparrows and scorpions available in the local market.
Even inside, the temperature was well below zero when they visited the magic museum in Wu Chow, yet performers would come out and perform their tricks, for only Penn & Teller and the camera crew.
The guys’ van gets hit by a truck, and though one of the crew’s head goes through the rear glass, and Penn’s shoulder through the side window, everyone is alive and (relatively) well.
Penn and a Chinese woman have a session juggling fire. She is 32, and has been juggling since she was 9. She also juggles while standing on a galloping horse.
In Wanking, Teller performs the string and needle trick at the local market.
They close their time in China by performing the national magic trick.
“Penn & Teller rule!” – Chinese kids
“All together in his robe, we’re looking at about 80 pounds [of bowls].” – Wendy the translator, referring to the magician who produces bowls on stage
“I don’t know about Teller, but my Chinese food is coming out of a can.” – Penn
“My dad hated three things in the world: acordians, fuzzy catterpillars, and plate spinning.” – Penn Jillette
“Penn & Teller rule!” – A Chinese guy
“This is some sort of nutty dream … where they would build this huge magic world, and it’s very, very clear, if you build it, and don’t heat it, no one will come.” – Penn Jillette
“Penn & Teller rule!” – Chinese men
“Penn & Teller rule!” – Chinese juggler
“Really, what you’re seeing on the streets of China is, they’ve got about seven and a half minutes of material, crammed into two and a half hours.” – Penn Jillette