By mocking the magic community and revealing the secret behind some of their tricks, Penn and Teller perform a kind of parodic and post-modern “anti-magic.” Penn and Teller display an artful use of rhetoric; in exposing the secrets and shortcomings of conjuring, they are revolutionizing the way people think about both the art of magic and the magic community. Individuals such as Penn and Teller may use parody to subvert the hegemonic interpretations. However, we also know that it is difficult to bring down a system while operating within that system. Thus, this article explores the way Penn and Teller are challenging the metanarrative of the magic community, using several of the duo’s more popular illusions as examples for analysis. Ultimately, this paper should help us gain a better understanding of the way parody can be used to challenge hegemonic conceptions, and the limitations of this type of rhetorical approach.
How to CiteMiller L. & Zompetti J. P. (2015) “After the Prestige: A Postmodern Analysis of Penn and Teller”, Journal of Performance Magic. 3(1). doi: https://doi.org/10.5920/jpm.2015.313