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Penn Jillette on Bullshit Season Five

Published January 5, 2007 in Television
By Fred Topel | Image property of Showtime.
Bullshit Bullshit
After four seasons, Penn and Teller still have not run out of scams to expose on their Showtime series Bullshit. As season five is gearing up, Penn Jillete shared some of the upcoming topics.

Penn Jillette Talks Another Season of Bullshit


"We're doing the energy crisis, we're doing obesity and we're doing Mount Rushmore," said Jillette. "Those are three of the 10 we're doing this year. We'll be shooting that when I get back to Vegas. I'm in New York now. I always know when we're shooting things. I never really know when they're airing but I believe it will come back around February or March."

It's one thing for the magicians to explain how "psychics" do cold readings, but are they really going to say that it's not unhealthy to be overweight? "It turns out, it isn't. It turns out that a lot of the studies that tell us we have to be very, very thin are financed by diet companies. Jenny Craig puts a lot of money into that research and so on. That's pretty interesting of itself. And we're doing some stuff with physical competitions and health competitions between people who are a little bit overweight and people who are what would be the perfect BMI and we're finding some interesting stuff. The research, it's one that we're doing later in the show so it's not one that I'm steeped in the research now. I'm steeped in the energy crisis research right now and I'll be getting to the obesity one in a couple of weeks. I wanted to wait until after the holidays so I can gorge myself. I want to look and feel my best when we write that one."



Jillette ditched plans to hit Scientology when some of the fellow comedians famously nailed that one. "You know, we gave that one to Trey and Matt. You may not know this but there's a secret cartel between Penn and Teller and South Park. They called me and said, 'Are you guys doing Scientology?' and I said, 'No, we're not' and they said, 'We're going to run with it' and I said 'Groovy.' So they did their Tom Cruise episode."

A topic with tons of Bullshit potential would be airport security, but there's just no way to film that for television. "It turns out, to shoot anything on airport security, you are violating federal law. You're not allowed to shoot anything there. Because we're doing a show that's on TV, visuals are very important. I've written about airport security, but to do a TV show about it, you can't get a crew in there without it being a federal offense which is not something we'd consider. And also TSA people will not under any circumstances talk to you positively or negatively, so it's really impossible to get a bad guy which we kind of need for the drama of Bullshit for that to happen. So I don't think we'll be doing airport security although I will tell you, it has been on the list every single year we've done Bullshit. We look down at it and say, 'How can we really make this into a television show as opposed to an idea?' It always seems to fall apart but if someone on our crew can find a way to give us some visuals that are actually interesting and new to go with that, I'd love to do it."

Bullshit returns to Showtime in 2007.

Stay tuned for updates.

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Fred Topel
Sources: Image property of Showtime.
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