Bullshit is taped in
I had wondered how they created their signature white-background effect on the show and discovered the straightforward answer: the set had a white background. This caused dirt problems (Penn said never again would he do a show with a white set) and Penn had a pair of magnetic metal over-soles he snapped on to keep his shoes clean while he walked around the rest of the studio. Teller covered a beautiful pair of burgundy Oxfords with more pedestrian surgical booties.
The stars of the show made efficient use of their time, sitting side by side working on laptops during the numerous breaks for scene changes. When we broke for lunch Penn and I discussed movies while he ate a huge plate of rice and vegetables. He was a big fan of ‘60s horror movies which, he said, were the only way for directors to make films with serious social commentary. “A horror film with breasts was an automatic green light,” he said. Lots of guys who wanted to make socially relevant films but had no particular interest in horror discovered that if they wanted to make a movie about, say, feminism, all they had to do was work it into a horror movie with boobs and they got an automatic check.” I was going to have to watch all George Romero’s movies again from that perspective.
As lunch was about over Penn’s friend Otto, of the ventriloquist act Otto and George, arrived to do a bit in the show they were taping in the afternoon. Penn & Teller were calling bullshit on the practice of exorcism, dressed as priests and casting evil spirits out of George the dummy. I stayed to see Otto and George do their bit before excusing myself to go think about making horror movies with boobs.