close menu
Episode 195: Nerdist Podcast
Penn Jillette
Nerdist PodcastNerdist Podcast

Nerdist Podcast: Penn Jillette

We love Penn Jillette so much, we invited him back to the show already! This time, Penn tells some stories about Dean Martin and motorcycle gangs, and he tells the trick to getting good at card tricks!

Listen to Penn’s Sunday School podcast!

Support the show by clicking on the banner and shopping at






ANNIHILATION's 'Shimmer' and Ending Explained

ANNIHILATION's 'Shimmer' and Ending Explained

Meltdown Comics, an LA Landmark, to Close After 25 Years

Meltdown Comics, an LA Landmark, to Close After 25 Years

Who Is the Secret Cameo in DEADPOOL 2?

Who Is the Secret Cameo in DEADPOOL 2?



  1. Todd says:

    I’ve never listened to an entire hour-length podcast before, but Penn Jillette on Nerdist sealed the deal.

    Penn is one of those guests that Johnny Carson used to call “self starters” – you say, “Hey, Penn, how are you?” and then sit back and just let him fill as much time as you have.

    And he never even went into atheism OR libertarianism!


  2. Dan says:

    I don’t believe dean martin was a complete sociopath. I remember in the documentary of Jerry Lewis, when they broke up Dean Martin was very upset, but at the time Jerry Lewis was becoming so insanely huge he wanted to focus more on movies. Which is why when they had a reunion after 10 years of not seeing each other, they both started getting choked up and hugged.

  3. Mike says:

    Hey, anybody got a link to the Louis CK / Conan conversation they were referring to?

  4. Raul E. Dynamite says:


  5. Raul E. Dynamite says:

    I had that Penn Jillette Dean Martin-esque experience when friend of mine invited me to go see the Foo Fighters live. My punk rock sensibilities could fathom that being anything then ironically humous. I was wrong and my mind was blown.

  6. Rob S. says:

    SHAZAM works because the gods granted power to the Wizard to turn Billy Batson into Captain Marvel.

  7. my_leisure says:

    Wow this is the first time in my life where I actually gave a lot of thought to whether or not I was a sociopath.

  8. JonBoy says:

    Penn’s laugh is the best!

  9. Michael says:

    The nitty-gritty on how Shazam works is at

  10. *lottery
    This is what I get for quemmenting in Internet Explorer.

  11. Meredith Montanez says:

    As a self-professed Dean Martin obsessive, the story from Penn was amazing. I would like to personally offer audio copes from my EXTENSIVE Dean Martin/Rat Pack comedy collection if Chris, Matt or Jonah are interested. It is amazing comedy that holds true to this day.

    Also, for anyone interested, a dear friend of mine produced a podcast of the early NBC Radio broadcasts of the Martin & Lewis show and they are fantastic!

  12. Rob S. says:

    That’s where I went too “Be kind… rewind.”

  13. Well as a Nobel Laureate in Mathematics myself, I can tell you that it absolutely is smart to bet your life savings in Vegas if you’re a psychic and you know what to bet before you bet it. But if psychics did, in fact, exist then I imagine that all lotterly winners would be psychics, not octogenarians. So if anyone considers me saying that psychics are bogus a shit upon their spiritual beliefs then consider them shat upon, althought that wasn’t my intent.

  14. Lee Benningfield says:

    Wow, Penn was right, I do have a scar on my left knee.

  15. Jay Noie says:

    Danny Gans name backward is Snagy Nnad. A house full of magicians found this out after a year of being in Vegas. So when he died. We respected him by saying “Dude! Snagg Nads died!”

  16. QuasarSniffer says:

    Doctor Quemmento, well, maybe you and I can read the crystals, but those bookies sure can’t. That’s why it’s always smart to bet all your life savings in Vegas, right? RIGHT?

    As for the whole Nobel-in-Math thing, as usual, covers the important ground rather well:

  17. Zach says:

    Shazam actually does take a unique wave file Chris.

    Well, it really takes a sample then uses that as an acoustic fingerprint and then compares that to a database that’s linked to the service.

  18. farleyk says:

    Matt was on fire during this one. The “rewind” comment was pure gold. It’s a good thing I was only drinking water…

    Penn should tell his story from the previous podcast about his friend bowling a near-perfect game, as a cautionary introduction to Celebrity Bowling.

  19. Matt says:

    What was the story Penn told on Celebrity Apprentice about the Nobel Prize? Because there is no Nobel Prize for Mathematics, I’m assuming the story was wrong for the reason why there is no prize, not that there is one. Cause there isn’t one on the Nobel website.

  20. Patty Marvel says:

    I swear, for a moment I thought there was something wrong with my internet connection because Penn paused SOOOOOOOOO long during his Dean Martin story.

  21. Matt says:

    So, Vegas in the ’80s was a hipster mecca? Do everything ironically and go to shows ironically.

  22. Justin says:

    It’s eerie how much Nerdist is in sync with me. The Youtube channel and podcasts regularly contain content I’m currently interested in. It’s just solidifying my decision to move out to LA next summer and somehow put my Film and Video BA to use for Nerdist Industries.

  23. QuasarSniffer says:

    I wonder if there are any bookies in Vegas that take bets on how long Penn Jillette can go in a recorded conversation without crapping on another person’s spiritual beliefs.

    • If you’re referring to his obvious skepticism in regards to ESP and psychics, then why would you need a Vegas bookie? Shouldn’t you be able to, uh, read it in the crystals or something?

  24. As a skillless and passionless individual I’m leaving a comment in an internet comment thread to say, in my defense, that I am not entirely passionless or skillless. It’s just that all my passion and skill is in making comments in internet comment threads.

  25. stephen says:

    NICE I WAS WAINTING FOR THIS penn said he was going on nerdist on sunday school ive been wating for this very contently now that its here im jizzing a bit

  26. amysrevenge says:


    Wait, this is comments on the internet. Let me readjust that. *ahem*

    You assholes are the worst thing ever.

    More appropriate?

  27. Aaron says:

    Yay! I wanted to listen to the other Penn & Teller podcast the other day, but it never loads, and was making me increasingly irritated. But here comes team Nerdist! Reading my mind, and making me happy 🙂

    Way to go guys!

  28. Matt Grandis says:

    Thank you! So great to have Penn back. I imagine Teller sitting in the whole time.

    Poll time: Penn’s laugh – best thing or best thing ever?

  29. pbnews says:

    Yep, pretty sure it’s Criss Angel he’s referring to… As a local, I’ve seen both shows, and there’s no question P&T is better (it’s the best show in Vegas, hands down). But I’ve also seen worse than Criss Angel — there are some seriously bad acts here…

    Props for the Capriotti’s reference. Forget the pastrami, though — gotta go for ‘The Bobbie’.

  30. Todd says:

    He’s talking about Criss Angel, right?

  31. Pedak says:

    When are we going to hear from Teller?