Magicians and entertainers Penn Gillette and Raymond Teller did something Friday that they’ve done only four times in their 40-year career. They had to cancel a show on short notice. Wonderwall reports that the comedy team was set to perform in Mississippi, but 70-year-old Teller’s back problems became more than he could manage, so the show could not go on. Apparently something happened during their show the night before that pushed his condition over the edge. Teller tweeted an apology to his fans.
“My sincere apologies to our fans in Biloxi and folks who were planning on seeing the Vegas show. Last night during the show my back firmly ordered me to cut the crap and get it fixed. So I’m stopping work from today till August 18th and getting my back surgery pronto. Love -T.”
Fans were understanding and responded back to Teller with wishes for a speedy recovery, for which he was very grateful. The track record of Penn & Teller shows how seriously they take their appearances, so it’s a big deal for them too, something Penn commented on in a tweet, saying he and the show’s crew “feel disoriented and befuddled — as if we’re in one of those showbiz nightmares where you can’t find your way back to the stage in time for the next cue.”
Forty years of things like hanging upside down in straight jackets and climbing around on stage takes its toll. Teller has had problems with his back for a while and had back surgery already scheduled, but is now planning to have it sooner than previously planned. He promised they would return on August 18 “with a spring in our step” and that they wait would be worth it because the show would include some new material soon after his return. Penn chimed in his agreement saying that would be “back and bad” in August.
Their website says that Penn & Teller have won the award for “Las Vegas Magicians of the Year” eight times. They also have the longest-running show at The Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino, have clocked 15 years at that venue. They also have the longest-running series on Showtime, Penn & Teller: BS, and have received 13 Emmy nominations for the show. That show is more than magic. It takes a look at some popular, but fake topics like alien abduction and psychics. The duo currently hosts a show on The CW titled Penn & Teller: Fool Us that features performers who are rising in the world of magic. They try to fool Penn and Teller for a chance to perform in their Las Vegas show.