Penn & Teller BURN An American FLAG @ The White House !!! (Sort of...)

Discussion in 'Flag Books and Media' started by Robin Hickman, Jun 5, 2009.

  1. Robin Hickman

    Robin Hickman Well-Known Member

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    GREETINGS !!!

    I remember (back in the day...) as if it were only yesterday..... It sure doesn't seem like it was four-and-a-half years ago, but it was. :rolleyes:

    It was December 8th, 2004 (one day after Pearl Harbor Rememberance Day) and I was watching one of my all-time favorite television programs, "The West Wing" (on NBC).

    It was The West Wing's sixth award-winning season and the eighth episode of the season was being broadcast (Live! In Living Color!). The name of the episode was, "In The Room".

    The "In The Room" plot went something like this : Aboard Air Force One, Pesident Bartlet (Martin Sheen) is stricken by a paralyzing MS episode, while Josh Lyman (Bradley Whitford) is approached to run the Vice President's presidential campaign. The Bartlet Administration offers Republican California Senator Arnold Vinick (Alan Alda) the position of the US Ambassador to the UN, but he turns it down and announces his candidacy for the Presidency instead. Governor Baker (Ed O'Neill) drops out of the Democratic nomination race, making Vice-President Robert "Bingo Bob" Russell (Gary Cole) the clear front-runner.

    Now all that is "all well and good", but that's NOT what makes this one of my favorite episodes, and it's also NOT the reason "why" this episode was one of the series' more "contoversial" ones.

    SO . . . . . . What's the BIG deal ?


    Penn & Teller, the "Dynamic Duo of Magic", BURN an American FLAG right there in the White House at the end of their magic act during the birthday party for the First Family's youngest daughter, Zoey !!! :eek:


    Anyway, I'd recently gotten to thinking about that particular incident in that episode and I wanted to see it again, so I went looking for it.

    And I FOUND it on YouTube !

    "Penn & Teller BURN An American Flag In The White House" :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NymRecFWgAs


    WHO'DA THUNK IT ??? :eek:


    Robin Hickman
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  2. Robin Hickman

    Robin Hickman Well-Known Member

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    GREETINGS !!!


    I know some of you are going to be wondering just HOW Penn & Teller managed to burn a perfectly good American Flag right in front of our eyes. Here's a video of them "revealing" to us just how they did the "dastardly deed" :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jF2iX2VG6e4

    See? Now that wasn't SO bad, now was it ???

    Robin Hickman
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  3. coasterville

    coasterville Member

    Ah yes, I wish they would have shown the whole trick on West Wing, but their point remains the same.

    And of course, being magicians, the full version, even whee they show how the trick is done, has a final "Gotcha" when the flag disappears only to reappear back on its staff.

    It's a great clip, it instantly hits your hot button by appearing to do something considered taboo, and turns it into a celebration of 1st ammendment rights.
     
  4. Robin Hickman

    Robin Hickman Well-Known Member

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    Hey, Coasterville !

    Thanx for the comment !


    One of the things that some people "object" to in the second video (the "trick" explained), is that at the very end of the explanation (before the waving Flag is shown on the pole), they (P & T) appear to once again, set fire to the Flag using "flash" paper.


    BUT . . . . .


    IF you S-L-O-W the video down, you'll see the Flag disappear UP Teller's left sleeve (his own left - the observer's right) as the flash paper goes "UP" in a "flash" and his hand follows it UP.

    [ NOTE : I believe that while Teller's left hand and arm are behind Penn's back, he attaches the Flag to some kind of elastic "retieval" device hidden up his sleeve. When the "flash" paper is set on fire, all Teller has to do is let go of the Flag with his right hand and raise his left hand at the same rate of speed the flaming "flash" paper rises. ]


    Not bad for a "graduate" of "Clown School", eh ???



    Robin Hickman
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