Penn & Teller Tell a Lie

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Penn & Teller Tell a Lie
Created byPenn Jillette
Developed by117 Productions
StarringPenn Jillette
Country of originUnited States
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes6[1] (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s)Peter Adam Golden
Running time45 minutes
Original networkDiscovery Channel
Picture format1080i (HDTV)
Original releaseOctober 5 (2011-10-05) – November 9, 2011

Penn & Teller Tell a Lie is a six-part series starring Penn Jillette and Teller. Each episode contains six or seven stories,[2] including a demonstration performed by the hosts during the recording of the show as the last story. One of the stories is falsified, and the rest are true. During each broadcast, viewers can guess which story is the lie, voting on Discovery's website, with the answer and voting results revealed at the end of the episode.

The series aired on the Discovery Channel beginning Wednesday, October 5, 2011.[3][4] The show is also broadcast in the UK on Channel Quest which premiered on the 2nd of May 2012.


On April 14, 2011, Penn and Teller announced that their previous show, Penn & Teller: Bullshit!, had ended and that a new show, Penn & Teller: Secrets of the Universe, would begin on the Discovery Channel.[5] The show was later renamed Penn & Teller Tell a Lie.[6]

Recording of the first episode began on June 1, 2011.[7] The show started airing Wednesday, October 5, 2011.[4]

Critical reception[edit]

Reviews of the show have been mostly positive, although many reviewers compare the show to the Discovery Channel's other skepticism-themed show, MythBusters. Matt Blum of Wired Magazine wrote:

Skeptics, rejoice! MythBusters no longer is the only show that aims to teach its viewers to question their perceptions of reality before deciding what to believe. [...] It’s a very good show, which MythBusters fans will almost certainly enjoy and which non-MythBusters fans (if there are any who read this blog) should give a try.[8]

Brian Lowry of Variety wrote that the show was "A perfect companion for Mythbusters" and "a clever way for Discovery to ventilate its whimsical side without pandering".[9] Kevin McFarland of The A.V. Club called the show a mix of the icebreaker game "Two Truths And A Lie" mixed with a "Mythbusters-type reality show". He went on to say that the show was "sincerely watchable", but noted that "there are still kinks to be worked out".[10]


No. in series No. in season Title Original air date U.S. viewers (million)
11"Head of Hair Can Lift a Mustang"[11]October 5, 2011 (2011-10-05)1.259[12]
Claims about Airplanes, Alligators, Heat Shields, Tigers, Obscenity, Picking up girls, and Picking up mustangs.
22"You Can Blow Out a Forest Fire"[11]October 12, 2011 (2011-10-12)1.025[13]
Stories featuring Wing-walkers, Bacon, Wallpaper, Didgeridoos, "Mighty Cheese", Lasers, and Forest fires.
33"Piranha Will Not Kill You"[11]October 19, 2011 (2011-10-19)1.185[14]
Featuring gas tanks, wine, roadkill, eggs, robots, and piranha.
44"You Can Fly Using Hair Bleach for Fuel"[11]October 26, 2011 (2011-10-26)1.596[15]
Butter knife, termites, panning for gold, coin toss, crooked house, Peroxide rocket.
55"Hook and Loop Fabric is Stronger than Two Monster Trucks"[11]November 2, 2011 (2011-11-02)1.256[16]
Machine guns, Milk cloth, pizza in space, man vs horse, floating dessert, bottle game, Velcro.
66"You Can Crack a Safe with Liquid Nitrogen"[11]November 9, 2011 (2011-11-09)0.970[17]
Liquid Nitrogen, tattoos, highway music and echolocation.


  1. ^ "Shows A-Z - Penn & Teller Tell a Lie on Discovery". 5 October 2011. Retrieved 31 October 2011.
  2. ^ Mattise, Nathan (8 August 2011). "Storyboard: Penn & Teller Talk Deception and Performance at Comic-Con". Wired.
  3. ^ "Penn & Teller Come to Discovery Channel". The Discovery Insider Blog. Discovery Channel. 15 April 2011. Archived from the original on 25 April 2011. Retrieved 15 April 2011.
  4. ^ a b "Can You Guess the Lie?". Discovery Channel Shows Listing. Discovery Channel. 15 September 2011. Archived from the original on 1 October 2011. Retrieved 22 September 2011.
  5. ^ Jillette, Penn. "Twitter post". Twitter. Retrieved 15 April 2011. We are in NYC to announce "Penn & Teller: Secrets of the Universe" on The Discovery Channel. We'll tell the truth & we'll lie. No Bullshit.
  6. ^ Jillette, Penn. "Twitter post". Twitter. Retrieved 5 June 2011. It's now called 'Tell a Lie', and it seemed pretty good.
  7. ^ Jillette, Penn. "Twitter post". Retrieved 5 June 2011. This is it. Up early to head to set to start our first day of recording on Penn & Teller Tell a Lie! I'm stupid excited. It's happening.
  8. ^ Blum, Matt (October 5, 2011). "Penn & Teller Tell a Lie Is MythBusters Turned Sideways". Wired. Retrieved 2011-11-04.
  9. ^ Lowry, Brian (September 30, 2011). "Penn & Teller Tell a Lie". Variety. Retrieved 2011-11-04.
  10. ^ McFarland, Kevin (October 5, 2011). "Penn & Teller Tell A Lie debuts tonight on the Discovery Channel at 10 p.m. Eastern". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 2011-11-04.
  11. ^ a b c d e f "Penn and Teller tell a Lie: Episode Guide". Discovery Channel. Archived from the original on November 3, 2011. Retrieved November 4, 2011.
  12. ^ Seidman, Robert (7 October 2011). "Wednesday Cable: 'American Horror Story' Premiere, 'South Park' Return Top MLB Playoffs + 'Ghost Hunters,' 'Nick Swardson' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved 13 November 2011.
  13. ^ Seidman, Robert (13 October 2011). "Wednesday Cable Ratings: 'South Park' Rises; 'American Horror Story' Falls; + Brewers/Cards NLCS, 'Psych' Premiere, 'Ghost Hunters' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved 13 November 2011.
  14. ^ Seidman, Robert (20 October 2011). "Wednesday Cable Ratings:'Storage Wars' Tops Night, 'American Horror Story' Rises; 'South Park' Falls + 'Psych,' 'Pretty Little Liars' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved 13 November 2011.
  15. ^ Seidman, Robert (27 October 2011). "Wednesday Cable Ratings: 'American Horror Story' Series High Edges 'South Park' + 'Psych,' 'Daily Show,' 'Ultimate Fighter' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved 13 November 2011.
  16. ^ Seidman, Robert (3 November 2011). "Wednesday Cable Ratings: 'South Park,' 'American Horror Story' Lead + 'Psych,' 'Real World,' 'Mythbusters' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved 13 November 2011.
  17. ^ Seidman, Robert (10 November 2011). "Wednesday Cable Ratings: 'American Horror Story,' 'South Park' Lead; 'Psych' Lower + 'Real World,' 'Mythbusters' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved 13 November 2011.

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