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Merlyn_LeRoy

Penn & Teller on the Boy Scouts on Monday

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Penn & Teller's opening show of the season is about the Boy Scouts:

http://www.philly.com/mld/inquirer/news/magazine/daily/14237292.htm

...

The season premiere Monday at 10 p.m. takes on what Teller calls one of his favorite topics in four years of doing the series: the Boy Scouts.

 

"The Boy Scouts of America is no longer entirely what people think it is," Teller, who grew up in the shadow of The Inquirer tower in Philadelphia, where some people still know his first name, said in a phone interview Thursday. "Essentially, it has been hijacked by religious conservatives.

 

"Examining that in depth was way fun. It also let Penn and me dress up in Boy Scout uniforms." Penn even got to wear the very Merit Badge sash he had decorated as a youth. His sister, a former Girl Scout, dug it out from a trunk back home in Massachusetts and sent it off to Las Vegas, where Penn & Teller perform their anti-magic show six nights a week.

 

"I never went further than the Cub Scouts," Teller confessed in the interview, "where I did a magic show and got pelted by hard candy. It was one of the early and most painful experiences of my life, but it was character-building.

 

"The Cub Scouts built my character by mockery and hard candy."

 

As a tribute to the effort of Penn's sister, P&T point out at the end of the show that, unlike the Boy Scouts, the Girl Scouts have no rules barring membership because of sexual orientation or religious belief. This gives our guys a chance to cuddle on stage with a few cuties falling out of their Girl Scout uniforms.

 

The magicians are serious, however, in exposing what they see as the deceptive practices of organizations like the Boy Scouts and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. In an installment later this month on the death penalty, they are even respectful of one of their guests who represents the opposing view.

...

 

Both Penn & Teller are atheists, by the way.

 

Here are the times the above show is supposed to run on Showtime (all times ET/PT)

Monday 10:00 PM

Monday 11:00 PM

Thursday 10:00 PM

Friday 12:00 AM

Apr 8 12:00 AM

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Well isn't that the definitive study of the Boy Scouts of America? A comedian/ magician team.

Maybe we should wait for Larry the Cable Guy's opinion next.

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Well there we have it! It's now a fact! Endorsed by two godless and not very funny comedians! Merlyn, thanks for posting such useless information! I can't wait for your post letting us know Osama bin Laden feels the same way!

 

Ed Mori

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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Other than a mention that Penn and Teller are athiests, it doesn't look like Merlyn is making any point other than reciting an article talking about what Penn and Teller are going to be talking about on their Showtime show. Of course, other's will read into the post what they will.

 

No matter what you might think of the program (and without seeing it, you won't know what is discussed other than what was mentioned in the quoted article) those known in their community to be active in Scouting (for many, the "go to" people for questions about Scouting) may want to watch the program if only to be able to refute what is said if people ask - fore-warned is fore-armed.

 

CalicoPenn

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Thanks for the heads up, Merlyn.

 

I'll definitely be taping it. I think getting defensive about it, before it even airs, shows a bit of shortsightedness on our part.

 

True, Penn and Teller are terribly irreverent concerning their program topics, but I haven't seen them lie yet -- though I've only seen a few shows. Many Americans are uncomfortable with our organizational stances -- it won't take much work on Penn and Teller's part to separate our present from our past -- in the eyes of their typical viewing audience.

 

I guess, the important questions are:

 

Does it matter or is their audience already convinced of their negative impression of BSA?

 

Is the truth enough, or will P+T go over the top in their traditional approach to humor, magic and challenging cultural icons?

 

Can we learn something from the show?

 

Others?

 

jd

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I find it interesting to see how people respond to ideas or world views that they disagree with. For example, by equating a couple of comedians/magicians with Osama bin Laden.

 

I've never seen Penn & Teller, never heard of them before. I almost certainly won't be watching them. If I did I might or might not find them and their show about scouting amusing, I don't know. If I found them offensive (or not, for that matter) I might respond either here or in some other venue.

 

But comparing them to a known terrorist who helped kill thousands of innocent people? C'mon, we can do better than that.

 

Lisa'bob

 

 

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I love it when people read into posts!

 

No where did I compare Penn & Teller to bin Laden. My point (which seemed to be lost on some) was who cares what Penn & Teller think of the BSA! Or what bin Laden thinks!

 

Sorry for the rant!

 

Ed Mori

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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"Well there we have it! It's now a fact! Endorsed by two godless and not very funny comedians! Merlyn, thanks for posting such useless information! I can't wait for your post letting us know Osama bin Laden feels the same way!"

 

Sorry Ed. It seems pretty much like a comparison to me.

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Call me silly, but I interpret Ed's statement to mean the following:

 

Penn & Teller's discontentment with the BSA provides the same shock value as stating that bin Laden has issues with the BSA. As to why that is, Ed does not say. However, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to discern Penn & Teller as ultra-liberals who like to assail conservative organizations (and like it or not, the BSA is pretty much considered to be such an organization). Osama bin Laden clearly hates all things American, including the BSA. While bin Ladens motives may be different than Penn & Tellers, both dislike the BSAand that dislike for the BSA was and is highly predictable. I believe that was Eds point. So...put your overly sensitive, hyper critical minds to rest - I'm sure he was not accusing Penn & Teller as being covert terrorists.

(This message has been edited by Rooster7)

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Penn & Teller are hardly the first comedians to take a few shots at Boy Scouts. As an institution, the BSA has been parodied by many, including Saturday Night Live, The Flintsones, Jetsons & Simpsons and a host of others.

 

The usual scenario is a bumbling overly zealous adult leader over-run or saved by his young charges. If P&T introduces politics into their routine it may be a different twist.

 

Look at it this way. Other than Youth baseball leagues, I can't think of another youth organization that gets as much comedic media attention. Maybe this is in the category of there's no such thing as bad publicity. We'll have to see the show.

 

Me, I can't tear myself away from an episode of 24 Hours for this. Let me know how it turns out.

 

SA

 

 

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"All Politics is Local"

 

If our organization seems intolerant of certain beliefs, it is because we are intolerant of those beliefs.

 

If our Cubs pelt a nascent magician with hard candy, it is because they (the 'us' back then) (as Cub leaders) allowed it to happen.

 

P & T are talented magicians and satirical comedians. For a successful comedian, any thing is fair game. I remember seeing MAD magazines parody of the "Handbook for Boys" back about 1965(?), and being very uncomfortable, even angry. "How dare they!!" MAD magazine was one of my favorite activities as I came up thru the ranks. Betrayed!! Well, I learned to take the bigger view. It WAS funny. Maybe we needed to see that satire and comment...

 

How is today any different? Can we look at ourselves as others see us?

 

If we dish it out, can we take it?

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