Penn and Teller Suit: Magician Stole Our Trick

Dutch illusionist tries to sell shadow trick's explanation

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 17, 2012 2:53 PM CDT | Updated Apr 21, 2012 12:30 PM CDT

(Newser) – Half of Penn and Teller is suing a fellow magician who he says ripped off a classic trick. Dutch illusionist Gerard Bakardy reportedly posted a YouTube video of "Rose and Her Shadow," a trick at the heart of the duo's repertoire, and Barkardy said he'd reveal the secret to anyone willing to shell out $3,050. Teller (the quiet one) says he offered to pay Bakardy, whose real name is Gerard Dogge, to desist from performing and selling the trick. But Bakardy wanted more cash, so Teller is suing in Nevada, his home state.

The lawsuit calls the trick the "oldest, most venerated piece of material in continuous use" in Penn and Teller performances. In it, the performer uses a knife to slice into the shadow of a flower in a vase; both the shadow and the flower itself appear to be cut. Teller filed for copyright of the trick as a "pantomime" in 1983, so he may have a case, the Independent reports. Check out a diagram here, via Yahoo. Dogge's YouTube video has been removed.

US illusionists and magicians Penn Jillette, left, and Raymond Teller.
US illusionists and magicians Penn Jillette, left, and Raymond Teller.   (AP Photo/Sang Tan)
Teller, the quiet half of the Penn and Teller magician team.
Teller, the quiet half of the Penn and Teller magician team.   (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
Penn Jillette, left, and Raymond Teller.
Penn Jillette, left, and Raymond Teller.   (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)
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