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Penn Jillette learned Spanish during COVID. Now he’s booked in Valencia.

Updated May 8, 2023 - 11:58 am

He can now juggle, in Spanish!

Penn Jillette has a long history of practical jokes. So his mention of his upcoming, Spanish-speaking show, in Spain, with no Teller, prompted skepticism.

“Wait, you are really doing this?” I asked in a phone chat Friday.

“Really,” Jillette said.

Jillette’s first Spanish-speaking shows are on the books. The verbal partner of Penn & Teller learned to speak Spanish during the pandemic shutdown. He knows the language well enough to perform alongside the great Spanish magician Jandro, for four shows in Valencia on June 23, 24 and 25. All of the “Jandro & Penn” shows are nearly sold out.

“Jandro has been my Spanish tutor and we’ve become very good friends,” Jillette said. “He’s been on ‘Fool Us,’ five times, and has fooled us five times.”

Jillette declined to speak Spanish in the interview.

“Oh, no, I’m too nervous,” the verbal member of Penn & Teller said. “But I’ll be doing it onstage.

Penn & Teller are returning with 20 more “Fool Us” shows in August, which means 21 new magic tricks. Over time, the duo has written 160 new tricks for the series, and it’s highly doubtful any magician or team has written more magic than Penn & Teller.

Before the “Fool Us” run, Penn & Teller tour the U.K. for four weeks starting May 25. Popular magician Michael Carbonaro takes over the Rio’s Penn & Teller Theater from May 25-July 2.

And before then (and the reason for this phone chat), Penn & Teller again serve as grand marshals for the 33rd Annual Aid for AIDS of Nevada’s (AFAN) AIDS Walk Las Vegas. The event returns to Sunset Park from 8 to 11 a.m. Sunday. Individuals and teams can register and support by visiting afanlv.org.

Norma + Las Vegas Theatre Co., Las Vegas Men’s Chorus, vocalist Chadwick Johnson, performers from Piranha Nightclub, ex-“Absinthe” cast member and “The Sweets’ Spot” YouTube series creator Melody Sweets, “Vegas! The Show” performers, members of “Chippendales,” and “Glam: The Fabulous Rooftop Party” at Palms are scheduled to perform.

Penn & Teller have appeared as grand marshals for 22 straight years. We’ve done so many preview interviews, he says, “We’ve done these interviews so much, we’re done now, aren’t we?” Never. See you at Sunset Park, and maybe Spain.

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His “PodKats!” podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at jkatsilometes@reviewjournal.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

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