Penn is the talkative half of Penn & Teller, who became disenchanted with traditional illusionist acts that presented the craft as authentic magic. When he turned 18, he saw a show by illusionist James Randi, and became enamored of his approach to magic that openly acknowledged deception as entertainment rather than a mysterious supernatural power.
Penn met Teller in 1975, where they formed part of a three-person act called Asparagus Valley Cultural Society which played in San Francisco. In 1981, he and Teller teamed up as Penn & Teller, and went on to do a famous off-Broadway show.
By 1985, Penn & Teller were receiving rave reviews for their Off Broadway show and Emmy award-winning PBS special, "Penn & Teller Go Public." In 1987, they began the first of two successful Broadway runs. Penn & Teller had national tours throughout the 1990s, gaining critical praise from New York to San Francisco for bringing a fresh slant to an often-tired show business realm.
The first of more than 20 appearances on "Late Night with David Letterman" soon followed, along with appearances on a wide range of television: "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," "Miami Vice," "Late Night with Conan O'Brien," "Hollywood Squares," "The Today Show," "Saturday Night Live," "The Drew Carey Show," "Friends," "Dharma & Greg," "Home Improvement," and one of television's most honored rolls: animated guests on "The Simpsons."
Along the way Jillette has authored five books, two that made the New York Times best-sellers list, won an Emmy, co-hosted four television series, including the current hit Showtime series "Penn & Teller: [censored]!" (2003-present) and executive produced and co-created the most talked about film of 2005, The Aristocrats.
Penn married television producer Emily Zolten at a Las Vegas wedding chapel on November 23, 2004. Their first child, daughter Moxie CrimeFighter Jillette, was born on June 3, 2005 and their son, Zolten Penn Jillette, on May 22, 2006.
Penn is an advocate of the legalization of all drugs.
Penn is an outspoken atheist, libertarian and skeptic.
Penn's skeptical, outspoken, tell-it like-it is opinions have made him a favorite pundit of the cable news talk shows.
He never drinks or smokes.