What are the challenges and benefits that come with playing in front of a Las Vegas crowd?
Penn Jillette: George Carlin hated playing Vegas. The big difference is not who the people are, but how they buy tickets. When we play Chicago or London, we're sold out two or three months before we get there. The people are very focused on the show they're about to see. The first laughs are more than they deserve. The first applause is more than it deserves.
In Vegas, three-quarters of the audience has decided to see our show within the last three hours before it begins. They decide to see our show based on, "Listen, honey, do you want to go to a buffet, do you want to fuck, or do you want to see a show? Well, let's see the one at 9. Let's see Penn & Teller."
George Carlin hated coming out in front of an audience like that. I tend to like an understated audience. I like having a chance to win them over. I like them learning who we are that night. But culturally, the United States has become rather homogeneous. I used to think there was a difference between playing New York and playing Ohio. That's no longer true. When we play the Bible Belt, every single atheist in town is at our show.