The Best Episodes of Penn & Teller: Bullshit!
In society, there are many products and ideas that we buy into. Some of these products, services or ideas are just plain bullshit. Well known magicians: Penn and Teller are here to knock some sense into people in a humorous and informal way and to explain why some things in life are just bullshit.
#1 - Video Games
Season 7 - Episode 3
Politicians and other alarmists claim that playing violent video games leads to teen violence. Penn & Teller attempt to debunk that theory by handing over a real semi-automatic weapon to a nine-year-old to see if playing video games will turn him into a human killing machine.
#2 - 12-Stepping
Season 2 - Episode 11
There's no proof that AA or any other 12-Step program is any more effective than going cold turkey, doing things in moderation or getting medical help. And there's a debate raging whether alcoholism is even a disease! The quasi-religious 12-step groups have America brainwashed into believing that a higher power will take care of everything. Whatever happened to personal responsibility?!
#3 - Vaccinations
Season 8 - Episode 10
In the Season 8 finale, vaccination is considered modern medicine's greatest weapon against disease but thanks to pseudo-science and public gullibility, the debate over vaccination safety rages on.
#4 - War on Porn
Season 6 - Episode 1
In the sixth season premiere, Penn and Teller look at the "War on Porn",a crusade by various special interest groups to restrict free speech and regulate the Internet.
#6 - The Apocalypse
Season 7 - Episode 4
The world will end on December 21, 2012 - that's according to a growing legion of doomsayers who follow the primitive Mayan calendar. The duo follows a pair of investigators to ancient Mexico to explore the mysterious "Mayan Prophecy".
#7 - Family Values
Season 3 - Episode 2
There's a hysteria in America. A hysteria about what's become known as "the traditional family" and the desperate urgency to "save" it. And this rallying cry is not just coming from right wing conservatives and religious groups in the Red States (although, they're doing their share of tub-thumping.) The media (advertisers) and the government also have a vested interest in perpetuating the traditional concept of family: mother, father, two kids, dog and picket fence. But this hysteria is ignoring a key fact, the "traditional family" is bullshit. The traditional family structure may be for some, but it isn't for everyone. Shouldn't we stop trying to jam square pegs into round holes? Isn't it time for "Bullshit" to redefine the definition of "family?"
#8 - The Best
Season 3 - Episode 13
Penn and Teller skewer our pursuit of "the best" in everything, from neighborhoods to electronics to automobiles to spouses, and demonstrate how such rampant consumerism is a race designed so that the runners never win.
#9 - Holier Than Thou
Season 3 - Episode 5
To most of the world, highly revered figures such as Mother Theresa, Mahatma Gandhi and the Dalai Lama are larger-than-life symbols of love, peace and charity. But how much of our perception of "sainthood" is built on hype and not facts? This episode reveals the dark side of the so-called enlightened ones and delves into why we're so susceptible to buying into their bullshit.
#10 - War on Drugs
Season 2 - Episode 4
America is waging a massive war on its home soil, a war it is losing. Our country spends $20 billion a year in drug enforcement, but the illegal drug industry is thriving. Should we even be waging this war, when alcohol is legal and pushed every night on network TV? By criminalizing drugs, we just turn non-violent citizens into criminals. And medicinal uses of marijuana are being blocked by crusading moralists yelling "family values."
#11 - Circumcision
Season 3 - Episode 1
Finally, an episode that will make every man feel regret, cringe with pain, and grab their genitals. What would make the male sex react like this? Two words - snip and chuck. If this alone doesn't make you cringe then this will: when your foreskin was removed thirty percent of your sexual pleasure went with that little piece of skin. Ouch! We'll examine the historical, religious, medical and ethical arguments associated with circumcision. And we'll have a little hidden-camera fun with the topic, as well. After all we are talking about dick!
#12 - Boy Scouts
Season 4 - Episode 1
The Boy Scouts of America restricts scout membership and leadership opportunities to homosexuals and straight males who DON'T believe in God. According to the BSA, atheists and gays don't make good scouts or good role models. If the Boy Scouts of America were a privately funded group, it could discriminate against and hate anyone it damn well wanted to. But the Boy Scouts of America is dependent upon Federal, State and local government handouts. So, the BSA and their intolerance… are BULLSHIT!
#13 - Exorcism
Season 5 - Episode 5
Penn and Teller battle the forces of evil when they witness three modern-day exorcists performing their demonic casting-out duties, then pay a visit to the "Black Pope," the leader of the Church of Satan.
#14 - Exercise vs. Genetics
Season 2 - Episode 12
Exercise Schmexerise. Here's the shocker: the power of genetics determines your body type. Throw away all those fitness machines, gym memberships and exercise manuals, the size and shape of your body was decided the moment you were conceived. A look at the huge amount of bullshit behind the exercise industry. Gym memberships, fat-burning, muscle-building supplements, exercise tapes and equipment - we're fair game... and so are they!
#16 - Breast Hysteria
Season 5 - Episode 3
Penn & Teller look at women's breasts and society's response to them. In New York City, we meet a young mother who inadvertently tested corporate tolerance for breast-feeding in public. Further south, in Daytona Beach, Florida, we meet a woman who challenged the rights to flash her breasts in public. We also meet a breast cancer survivor who is not a supporter of those ubiquitous Pink Ribbons. And, down in the valley of porn, we find a topless porn star/mother of two who philosophizes on the benefits of the La Leche League.
#17 - P.E.T.A.
Season 2 - Episode 1
PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) is against all forms of medical testing involving animals - regardless of the potential benefits to human beings. PETA supports banning the ownership of pets and advocates releasing them into the wild. It's enough to make a vegetarian eat meat!
#18 - Criminal Justice
Season 8 - Episode 7
Is America's criminal justice system weighed down with bad science, ineffective methods, incompetence and corruption? Penn & Teller set out to reveal that the only thing scarier than crime is America's war on crime.
#19 - Fast Food
Season 8 - Episode 2
Hold on to your cheeseburger! Public Health agencies, food activists and special interest groups have launched an all-out war against fast food restaurants. Should the government really be spending our tax dollars to regulate what, where, and how we eat?
#20 - Astrology
Season 7 - Episode 2
Millions of people believe their destinies are determined by the positions of the sun, moon, and planets. Penn & Teller follow two astrologers as they dole out advice - for a price.
#21 - Anger Management
Season 5 - Episode 10
Penn & Teller look into Anger Management classes and venting.
#22 - New Age Medicine
Season 6 - Episode 2
Penn and Teller take a skeptical look at New Age medicine and its outrageous, unsupported claims of healing despite a heap of evidence that it doesn't work.
#23 - Cryptozoology
Season 4 - Episode 4
BULLSHIT tours Inverness, Scotland, the home of the Loch Ness Monster, with two "cryptozoologists" who try to lure the mythical giant of the deep to the surface... with a bag of fish guts. Later, we investigate the latest mysterious Bigfoot footage posted on the internet. In between, we check in with some credentialed scientists for their take on the bullshit "science" of Cryptozoology. Will our scientific experts conclusively debunk the existence of mythical creatures? Here's a hint: Crypto means "hidden" while zoology stands for the study of animals. Put them together and what do you get? BULLSHIT!
#24 - Prostitution
Season 4 - Episode 2
Everyone knows that prostitution is practiced throughout the land. Where it is legal - in only a few Nevada counties, prostitution is vigorously regulated and monitored by the State of Nevada Health Department. The women submit to compulsory medical tests for STDs. No one is forced to work as a prostitute. Pimps don't exist. HIV has never been detected. The women earn regular paychecks and tips. Some even get vacation and sick days. And they pay taxes! It's BULLSHIT that it's illegal for two consenting adults to have sex with each other!
#25 - Detoxing
Season 5 - Episode 4
Penn & Teller expose the truth behind our supposedly toxic insides. We find out about "colonics" and those "cleansing" diets including today's diet darling, the "Neera Super Cleanse." An actual Parasitologist - a scientist who studies parasites - tells us the truth about the parasites among and within us. A visit to the world's largest inflatable walk-through colon rounds out the episode.