Monday, March 08, 2010

Project 365 (67/365): Casey At The Bat

.:67/365: Casey At The Bat:.

A skinny Penn! This is so rare!

The “Casey At The Bat” routine is, admittedly, also an escape act involving a straightjacket. Despite that, it’s the presentation Penn and Teller use that makes it worthy of discussion.

A few days ago, you saw a fairly simple escape from a straightjacket. It wasn’t particularly amazing, but there was nice by-play in the scene that was shown. What Penn and Teller have managed to do here was to take the upside-down escape, already quite a spectacle on its own, and then go and turn it into something even more frenetic and exciting than it already is, to begin with.

The poem “Casey at the Bat” was perfect because it was just long enough for Penn and Teller to play around with the poem to deliver the poem at an increasingly speedy pace at key points in the act. This humorous take and apparent sadism on Penn’s part certainly catches the audience’s attention as Teller helplessly struggles to get out of his restraints, knowing that he could break his neck if he failed to finish the escape before Penn could finish reading the poem.

Penn and Teller are very well-known for this kind of shock value that they employ in order to really leave an indelible mark on their audiences. The impact they have, and the genius of being able to employ even the simplest of magic routines and turning them into a grand and comedic spectacle is something I idolize about Penn and Teller so much. This pretty much explains why I’ve always been a huge fan of the duo, and it makes all the sense in the world why I would be so.

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