Penn & Teller help test a contestant’s amazing powers of recall on tonight’s SuperHuman on FOX — in a routine which sees Penn Jillette shoot a nailgun into one of his hands and his crotch.
Watch our exclusive clip below as the magicians help challenge U.S. Army veteran Tom Gore to a hyper-awareness task.
In the challenge, Tom must watch a daring stunt performed by Jillette with a loaded nail gun while other things go on around him on a chaotic crowded stage.
Host Kal Penn tells him: “To be successful, you must use your hyper-awareness to examine every minute detail within the scene, because once the performance has finished, we will ask you three specific questions to test you.”
Penn & Teller then take the stage before Jillette explains the nail-gun stunt, saying: “This is a magic trick that’s kind of about memorization…memorization acts in magic have been out of fashion for a little while.
“We tried to make our version less totally cerebral by adding in a nail gun.”
Shocking the audience, Jillette then whips out the nail gun and starts driving nails into a plank of wood.
He says: “I hope you’re all aware of how bad nail guns are. They’re responsible for about 30,000 emergency room visits a year, right here in the USA.”
He methodically explains to Tom what he is doing whilst Teller performs various stunts with a woman on one side of the stage, with another woman performing a separate routine on the other.
Jillette explains how the gun is loaded with nails in what is called a “stray” — similar to a round of bullets in a gun. When a nail is removed from the stray, the nail-gun will still fire air and make a sound but no nail will come out.
As long as he can remember the sequence of nails that he’s pulled out of the stray, Jillette can then fire the nail-gun into his body without doing any damage.
He then begins shooting the gun either at the plank of wood or at his hand, before ending his performance by firing it between his legs.
Grinning, Jillette says: “It makes the whole show just a little more visceral.”
Tom is then tested on the minute details of what took place during the performance, and incredibly is able to correctly recall what was pulled out of one of the numbered hats by Teller on a table to his right.
But will he correctly remember the other two tiny details over which he’s questioned?
SuperHuman airs Mondays at 9/8c on FOX.