This Thursday, Jeff Goldblum took to the virtual stage at New York Comic Con to discuss the second episode of his Disney+ and National Geographic show, The World According to Jeff Goldblum. Moderator Rosy Cordero interviewed him alongside magicians Penn and Teller and Erik Blackwell. Goldblum filmed the second episode exploring the world of magicians and illusionists, but still had wide-eyed curiosity for the work of his fellow panelists.
The three magicians discussed what they love about magic and why they do it. Penn Jillette sees magic as the art of deception. But he believes the guided deception of it provides a useful service. “The most important thing we do in life is determine what is true and what is not true,” he explained, adding that hopefully when people see magic and get duped they think about how easy it is to get deceived and work harder to find truth.
They also spoke about what got them into magic in the first place. Jillette admitted that he hated magic at first until he saw the potential for using it as a teaching tool. Unsurprisingly, Teller said nothing for a while. But at this question he became uncharacteristically talkative. Growing up he became interested in magic tricks watching the Howdy Doody children’s program. Picking up a magic book, it promised to improve his social life. Did it?
“[It] did nothing but damage to my social life. When you meet someone they don’t want the first thing you do to be deceiving them,” he explained dryly.
Erik fell in love with magic when he was 12 and a food delivery person did a magic trick at his door. He eventually got into street magic, but had to adapt during the COVID-19 pandemic. Having lost his Instagram, he rebuilt it during the pandemic and did tricks online. “Doing magic virtually changed a lot. Brought a lot of joy to people. I want to write a book about it,” he said, discussing the way social media changed the game for him. Jillette agreed, relating how the increase in televised and then online magic shows has helped diversify a field with a lot of gatekeepers.
Other segments in the upcoming episode will involve Goldblum meeting illusionist Zach King, a medium, and three witches in California who have a backyard coven that Jeff gets in on. “I drink a potion. It’s some kind of magic,” he said, before clarifying, “It’s not magic mushrooms.”
Closing out the panel, Cordero asked Goldblum why people love magic. His answer? Distinctly Goldblum. “It gives us a taste of humble pie. Which is delicious.”
Season 2 of The World According to Jeff Goldblum will conjure itself up on Disney+ on November 12.