The End of Penn & Teller?

Not really, but...

     According to the story, Teller came up with an idea for a rather unusual way of revealing a card at the conclusion of a trick. You can find this effect in their book Penn and Teller's How to Play in Traffic. After teaching you how to force a card, you were directed to take your spectator with you to pay a visit to the Forest Lawn Cemetery in California. Now of course, if one didn’t live in California, revealing the card wouldn’t work, and in Teller’s original concept, you would have been directed to cemeteries all over the country. They did have several cenotaphs (grave markers) made by Buddy Slifkin’s firm, Keystone Memorial Company, in Allentown, Pennsylvania, but in the end, only one was ever used.

 

     The primary reason they were limited to one location had to do partially with expense, but there was also issue of not being allowed to use a cemetery plot for anything other than burying the dead. Let’s face it; cemeteries are considered sacred spaces and not intended for the punch line to someone’s idea of a joke.


   

      In fact to worm (pun intended) their way into such a hallowed site as Forest Lawn required a great deal of money, lawyers, and what Penn described as “disingenuous speech.” However, they were successful this one time and purchased a burial plot in the Forest Lawn Cemetery and had a cenotaph marker installed on the ground that has the words "Is this your card?" inscribed on its face. It also bears an image of the Three of Clubs. (The plot is located very close to the grave of legendary comedian Stan Laurel.) As Penn and Teller intended with this “eternal card trick,” once your force the Three of Clubs on an unsuspecting friend or spectator, you are to lead them to Forest Lawn for the unexpected discovery of his or her selected card.

 

Primary Resources:

http://www.catsafterme.com/blog/archives/11817

http://www.genealogue.com/2008/10/eternal-card-trick.html

http://paulharrisonline.blogspot.com/1997/10/penn-jillette.html

http://www.scoutingla.com/this-gravestone-knows-what-card-youre-thinking-of/