American magician, comedian and writer
Date of Birth: 14.02.1948
Country: USA

  1. Biography of Teller
  2. Early Life and Education
  3. Magician and Comedian
  4. Atheism and Libertarianism
  5. The Silent Performer

Biography of Teller

Teller, born Raymond Joseph Teller in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is an American magician, comedian, and writer. He is best known for being one half of the magic duo "Penn & Teller," alongside Penn Jillette. Teller is a passionate advocate for atheism, libertarianism, free-market economics, and scientific skepticism. He officially changed his name from Raymond Joseph Teller to simply "Teller," becoming one of the few Americans with a single-word passport.


Early Life and Education

Teller was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to a Cuban and Russian-Jewish heritage. After completing high school, Teller attended Amherst College and later Lawrence University, where he studied English and Latin. In 2001, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame of his old high school.


Magician and Comedian

Teller is a professional magician specializing in classic sleight of hand tricks. He is also one of the most renowned experts in the history of magic and a talented artist. Alongside Penn Jillette, Teller has written three books on the theory of magic and co-authored the biography of his father, "When I'm Dead All This Will Be Yours!: Joe Teller - A Portrait by His Kid." Teller's father, Joe Teller, was an artist heavily influenced by George Lichty's "Grin and Bear It" comic strip.

Atheism and Libertarianism

Teller is an outspoken atheist, skeptic, and a member of the Cato Institute, a well-known libertarian organization that also includes Penn Jillette. The duo frequently mentioned the Cato Institute in their television project "Bullshit!" Teller's memoir of his father reveals a collection of previously unpublished artwork and comics, shedding light on his father's life. The book received high praise from Publishers Weekly.

The Silent Performer

During his performances, Teller rarely speaks, except for rare occasions like voicing the Gorilla in the early Broadway show. This unique style of silent magic originated from Teller's college days when he discovered that his silence captivated audiences' attention and reduced the number of thrown beer cans. Before partnering with Penn Jillette, Teller performed with his old friend, Weir Chrismer. In 1975, Raymond met Penn and they initially performed as a trio at the Asparagus Valley Cultural Society before becoming a duo and touring the country with their shows.

In November 2008, Teller published an article titled "Attention and Awareness in Stage Magic: Turning Tricks into Research" in "Nature Reviews Neuroscience."