Penn Jillette is not the man he used to be — or, rather, he’s about two-thirds the man he used to be. The magician/comedian made news last month when he revealed that, through the use of health-tracking technology and a radical diet, he managed to drop some 120 pounds from his 6-foot 6-inch frame. Now he’s at the CES 2016 expo, promoting a new campaign to help others radically alter their lives.
I got to sit down for a few minutes with the more loquacious half of the Penn & Teller team, which has been mystifying and amusing their fans at the Rio nearly every night since 2001.
Gillette is no stranger to CES. He says he manages to get to the big show roughly every other year. In fact, it was at last year’s CES that his wife approached the Withings booth and told company representatives how her husband used their scale to drop more than 100 pounds. That meeting led to the partnership Jillette is now promoting at CES 2016, as well as his Healthy Tricks campaign.
Gillette also acknowledges that any digital scale could have worked just as well in keeping him honest and on track. The key, he says, is constant access to information — like his weight and blood pressure — that technology like the Withings scale and blood pressure cuff give him.
Not surprisingly, the 60-year-old entertainer is also a bit of a geek. He likes to boast that he’s “an early adopter of things that don’t work,” says he has moved his life fully over to digital media, and can’t wait to get a driverless car of his own.
Sadly, he cannot pull that one out of a hat. Turns out even magic has its limits.
Dan Tynan is trapped in Las Vegas this week. You can commiserate with him on Twitter.
More from CES 2016:
- The Coolest Stuff We’ve Seen at CES: Huge TVs, Virtual Reality, and Retro Cameras
- CES 2016 First Look: Smart Showers and Robot Bartenders
- What Is CES, Anyway? A Quick Guide for the Perplexed
- 4 Big Trends at CES 2016: Cars, Wearables, Laptops, and Accessories for Everything
- Oculus Rift Will Cost $599 and Will Ship in March
- LG’s See-Through, Rollable OLED Screens: Here, But Not Cheap
- Meet CleverPet, the Electronic Game That’s Like ‘Simon’ For Dogs