Kostya Kimlat Upsets Penn & Teller
Last night one of the nicest people in magic thoroughly destroyed Penn Jillette and his partner Teller on their television show Fool Us. The best part is that he did it without weird gimmicks, flashy props or convoluted plots. Kostya Kimlat fooled Penn & Teller with pure sleight of hand skill!
When Kostya was a small boy he and his family moved to Orlando, Florida from Kiev, Ukraine. Television helped inspire him to pursue magic. He watched “World’s Greatest Magic” specials on NBC in the 1990s, studied how Jeff McBride manipulated cards and learned by replaying the McBride footage. Kimlat is now friends with McBride and has performed with him.
In preparing to perform for Penn & Teller, he realized that he had to practice the Penn part of his brain (walking, talking, being loud) and the Teller part (being completely silent, focusing on perception). Kostya would have to pick his act strategically. He decided to pull out the playing cards and went back in time a few hundred years.
The trick itself is centuries old, according to Kimlat, but he’s put a special twist on it, one that he hoped would impress Penn and Teller. Though he’s performed for more than 20 years in over 200 cities on five continents, Kimlat said he was a nervous wreck up until the show.
“The moment the cameras started rolling, it was just like any performance. I was just present and with the audience, ready to rock and roll,” he said. Here is a clip of that performance.
Before his appearance on Penn & Teller: Fool Us, Kimlat, who is also a brilliant businessman also did publicity interviews around his Orlando home town. He stopped by The Orlando Sentinel and performed for the reporters there. You can read that article and watch him perform by clicking here.