Penn and Teller Fooled by a Mind-Reading Chicken

Caitlin George Parker

Jo De Rijck is an animal trainer from Belgium who brought his chicken, Curry (yes, her name is Curry), to read the mind of Alyson Hannigan on Penn & Teller: Fool Us.

After Curry looked deeply into Hannigan’s eyes, she was able to “connect” to her mind. While Curry kept her beady eyes closed, Alyson wrote down a dream of hers on a piece of paper. And then she wrote dreams she doesn’t have. Hannigan displayed the papers within pecking distance of Curry, and when Curry pecked at Alyson’s actual dream, it seemed like maybe one of those papers might have been chicken-feed-scented or she could actually read minds! But Penn and Teller didn’t seem to think it was either of those options.

De Rijck gave the papers to Penn and Teller, and upon examination, they seemed fine. “We believe these pieces of paper are innocent,” said Penn.

With the papers ruled out, Penn thought it was something tricky with the set. “We think that although there’s this homey, farm, barnyard quality to the setup over there, but that conceals a little bit more sophistication. And we believe that from that, you were able to get the information. We think we know how it was transmitted to you, but we’d rather not give that up. And then you were able to then signal the chicken what to do. So the chicken was not the mentalist. You were the mentalist.”

But the only people going mental were Penn and Teller after they discovered this chicken was a lot smarter than she looks. De Rijck said, “They got an impression that I did something, but the impression is wrong.  She did all the work. I had no idea what was your dream.”

“I think we were fooled by a chicken,” said Penn.

Penn & Teller: Fool Us airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. on CW.

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