A Conversation With Penn Jillette
and nice because people were looking at my hands. So I grabbed her fingernail polish and I put it on my nail and said, “Do you mean like this?” in order to mock her. And I wore the nail polish in order to mock and horrify my mother through high school. And then as I got older and more successful, I would run my thumb over my finger with the nail polish when I was on Letterman or the Tonight Show or any of those shows just to let my mom know I was thinking of her at that second. And then my mom died in 2000. And now it’s I can’t say to remember her because I never forget her, but to honor her. I should say I’m quite a mama’s boy. I was very close to my mom. And my daughter, who’s 13 years old, I heard her say recently to her friends that I do the nail polish because of her. And I believe my mother would approve.
that who she was when I was around her was not who she really was, it was very difficult to get a picture of her. If someone says to you, “We’re going to go in a room for three hours and I’m not going to be myself,” at the end of that three hours, what do you think about who you’ve met? It’s difficult. The question everybody wanted me to answer – especially Stephen Colbert, aggressively on TV – wanted to know if I heard Trump say the N-word. I never did. I don’t know if he ever did. It doesn’t seem like part of his culture. ‘We’re going to go in a room for three hours and I’m not going to be myself,’ at the end of that three hours, what do you think about who you’ve met? It’s difficult. And I don’t know what more evidence you need of Trump’s racism, unkindness, incompetence, and capriciousness than what we have without any inside sources, without anything anonymous, without anything underhanded. It seems like his incompetence is broadcast. PORTER STANSBERRY: Before we go, one last thing. I heard that you leave one of your fingernails painted in honor of your mother. Is that true? PENN JILLETTE: Yes. When I first started doing magic and juggling, my mom told me that I should keep my fingernails really clean
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78 September 2018
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