Penn Jillette is someone you’d call a talent. He’s a magician, an actor, a comedian, a writer, a video game designer and since 2008, a web video personality.
But while Jillette’s contributions to the web video world have always been pretty low-key, basically consisting of him ranting on camera, it’s a skill that’s left him in high demand — two weeks ago, Jillette switched platforms for his ramblings from Sony’s Crackle to Revision3.
And while the Crackle iteration of the series, Penn Says, was a 2010 Webby nominee, with the shift to Revision3 comes a dramatic upswing in production quality. Penn Says was a classic web vlog, seemingly filmed wherever Jillette’s complicated life schedule might have taken him and captured in a very basic fashion.
Not only does the Revision3 version seem to have a dedicated set, but there’s a two-camera set-up (a stationary one as well as a handheld camera Jillette holds while ranting), which allows for tighter editing. The trade-off is the addition of in-show sponsorship, though to his credit Jillette is pretty adept at these — I especially enjoyed when he chose to rip on his own website designers when plugging Squarespace.com.
Both Penn Says and Penn Point are pretty much glorified vlogs, platforms for Jillette to use to just ramble, aimlessly, from his unique viewpoint, about the topics that interest him, oftentimes with no shortage of profanity. It’s not gripping content, but for fans of the quick-witted comedian, it’s highly enjoyable — and thanks to three years of creating content, there’s plenty of it.
In the end, while Penn Says has the longest runtime and is even available on DVD, if you’re just looking for a Penn fix you’re probably better off with Penn Point‘s more focused and more engaging approach.
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