Penn and Teller for #HHN26?

Could Penn & Teller be coming back for #HHN26?


There are a number of rumors swirling at the moment pointing to a possible return of Penn and Teller. Their last successful appearance was in 2012’s ‘Penn & Teller: New(kd) Las Vegas 3D’ house. If true, this would be a fantastic addition for #HHN26 and would quietly qualm grumbles from many fans about the likely return of The Walking Dead. So based on this rumor, we thought we’d have a look at the duo’s history with the event, and just why they LOVE appearing at and attending Halloween Horror Nights.


Photo courtesy of Universal Orlando

Did you know they used to be actual HHN Icons? Well, for the uninitiated, a HHN Icon is defined as a character or characters who appear to headline the event; notably icons include Jack, The Caretaker, The Usher and many more, but not many people know that the magical duo were fully fledged icons of HHN2 in 1992 for Horror Nights at Universal Studios Hollywood. This is where their passion for HHN supposedly began…

The event in 1992 was reestablished after the 1986 event, following years of expansion at the park. The event ran on select nights including: October 22, 23, 24, 29, 30 and 31. Admission was just $27. The event was heavily marketed to teens and young adults with the popular duo appearing on all marketing. It featured re-themed rides and attractions including the ever-popular Terror Tram, The Tower of Torture, Beetlejuice’s Graveyard Revue, ET.‘s Death Globe, The Maze of Maniacs. The Dungeon of Terror, The Carnival of Carnage and the Mutation Pit. The duo also performed a magic show every night of the event. The Cryptkeeper who is widely heralded as the first HHN icon did not appear until 1995, so technically it could be argued that Penn and Teller were the first HHN icons… (We’ll let the fans argue that one out)

Between their shows and marketing of Hollywood’s 1992 event and their appearance 20 years later in Orlando, they have been said to regularly attend the event in Hollywood and on occasion, in Orlando too.

Photo courtesy of Universal Orlando

In 2012 it was announced that the duo would be designing and even starring in their own house in Orlando for HHN 22, it was described as: “World-renowned magicians Penn & Teller have accidentally nuked Las Vegas, but don’t worry, it’s nothing a fresh coat of paint and a truckload of BS can’t fix! Come on down to New Vegas, where all that glitters isn’t gold, and in fact probably has fatal levels of radioactivity.” Penn Jillette said at the time, “Universal Horror Nights can scare the living Elvis out of you, and me & Teller, well, we’ve been known to take things a bit too far. Now we’re working together on showing you what it would be like to live in a post-nuclear explosion Sin City. C’mon by, but remember, you’re not playing with children here.”

The house was very popular that year and featured a whole cacophony of creepy Vegas monsters that mixed comedy and horror to amazing proportions. It had zombie go-go dancers, gamblers, roulette wheels, strippers, a bloated Elvis and then after all that it featured a true HHN original masterstroke…


That’s right, the duo actually appeared on select nights within the house! Many thought it was too good to be true to believe that their magical idols would appear in the house, but they did and it was the surprise of the night for many HHN fans. Penn even remarked at the time, “I love doing this, I’d do this again in a heart beat.”

Photo courtesy of

He said at the time via Huffington Post, “I initially thought that the real reason Universal was asking to meet with us was because they wanted us to do a show at the park. Which — to be blunt — wasn’t really something that I was interested in doing. But as soon as they said that they wanted to build a Penn & Teller-themed maze, what was supposed to have been a one hour-long lunch quickly became a three hour-long lunch, as we all began chiming in with ideas and gags we could pull inside of that haunted house and maze.” The rest as they say is history.

They were also busy during this period making themselves some of the most successful and popular magic acts in the world. Earning circa 14 Emmy Award nominations for their series, “Penn & Teller: BS!” They also wrote 3 New York Times best-selling books and had two successful Broadway show runs. They’ve both also recently appeared on many television shows, including ‘Celebrity Apprentice’, ‘Dancing With The Stars’ and ‘Top Chef’; and they were both honored to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2013. Combined with international TV spots and having one of the longest running Vegas Strip shows, why on earth wouldn’t Universal want these two wildly successful entertainers back for 2016?

Photo captured on February 3rd 2016

So why is the rumor swirling at the moment? Two fold, it appears that their Vegas Show schedule for September and October has not been updated and many have enquired with the Rio as to their autumn availability with the Rio supposedly stating that the show will be “in reduced numbers” during these two months – which is exactly how it was in 2012. The next hint that kick started the rumors is the pair’s apparent travelling to Orlando this month for quote “business meetings”. They announced the exact same level of subterfuge in February 2012 when they were holding “business meetings” to design their 2012 house with Universal (see above’s lunch meetings bit).

So could it all be a giant coincidence or could the ‘Masters of Misdirection’ actually be returning to their favorite Halloween event? Let us know your thoughts and whether you’d like to see Penn and Teller back below…