When Penn Jillette dares you, you don’t say no. That’s how Hill Bill, The Psychic Hillbilly was born.

December 8, 2017

Comedian and writer Matt Donnelly has spent a lot of time around magicians as a writer for Penn & Teller: Fool Us and co-host of the Penn’s Sunday School podcast. Despite rubbing elbows with so many of the best in the business, Donnelly didn’t think to learn any of his own magic tricks until Penn Jillette dared him to.

From that challenge, Donnelly has gone on to create his own kooky stage character to perform magic. Hill Bill, The Psychic Hillbilly, is performing at The Space in Las Vegas this weekend thanks to a successfully funded Indiegogo campaign. Yes, he’ll do some tricks, but audiences should also expect a very different atmosphere than most magic shows. When he dons the overalls of Hill Bill, Donnelly speaks with an exaggerated Appalachian accent and tells jokes about roadkill.

“I am embarrassed by how many connections I have to the titans of the magic world,” Donnelly said in his Indiegogo campaign. “Respectfully, I approached Penn, Teller, Johnny Thompson, Piff and more, and asked them, ‘Will you teach me one trick?’ They all said yes.”

According to Donnelly’s crowdfunding page, the show will be filmed and recorded, so you can experience his particular flavor of “mind noodling” for yourself even if you can’t make it to Vegas.