Magician Doesn’t Slight His Hands

Magician Penn Jillette wears red polish on only one finger ... for three reasons. 

If you ask magician Penn Jillette – the more talkative half of Penn and Teller – why he always wears red polish on his left ring finger, you’re liable to get one of three standards answer:

  1. It means he once shot a man for asking personal question.
  2. When Penn first began performing, his mother told him to get a manicure because people would be looking at his hands. In response to this, Penn had all of his nails painted red as a joke. The one remaining red fingernail is in honor of his dear mother.
  3. The red fingernail provides excellent misdirection and is just plain cool.

And that ain’t all. As of last December, Penn is sporting a full set of acrylic nails, according to the duo’s Sin City website. Describing himself as “the world’s slowest drag queen” in his digital diary, Penn says, “They are beautiful, they are strong…I feel bionic.”

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