Penn & Teller: Bullshit!

Season 1 Episode 5

Secondhand Smoke / Baby Bullshit

Aired Monday 10:00 PM Feb 21, 2003 on Showtime
out of 10
User Rating
58 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Secondhand smoke, its possible health effects, and legislation against it come under the microscope in this episode. Joe Cherner, the president of Smoke Free Educational Services, will have his chance to explain his side of the fence. But Penn and Teller will soon be taking over his side as they explain the true reason of how only one report published years ago has caused this "second hand smoke health problem" See why it's all just a bunch of Bullsh**!

In the second half of this episode, the baby products industry is looked at. Everyday, new parents attend s that are sometimes full of useless lessons. There are also many products such as the Baby Mozart music program and a "talking baby video" that will "increase" a baby's intelligence and make them smarter in life. Once again, Penn and Teller will show you it's all a bunch of Bullsh**! Special Guest Experts in this episode include: Tracy Hogg (The Baby Whisperer) Joe Cherner (President, Smoke Free Educational Services) Christopher Chabris, PhD (Lecturer, Department of Psychology, Harvard University) Gordon Shaw (Physicist, Neuroscientist, Professor, Co-founder of the M.I.N.D. Institute) Harvey Karp, MD (Doctor, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at UCLA) Robert A. Levy (Author, Professor, Senior Fellow in Constitutional Studies, The Cato Institute) Robert C. Titzer, PhD (Educator/Researcher, Infant Learning) Elizabeth M. Whelan, Sci.D., M.P.H (President/Founder, American Council on Science and Health, Author) Robert Needleman (Associate Professor of Pediatrics Case Western Reserve University) Larry Elder (Nationally Syndicated Radio Talk Show Host)moreless

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  • I call Bulls**t on P&T

    They make the same errors in logical debate that they decry in others.

    P&T let their libertarian politics interfere with their logic.

    They arrive at the same "politically arrived conclusion" they accuse the others of.

    Instead of examining an issue from the outside/ojbectively, they wade in to an argument to take one of the sides.

    Try debunking scientific studies with SCIENCE and scientists not with talk shows host and some analyst at an institute.

    And name a restaurant/bar that was forced to close because of this law passing.... can you think of one?

    Around my city, bar attendance went UP after smoking was banned! People who had avoided bars because of the smoke suddenly starting going to them more often. And yes, a few smokers boycotted for a few weeks, but then they came right back to all the same places & now just go outside for a smoke.

    This is mostly a bunch of whining smokers complaining. They falsely claim we want to ban them personally (not true, they're welcome to come SANS cigarette). Or using a false slippery slope argument, that they will next be prevented from smoking in private/at home .

    I'm glad to hear P&T retracted their incorrect statements. Maybe that should be on the Season 1 DVD so anyone watching this episode for the first time will know that.moreless
  • First episode devoted to two issues.

    Now being a one time smoker I always respected someone who didn't want me to smoke around them so I was kind of surprised at the real facts behind the second hand smoking issue. That the statistics really does not support a large enough difference between people subject to second hand smoke and those who aren’t and who comes down with cancer. What really is behind all the no smoking bans is one side of non-smokers that just don't want to smell see the smoking in public places and feel their rights should supercede those of the smokers without having any really scientific basis. A very interesting episode that blew away everything that I thought was true about second hand smoke. I rated this average because the second half was about all the useless baby improvement products that get pushed on scared parents. Sorry, not so interested in the second half.moreless
Carolyn Sperry

Carolyn Sperry

Jenny White, Creator of the Triangle of Love

Guest Star

Neil G. Maxa

Neil G. Maxa

Musician in Open

Guest Star

Michael D. Lynn

Michael D. Lynn

Musician in Open

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (8)

    • Penn: [on Joe Cherner] 'He was born with the vision to see this kind of deception'...yet somehow he was born without the ability to detect bullsh**!

    • Penn: 'Sounds of the uterus'? Wasn't that Simon and Garfunkel?

    • Penn: [to straitjacketed child] Now you wanna dislocate the shoulder. See? Like Teller. Just dislocate...

    • Penn: 3-year-old twins Sophia and Karissa started watching Dr. Titzer's videos when they were 6 months they've been watching 'em for...two and a half years. [laughs] Pretty good math huh? See? SEE? I didn't have the tapes and I turned out okay!

    • Penn: Well, at least the girls are having lots of fun with their reading...

      One of the girls: [shyly] Let's go for a bike ride.

    • Tracy Hogg: All babies, whether they're breastfed, whether they're fed with a bottle with formula, need to eat.

      Penn: I gotta remember THAT.

      Tracy Hogg: Treat him like he's a human being.

      Penn: Clearly that's genius, no one ever thought of that, BUT A GRAND A DAY?

      Tracy Hogg: And we really want to be gentle with our babies.

      Penn: What a revelation.

    • Jenny White: Your child is wearing these diapers all the time and they never see their mom or dad wear them...

      Penn: Here at Bullsh**, we're really proud of this next VERY special television moment.

    • Penn: [on the Triangle of Love gag] Ok, so we had them do this just for laughs...we're b*st*rds! Maybe the power's gone to our heads. But stick with us. We're pretending to actually make a point here.

  • NOTES (1)

    • It's interesting and very important to note that Penn later had to retract many points they made in this episode. There is not just ONE study about secondhand smoke harming people. They retracted thier statements in an on-stage interview after the second season, and apparently made a comment in a prelude to a 3rd season show.

      Editor's Note: It should be noted that during Penn's retraction at a convention, he said they still stood by one of their main points of this episode: that legislation banning smoking in public places is bull****.


    • The Sounds of Silence

      "The Sounds of Silence" is a single by Simon and Garfunkel originally found on their album "Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M."

      When Penn jokes that "Sounds of the Uterus" might've been Simon and Garfunkel, this is the song he's referring to.