James Randi tells us a story as we wait for the bus.
Still waiting for the bus to arrive.
Boarding the bus.
Jeff Wagg and Alison Smith of JREF (right) were there to see us off on the bus.
On our way to The Slammer.
As we arrive, Penn is waiting for us on the front patio.
Penn greets the bus. Upper right is his office overlooking the driveway.
We gather everyone up from the bus to go inside.
We spent a short time chatting in the living room of the "original" house while everyone got their mugshots taken.
Much of the art in the front rooms is by Martin Mull. This is the dining area, the kitchen can be seen in the back.
Penn tells us about the art in the front room including this piece by Martin Mull.
A giant "No God" symbol rendered in chains is in the front window beneath the "A frame" of the original structure.
Proceeding through the kitchen, on the floor is a police tape rendering of Teller.
The home theater was next.
The screen of the home theater lifts to reveal a fully functional stage area with drum kit and piano.
The stage area is well equipped. More than one music artist has recorded here.
To our surprise the piano music that had been playing in the home theater turned out to be Mike Jones playing LIVE. Penn joined in.
Enjoying the impromptu concert.
Sean McCabe (an intern at JREF) joined in on drums.
Here I am watching the show with Randi and the gang. Photo by Scott Hurst - www.hurstphoto.biz
Randi talks to EZ while I get a shot of the show. Photo taken by by Scott Hurst - www.hurstphoto.biz
Penn then led us through the patio area. The goldfish shaped goldfish pond is at right, the newest addition to the house ("Cellblock B") is visible at the rear.
Opposite view coming out of the home theater walking toward the rear of the house.
The "A Frame" is the original structure, all the rest was custom built to Penn's specifications by architects at Outside The Line studios.
Here we enter "Vintage Nude Studios" from the patio area. This is Penn's home recording studio, where he does voice over work and formerly recorded his radio show.
In the control room area of Vintage Nude Studios. The studios (and a sitting room above them) sit where what was once the entrance from the driveway. They were added to the house in June 2004.
Penn tells us about recording in the studio. The monitors were used to communicate with the control rooms in New York when he ran his radio show. Note the camera at top which allowed the New York crew to see Penn & Michael Goudeau during the show.
Penn tells us more about what went on in the studio, including things that cannot be repeated here.
Penn in the control/mixing area. When music is being recorded in the stage/theater area, this can also be used as a mixing booth for that.
The table in the studio from which "Vintage Nude Studios" gets its name. Penn remarked to Randi that the specific arrangement of cards on the table would be significant to a fellow magician, but not to anyone else.
This is Penn's exercise area, immediately adjacent to the studios and opening out to the patio. Note that there are speakers everywhere in the house allowing music to play throughout.
Wider view of the patio. Note the "fire pole" at left from the upper catwalk. The catwalk is the only route from the master bedroom to the original house, Penn wanted to be forced to go outside regularly when he lived here alone.
A small play area in front of "Cellblock B" has been marked by Penn's children (who were off to go swimming when we visited).
The ramp up into "Cellblock B". We had a woman in a wheelchair on the tour and Emily (Penn's wife) was anxious to see if the new ramp was up to the task. This two story section at the rear of the house was added in November 2006.
A sitting room on the second floor of Cellblock B was converted to a dining room for our lunch. Penn has called this "The Tony Room" because of all the Tony Fitzpatrick art in it (on left). That's Emily Jillette in the purple top at right.
Sitting down to lunch. Photo taken by Scott Hurst - www.hurstphoto.biz
Randi regaled us with some stories. You can see out the windows where this is relative to the rest of the house.
Every room has at least one detail that reminds you that this is Penn's house. The skeleton serves that purpose here.
Randi had to decline an invitation to dance, so Sean McCabe (Randi's assistant) rose to the task.
Every room at The Slammer has fantastic artwork. These are all by Tony Fitzpatrick, Penn talks about them here: http://crackle.com/c/Penn_Says/Penn_Says_Tony_Fitzpatrick/2316122.
Back down the ramp to get a quick tour of the rest of the house as we were running out of time.
Moxie has left her mark.
JREF's photographer Scott Hurst (far right) made sure that everyone was photographed with Penn.
Me with Penn. Photo taken by Scott Hurst. http://flickr.com/photos/scott_hurst/
Meanwhile Dan (mootcycle) and I tried to get complete photographic coverage of the surroundings.
Scott Hurst gets his picture taken with Penn.
Heading out to the driveway in the passage between the older part of the house (right) and Cellblock B (left).
This is the view from the entrance up toward Penn's office. You can see the concrete block construction that is designed to make it look like a jail.
Note the little "guard shack" next to the Vintage Nudes addition. The yellow cylinder connects the original A-Frame house to the custom-built part of the house. You'll see the inside of that cylinder later.
One of Penn's cars.
At this point we thought we were out of time for the tour, but we were given a last minute reprieve to continue through the rest of the house. (Lunch had run a bit long due to the great conversation we were having).
Entering Cellblock B from the rear of the house.
The play area behind Cellblock B. This and the landscaped walking trail you can see in the background were added in 2006.
Moxie and Zolten again leave their mark, just inside the ground floor entrance to Cellblock B from the playground.
The kids bathroom on the ground floor of Cellblock B.
Zolten's room. More Tony Fitzpatrick art at top.
More of Zolten's room.
Moxie's room, and yet more fantastic art.
Up above the door to Moxie's room.
The Master Bedroom.
This is the sitting area between the Master Bedroom and Penn's office. This is directly above Vintage Nude Studios. Note the view out into the driveway.
Penn gives us a tour of his office. That's a photo of his parents holding potted cacti near the top of the bass.
If you watch a Penn Says video and you see a pink wall or a green ceiling in the background, chances are he recorded it right here seated at that desk.
Penn is a big fan of Bob Dylan.
Sean McCabe plays with Penn's breast implant. Penn highly recommends having one to play with on your desk. Penn talked about how he got this here: http://crackle.com/c/Penn_Says/Penn_Says_The_Doctor_Said_I_Was_a_Good_Boy/2189529
Dan is checking out Penn's iTunes collection while Sean continues to play with the breast implant.
More artwork in the office. This artwork is the reason that many of the Penn Says videos are shot straight up toward the ceiling, so there won't be a copyright issue for showing the art in the background. Behind Penn is a short staircase down into the sitting area.
Penn's electric bass and the sink & urinal. (Remember when the house was first built this room was isolated from the rest of the house as a sort of "guard tower" concept). Penn's remark about the sink + urinal: "Why do I need both?"
A better shot of Penn's bass in the office.
Penn's view of the driveway from his desk. I lost track of how many Macintosh computers I saw in the house. Notice the fence "trap" on the driveway. Visitors can be let in the first gate, and then they are trapped in the fenced area before being let into the house. This is a recent addition (since the kids) but adds to the prison-like theme.
Sean overlooking the goldfish pond from the catwalk.
Penn describing the features of the patio. In the fenced area (upper left) is a lap pool with a cover on it.
More of the patio, right by the fence is a duplicate of the "Is This Your Card?" cenotaph that is described in the book "How To Play In Traffic" pages 3 - 10. The original cenotaph is in Forest Lawn cemetery in Los Angeles.
Penn on the catwalk relating the story of how they decided how far they could put the master bedroom from the original house, given that you had to go outside to go between them. The story involves a stripper and a cold February night.
The goldfish pond that is shaped like a goldfish cracker.
Penn warned us that in the hot June Las Vegas day, trying out the firepole would be a very bad idea indeed.
Penn telling the story about how the dimensions were chosen. Photo by Scott Hurst http://flickr.com/photos/scott_hurst/
Scott Hurst, JREF photographer.
Scott Hurst. See more of his photos here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/scott_hurst/. His photos from this very tour are here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/scott_hurst/sets/72157605863832760/
This is just in from the catwalk on the second floor of the original house. The house sound system control booth is at right, Penn's library at left. In the background is the spiral staircase that descends inside the yellow cylinder at the front of the house.
Randi just in front of the spiral staircase.
You could spend hours in Penn's library looking at his books and memorabilia. In the right frame is a tattoo on actual human skin, according to Penn.
More art in the library. This is the inside the house right where the neon clock hangs on the outside of the house.
Penn shows us a guitar that Wendy O. Williams destroyed on stage.
Everyone watching Penn demonstrate the carnival game Razzle.
Penn demonstrates Razzle to Randi. The genius of this game is the carny has to cheat to let you keep winning. He merely STOPS cheating to make you lose.
More Razzle demonstration.
Penn asks Randi a question.
Penn shows us the number sheets used to run the Razzle game.
Penn's extensive collection of CD's. He paid a service to rip them all into his iTunes.
More great art in the library.
Looking along the library shelves toward the spiral staircase.
The last shelf before the spiral staircase.
This is the inside of the yellow cylinder that connects the original A-Frame to the custom-built part of the house. A spiral staircase leads down to a breakfast nook.
This artwork is by Jose Alvarez. Note the broken bottles at the bottom, Penn juggles broken bottles in his live shows.
Better view of the art from the top of the stairs.
Nestled in the middle of the spiral staircase is an authentic round "diner" booth adjoining the kitchen and yet another Macintosh. (That's Carrot Top's mug shot from visiting the house on March 10, 2006).
Teller's police outline. Note the knife in his hand. Teller himself lives in another custom-designed home that is "within rifle shot" of The Slammer.
Leaving exactly the way we entered.
Another look at the carports and garages across the driveway from the house. The purple box is the control/intercom panel for the driveway gates.
The driveway "trap" from ground level.
Last chance for photos.
Heading for the bus. Those are the kitchen windows in the background, the door leads into the back of Vintage Nude Studios.