Penn & Teller postpone shows so Teller can undergo back surgery

The comedy and magic team of Penn & Teller announced this week that they are postponing performances until Aug. 18 so that Teller (the short, silent one) can undergo back surgery.

The duo had already scheduled a hiatus to take care of Teller’s problem, but abruptly called off a show scheduled for Friday night in Biloxi, Miss., because Teller was in too much pain following a Wednesday performance, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.

Teller’s back trouble represents “the lingering result of hanging from straitjackets and climbing in and out of boxes for more than 40 years,” the report said. He’ll undergo surgery Monday in Las Vegas, the report added.

“Teller is getting his back totally fixed a little sooner than expected,” tweeted Penn Jillette (the tall, loud one). “So P&T are on hiatus from everything until August 18th and then the boys will be back and bad!”

“My sincere apologies to our fans in Biloxi and folks who were planning on seeing the Vegas show,” Teller tweeted Thursday. “Last night during the show my back firmly ordered me to cut the crap and get it fixed. So I'm stopping work from today till August 18th and getting my back surgery pronto. Love -T.

“In our entire prior career,” Teller added, “I think we've had to cancel only four shows on short notice. So I (and much of our crew) feel disoriented and befuddled -- as if we're in one of those showbiz nightmares where you can't find your way back to the stage in time for the next cue.”

Penn Jillette, 63, and Teller (Raymond Joseph Teller), 70, have been performing together for more than 40 years.