The Passing Zone are two incredibly talented and hilarious guys (Jon Wee and Owen Morse) who Penn Jillette recently called the very best at what they do in the world. Their stunts are thrilling. They’ve been featured on The Tonight Show, The Today Show, Live with Regis and Kelly, were finalists on America’s Got Talent, and just appeared last week for the second time on “Penn and Teller: Fool Us” – performing with both Penn and Teller live on stage.
They have also been invited to perform for the White House, and in London for Prince Charles, and have made appearances in motion pictures like The Addams Family and The Aristocrats, and they have 5 Guinness World Records. At corporate events they deliver on the edge of your seat entertainment and expertly present on themes like collaboration, teamwork, execution, and communication!
This is a very funny episode, where not only does The Passing Zone actually perform on stage three separate times for us, (including an awesome Grand Finale at the very end), but they also use Chris as a volunteer in a couple of hilarious and innovative ways!
For more on The Passing Zone or to book them to perform at your event: https://www.calentertainment.com/port…
Watch the episode here:
Listen to the podcast here:
The Passing Zone: World’s Greatest Jugglers, Hilarious Performances – Virtually Speaking
Joining me are two incredibly talented and hilarious guys, The Passing Zone, who Penn Jillette called them the very best at what they do in the world. Their stunts are thrilling. They’ve been featured on The Today Show, The Tonight Show, Live with Regis and Kelly. They were finalists on America’s Got Talent. They appeared for the second time on Penn and Teller’s TV show Fool Us, where they joined both Penn and Teller on stage for performance. They’ve also been invited to perform at the White House and in London for Prince Charles. They’ve made appearances in motion pictures like The Addams family and The Aristocrats. They have five Guinness World Records. These guys are in a class by themselves. At corporate events, they entertain and they expertly present on collaboration, teamwork and communication. I am so glad that I’ll be the only person that can join them as a volunteer. Please join me now with The Passing Zone.
The Passing Zone, Owen and Jon, how are you guys doing?
We are fantastic. How are you doing, Chris?
It’s good to see you.
Phenomenal. I know we’re few miles away from each other, but it feels like farther than that.
It’s been a weird couple of months. Hasn’t it been? Yet here we are as one.
The triad that everybody’s been waiting for. This is exciting. I’m very happy to have you guys on. I’ve known you guys since the very beginning of my career. I remember when I first started in this business that you guys were on, America’s Got Talent, a few years into me doing this. What year was that?
The first time we were on was in ‘06. That was season one of America’s Got Talent. Nobody knew what the show was going to be like.
With David Hasselhoff, Pierce Morgan and Brandy, as the three judges.
It was a big deal because I knew who you guys were and the people who knew who you guys were all talking, “The Passing Zone is on America’s Got Talent. This is so cool.”
It was fun. It was a great experience. For years and years after that, people still remember us from season one.
We had a good ride. We made it to the final round and then soundly beaten by a fourteen-year-old girl.
That’s what happens. Ten years later, the same thing happened. She’s eleven. History repeats itself.
You came on a second time a few years ago and the winner was a teenage girl who was a bit of a ventriloquist.
It was Grace VanderWaal, who sang and played ukulele.
Did she win the whole show?
She doesn’t even know how to juggle. Her juggling is horrible.
The girl who won only maybe a few years ago was also a young teenage girl who was a ventriloquist?
The whole show is stacked against two middle-aged sarcastic guys.
The corporate event world loves you guys.
We love it. We have so much fun doing this. We always have. Now, we’re in this weird time where we’re not traveling and we’re not performing alive in front of audiences.
Where are you guys? Is that your rehearsal studio or a stage?
That’s the cool thing. We’re here in Westminster. This is our practice space, but we’ve converted it into a theater. We’ve got sound and lights and a stage.
All the shows we do are right here now. We’re having a blast doing virtual events. That way we’re connecting with people. Different organizations and different companies have us come on and entertain their people and energize them, talk about teamwork and entertain the whole gang along the way.
Those are nice curtains.
We spared no expense.
What’s the material?
It’s pure silk and velvet with some gold woven in.
The show is pure gold and the speech is pure gold. The appearances are pure gold. I know that. I’ve always enjoyed you guys very much as an option for people when they’re looking for something that’s very entertaining, but also it has great substance and great content and takeaways. I think that your acronym that you guys like to use, which has nothing to do with juggling, is ICE?
We know most people reading know how to spell ICE. We just weren’t sure.
For those who don’t know, it stands for Innovation, Collaboration and Execution.
These are three of the main things we talk about. Now it’s been fun through these virtual performances to be able to bring that message to people and connect with them through technology. One of the hard things when you’re separate like this is to try to feel like you’re together in the same place. One thing that’s always important to us is we want our audience at home to get involved. They’re not just sitting and watching a television show. It’s such a great thing. We can talk to them, they can talk to us. We’re right there in their living room or in their office.
There’s an exercise that we like to start our performances off with. Maybe we should try that now.
Let’s do that to get people at home involved. Maybe you can follow us on this. It’s a quick little stretching exercise. Go ahead and stand up. What we do is just reach way, way up high into the air, get on your tiptoes. Imagine that you’re floating. Imagine you’re leaving the ground and you can feel it. You can feel yourself getting lighter and lighter and then you exhale. You let it all out and you can almost feel your body come back to the ground. Doesn’t that work? Isn’t that work in an amazing way?
That’s impressive. You’ve been practicing.
I know it’s all up here. Its visualization is how you do that. When we entertain people, we want to start with exciting things, things they haven’t seen before. We’re going to start with a trick that maybe other jugglers would save for their big finish.
Most jugglers would want to save this type of thing for their grand finale. We’re going to kick things off right now with one of these.
Look at this bowling ball juggling.
Juggling a bowling ball is a very difficult trick as you might imagine, but what would be more impressive than juggling with one bowling ball?
Now that we’ve got everyone’s attention, it is time for the juggling of the real bowling ball right here.
This is the real bowling ball. You don’t want to catch this one with your face. Sometimes, Jon will switch them on me.
That’s a good one.
Jugglers are always trying to come up with unique ways in which to begin the bowling ball juggle, one way is to take one of these balls. Throw it up in the air, catch it on the back of your neck, flip it up and then start juggling with it. That’s impressive, but we like to do it a little bit differently here. What are you thinking? That’s not going to happen. I’ll start with it on my back and the neck.
This is what’s going to happen. He will gently and disappointingly, set the bowling ball on the back of his neck. He will roll the bowling ball off his neck, flip it into the air, and begin juggling to everybody’s thunderous applause. Chris, can you count along with us? We’re going to do this on the count of three. Here we go, 1, 2, 3.
I do have one to share with you. It’s a very difficult juggling trick and that’s behind the back with bowling ball. We’re kicking it off with something exciting.
It came through very well on the Zoom platform. I wasn’t paid to say that.
Did the bowling ball scare you?
The bowling ball scared me. The music was amazing and funny at the same time. It’s cool to me that you guys were on one of my favorite talk shows of all time, The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. Is that right?
In 1990 and 1991, we were on with Johnny Carson. We performed that bowling ball thing that you saw us do. We hit Johnny Carson in the face with the fake ball.
The audience just gasp.
That is pretty cool. That’s amazing. You’ve got to come out and this is one of those things where he comes out on stage and acts and gets to do his skit. One of the best parts of the Tonight Show was when he was interacting and doing acting and comedy.
Here we are like 22 years old and we’re getting started in this business and we are onstage, live television with Johnny Carson, the king of comedy.
He was so supportive of variety acts and variety entertainers. To have jugglers on was a thing. You don’t see that much anymore.
The AGT had you on twice because you came on, how many years later after the first appearance?
It’s ten years later. We’re going to do it every ten years. We’re going back on AGT.
They’re doing an interesting thing right now because my wife and I are big fans. There’s this moment, where Heidi was sick and she may have had COVID, maybe not, nobody knows, but she missed a couple episodes. Now they’re just starting to film during the pandemic because everything was shot before that. That reminds me, you guys were on Penn and Teller’s show Fool Us. Is that right? That was a great show. Tell me about that. Your episode appeared on the show. Did you film it right before the pandemic?
It was the last thing we did before everything’s shut down. This was March 12th, 2020. We were in Las Vegas. There was some question as to whether it was even going to happen. It was their final day of taping this entire season. We were on that last day. We were hoping and hoping that it would happen.
We thought they might shut the lights off and send us out, quarantined us all and kick us out of the building.
That turned out to be such an amazing experience. We’ve known those guys for a long time. When we first started performing, we looked up to them. They were our heroes. We wanted to do for juggling what they’ve done with magic, and be a comedy duo who uses their art form in a totally different way. We’ve been fortunate enough over the years to become friends with them.
We got to collaborate. You’ll have to see this piece. We created a piece them working with us, doing juggling and magic.
The four of you on stage together?
Last season, we went on to try to fool them with combination magic and juggling stunt.
Did you fool them?
We did not fool them. It turns out they’re good at understanding magic.
We didn’t see that coming.
They saw right through the magic. I think the juggling fooled them. They couldn’t figure that out. In 2021, we wanted to come back on and do something with them, so they invited us back. The four of us got to perform on stage. We created this whole piece through a whole afternoon of rehearsing together. It was such a thrill to be with them and do this on stage with them.
That aired on TV and people can still watch it online somewhere.
You can find it on our YouTube channel, The Passing Zone. It turned out well.
I am excited to see that. I love Penn and Teller. They are as good as it gets. It’s a great nod to you guys to have you not only on the show, but then back to collaborate with them.Juggling was a thing that we don’t see that much of anymore today. Click To Tweet
It was a thrill of a lifetime. We kept pinching ourselves going, “Is this really happening?”
What do you end up doing? You end up juggling them? What’s the trick?
It turned into a piece where Teller was doing something that required a great deal of concentration and silence, and Penn told the whole audience to be very quiet.
No flash photography.
It evolves into us coming out there and joining Penn, because Penn is an accomplished juggler. He started his performing career as a juggler. We’ve bonded over that. He brought us then onto stage. As we were watching Teller do this delicate thing, we all start juggling and throwing things around him. It ends up with flaming torches, chainsaw, stun guns and knife throwing. All this huge elaborate crazy stuff happening with Owen, myself and Penn while Teller is trying to concentrate. It turned out nicely.
When you do corporate events, that makes me think, the torches and the chain saws, are those allowed to be used by you in most conference ballrooms and in stages of arenas?
For the most part, fire isn’t happening very much anymore. Usually the chainsaws are fine, the stun guns, the machetes.
The more dangerous thing you can use.
We have all kinds of good dangerous stuff, but fire is more and more rare, which is another thing that’s nice about doing shows here because we make the rules.
You can do whatever you want. As long as you never burn the place down or each other, have you guys ever gotten hurt? Have you ever hurt each other? Come on, tell me the truth.
We’ve both bled on stage before. We try to keep that away from the audience. They don’t want to know.
We try to hide that and address it later.
Just a tiny edge of a chain saw here or there. We’ve had a few incidents. Nothing that has sent us rushing to an emergency room, and nothing that’s shut down the show, but enough where we’ve had to pay some attention to it after.
It’s dangerous what you guys do. I hope that you have some other things that you might be able to show us that are maybe a little more dangerous than a bowling ball.
That’s a good point.
We’re glad you asked. We do have some dangerous stuff.
That’s what people want.
People want to see us do dangerous things. Usually, what that means is they want to see us juggle things like if you were to catch the wrong end, there would be serious consequences.
I think the next three items we’re going to juggle fit that bill perfectly.
The danger item number one. Although, you know what, we should have made this number two. This is dangerous. You don’t want to catch the wrong end of this. If you were to catch the wrong end and maybe rubbed your eye. That’s what happened to Bob Costas.
I don’t think they seem very impressed with the danger of this item nor the caliber of that joke.
Our next item is even more dangerous. This is something that you probably haven’t seen before, Chris, because we invented this. Owen built this in his garage.
Check it out, murder on a stick. These bad boys constructed with two industrial grade rat traps.
They’re both set, ready to unleash their awesome killing power. It’s time for the third danger item.
The third item is more dangerous than the first two combined.
This is a real stun gun. This isn’t one of those fake Fisher-Price baby’s first stun guns. This is the real deal, 500,000 volts on that end. To make this work, this is one of those pieces that we need the help from somebody in the audience who would like to join us. We have the right person.
I found the right guy.
It seems perfect. Ladies and gentlemen, look who’s joining us. The amazing Chris Lee in person.
This is what’s going to happen, Chris. We’re going to get right over here. We have right here this yoga mat. We’re going to set the yoga mat right down here on the stage. We want you to lie down on the yoga mat, on your back with your feet toward me.
Lie down there comfortably like you’re in a coffin.
Let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
Maybe you’re like in an ambulance.
That’s much better.
I’m going to get the three items right now.
You’ve got those. This is what’s going to happen.
I am going to straddle your body. I’m going to start juggling these items right over your general face and nipple region. Jon’s going to come rushing from behind, launch himself over both of us, and land on the other side of your head.
What could possibly go wrong?
I can think of three things.
Chris, you’re not going to like this next part.
I don’t think he liked the first part. I don’t think so.
Chris, we need you to spread your legs apart. That’s going to be a little tricky, let me help you, just a nice comfortable spread here. That is an amazing spread. I’ve never seen anything like this. This is not your first time on a yoga mat is it, Chris?
No, I don’t think so. He’s making up his own poses. That’s the upward facing Chris? If all goes well, you are going to make history.
If it doesn’t go well, it’ll go viral on YouTube.
It’s a win-win situation.
Chris, I want to wish you good luck. Good luck to you.
What was that?
We just friended each other.
That’s really nice. You just Googled me. I think we’re about ready. Are you ready back there?
I’m ready. Are you ready down there, Chris?
You didn’t say he’s not ready.
I think that will work.
Hold very still, Chris, do not move. Let’s do it.
Here we go, Chris. This is happening, my friend. Get ready. Hang on. Look at that. He did it.
There we go, nicely done. The deadly rat trap, the flaming plunger, and of course, Chris.
He looks a little concerned.
He’s not smiling anymore. Thank you, Chris. Thank you for helping us out with that one. I think that was a big success. Don’t you think?
Well done, my friend. I thought that was well done.
You were the highlight of that one, Chris.
That was amazing. No, I wasn’t the highlight. I was the low light.
You survived. You’re no dummy.
This is a great solution for trying to figure out how in the heck are we going to do what we do involving people from the audience.
When there’s no audience in here.
This has been a way that’s been a lot of fun. I hope you enjoyed seeing yourself on camera and becoming part of our team and doing that with us.
I’ve always said that these Zoom conferences and meetings that we have, afterwards you go home, you turn it off and you think about it. It’s like you feel you were hanging out with the people you were Zoom conferencing with or whoever you were conferencing with. That right there makes me feel like I was being violated and torn in person. I feel like I was lying on the ground. I don’t know how you did that. That’s crazy.
It is one of those amazing things. We’ve all experienced this with friends and family, as well as work situations where Zoom calls, video conferencing, all of this stuff. People are finding solutions to feel like they’re connected. My wife and her sisters and their mother play cards, sometimes they’re on a Zoom card game for three hours in the evening. They’re all in different houses, but they’ve spent the whole evening together.
One of the things we’ve noticed that’s an advantage to a Zoom call is, we often perform in Vegas or Chicago, all these different places where we’re performing for corporate events. Now, these people go home to their families that are like, “You should’ve seen these guys. They were amazing.” Now we’re in their homes and their families can come join and watch the show. It’s something that wasn’t a possibility years ago.
We always encourage that for whoever is organizing the event, we know that these Zoom meetings can get boring, can be a little long, but as people are trying to maybe shut out their family or the other noises are saying, “I’m going to be alone doing this thing.” This is the part where we say, “Invite the family in. Everybody can enjoy it.” We would prefer to be performing live if we could, but it’s amazing to realize, this is a way in which we come right into somebody’s living room and we can talk to them right here. It feels personal even in a way that a stage show can’t.
Often when you’re on stage, you’re looking out at the audience. We’re blinded by the lights. Now we can see our audience right there in front of us.
We see each of you on your screen. We hope that people are fully dressed and behaving appropriately but not always.
You took a risk when you asked me to stand up earlier.
“Is he wearing pants?” moments.
I’m interested in the fact that you guys have been doing this for so many years. You don’t do the same tricks over and over. You have to innovate. You have to collaborate. What’s your process? Are you guys inventing juggling tricks that have never been done before?
We are always trying to invent new things. We have to keep changing because sometimes people have us come back in different year, or they’ve been watching us for years and want to see new things, and just to keep it fun and interesting for us. We’re always developing new stuff. That’s one of the great things that happens right here in this space, when the camera’s not rolling and people aren’t watching and the lights aren’t on. We’re here with all these different props and crazy things. We’re working on balancing, juggling and finding new ways to create. For us, as a comedy duo, we want juggling to be exciting, difficult and challenging. Mostly what we’re looking for are creative ways to present juggling. Ways to make sure people are laughing and define a premise or an idea or the jokes along the way. Also tie it in with business ideas and things and find ways to do that. That whole course is so creative for us.
It’s one of those things where we’ve learned over the years that the juggling will interest an audience for a certain amount of time. It’s our connection with each other, our connection with our audiences and the themes that we build, the trust and collaboration, and communication, all these ideas are things that people get, just by watching our show.
Everybody has co-workers. Everyone has family members, friends, people that you have to relate to all the time in a lot of different ways and sometimes in stressful situations. You have to, especially at work, figure out what people’s strengths are and figure out, “That’s going to be your area, you do that and I’m going do this.” You learn to work with each other’s strengths and make up for each other’s weaknesses, and two people working together doing the kind of stuff that we do. It’s fun because we not only get to talk about that, but we get to show people of all of the ups and the downs of working with people around them.
It’s not often you get to see two of anybody working together for these many years. It’s incredible to see you guys are still right on top of each other finishing the sentences and the mental collaboration, as well as the physical. When you guys come in here, you guys have a premise. First of all, I do want to ask. That trick that you did with my dummy, that’s a trick you do with in person you will bring the CEO out and he’ll be the one lying down. You’ll do that trick with that person?
That’s usually a real person in there.
It’s almost better with the dummy because if something goes wrong. That’s incredible. You jumped through the air and you take all three things out of the air. I almost want to see that in slow motion. Let’s see if we can do it right now. I don’t know if we can.
It’s quite a perspective for that person too to be lying down, looking straight up.
The dummy cam, another great innovation right there. You’re welcome. That’s for free.
Thank you. Everybody’s innovating.
When you come in there, do you guys try and come up with a new idea all the time? What’s your process?
Usually, we do come in here every day at least during the week. Five days a week, we come in here and spend at least 3 or 4 hours. That usually starts with just juggling. We put on some music, we pull out things that each of us maybe are working on separately. I’ve been trying to learn seven-ball juggling, which is something I’ve never learned. I thought it’s about time.
How long does it take for you to learn how to juggle seven balls? I can’t even juggle two.
Apparently, it’s longer than I thought.
We should clarify this because Jon can juggle seven balls and has been able to do that for many years, but he’s decided he wants to juggle and catch.
Fifty-four catches is what I’m going for.
What’s the most dangerous thing you guys have ever done? I remember in your promo video and I remember booking you in the past, you have a trick where you juggle a human being. Is that wrong?
We juggled three people from the audience.
We call it our people juggling routine and they’re jugglenauts. They’re dressed up in astronaut outfits and we get them swinging back and forth, and juggling through the patterns.
They’re suspended from the ceiling, on cables and we’re running around the stage. We’re pushing them this way and that way, and running all around. They’re swaying. They’re completely helpless and a little terrified. We juggle these three big balls that look like planets between them as they’re flying. We did that on America’s Got Talent. We do that at various corporate events and things around the country.
They have the suspension abilities, I guess.
Some places, that doesn’t work, but there’s usually a way to figure it out.
I have a good question now too. You want to do the seven ball, the one we were talking about. What’s the one thing you haven’t done yet that you have your sights set on one day, that you haven’t ever done before, that’s out there? Is there anything like that?
One day we would like to be employed permanently.
Very few jugglers accomplish that.
I want a desk job. I am going for a desk job, 9 to 5, watercooler.
If I’m not wrong, you were employed by Disneyland?
Back in the day, we both worked at Disneyland in Anaheim here.
That was as close as we came to punch in the clock.
We did punch a clock up in the morning.
We show up in the morning, there was a timesheet and do that. We would wander around the grounds and we would juggle and perform for people in various courtyards, or when they’re waiting in line to get in rides, we would be dressed like royal court jesters.
This was before The Tonight Show, I would imagine.
That’s right. That’s a good one.
Here’s a funny thing that happened. We were on The Tonight Show for the first time, and we were at that same time employed by Disney. It was the day after we were on The Tonight Show. We got a call from our boss at Disneyland.
This is exciting because we were thinking, “They’re going to offer us our own show.”
They noticed us on TV.
They saw us last night on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.
Sure enough, he was talking to us saying, “Congratulations, that’s great that you were on The Tonight Show.” I’m like, “Thank you. I’m so glad you watched it.” He goes, “Yeah, it was great. I’m calling to let we’re discontinuing the court jester program. You guys don’t work here anymore.”
The day after?
We got fired as Disneyland court jesters the day after doing The Tonight Show.
Was it because of The Tonight Show?
I don’t think it had anything to do with it.
It was good timing for you because now you had a whole promo out there for the rest of the world.
Disney is known for making mostly good decisions, but that seemed like an odd one to fire two people that just showed up on The Tonight Show, but it worked out okay for us.
Last episode of this show, I had on Nolan Bushnell and he sent his application in 2 or 3 times to be an Imagineer, and they never hired him. That’s a good thing for him as well because if it wasn’t for that, he never would have been in the video game business.
It is sometimes those things that happen to you that you don’t expect or don’t want, but it turns out to send you in the right direction. I’m glad that I’m not still working at Disneyland as a court jester.
What do you think is the most proud you’ve been on the corporate stage? You’ve had to customize a lot for companies and their themes, and the title of their event. What’s one of the cool moments or one of the more proud moments that you can remember, something you did with a corporation where they fed you some ideas and you ran with that?
That’s one of the fun things is each time we look at what the company is and what their products are, and can we juggle some of their products, or what’s the theme and how do we work that theme into what we’re talking about on stage, or their terminology. A couple of times, we’ve had entire meetings after they’ve seen our promotional materials and our video and everything. They’ve turned their whole meeting into an ICE theme.
We show up and there’s a huge carved ice sculpture with ICE.
Innovation, Collaboration and Execution, in an ice sculpture.
You show up to this hotel and there are banners everywhere.
Did you give it to them?
Suddenly we’re like, “What a great way that they took our idea and ran with that.” That made us pleased.
Do you juggle ice or do you ice skate? Do you have any incorporations of ice into your act?
We don’t have that yet. The hard thing is if you juggle ice, your hands get very cold and wet. The next juggling thing you do is difficult.
That would be a cool thing to figure out how to accomplish. Ice picks that could kill you if it goes through your hand.
I like that, or chainsaw ice carvings.
Chainsaw ice carvings, that’s a future. We came up with it here. Is there anything else that you can tell us that you’ve never told anybody before or that people would love to hear that is rarity for them to find out about you? How did you guys meet, at Disneyland?
We met at a juggling convention. That was way back in the ‘80s. We were both still in college at the time and trying to figure out what the heck to do with our lives.
Thank goodness it’s not the same week as the Star Trek convention because then how do you choose?
The conflict would be difficult.
I don’t know which one is more cool.
I’m not sure either. We were both way into juggling and going to school, trying to figure out what to do with our lives. We got to be friends and we had similar sense of humor, similar styles of juggling. We thought, “What if we put an act together? Why don’t we do this for a couple of years before we go get real jobs?”
Within that first two years, we were on The Tonight Show. We had a couple in the Addams Family movie. If you saw that, there’s a scene where Gomez and Uncle Fester fill out some daggers and they start juggling them back and forth. That was Jon and I stunt doubling for Raul Julia and Christopher Lloyd.
That was an iconic moment in that film that we got to be a part of.For performers to successfully pull off a stunt, proper communication is required. Click To Tweet
We were off to a good start right away and we just never stopped.
We’re even working on a book right now. That’s one of the things we’ve used this time of not traveling as much. We’re able to do our performances here in town and that gives us a little more time.
Let me see if I can come up with a name.
What do you think?
The working title is Juggling Life. Look for it at this fall.
You are, Juggling Life.
We’ve lived the juggling life, but yet everybody is trying to juggle their life. This is both a real and a humorous look at life through the experiences of a comedy and juggling duo and crazy things that happened to us.
I wake up in the morning, I’m like, “I wonder what it’s like to look at life through the eyes of Jon and Owen?”
This is going to be your opportunity, finally. A lot of crazy stories about things that have happened, things that we’ve learned from that, and then things that normal people, people who are not jugglers can learn from our crazy experiences.
Is the pinnacle of juggling doing something that nobody’s ever done before in juggling, or setting a world record? Are those the two accomplishments that all the jugglers are looking at?
Juggling right now is growing in leaps and bounds because of the internet. When we were young, you could only learn from finding another juggler somewhere who was willing to teach you something, and learn everything yourself. People can go on the internet and see the best jugglers in the world. People are learning fast.
You have set world records. What are the world records? Let’s hear about it.
The first ones that we were most excited about is we were the first duo to pass eleven clubs between two people.
Previously, the record was ten by a couple of Russian jugglers and then in 1993, we were the first to pass eleven.
Since then, that record has been beaten by Russians again.
We held it for about ten years, but now the juggling skills have increased so much.
It’s very safe and fair for me to say that you guys are master communicators. You have to be able to communicate well in order to throw something to somebody else. That’s dangerous in order for them to catch it. There are some great metaphors there. There is a truth to the fact that to be able to do what you’ve done for so long and be at the top of your game, and so in demand in the corporate events industry, and the corporate meeting industry for so long. It’s about accomplishing this ability to communicate well with each other, but also the clients as well. You can’t forget that about you guys.
We have to figure out what goals to set. We have to decide together what those goals are going to be, then talk with one another about what those steps are going to be. Along the way, communicate about how things are going. It’s this constant back and forth. It’s important to keep that in mind, that we’re not just each working in our own silo doing our own thing.
It doesn’t take much. We like to get together with our clients a month ahead of time and find out what challenges they’re facing and what their company culture is at the moment. When we show up, we are a part of their team in a way. We have that inside information and then people realize that show is for them. These jokes, these comments are tailored to those folks and they won’t work the next day or the day before, it’s for them. I think that connection is super powerful.
You guys are super collaborators with each other and with the clients. I feel like I wish I could collaborate with you. I wish I could be a part of your team and hang out.
You were for a moment and that was pretty great. Thank you for joining us in that way. We wanted to end our thing with a performance piece that demonstrates what we’ve been talking about. The amazing things that happen when different people come together. If you could join us here in the studio for a few minutes and help us with this next thing that would be fantastic. I think there’s a way through technology that we can do this safely.
It’s a little bit of innovation.
If you could leave your space there and come here to the Passing Zone Clubhouse and join us in our space. Do you think you could do that?
I think I can.
We could accomplish something together that we could never do without your help.
Let’s give us a shot.
Come on over and see. Owen’s going to meet you over by the door.
I’m going to come.
He’s going to be on his way here in a minute. Come on in, Chris. There we go. He has joined us live and in-person here.
Look how tidy he is. He wore a suit and tie. It’s very nice quick change.
That’s very good. How are you feeling about what’s about to happen?
I have no idea what’s going to happen, so I’m very nervous.
We’re going to put you in a little bit of danger. How do you feel about that? Are you worried about getting hurt?
Do you want to get him into position?
Let’s have you stand right back here.
He’s going to get you where we need you to be right there. This is what’s going to happen next. This is going to be pretty cool. We are going to juggle some dangerous items around you. We have flaming torches right here. They are going to be flying in front of your face, but they will also be going behind your face back and forth. It’s very important that you do not move.
Stay perfectly still, put your hands like this. That’s a good look for you.
He is so good at following directions. He hasn’t moved at all.
He’s almost statuesque.
Hold very steady right there, Chris, this is going to happen.
Here we go. Jon, you dropped the torch.
I picked it right back up.
I’m so sorry you have to see this. This is awful. How many times is this going to take you before you learn? You have got to hang on to those torches a little bit better.
This is an old shirt. I had this shirt for a long time. I’m getting better.
He’s not getting better. I started with white dots first.
These are going to be flying around you and it’s going to be very exciting, but I think that there’s a way, Chris, that we can make this even more exciting. Owen, you want to get the thing?
I’m going to get the thing. Check it out. You got the chainsaw.
We have a chainsaw and three flaming torches. I do believe that we are the only jugglers in the world to throw a running chainsaw around a real person who is right here with us.
We’re very ready. All we need is a little bit of exciting music.
This is going to happen. There it is. He’s got it.
Well done, my friend. Look at that.
You were fantastic. Very well done.
We’ll see you back at your office.
How do you feel now?
That was incredible. That was amazing.
You could feel the heat.
You can smell the gas of the chainsaw.
That’s something that you do with real people.
Yes. This is a way that the person involved there can be looking out and seeing things fly in front of their face, as well as everybody in the audience are seeing them. As opposed to the cardboard head, we get to talk to you when you’re with us that way.
Also, interact live.
That was hilarious. What a cool usage of the Zoom technology and the world that we’re in right now and making it all happen for us to be together. I can imagine the CEO of a company being used for either of those where you used me. It was an absolute pleasure and an honor to be used by you guys.
You got to be involved in both. This is such a fun way to be able to make someone feel involved and be a part of it. That’s what we’re all doing right now. We’re connecting with one another through technology. We are thrilled as much of a challenge as this time is, we’re so excited and thrilled about having the ability to do it this way and to still be able to do what we love to do, and still be able to connect with audiences and deliver our message and get people laughing, and keep doing what we love.
You guys love what you do. It’s apparent, evident and obvious. It’s very unique what you’re doing. There’s nobody else doing anything like this. I’m so glad you got to come on my show and show this to all these people.
It’s our honor, Chris. We hope that for the people in your company and for all of the clients that you have, and the people who are coming to you for great speakers, great experiences. We hope that seeing us do this was a great experience for you and for all of them.
I’m sure it was. Thank you from me to you guys. Thank you so much for doing it, all the time and effort you put into it. Although you make it look so easy.
I’m glad it looks that way.
Thank you again. We are honored to be with you. Cheers.
We’ll talk soon guys. Thanks so much again. Take care.
- The Passing Zone
- The Passing Zone – Teller nearly SCORCHED by dangerous juggling duo, The Passing Zone, on Penn & Teller: Fool Us! on YouTube
About Jon Wee & Owen Morse
Jon Wee and Owen Morse deliver comedy entertainment with a powerful message, creating an unforgettable experience for audiences in any industry.
Jon Wee and Owen Morse have one of the longest standing partnerships in corporate entertainment, a true demonstration of The Power of Partnership. The message they deliver has such impact that in July of 2010 they were inducted into the Speaker Hall of Fame (CPAE Award, from the National Speakers’ Assn.) They have appeared on The Tonight Show, The Today Show, and they were finalists on America’s Got Talent. They are at the top of their craft, with performances at the White House, in London for Prince Charles, and in the motion pictures The Addams Family and The Aristocrats. Add the Just for Laughs Comedy Festival, MADtv, AOL’s “TV’s Top 5,” The Wall Street Journal, the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon, four Guinness World Records, their own theater show, “Gravity Attacks!” and you have one of the world’s top comedy acts working today. They are bona fide experts on working together effectively. Jon and Owen depend on one another; their success – even their safety – is determined by how well they execute together. Your people will walk away inspired to innovate, collaborate and execute – and with a sore face from laughing so hard. IMAGINE the impact this can have on your organization.
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