Part of the fun of the internet is that every now and then, an absolute classic piece of content that slipped under the radar back in the day suddenly resurfaces and becomes a viral sensation.
An old clip of comedian/magicians Penn & Teller talking about vaccines is a perfect example. Created for their early 2000s Showtime series Penn & Teller: Bullsh*t!, in which they... well, called bullsh*t on things that are bullsh*t, the clip perfectly calls out the lies of the anti-vax movement.
Having recently resurfacing on Reddit, the clip hits very different in our pandemic-addled times than it did back in 2010!
See for yourself below but be warned—the video is (deliciously) profane and NSFW.
The link between vaccinations and autism has been thoroughly debunked over and over again by the medical and science communities, but still people continue to cling to the idea—which probably explains the voracious exasperation Penn & Teller brought to the issue in their clip.
Right off the bat, the talkative half of the iconic duo, Penn Jillette, wastes no time profanely and bluntly getting right to the point, beginning the segment with the following opening salvo:
"You may have heard vaccination causes autism in 1 out of 110 children. Fu*k that. Total bullsh*t."
Well okay then, you've certainly got our attention, sir!
Penn & Teller then go on to illustrate the effectiveness of the myriad vaccines we are typically given as children, for everything from dyptheria to chicken pox, using a series of 100 bowling pins representing 100 children, bowling balls representing diseases and a plexiglass barrier standing in for vaccines. One bowling pin "child" is set aside as the roughly 1 in 100 children with autism worldwide.
Naturally, the bowling pin "kids" that aren't behind the plexiglass "vaccine" barrier are knocked all over the floor by the vaccine "balls"—showing how simple this process really is.
Jillette then wraps up the exercise in his trademark, profanity-laden way.
"So even if vaccination did cause autism--WHICH IT FU*KING DOESN'T--anti-vaccination would still be bullsh*t."
You make a compelling point, sir! On Reddit, this blunt old chestnut of a sketch definitely touched a nerve.
"'WHICH IT FU*KING DOESN'T'"
"lmao, that caught me off guard. Belly laugh." --timc74
"Seriously Penn, tell us what you really think!" --USArmyJoe
"As somebody who works in the field of infectious disease, I've always really liked this 'Sketch' - not strictly scientifically accurate, but a great visual demonstration." --GrumpyOik
"This video is 10 years old. And we're still fighting anti-vaxx ignorance." --polgara_buttercup
"I've used this argument against anti-vaxxers as well."
"'Well, lets assume that vaccines do cause autism, which it doesn't. You're saying you'd rather risk your child dying than having an even smaller chance of developing autism?'"
"Honestly its a huge insult to autistic people." --itsdjc
"I have a child with autism. Even if vaccines caused it (which to quote our friend here IT FUC*ING DOESN'T!), I'd still get him vaccinated. Because autism won't kill him, measles and polio and others could."
"Plus, he's an awesome kid and I get to be his mom!" --treecatks
"I feel like we need more anger against anti science that Penn has."
"Like seriously, with the same voracity that he cusses and swears with, no bullshit/beating around the bush kinda stuff." --RetroJake
Now maybe if we could just get our government to speak this plainly about vaccines...