The Silent Bob

    Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
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    The Silent Bob is a speechless (or nearly speechless) Stoic who can hold entire conversations without saying a word. Usually, they'll look soulfully, blink, raise an eyebrow, or make another otherwise minuscule gesture and get their point across. In fact, they're usually better at communicating nonverbally than most of us are at communicating verbally.

    This can overlap with any stereotypically quiet character type: The Voiceless, The Quiet One, the Silent Snarker, or the Heroic Mime. What matters is their uncanny ability to communicate complex thoughts non-verbally.

    This can be done to preserve the Badass factor of a speechless character without sacrificing his ability to communicate. Or it can be played for laughs, with other characters responding to the quiet guy's looks as if they're long, poignant soliloquies on the nature of love, life, or liberty. They may even inspire the odd Placebo Eureka Moment. More often than not, it turns into a Bilingual Dialogue with the other person just not talking.

    Another aspect of this trope is that it's normally incredibly significant when these characters speak; either they have something profound to say which will give the heroes incredibly useful insight, or another character's irritant tendencies are thrown into sharp relief when they manage to push The Stoic to the breaking point and he loses his temper, or the character's silence is a joke, and whatever they have to say is the punchline thereof. No matter which it is, the fact is that the other characters always find it to be of note when the Silent Bob does deign to speak.

    Very commonly a trait of the Optional Party Member, as he/she is often added at the last minute or as an extra feature in a port (or is deemed simply too much trouble to add to the script) and is given very little or no dialogue. However, what little they do say, no matter how groundbreaking or important to the plot it is, is completely ignored, because it is usually just inserted between other characters' speech in cutscenes.

    This trope is named for Silent Bob, a character played by director Kevin Smith in all of The View Askewniverse movies, from Clerks to Clerks II who would only speak once or twice per movie, and instead said volumes with silence.

    Examples of The Silent Bob include:


    • The Bartles & James wine cooler campaign with Frank Bartles and Ed James (or rather, actors playing them as folksy old men.) They sat on a porch while Frank explained all about their new product, while Ed quietly tinkers with something, admires his handiwork, or sips a wine cooler. Frank monologues constantly put words in Ed's mouth ("Ed says...") -- and Ed may or may not even acknowledge the camera—and ends with "..and thank you for your support."

    Anime and Manga

    • Enryu, a bodyguard/shinigami from a Bleach Filler Arc. One wonders how a Silent Bob would release his zanpakuto...
      • He eventually does, and his voice is approximately four octaves above a seven year old girl's.
    • Nagato Yuki from Suzumiya Haruhi, though it is only mentioned in the novels. Although she lacks any apparent facial expression, Kyon is somehow able to read what she is thinking from her face. It is never revealed if Kyon is actually right about his "emotion reading skill" or not.
      • But when Kyon gets her to elaborate on her mission, boy does Nagato talk. And worse, it's all in Techno Babble.
    • Toono Satoru from the Boys Love manga Awkward Silence is very, very quiet and it's a rare person who can tell how he feels from his facial expressions. He takes after his mother in this respect.
    • Zazie Rainyday of Mahou Sensei Negima, who has a way of holding entire conversations through a series of nods and ellipses.
      • Rule of Funny moment later on: During a Gaiden chapter of the latest Arc we get to check in on all the other characters not currently in Negi's party. Ayaka has a lively conversation with Zazie over the phone. (As seen in the page image.) Yes, Zazie is her standard quiet self (she says 'bye' at the end of the call). Yes, Ayaka's details after the call are all entirely accurate. Yes, everyone in the room with Ayaka is just as confused as you are as to how this works.
      • She actually speaks in her appearance in Chapter 297. And from then on, while still quiet, she keeps talking when it's needed.
    • Ume, the sound-effects man in Android Announcer Maico 2010, communicates solely by using his sound-effects machine.
    • Satsuki from Ranma ½. Only her fellow Yamato Nadeshiko Kasumi clearly understands what she says.
    • Freddy from Cromartie High School never utters a word (which is why Kamiyama had to give him his name) He seems to communicate mainly through stares. Even when he "sings", he just basically stands there with a mic posing with his mouth open.
    • Gungrave leaves the impression that this is a result of being dead. But Brandon/Grave was a man of few words his whole life. His videogame incarnation never speaks with only one exception.
    • Zig-Zagged about in the tenth One Piece movie. Indigo will mime his ideas and thoughts, and his crewmates act like they understand him for awhile before suddenly getting irritated and yelling at him to actually speak out loud, which he promptly does. When Shiki actually does understand him, he's genuinely surprised.
    • Legend of Galactic Heroes: Admiral Eisenach somehow manages to command a space fleet through subtle hand gestures. When he does speak, his fellow officers are shocked, sometimes claiming they thought he was mute. The narrator even records the exact date he spoke, just as he does for other galaxy-shaking historical events.
    • The Radish Spirit in Spirited Away isn't much of a talker (seeing as he has No Mouth) but his ominous silence makes Chihiro (and the viewer) very nervous.
    • This is the whole idea of Komi Can't Communicate, the protagonist being a shy girl with an Ambiguous Disorder that makes her, well, unable to communicate, or at least very reluctant to socialize. When she must talk, she trembles in fear, as if it is painful to do so. Still, it does seem Hitohito (the male lead, who is also very anti-social) can "read" her very well, as can most of the viewers, seeing as she's the one the plot focuses most on.

    Comic Books

    • The voice of Black Bolt of the Inhumans is immensely destructive and so he must never make even the tiniest sound if he's not trying to blow something up real good. However, he's mastered body language so well that he can communicate perfectly - many people are surprised by how well they understand him.
    • In The Sandman and Lucifer, Duma, the Angel of Silence, communicates this way with others. It's implied he might be using a form of Telepathy, or it might just be his angelic/deific companions are experts at reading him.
      • He does have the greatest example of a "Yes sir" in the history of literature...Without saying a line.
    • Milestone Comics has DMZ in the Blood Syndicate. He only ever says one word, and it's during the Crisis Crossover. "Damn."

    Fan Works

    • In the incomplete Ranma ½/Sailor Moon fic A Boy in the Hand by Dogbertcarroll, Ranma gives this impression in his tuxedoed "Silent Knight" guise. (Subverted, in that he's actually intimidated by how well Tuxedo Mask's flowery speech comes off, and doesn't want to sound stupid.)


    • Silent Bob, of course! Since he's played by Kevin Smith (the writer and director of the Askewniverse films), he has the fewest lines to memorize and some of the best dialogue, whether it's getting in a good joke, making with the wisdom, or saving the day. But the majority of the time, he just won't speak, which tends to frustrate Jay, as Bob is taciturn and the smart one. It never seems to occur to Jay that Bob is usually silent because Jay never shuts up and Bob can't get a word in edgewise.
      • Jay, possibly as a result of spending so much time around Bob, doesn't quite believe in the notion that what Bob says is profound just because he's sparing with his words; he finds Bob's speech in Chasing Amy (describing an experience of his own that mirrors Ben Affleck's situation and cautioning him against making the same mistake) largely pretentious, and Lampshades the profundity aspect of this trope.
      • Anyone standing next to Jay looks smart by comparison. But if he hangs out with Jay all the time, how smart could he be?


    • Harpo in the Marx Brothers. It helps that he can communicate with props from the Hammerspace inside his coat.
    • Beef Supreme in Idiocracy.
    • Yolanda and Greg in Hamlet 2.
    • Star Wars:
      • R2D2 speaks in an odd binary code than only C3P0 can truly interpret. Still, other characters - and even the viewers - often have no problem figuring out what he's trying to say, or at least his intent.
      • Same deal with Chewbacca. Only Han Solo and C3PO can understand Wookie language, but it is nonetheless easy for both the cast and viewers to understand what he's saying.
    • Sphinx in the 1990s Gone in Sixty Seconds film.
      • And yes, this involves both a phone call and the odd eloquence at the end of the movie.
    • Basil Hoffman's character in My Favorite Year.
    • Bluto from Animal House. Slightly more talkative than Silent Bob, but mostly expresses himself through gestures and body language. Actually, in some scenes, he's more like Jay, particularly his Germans speech.
    • Bang-Bang from The Brothers Bloom manages to be a deadpan snarker with only roughly two lines throughout the movie.
    • Those Two Guys from Suburban Commando. When they finally do talk, they have impossibly high-pitch voices, and Hogan says, "No wonder you never talk."
    • The "Bull" in the Film of the Book Where the Wild Things Are doesn't talk for most of the movie, merely standing stoically to the side, unnerving and intimidating most of the other characters. When he finally does speak, he turns out to be kindhearted and sensitive.
    • Jason Voorhees from Friday the 13th. This is quite popular in slasher movies, as Michael Myers from Halloween has it too. Michael does at one point say something, "Die".
    • Omaha. Throughout most of the film, there's conversations going on between the driver and front-seat passenger in two different cars, which are involved in a freeway chase. One of the cars is a station wagon, and the occupants of that car speak in Spanish, subtitled by a third person - a young man dressed in the Seattle grunge style - sitting in the rear-facing back seat, holding up cue cards against the back window. In the end, however, it turns out that the subtitle guy is actually a character: during the climactic fight scene (at Carhenge) he steals the MacGuffin from the Spanish-speakers, and after he's noticed by the English-speakers, holds up one final card on his own behalf before making his getaway.
    • Villain Protagonist Damien from The Omen doesn't get all-too much dialogue in the movie. Doesn't need it to be creepy or menacing.


    • The Gone-Away World by Nick Harkaway features an entire troupe of literal Heroic Mimes, only one of whom ever speaks as he's the designated communicator.
    • Mac, the proprietor MacAnally's in The Dresden Files is a one-syllable sort of guy. It gets to the point that when Mac says a full sentence, Harry is stunned.

    "He... used grammar."

    • In Changes, Mac speaking in full sentences is a strong indication of how high the stakes have become.
    • Every member of the Second Foundation is this to each other, although Asimov translates all of their "dialogue" for us.
    • In Black Company there's Silent. He has some kind of vow of silence, which he breaks but once naming the lady and thus sealing her magic power.
    • The Count of Monte Cristo features an old man who is almost completely paralyzed. He communicates with his granddaughter with a system of blinks, and is often described as having a particular expression that gets his point across. It turns out that he's something of a Retired Badass to boot.
    • In The Three Musketeers, Athos has shades of this. He's even trained his manservant to respond to entirely nonverbal cues and gestures.
    • The Auditors of the Discworld are a variation of this. Since speaking is a sign of individuality, which they abhor because it is so disorderly, instead they change reality to make it as if they had already spoken. Except they haven't. Trying to figure this out starts to cause noticeable mental strain for any living being they deal with.
    • In most adaptations of A Christmas Carol, the Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come is either mute, responding to Scrooge's inquiries with nods and gestures, or only speaks a few lines.
    • Tinkerbell. In the original Peter Pan she rarely talks, and in the Disney adaptation she doesn't speak at all, at least not in a way the viewers can understand. Still, she often seems to have more personality than many members of the cast.
      • This of course changed in the live-action Hook where she talks a lot; doubtful Julia Roberts would have taken a role with no lines.

    Live-Action TV

    • Morn from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Subversion: he is never shown talking, but other characters frequently comment on how gregarious, funny, charming, etc. he is.
      • One early episode actually shows Morn screaming, as part of a violent mob—but he has no audible lines; it's just crowd noise.
      • And in keeping with Morn's barfly image, his name is an anagram of "Norm"!
      • Expanded Universe material goes on to establish that, once he gets talking, the trick is getting him to shut up.
      • Mr. Homn, Lwaxana Troi's valet. He speaks exactly one time: "Thank you for the drinks."
      • The Silent Bob is actually a Hat for one of the races in in Star Trek; exemplified by Grand Negus Zek's personal valet Maihar'du who has taken a vow of silence to anyone other than his lord. This is seen as quite common for the Hupyrian species.
    • Effy from Skins; her tongue might have loosened a bit in the second season (after her lines in the first involved, basically, one cut-off monologue and a scream), but expressive tics and eyebrow twitches are still a major part of her communication strategy.
    • Norman the Doorman in The Suite Life of Zack and Cody.
    • Before the above, Disney was already doing this with Lanny in Lizzie McGuire. Mr. and Mrs. McGuire are amazed when Matt has a phone conversation with Lanny, who is always shown as being mute—yet Matt and Melina understand him perfectly.
    • An All in The Family episode features a hippie couple, the girl of whom never speaks with her boyfriend explaining that she only talks with her eyes. Archie is predictably skeptical: "Open wide and let's hear the Gettysburg Address!" Even Mike and Gloria become frustrated with them, with Gloria yelling at the girl to shut up while the guy is in the middle of explaining yet another thing she's supposedly saying.
    • In an episode of Black Books, Manny and Bernard individually go to a counselor who simply listens to them talk through their problems until they come to a breakthrough all by themselves.
    • Marilyn Whirlwind from Northern Exposure is the extremely laconic foil to the high-strung Dr. Fleischman.
    • Giorgy from the SCTV "Hey Giorgy" sketch was a Silent Bob, even using a variation of the Coolidge line "You lose...Comrade!" (see Real Life below)
    • Darryl and Darryl from Newhart, except in the series finale.
    • Mr. Foley from Remember WENN.
    • Rongar from The Adventures of Sinbad, although in his case it wasn't exactly optional - he didn't have a tongue.
    • Silent Keith from the 2010 season of "Canada's Worst Handyman" was one of these.
    • Death's skeletons in Horrible Histories.
    • Thing in The Addams Family and every adaptation where he appears. Being a living disembodied hand, he has no mouth, and thus cannot speak vocally, but whether it's sign language, Morse code, or simply snapping and pointing, he sometimes seems to have more dialogue than whoever he is conversing with. The Netflix series Wednesday (with its darker nature and TV-14 rating) also gives him an appropriate way to respond to anyone who insults him...


    • Meg White is the Silent Bob of that pair. Of course, when she does speak, it's pure sex in audio form.

    Professional Wrestling

    • Ron Simmons of the WWE, leading up to his singular and simple catchphrase: "Damn!"

    Tabletop Games

    • In the Spelljammer setting, zodar are mysterious golem-like beings with godlike strength who seem to be made of the same material as the Crystal Spheres. They almost never speak; no zodar has been known to talk more than three times in their millennia-long lifespans, and when it does speak, its words are as sparse and concise as possible. Certainly, when it chooses to speak, what it says is very important.


    • Lucky in Waiting for Godot is silent through most of the play, until he is asked to 'think', when he issues forth a three page speech of fractured philosophical gibberish.
    • In the musical Once Upon a Mattress, the King has been cursed with muteness. As a result, all his "lines" are delivered by miming. He even features in two songs!
      • But when he does get the chance to speak, boy, does he ever relish in it (the kindest you could say about his wife is that she's a domineering, insufferable shrew. The most accurate you could say about his wife is not fit for public conversation).
    • Sheriff Earl in All Shook Up.

    Video Games

    • Ward, after becoming permanently mute in Final Fantasy VIII.
    • Kimahri of Final Fantasy X remains silent most of the time, and doesn't say a word for a long time after his initial appearance, so when his mouth opens, you listen.
      • It gets to the point that his first line of dialogue isn't until you're about a quarter of the way through the game (roughly at the 12-hour mark).
    • Inverted by the Elcor from Mass Effect. Their body language is too subtle for any other species to detect (and their voices utterly monotone), so they must verbally declare each and every emotion.
    • All four times that the Player Character of Saints Row opens his mouth, someone gets owned. He talks normally in the sequels however.
    • Kevin Smith in Killer7 - the creators claim they weren't familiar with the real-life film director of the same name who played Silent Bob himself.
    • Quite a few Silent Protagonists from video games. Examples include Mario (Super Mario), Crono (Chrono Trigger), Rudy (Wild ARMs), Ryu (Breath of Fire), The Rookie (Halo 3 ODST), Gordon Freeman (Half Life), Samus Aran (Metroid), etc.
    • Bark the Polarbear, a long-forgotten character from the video games, was reintroduced in the Sonic the Hedgehog comic book as a Silent Bob, teamed up with the psychotic and easily amused Bean the Duck. Bark is by far the more reasonable of the two, though he's yet to have had a single speech bubble.
    • Red from Pokémon Gold and Silver speaks only in ellipses, as a nod to his role in the previous games.
      • Lampshaded in Pokémon Sun and Moon where the Player meets Red and Blue at the Battle Tree. All of Red's comments are simply "..." which eventually prompts Blue to say, "Silent as ever, huh?"
    • Mario is possibly the epitome of this trope in Paper Mario. All He has to do is open his mouth for three seconds to say a whole sentence.
    • In Mother 3, the protagonist is always silent bob. Once they retire the title, they can speak again, and sometimes cutscenes will go back to an earlier conversation and reveal what the now vocal character said.
      • An NPC, Leder, never utters a single word and people acknowledge it. When Leder DOES speak, he reveals an Awful Truth to Lucas about the history of the island, revealing how everyone on the island was brainwashed to prevent a second catastrophe from happening.
    • The player character from Dark Souls is never heard to speak. However, he/she can respond yes or no to questions, and dialogue from other characters implies that they do in fact speak. For example, Quelaag's Sister's dialogue implies that the player character is crying.
    • Golden Sun player characters are traditionally limited to pantomime and nodding/shaking yes or no to questions (which always seem to end in "But Thou Must!")... but only when you're playing as them. In the first game, Felix is very aloof toward the player characters but a devoted protector to the hostages, and Isaac is The Silent Bob. In The Lost Age, Felix is The Silent Bob, and Isaac's new speaking role reveals that he gets abrasive under pressure.
      • Golden Sun: Dark Dawn continues the trend, but plays with it a bit more. Matthew ("Mut" in the Japanese versions) is far more expressive than his predecessors thanks partly to the new emoticon reactions, and in the American version he even has a rather specific reaction to encountering Arcanus in the final dungeon. However, the dialogue his friends have around him mentions that he is this in-universe, to the point of being reluctant to introduce himself when asked.

    That's Matthew. He doesn't talk much.


    Web Original

    • Balabalalde in the "Improfanfic" series Dark Heart High has so many bandage shaped PowerLimiters over his entire body and face, he communicates exclusively by blinking his right eye and moving his head. This is played straight and funny throughout the series.
    • Literally every single character on Happy Tree Friends.

    Web Comics

    Western Animation

    • A minor character from the Avatar: The Last Airbender series, called Longshot. He's an expert archer who is part of Jet's group. At first he's just a background character, but when Jet reappears in Season 2, intent on reforming himself and making a new life, Longshot is one of only two characters from the group with him, and although he never speaks the others frequently react to his looks as though he is. (Often with replies like "That's deep", or "Good point", and so on). Probably a bit of a Silent Bob homage. (Like Bob, he does break his silence, but only at the very end, when Jet is dying and he tells the main character's group to go ahead of them and catch the Evil Chancellor responsible).
      • This trope was specifically mentioned in the Avatar the Abridged Series and called "Silent Bob Syndrome". Because he couldn't object, Jet called him by whatever insulting name he could think up.
    • Gromit, of Wallace and Gromit fame. While he does not say anything, apart from rare yelp or bark, he remains nonverbal but his single eyebrow speaks volumes.
    • Mayor Edsel from Transformers Animated, who communicates solely with body language interpreted by his aide.
    • Ferb from Phineas and Ferb, who despite being a main character only speaks about once or twice per episode. He also rarely shows facial expressions, but can usually be interpreted by others, especially his brother Phineas. Sometimes they do fail to, though, usually for humorous effect.
      • Perry is an even better example, given that he can't speak, only purr. And, though Doofenhmirtz has shown to be able to understand what he "says", Perry is mostly just understood by facial expressions and some small actions (like greeting with his hat, pointing or even facepalming).
    • In The Simpsons episode "Lisa's Wedding", teenage Maggie is described as being a chatterbox - but then she merely rolls her eyes at her father in silence.
      • She's also supposed to have an angelic singing voice, but she gets cut off just as she's preparing to do so. All the audience gets is the sound of her inhaling.
      • Lampshaded in "Three Gays of the Condo" where Homer says that his only worthwhile creation was Lisa. When Maggie takes offense, Homer replies with "Prove me wrong, Silent Bob."
        • Notably, Maggie has said exactly two words in actually canonical episodes: her first word, "Daddy" and later, "Ja."
        • Don't forget when the kids were fostered by the Flanders and nearly baptized...on the way to the river, Maggie spins her head around ala The Exorcist and says "Okaley Dokaley!"
        • "Sequel?"
      • Maggie can Silent Bob with the best of them, canon be damned.
    • Mr. Funny in The Mr. Men Show. He only honks during Season 2 of the show run.
    • Boomhauer in King of the Hill isn't silent, exactly, but his complete and utter unintelligibility goes unnoticed by most characters, especially Hank, who according to Bobby often quotes Boomhauer's wisdom.
    • In Theodore Tugboat, some of the docks are characters who only ever say a certain phrase - like "Uh-huh," or "Nope," which often leads to the character facing a moral dilemma in the story extracting profound wisdom.
    • Ms. Mimi in one episode of Angelina Ballerina: The Next Steps communicates with the titular character and her friends through writing notes, head shakes, and music - all because she has laryngitis. Early in the episode, a yogurt-selling mouse greets Angelina and Vici by using a bell in his cart and waving his hand on them.
    • Enforced (and overlapping with True Art Is Incomprehensible) in the Animaniacs reboot. The Warner siblings visit a museum with a display of performance art: the artist is basically sitting motionless, doing nothing and saying nothing, while the curator encourages patrons to talk to her. Unfortunately, the three don’t understand why this is considered art, which eventually trails off into a tangent of other things they don’t get (like why Hawaii has interstate highways or what the best thing was before sliced bread); this gets so annoying that she eventually breaks her silence and starts ranting because she realizes that she doesn’t truly “get” it either.

    Patron: Uh hi, this is kind of awkward. I guess your used to it by now, huh?
    Artist (Says nothing)
    Patron (nervous): Oh, in case you haven’t noticed, I’m from out of town on vacation! I work at a zoo and… all the animals escaped so… they gave us time off…
    Artist (Says nothing)
    Patron (a little angry): Of course, my husband thinks it’s my fault, cause I taught one little monkey how to open his cage! I didn’t know he was going to teach the other monkeys! Heh…
    Artist (Still says nothing)
    Patron (flustered): Oh, you’re right! I did it because I’m in love with that monkey and I should leave my husband! (Gets up and walks off.)

    • Ernie the Giant Chicken, Peter's Arch Enemy on Family Guy; at least one episode shows he can talk, but he rarely does. Of course, the epic fights between him and Peter don't have much dialogue for Peter either.
    • In Samurai Jack, the title character rarely has much dialogue, and many episodes show him going through long scenes without talking at all. More often than not, his actions speak far louder. This is very much in contrast with his Arch Enemy Aku, who never shuts up.
    • True for most characters in Star Wars: Clone Wars. Many of the shorts have little or no dialogue from the cast whatsoever. Not coincidentally, this series was, like the aforementioned Samurai Jack, a creation of Genndy Tartakovsky.

    Real Life

    • The ironically-named Teller of illusionist duo Penn & Teller. Teller is small, silent, subtle and extremely polite, while Penn is a big, loud, flashy, long-winded and obnoxious type who never shuts up. Penn behaves like this in every public appearance and never breaks character, giving them a unique advantage as magicians: everyone's so used to Penn's distracting behavior, it never occurs to them it's deliberate misdirection.
      • Teller does, however, speak freely when he is not "in character", i.e. after shows to fans, in a few film roles, and in print and radio interviews (though in the latter he often jokes that he can't be the real Teller - because, of course, Teller never talks). In stage and television appearances he is always silent, though on some rare occasions he has been shown speaking in documentaries with his face obscured. 
      • Additionally, Penn Jillette has said that in their magic shows, Teller talks at least once during every show - but it has to be a gimmick. Things like being inaudible because a loud woodchipper is drowning out his voice, or speaking audibly but while pretending to be an animatronic puppet of himself, or simply arguing with Penn off-mic. Similarly, in their appearance on Babylon 5 as comedy duo Rebo and Zooty, Teller's character used a device that spoke for him in a synthesized voice.
      • This tradition continues in Penn & Teller: Bullshit!, too: Penn jokes in one episode about how Teller yells at him a lot. In the opening of another episode, Penn brands Teller, who is just barely offscreen, causing him to scream "MOTHERFUCKER!", and Penn to exclaim "Hey cool, he can talk!". And the episode on hypnosis starts with Teller speaking in a loud and dramatic voice for a good 35 seconds (he's trying to hypnotize Penn), though he's only seen from the neck down as the camera focuses on Penn lying down.
      • To show just how powerful the Silent Bob effect is: Once, while hosting at a magic convention, they switched roles. They were introduced as "Teller & Penn", and Teller spoke while Penn stayed silent. It brought the house down.

    Teller: "My name is Teller, and this is my partner Penn Jillette- we are Teller & Penn."
    Audience: *goes wild*

    • Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, who hasn't asked a question of the attorneys before him in over three years.[when?]
      • Boston Legal Lampshaded this when Denny and Alan had to go before the Supreme Court (naturally played by lookalikes). Denny bets Alan that he can't get Justice Thomas to talk. Alan ends up winning the bet, with his standard behavior that would never fly in a real court.
      • As of November, 2011, it's now up to almost five years.[please verify]
    • American president Calvin Coolidge (nicknamed "Silent Cal"), who famously was told by a woman at a dinner party that a friend of hers had bet her she couldn't get Coolidge to say more than two words to her all evening. Coolidge's response? "You lose."
      • Or, in Dave Barry's retelling of it: "Fuck you."
    • Stage Magician Val Valentino originally performed under the pseudonym "the Masked Magician", a guise where, in addition to the mask used to conceal his face, he never spoke, relying on an announcer to detail his performance.