Tuesday, March 8, 2011

You trust me, don't you?

by Josh

Oh, how I love swindlers.

BBC has this show - maybe you've seen it? - it's called The Real Hustle. The premise of the show is...well, it's kind of a Candid Camera for grifters and marks. Essentially, every episode involves one or more actual con artists actually conning an actual victim. We watch the preparation, we watch the setup, we watch the takedown, and we watch the reveal. Of course, at the end of each scam, the money's given back to the marks, but I'll tell you, some of the operations they pull are downright clever - and each of them is based on a real-life con game.

Check this out:



Ever since I was slightly shorter, I've been a sucker for such stuff. Maybe I saw a few too many David Mamet plays growing up. Maybe I enjoyed Scott Joplin's "The Entertainer" a little too much. Or maybe I just get a kick out of situations where people prove victorious not through a show of superior arms but through a flurry of intellect, guile, and wit.

And isn't storytelling the oldest confidence game of all?

Here's another of my favorites:


7 comments:

Lois Winston said...

Josh, it never fails to amaze me how many people fall for the scam where a total stranger comes up and offers to split found money if the mark will simply put up some good faith money. Years ago you'd read about this at least once a week in the newspaper, and yet people continued to fall victim to it. Nowadays it's an Internet version perpetrated by Nigerians. And still people are being snookered.

Meredith Cole said...

The Entertainer was one of my favorite movies, too. I love the double/triple con (the clever ones anyway). I'll have to check out that show...

Reece said...

I'm putting this show on my DVR list. I'm also a sucker (so to speak) for a good con-man story like House of Games. My rule of thumb -- if it has Ricky Jay in the cast, it's probably going to be good.

Gabi said...

I'm going to be keeping a much sharper eye on you in the future.

Rebecca Cantrell said...

You are such a bad influence, Josh! Another TV show to watch instead of work. But I practically have to, in self defense.

Joshua Corin said...

Yeah, it's such a fun show to watch...and in the next few months the BBC is going to be releasing an app to allow us Yanks to watch their programming on our scifi devices!

Sue Ann Jaffarian said...

And so ends the educational portion of this blog. Great post, Josh!