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Zap2it: Were you surprised to get the offer to become the new host of ‘Penn & Teller: Fool Us’?

Alyson Hannigan: It pretty much was just a little gift. It was a wonderful phone call to get, because it’s a completely new arena for me. It also came at a time where my oldest daughter has become very interested in magic, so it was great timing for me as a mom. It shoots in Las Vegas, and it was when my kids were in spring break.

Though your Willow on ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ knew more than a bit about magic, do you?

I really like that I don’t. I’m still sort of at the same level my seven-year-old is, where I’m like, “Wow! That’s so cool!” Now I have a little bit more of an understanding, but I also want to believe that it just is magic — and when you watch Penn & Teller, you really do believe that. There’s no trickery involved.

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Zap2it: To prepare for your new job, did you watch earlier ‘Fool Us’ episodes?

I did, yes. I’m a huge fan of Jonathan Ross (the show’s original host), so really, the most intimidating part of this was knowing how brilliant he is and that I’m going to be completely different than him. It’s definitely a shift, and I’m not trying to be Jonathan Ross; I would fail miserably at that.

I was just looking at it as, “I’m going to bring my perspective,” and I’m like the majority of the audience. I’m sitting there doing, “What? How did they do that?” Also, it’s a little bit of a boys’ club, even though there are some female magicians … and I think it’s good to have my perspective of asking the “girly” questions.