Tuesday, December 04, 2007

R.I.P. Evel

A few days ago, the renowned Evel Knievel passed away, seemingly unable to defy the odds one last time. I remember growing up and hearing these legendary stories – heck, I even had an Evel Knievel action figure. I never got to see any of his death-defying stunts, but the stories I heard made me feel as if I had.

I remember some friends telling me some crazy stories they heard – when we were kids, our imaginations were boundless (plus, we’d believe just about anything). One friend even told me that Knievel was planning on jumping his bike across the Pacific Ocean … it made perfect sense to me.

I saw a documentary on the guy this weekend – it was actually pretty good. One thought kept going through my mind – how the heck did he get into this line of work? What prompted him to say to himself, “Hey Evel, I really got the jonesing to jump my Harley Davidson over 15 school busses?” Maybe it was the celebrity and fame, perhaps it was the money, maybe the insatiable appetite for danger, more likely it was because he knew that he’d be able to sleep with just about any girl out there.

Jumping over busses, trailers, cars, and trucks is one thing. Mr. Knievel’s desire to jump the Snake Canyon makes me think that insanity had probably taken over. I saw the footage of this “attempt,” and can’t believe all of the hype this guy got. In a way, it was sort of an early “reality” show. In fact, I’m surprised we haven’t seen a reality show in which stunt men tried to outdo each other … I’m guessing insurance costs would be through the roof. Which brings me to another question – would this Evel Knievel thing even work in this day (First, would there be a market in this, and second, would the insurance risk involved even be worth it?)?

We’re gonna miss ya, Evel!


The Rev said...

Would this Evel Knievel thing even work in this day?

I got two answers for that.

1) Robbie Knievel has a career doing the same thing. Not as popular as dad was, but he does it.

2) It does work today. It's called X-Games.

Jeff said...

Third answer: Jackass -- the TV series and the movie.

The Evel Knievel character on the Simpsons was a classic. Led to Bart trying to jump Springfield Gorge on his skateboard. Possibly the best episode ever.

Lisa said...

i was really surprised to hear he died -- mainly because i thought he'd already been dead for 10 years. ooops.

Ink and Stone said...

You had an Evel Knievel action figure, huh? Liar! You know you actually had an Evel Knievel DOLL! ;-P

minijonb said...

i remember watching the Evel Knievel movie as a kid. he was one of a kind. a little messed up in the head... but an original.

Steph said...

My brother broke his leg for the first time trying to impersonate that dude.
The first of many broken bones.

snowelf said...

I don't know, Los, we did have fear factor--that was pretty close!!

I was so embarrassed to hear he died because I thought he was already dead since no one was making a big deal out of him anymore. Silly me!


Superstar said...

please tell me that you had an Evel doll and motorcycle??? The matching parachute and action figure set?!?!?! PLLLLLLEEEAAAASSSEEEE?!?!?!?!

A good friend of his lived here in PHX so they did a whole dedication on the morning show...

I still think he was NUTS!!!

El Padrino said...

he was awweessome

El Padrino said...

The Evel Knievel character on the Simpsons was a classic. Led to Bart trying to jump Springfield Gorge on his skateboard. Possibly the best episode ever.


Los said...

Rev - Good point with the X-Games ... forgot about that ... dick.

Jeff - Jackass wasn't something that was seen on ABC's Wide World of Sports ... although, it probably would've boosted the ratings.

Lisa - I knew Evel was still alive - I just didn't realize he was such a nut-case.

Ink - At least I didn't have the Evel Knievel blow-up doll!

Minijonb - I've never seen any of his movies - I think he did like 3 of them, or something.

Steph - The most I ever did was try standing on my bike whilst riding it.

Snowelf - Ya know, I never got into Fear-Factor ... I hate my gag reflex!

Superstar - Nope, I only had the action figure and bike - no parachute.

ElP - Oh my god, Springfield Gorge! I remember that!