Saturday, December 1, 2007

Evel Knievel Makes Last Jump

On Friday November 30, 2007 Evel Knievel died in his Clearwater Florida condo after many years of a variety of serious health problems. Having grown up watching Evel Knievel as young kid (I was about 9-14 in his heyday), it is a sad loss for me. Yes, I know he was a hard living, thick skinned, tough little son-of-a-gun - but Bobby Knievel from Butte Montana was a childhood hero for me, like it or not. I mean, back in the day - no one else was doing the kind of wild stunts Evel did whenever he felt like it. And yes, he sure paid a price too. I watched some of the recent History channel bios - and also heard his son Robby speak less than highly of his dad, rest assured i have been made aware of the man's sins - I still liked him and respected him. One time, I even got to hear the inside story from an ESPN executive of how he pummeled Shelly Saltman with a baseball bat for insulting his family (it is not pretty story at all). What can I say - I still have some respect for the knucklehead.

Check out the 1971 movie about Evel Knievel starring George Hamilton, see a commercial for the Evel Knievel Stunt Cycle, or watch Evel Knievel totally wipe-out at Caesar's Palace. And if you like all the crazy BMX and dirt bike races today - give Evel Knievel some props. He did a lot of groundwork to make those sports the big draw they enjoy today.

Another interesting tidbit regarding the big jump at Caesar's Palace, ABC declined to cover the event for their show The Wide World of Sports - so Knievel got John Derek to film it. To try and save some coin - Derek had his wife Linda Evans work as a camera operator. (he married Bo Derek later, and Ursula Andress before Evans). And yes, it was Linda Evans - aka Crystal from Dynasty who shot the footage of Evel skipping across the Dunes parking lot next to Caesars. Learn more from Wikipedia's entry on Evel Knievel.

And one more thing - I rode in to work Saturday morning on my motorcycle in low 30 degree weather just to post this blog entry. I hope Evel made the jump all the way to heaven. Every now and then, doing something crazy is good for you.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Random Returns To the Studio

After a prolonged, unplanned sabatical to visit hell on Earth, Frank Random dropped by the LikeTelevision studios for a brief visit the other day. As you might recall from a previous post this summer, Frank has had a very difficult year - basically getting as close to death as I have ever seen a person get, and yet somehow, Frank was able to pull out of it. How close? Well - it was bad enough that I found myself standing over him in the hospital and asking God to please take the poor man back home. I asked a priest to come by and give him extreme unction, which is a sacrament in the Catholic church, now called annointing of the sick. Some folks associate it with Last Rites, but it is now given to people who are just very sick, not always on their death bed. But back then - Mr. Random was indeed very much on his death bed or so it seemed.

But thank God - Frank made it out, and I am pretty sure he had some divine help getting out too. It made my day, my week and my month to see Frank in the studio. Now, before you expect him to crank out 50 new shameless showcases - just chill. He still has a lot of rehabilition to do. But if all goes well, he should be coming in more frequently and once again, do what he does best, which is to bring a smile to your face and a little joy to the world. I hope everyone has a great weekend and that you find yourself feeling like you have an Angel on your shoulder too.