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Dean Martin roasts Evel.
Evel in MAD.
The Evel Knievel Humorography
To some, Evel Knievel is an icon. To most others, he's a joke.
As a footnote in the annals of oddball Americana, motorcycle daredevil Evel Knievel is an easy target for comedians, satirists, talk-show hosts, comic strip artists and other purveyors of humor. His name alone practically begs for satire; consider Eva Knievel, Evil Cornevil, Evel Cownievel, Anal Knievel, Penile Knievel, Evel the Weevel, Evel Boll-Weevil, Weevil Knievel, Weeble Knievel, Weasel Knievel, Stevel Knievel, Medieval Knievel, Evel Cathedral, Evel O'Kneeful, Awful Knievel, Awful Knauffel, Orville Knorville, Stupid Ker-nupid, Rebus Caneebus, Shevil Knevils, Evel Knievelvis...
Moreover, his absurd line of work has made him a one-man punchline. According to columnist Clark Walworth of the Times-News in Twin Falls, Idaho -- site of Evel's Snake River fiasco -- "knievel" is local newspaper jargon for "a rare but hugely embarrassing error." Evel himself often participates in fun made at his own expense, though the humor usually seems lost on him. In many interviews he also recites jokes of his own, but they're not all that amusing.
In any case, here's a survey of mass-disseminated, Knievel-related humor. This includes Evel's son Robbie, whose own daredevil act is pretty much the same as his old man's; this does not include the multitudes of pets named after Evel, or Evel-related screennames, or anonymous folks on YouTube simply playing with Evel toys, or schmucks on America's Funniest Home Videos racking their nuts ("Here's Peoria's answer to Evel Knievel!").
Whether any of this is actually funny is up to you.
All misspellings of "Evel" and "Knievel" are consistent with their sources... Please contact me with any additions or corrections.
Racin' Toons (June 1971).
Before Evel became a household name, he was likely first satirized in this or Petersen's Cycle Toons or some other motorcycle-themed comic/humor mag. The cover here, by Glenn Gable, shows Evel ass over teakettle after his bike slips on a banana peel. A three-page comic inside depicts Evel's evolution from a crib-jumping baby to daredevil superstar.
Evel Bologna (1974).
Some supermarket's newspaper ad with a drawing of Evel riding a giant baloney stick over the Snake River Canyon. Big chunks.
Richmond News-Leader (1974).
Jeff MacNeely's political cartoon in the Virginia paper depicts a Sky-Cycle marked "Economy" (with "Powered by Ford" on its tailfin), standing by as Evel in his own Sky-Cycle helplessly plunges into the Snake River canyon. I'm not sure who the guy piloting the Economy Sky-Cycle is supposed to be -- I'm guessing Arthur F. Burns, the then-chairman of the Fed.
Sick (April 1975).
The cover of this MAD knockoff shows Sick's Alfred E. Neuman knockoff, Huckleberry Fink, riding a motorcycle with training wheels. Inside is a three-page feature, "Confessions of Eivel Bollweevil," written by Fred Wolfe and drawn by Jerry Grandenetti, depicting Eivel with a monstrous forehead. The premise is an interview with Eivel by an unnamed reporter before the Snake River jump. At the end, a straightjacket-clad Eivel is hauled off to the Bellevue Mental Ward.
Sick (June 1976).
Fourteen months later, Fink jumps a large moving van over some motorcycles.
The London Sunday Times (May 25, 1975).
A political cartoon by Gerald Scarfe, published the day Evel failed to clear 13 buses at London's Wembley Stadium. The bike has a flat rear tire (er, "tyre"), the rider's hat says "Evel Wilson," and the caption asks "Will he survive his channel leap on June 5? (...and will we?)" Not being up on London's politics circa '75, I don't get it.
Unknown by RJG.
Some random comic I found online; I'm guessing it came out in the UK around the time of Evel's London jump. The caption quotes the bus driver: "Typical! You wait ages for one Evel Knievel, then three turn up at once."
MAD (October 1975).
In the feature "Well-Kept Celebrity Secrets" (artist: Sandy Kossin, writer: Paul Peter Porges), we see that the supposedly "fearless" Evel Knievel sucks his thumb and sleeps with a teddy bear.
Chicago Tribune (January 31, 1977).
In another political cartoon, Dick Locher's caricature of then-president Jimmy Carter jumping a pool of sharks (with a big "Tax Rebate" tag flying behind him) reflects Evel's actual attempt occurring later that day at Chicago's International Amphitheater. Along with various contusions and bruises, Evel fractured his collarbone and right arm, requiring bone graft surgery and the placement of a metal plate in his forearm. Carter didn't fare much better.
Wordsmith by Tim Menees (UPI; May 1, 1977).
This Sunday color version of the daily comic strip featured Orville Knorville and his attempt to jump a Harley over the Mississippi. However, he'd do it far upstream in Minnesota, where the "river" is a only a few feet wide. I only have this black-and-white photocopy.
Frank and Ernest by Bob Thaves (NEA, Inc.; 1977).
Two angels stand by, observing Evel's guardian angel: "Oh, oh! ...Here comes Ernie... Boy! He's in really bad shape this time! Look at that... It's pitiful! Halo all bent out of shape... Feathers falling out of his wings... A banged-up head, two cracked ribs, and a sprained ankle! He should have never taken that assignment as Evel Knievel's guardian angel."
MAD (March 1979).
From the "Brave New Whirls Dept." comes this piece written by Lou Silverstone and drawn by Jack Davis: Evel Knievel is in big trouble! And we're not talking about spending some time in the slammer. We're talking more about serious trouble. Mainly, his last TV special bombed out in the ratings. The problem is: people are getting bored seeing the same old stunts like jumping over cars and buses and canyons. They want to see Evel do some really death defying stunts. So, we at MAD, in an effort to help, have come up with suggestions for... "Some Really Dangerous Stunts We'd Like To See Evel Knievel Do on TV." There's 18 of 'em, such as...
"Stand on a deserted N.Y.C. sub-
way platform at 3 in the morning."
"Enter a water-drinking
contest in Mexico."
"Umpire a baseball game
on 'Beer Day.'"
Wear an "ANWAR
SADAT" T-shirt in Libya.
Two pages from the "Don Martin Dept." ...
MAD (circa 1980).
From the "Used Parts Dept." came the feature, "Customized Organ Donor Cards for Some Very Special Donors." Written by Dennis Snee, reprinted in the 1989 paperback Mad Jackpot.
The Beano Comic Annual 1979 (DC Thomson, 1978).
The popular UK comic book included a "Bash Street Kids" strip with this caption: "Daredevil Evel O'Kneeful set a new world record by leaping 24 motorbikes in his bus!"... Around the same time, some NBC show (either Real People or Games People Play) had a guy who really did jump a yellow school bus over a bunch of motorcycles. He fell short, and the landing ramp tore off the bus's rear axle... Sick already depiced the same gag on its June '76 cover (see above); later, Australian Lawrence Legend jumped a double-decker bus over 38 motorcycles in 2004, then over 45 motorcycles in 2005.
Batman No. 326 (Detective Comics, August 1980).
Batman spouts weak witticisms while battling a cycle-riding Mad Dog Markham, such as calling him "Evil" Knievel. This is about as clever as calling Redd Foxx Red "Fox."
Doctor Fun Presents by David Farley (1988).
The caption says something like
"Evel Bollweevel's latest stunt."
"The next day Evil Knievel had a
new road crew. Original context.
The tourguide says, "And up there,
Evel Knievel." Original context.
Eightball No. 13 (Fantagraphics, April 1994).
In the comic story "Blue Italian Shit," Daniel Clowes reminisces about a "dumb social deviant" from his teenage years, "who was into Rush and Evel Knievel." Now available in the Clowes collection Caricature (Fantagraphics, 2002).
Heinous No. 4 (self-published, October 1995).
John Porcellino of King-Cat Comics drew "Evel Knievel Story" for my own zine. Order here.
Off the Mark by Mark Pairisi (Atlantic Feat.; November 25, 1995).
A lame one-panel comic, depicting an elderly Evel in a rocket-powered wheelchair jumping over three of his fellow nursing-home residents.
Close to Home by John McPherson (United Press Syndicate; April 14, 1998).
When the joke was recycled a few years later, it still wasn't funny...
Gibbleguts by Dan Gibson (year unknown).
...Another iteration, still not funny... Official site.
The Manual Wheelchair Training Guide by Axelson P, Chesney D, Minkel J & Perr A (PAX Press, 1998).
...At least when it was used in this wheelchair manual, it served a useful purpose.
Humor Can Be Funny! by Sam Henderson (Dodecaphonic Books, 1996).
Henderson's comic anthology included this wise-ass panel from a 1994 strip entitled "Lamest."
Mixed Media by Orman (Tribune Media Services; December 2, 1997).
"Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evel Knievel," reads the caption, a riff on the title of 1994's John Berendt novel Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, later adapted into a Clint Eastwood-directed film in 1997. Another example of this joke appears below.
Medieval Knievel (details unknown).
This one-page comic was faxed to me from the UK in 1998, though it was set in 1167. Sir Knievel arrives in town to jump seven tumbril carts filled with plague victims, but he is chastised for not being brave enough to fight in the Crusades. "There's nothing big or valiant about killing loads of people in ye Crusades," says Knievel. "Methinks I shall remain here as a humble stunt-knight." However, when a young boy gets stuck up a tree, Medieval proves his bravery: blindfolded and riding with no hands, he jumps his horse through a flaming hoop and into the air, snatching the child from a tree branch. Later, when he jumps the plague victims, the crowd cheers "Viva Medieval Knievel!"
Loaded Fashion magazine (UK, 1999).
"Knawful & Knievel" is a stupid six-panel comic with the premise, "the young Robert Knievel meets Awful Knawful in prison and steals the idea of his name." Actually it's just one panel of unique artwork, repeated six times with six different captions (among them: "You look like a knunt").
Clay Bennett cartoon (2001).
The caption reads: "And now, in perhaps his most daring stunt ever, Evel Knievel will drive a Ford Explorer with Firestone tires while talking on a cell phone." View in its original context.
All-New Cartoon Valu-Pak by Gary Lucy (The Stranger; January 3, 2002).
Not terribly original, as this came out a few years after the Medieval Knievel comic above, but it still year before the Dr. Pepper's similar ad campaign below. Unlike the other two, instead of jumping on his horse, this Medieval flies through the air courtesy of a catapult -- he's a moat-jumping maniac!
Basketcase by Kelly Ferguson (January 19, 2004).
Har-har. View in its original context.
The Dandy Annual 2006 (DC Thomson, 2005).
In "Medieval Knievel," a three-page comic credited to "Mostyn 2004," Medieval and his reluctant horse Traitor enter a tournament to leap over a pit filled with sharpened, upward-pointing stakes. Traitor runs up to the top of the takeoff ramp and suddenly stops, but momentum flings Medieval over the pit and into a tree: "Ye pain. Ye agony. Ye hurt!" Because Medieval was knocked out of action, the tournament trophy is awarded to Traitor.
Butte Weekly (July 26, 2006).
A political cartoon by Rick Hardy, appearing the week of Butte's 2006 Evel Knievel Days.
Mother Goose & Grimm by Mike Peters (King Features Syndicate; March 7, 2007).
Watching Evel's son fly through the air on TV, Mother Goose asks, "Do you think Robbie Knievel is as good as his dad was?" Grimm, in the panel not seen here, responds: "No... He's the lesser of two Knievels."
Non Sequitur (date unknown).
The caption on Wiley Miller's comic says "Evel Knievel in a previous life"; apparently he was a dog-sled musher.
Medieval Knievel (artist, date unknown).
Still another such comic, only this time, instead of a knight on a horse, it's the pope on a motorcycle. View in its original context.
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TV Shows With Evel
The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (NBC; 1973, 1974, 1977).
Evel first appeared on Carson on Valentine's Day, 1973, cracking jokes about Ed McMahon being a lush before explaining with a straight face, "I don't drink very much. However, I believe that a little alcohol in the bloodstream is much better than none at all." Carson cracked his own jokes to counter Evel's largely humorless spiel. The studio audience actually laughed at Evel as he told of his plans to jump 50 cars. After Evel's infamous Caesar's Palace crash clip was shown, the next guest, Bob Newhart, quipped: "Shecky Greene tried that a couple years ago in a '48 Hudson"... Sammy Davis Jr. guest-hosted during Evel's next appearance, on August 26, 1974, and David Brenner hosted during Evel's third and final appearance on May 31, 1977... On September 20, 1996, with the painfully unfunny Jay Leno as host, Evel's son Robbie jumped 12 emergency vehicles in the studio parking lot.
Saturday Night Live with Howard Cosell (ABC; September 1975).
Evel playfully sparred with Cosell and Muhammad Ali in a featured segment on the very short-lived variety program. Ali and Cosell appeared in tuxedos; Evel stuck with casual wear.
Dean Martin Celebrity Roast (NBC; November 10, 1975).
Evel was the evening's guest of honor for a show taped at the Las Vegas MGM Grand. He sat at a banquet table with an offbeat mix of '70s variety show staples and other B-listers, showering him with an hour's worth of lame insults recited from cue cards and met with forced laughter. Martin, slurring through the proceedings, described Evel as "a man who many times has looked into the face of death -- Phyllis Diller." Gabe Kaplan said that for fun, Evel "sits at home and makes obscene phone calls to the National Safety Council." Isabelle Sanford joked, "He's split more ribs than I've eaten." Milton Berle asked, "Why are we honoring this doggie bag with bones?" Charlie Callas came out in a daredevil suit, playing Evel's jealous, punch-drunk twin brother, "Awful Knievel." McLean Stevenson said, "Your fearless feats, your incredible jumps and your incredible acts of bravery have given new meaning to the word 'dumb.'" The roster also included Ruth Buzzi, Dr. Joyce Brothers, Nipsey Russell, Barry Goldwater, Glen Campbell, Cliff Robertson, Ernest Borgnine, Georgia Engel, William Conrad and Audrey Meadows. (None of the celebs appeared to share much more with Evel than this brief professional relationship.) At evening's end, Don Rickles came out and told some ethnic jokes, then Evel ended the show by insulting everybody else... At other times, Evel has name-dropped other comedians as "dear friends" -- Jackie Gleason, Bill Cosby, Mickey Rooney, and George "Goober" Lindsey. He also went on a hunting trip with Flip Wilson.
The Sonny and Cher Show (CBS; February 15, 1976).
Evel made a "special appearance" in a particularly loathsome skit, "Daredevil Seeks Accident Insurance." Evel rode into an office on his custom chopper, dressed in his full performance attire and carrying his beloved cane. He needed coverage for one of his "most dangerous" stunts: "I'm going to try to jump over the entire Osmond Family." S&C played the bewildered agents, who sold Evel a policy with a per-minute premium of $420. The cranked-up laugh track couldn't hide how weak this was.
Donny and Marie (ABC; October 1, 1976).
A 2:15 segment in which hockey stick-wielding Evel skates out onto D&M's ice-rink stage, explaining to the sibling co-hosts -- also wearing skates -- that he was once a pro hockey player. Marie then holds Evel's stick while he lays face down on the ice so the "Great Osmondo" can hop over Evel's torso. A "ta-da" trumpet blare sounds, the studio audience applauds, and then Evel and Marie simultaneously tell Donny, "You're a real hockey puck!"
Late Night with Conan O'Brien (NBC; October 16, 1997).
Evel looked frail on this, the eve of his 59th birthday, speaking slowly while peering through darkly tinted glasses. Even sadder was that his brief, three-minute segment came at 1:30 in the morning, after appearances by fellow has-beens Tori Spelling and Ice-T... Son Robbie was Conan's guest on June 23, 2005.
Viva Variety (Comedy Central, 1997).
A funny segment taped in Times Square, which managed to poke fun at nearly every cycle-jumping cliché. Johnny Bluejeans (Michael Ian Black) jumped a little girl's bicycle over a two-foot gap, wherein Evel lay flat on his back. Evel came out alright, but Bluejeans made a crash landing, captured from his POV with a helmet-cam. Later he was interviewed by co-hosts Meredith and Agatha Laupin (Thomas Lennon and Kerri Kenney, later of the kickass Reno 911!).
The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn (CBS; April 1999).
Evel's son Robbie was a guest, tumbling across Kilborn's desk when introduced and knocking over the host's coffee. Between their good-natured ribbing, Robbie joked about his pot-smoking and "stunt weenie."
Pepper Ann (ABC; September 25, 1999).
Evel gave voice to his animated likeness in "Beyond Good and Evel," an episode of this Disney-produced Saturday-morning cartoon about a spunky 12-year old. Evel jumps over a house to lift a boy's spirits, but then he crashes into a neighboring house.
Jimmy Kimmel Live (ABC; June 21, 2004).
Evel was a guest, but I missed it.
Back to Top
TV Shows Without Evel
Happy Days (ABC; September 23 and September 30, 1975).
In the two-part episode called "Fearless Fonzarelli," the Fonz felt his "cool" was in a slump and, to reclaim it, he would jump his motorcycle over 14 garbage cans in Arnold's parking lot. (The fictional Big Daddy Baylor set the garbage can standard at 12 in 1946, and in the decade since, several others failed trying to clear 13. Fonzie figured 13 was unlucky, so he'd try for 14.) Wearing an all-white helmet and jumpsuit (with a girlish white scarf, given to him for luck by Mrs. C), the Fonz hit the takeoff ramp, sailed into the air, and... TO BE CONTINUED flashed across the screen... A week later, Fonzie is seen hitting the pavement, laying his bike down, sliding into a chicken stand, and going to the hospital with a smashed-up knee. Unfortunately, the credits made no mention of Henry Winkler's stunt double, but he was visibly a bit chunkier than the Fonz... Happy Days tried the same thing a few seasons later, in a two-part episode in which Fonzie jumped a shark on water skis (September 13 and September 20, 1977). The episode, inspired by Evel's Chicago shark jump seven months earlier, was regarded as the turning point when Happy Days went south, and "jumping the shark" has since come to mean when any entertainment franchise becomes stale.
The Pink Panther and Friends (NBC, 1976).
Misterjaw was a cartoon shark who starred in several cartoon shorts on this Saturday-morning show. In "Sweat Hog Shark," Misterjaw (voiced by Arte Johnson) jumps the Grand Canyon with a motorcycle, putting a new spin on "jumping the shark."
Saturday Night Live (NBC; November 19, 1977).
Jane Curtin reported on "Weekend Update": "Motorcycle daredevil Evel Knievel was sentenced to spend his nights and weekends in prison for assaulting a man with a baseball bat. When asked if he was sorry about the attack, Knievel said that he wasn't, and that he was preparing himself for his next stunt, in which he will attempt to jump bail."
Super Dave (Showtime, 1987-1993).
Comedian Bob Einstein's long-running alter-ego Super Dave Osborne is a bumbling daredevil whose absurd, Evel-inspired stunts always leave him mangled. Super Dave first appeared on Redd Foxx's '70s variety show and then on Showtime's Bizarre, and then he hosted his own Showtime variety show, Super Dave, from 1987 to 1993. He'd get run over by a steamroller or miss the safety net after falling from a tall building or suffer some other cartoonish mishap, but it was clearly a dummy getting maimed each time. Super spun off into a short-lived Saturday morning cartoon in the early '90s, and starred in the straight-to-video movie, The Extreme Adventures of Super Dave (MGM, 2000). Apparently the Knievels didn't take offense to Super's antics, as Einstein personally congratulated Robbie immediately after he cleared the Caesar's Palace fountains in 1989. Robbie then appeared on Super Dave shortly afterward, assisting Super in his Atomic Yo-Yo stunt. However, on Super Dave's MySpace page, it says "Robbie Kneivel is a wuss"... Einstein is the older brother of fellow comedian Albert Brooks and a frequent talk-show guest; these days he's often seen on Jimmy Kimmel Live (as Super Dave) and Curb Your Enthusiasm (as some other character). Bob Einstein's official site.
The Simpsons (Fox; December 6, 1990).
"The World's Greatest Daredevil... The man who's no stranger to danger... If he's not in action, he's in traction... Captain Lance Murdock!" The Simpson family attends a monster truck show in the episode "Bart the Daredevil," perhaps the sharpest-ever knock on Evel. In a nod to Evel's 1977 shark jump, Murdock attempts to clear a pool stocked with great whites, along with electric eels, alligators, piranhas, even a lion. Murdock, voiced by Dan (Homer Simpson) Castellaneta, first addresses the Springfield Speedway audience: "Ladies and gentlemen, and especially little children, I'm glad you're all here to witness what may very well be my grisly death. On the chance that I don't survive, let me just say, seat belts save lives, so buckle up!" Murdock makes the jump with ease, yet accidentally falls into the pool afterward and gets mauled. With the exception of his right thumb, he breaks every bone in his body. The impressionable young Bart then visits his hospitalized hero, who encourages the boy: "It's always good to see young people taking an interest in danger... Bones heal, chicks dig scars, and the United States of America has the best doctor-to-daredevil ratio in the world!" Bart is inspired to jump his skateboard across the 63-foot-wide Springfield Gorge, but in an unusual turn of events, Homer unwittingly attempts the feat instead, and fails even more miserably than Evel did at Snake River... In subsequent episodes, the tubby, white-haired Murdock is part of a vocal supergroup formed for charity; he leaps 16 blazing school buses (only to slam into a brick wall); he crashes during his "Suicycle" jump at "Nero's Palace" in Vegas; he is unable to attend another event altogether, as he is hospitalized with cirrhosis of the liver.
Late Night with David Letterman (NBC; July 17, 1991).
For no topically apparent reason, Dave counted down the "Top Ten Ways the U.S. Would Be Different if Evel Knievel were President":
10. Nation's interstate system would include regularly spaced jump ramps.
9. Giant flame decals added to side of Air Force One.
8. More fatalities at annual Easter Egg Hunt.
7. Court packed with judges favoring 270 mph speed limit.
6. Secretary of State would wear special suit to greet diplomats while on fire.
5. Son Robbie Knievel would be screwing up S&L industry.
4. White jumpsuit de rigeur at state dinners.
3. Quayle would still be vice-president -- but his kids would take him seriously.
2. Americans closer to dream of seeing guy jump over his own face on Mt. Rushmore.
1. More babies named "Evel."
Beavis and Butt-Head (MTV, 1993-1997).
Among the bumpers before commercial breaks was one with the announcer saying something like, "Coming up next, Beavis and Butt-Head help an old lady cross the Snake River Canyon -- stay tuned," followed by a vulture's screech.
Duckman (USA Network; April 9, 1994).
"Gland of Opportunity" was an episode of this short-lived animated series, in which daredevil Vile Kyle's adrenal gland is transplanted into Duckman. Duckman's cowardice is replaced with excessive courage, inadvertently making him a dubious role model to youngsters.
High Octane (Comedy Central, 1994).
This funny newsmagazine-type series, co-hosted by Sofia Coppola and Zoe Cassavetes, had a segment profiling Robbie Knievel at one of his mid-'90s jumping performances.
Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist (Comedy Central; May 28, 1995).
In the premiere episode of this animated series, the lazy, unemployed, twenty-something, still-living-with-his-dad loser son of psychologist Dr. Katz talks of becoming a daredevil. Ben Katz (the son), has a poster of a motorcycle jumper on his bedroom wall -- presumably Evel -- but laments, "There's just no work right now in my chosen field."
South Park (Comedy Central; October 29, 1997).
Chef dresses up as Evel on the first season's Halloween episode ("Pink Eye"), though everybody thinks he's masquerading as Elvis (See below for an Evel Chef plush toy)... In a second-season episode ("City on the Edge of Forever"), Fonzie jumps five school buses (like in the Happy Days episode above) and then he kills Kenny.
NewsRadio (NBC; March 25, 1998).
In the episode "Balloon," Jimmy (Stephen Root) wears an Evel-type suit for his attempt to circumnavigate the globe in a hot air balloon.
The Daily Show (Comedy Central, 1998).
Craig Kilborn reported: "Evel Knievel, the genius who inspired a whole new generation of kids to build makeshift ramps, hop on their bicycles, and get crippling head traumas, will crash into that big tractor-trailer in the sky unless he can get a liver transplant in the next few months. Doctors predict with a new liver, Evel will have a complete recovery and in no time at all will be back into traction. Born Robert Craig Knievel, he took the name 'Evel' because 'That Putz Who Keeps Landing on his Head' doesn't rhyme with 'Knievel.' One of his most famous crashes took place at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas when, at the height of the jump, Evel's motorcycle collided with a cocktail waitress Frank Sinatra was throwing into the fountain."
Sifl & Olly Show (MTV; February 2, 1999).
The sock puppet co-hosts interview "world-class extreme stunt escape artist" Click Whittaker -- "he's a badass, this dude's like the Michael Jordan of Evel Knievels" -- shortly before he's tied up and lowered into a tank of "rabid Amazon man-eating dolphins" while reciting a poem. "I guess I'm supposed to somehow get out or something," Whittaker nebbishly explains, "I don't really see the point." Although he's reluctant and ill-prepaered -- he had a poor night's sleep, his allergies are acting up, and he has to go to the bathroom -- he proceeds with the stunt. A bloody skeleton is pulled back out of the tank, screaming "call my wife!" Watch it here, starting at the 9:40 mark.
The Late Show with David Letterman (CBS; May 3, 1999).
In light of Robbie postponing his jump at the Grand Canyon due to inclement weater, Dave counted down the "Top Ten Other Death-Defying Stunts Robbie Knievel Won't Perform":
10. Betting on the Knicks to make the playoffs.
9. Moving his show from NBC to CBS.
8. Screwing up Oprah Winfrey's lunch order.
7. Shaving with a straight razor in a New York City cab.
6. Spending a week in glass coffin with noting but a Walkman and N'Sync tape.
5. Sitting through two hours of "CBS Cross-Over Monday."
4. Swimming less than an hour after eating.
3. Trying to cut in line for Star Wars tickets.
2. Scaling Al Roker.
1. Parachuting off mountain of unsold copies of Monica's Story.
Freaks and Geeks (NBC; February 7, 2000).
In "Looks and Books," Sam gets harassed when he wears a ridiculous powder blue disco outfit to school. His misguided attempt to look sharp draws comparisons to Elvis and the "new Disco Ken Doll," and he gets called "homo" and "queer." His friend Neil, the one who encouraged him to liven up his wardrobe in the first place, tells Sam: "It's a jumpsuit... My grandfather in Florida wears them all the time because he's too lazy to put on pants... I didn't say you should dress like Evel Knievel!" ... Throughout the set-in-the-'80s series, an Ideal Evel Knievel toy is seen in the background of Sam's bedroom.
Jackass (MTV; January 6, 2001).
"Snake River BMX" is a segment in which Ryan Dunn repeatedly tries an "Evel Knievel-style" jump with a child's bicycle over a polluted creek in near-freezing temperatures. Each time he crashes into the filthy, frigid water.
King of the Hill (Fox; May 6, 2001).
In "Hank's Back Story," Boomhauer wears a Knievel-esque stars 'n' stripes jumpsuit and helmet in a lawnmower race. He wins.
Daria (MTV, 2001).
High school football star Mack imagines himself as "Mack Knievel" in one of the fifth-season episodes.
Futurama (Fox; December 23, 2001).
In this episode written by Bob Odenkirk, "A Tale of Two Santas," Fry suggests to an evil robitic Santa that he could deliver all of Santa's presents on Christmas Eve. Their exchange sounds like a playground argument:
Fry: I can deliver them! Billions and billions in one night!
Santa: Ha! No human could do all that.
Fry: Evel Knievel could!
Saturday Night Live (NBC; February 2, 2002).
Will Ferrell opens the show impersonating George W. Bush, addressing the nation after his recent "Axis of Evil" State of the Union address. He lists every entity he finds troublesome and includes it in the axis. Besides "Iran, Iraq, and one of the Koreas," he also mentions Enron, the economy, France, Germany, Italy, and math. "Evel Knievel is going in the Axis of Evil," he adds, "but that's a no-brainer."
Saturday Night Live (NBC; May 11, 2002).
Will Ferrell again opens the show impersonating George W. Bush, hoping for a lively day's work: "Do I get to talk to someone today with a name like Smith, or Jones, or Cooper or Knievel?"
Scrubs (NBC; November 7, 2002).
A very brief reference to Evel in the episode "My First Step." Watch the full-size video here.
King of the Hill (Fox; February 16, 2003).
"Queasy Rider" is an episode in which Hank and Peggy buy a motorcycle. Bobby excitedly reminds Hank that Evel accessorized with a cape and a cane. Hank says he had a cane only because "he had a crushed pelvis," to which Bobby reiterates, "And a cape!" Hank is nonplussed.
The Simpsons (Fox; November 2, 2003).
Evel Knievel Jumps the Jackson 5 is the name of an obscure '70s crossover comic that Bart finds in "Treehouse of Horror XIV."
Airline (A&E; January 26, 2004).
This episode, named "Terminal Beauty," follows a pair of Southwest Airlines employees to Chicago's Wrigley Field for a Cubs game on "70s Night." Beforehand we catch a glimpse of a guy in an Evel costume, riding down a street outside the stadium.
Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law (Cartoon Network; April 25, 2004).
In the 11-minute cartoon "The Devlin Made Me Do It," washed-up stuntman Ernie Devlin is sued by the family of a stupid kid who Devlin inspired to launch his scooter into a canyon, leaving him in a body cast. Devlin was '70s Saturday-morning Hanna-Barbera cartoon, whose title character was a clean-cut, safety-conscious version of Evel. Thirty years later, Devlin is an obese, pill-popping drunk who wears a toupee and has a skanky old hag of a girlfriend. He's got scads of broken bones, a "fractured ass," and a metal plate in his head. He's as arrogant as Evel ("I don't need no helmet!") but often nods off, screaming in his sleep, "get this catheter outta me!" He has his own canned meat product ("Dirty Old Carny"), theme park (with the "Matterhorny"), and DVD series, including "How to Jump a Ravine on Your Bicycle." Birdman unsuccessfully defends Devlin, arguing that he's insane.
The Daily Show (Comedy Central; August 2004).
Louis Black delivered an explosively angry commentary about Robbie Knievel.
Mad TV (Fox; December 11, 2004).
Evel and Chewbacca co-host a '70s educational film for teen girls, "The Right to Make Love." Says Evel: "We're here to rap with y'all teenage girls about a subject you might find a bit uncomfortable. That's right, Chewbacca, sex. Or as I call it, 'Poke and Run.' I bet of you foxes got a lot of questions about sex. Like, how do you know when a girl's ready have sex?" (Chewbacca growls.) "That's true, Chewbacca, but I can't say that on film." (Chewbacca growls again, Evel laughs.) "You got a dirty mind, Chewbacca... Anyways, girls, if you don't want to listen to your parents, take it from your good friends, Evel Knievel and Chewbacca: it's always the right time to make love." Watch the full-size video here.
That '70s Show (Fox; December 15, 2004).
From the episode "Winter," teenager Eric says to his father: "I think we can safely say none of this would have happened if you'd bought me an Evel Knievel Stunt Cycle." I don't know the context here, but I imagine it's the punchline to some joke... Surprising that from eight seasons this set-in-the-'70s sitcom, this is its only Evel reference that I'm aware of.
Kids' Choice Awards (Nickelodeon; April 2, 2006).
Host Jack Black wore an Evel suit as he opened the show, singing a Weird Al-style update of an Elton John song, "Saturday Night's Alright for Sliming." He apparently wore the same suit when he was photographed by Annie Liebovitz for a two-page photo spread in the March 2004 Vanity Fair, as seen on the Knievel Style page.
My Name is Earl (NBC; April 6, 2006).
In "Bounty Hunter," Earl states he wants to "enjoy the finer things in life, like jumping a tiny motorcycle over my brother's head." He's seen trying to launch an Ideal Evel Knievel toy StuntCycle over the head of his brother Randy, who's laying down on the floor. The cycle crashes into Randy's head and gets stuck in his hair. Jaime Pressly, who played Evel's wife Linda Knievel in the 2004 made-for-TV movie Evel Knievel, bursts into the room and interrups the scene... The episode flashes back to a romantic evening years earlier, with Earl trying to jump the cycle over the head of an old girlfriend, played by Juliette Lewis.
Robot Chicken (Cartoon Network; April 9, 2006).
In the episode "Federated Resources," an elderly Evel fails to launch his wheelchair over a row fellow residents in the parking lot of Shady Acres Nursing Home. It appears at the 3:06 mark in this clip. Watch the full-size video here.
Cheap Seats (ESPN Classic; June 19, 2006).
This half-hour comedy show takes the Beavis and Butt-Head/MST3K approach to televised sports, as a couple guys make smartass remarks as they watch amusing old footage. In this episode, hosts Jason and Randy riff on some of Evel's Wide World of Sports jumps (Texas '74: "That seemed kinda weak;" LA '73: "That jump blew"), plus a brief skit reenacting how Evel's "creative team" hastily came up with his name, and a joke about Evel's Jewish fast-food chain, Knievel's Knishes. Watch a clip here.
The Replacements (ABC/Disney Channel, 2006).
Dick Daring, voiced by Daran Norris, is the patriarch of this cartoon family. He's always seen wearing his jumpsuit and, like the comic Knievel depicted in the October 1975 MAD, he sucks his thumb and has a teddybear (named "Evel Bearnievel"). Read more here.
The Dudesons (Spike TV, 2006).
This Finnish foursome's stunts appear on their eponymous TV show, which brings to mind Jackass. When member Jarppi was asked in a 2006 interview, "Do you guys have influences as stunt people like Evel Knievel?", he answered, "Of course our influences are all legends like Evel Knievel and all those guys. They are cool and I like to watch what they've done and we get some influence from there, but it comes from everywhere."
This cartoon series, produced by the creeps at Focus on the Family, is like a moralistic hybrid of Veggie Tales and Cars. From the episode "The Cobra Canyon Leap" (available on the DVD Taking the High Road): "The legendary showcar Diesel Kanevil comes to town for his final jump -- the leap across Cobra Canyon! However... to all other cars Diesel appears too old and past his prime. Johnny feels it's up to him to step in and boldly attempt to save his hero's dignity." Buy it here.
Family Guy (Fox; January 28, 2007).
Peter finds a pair of red, white and blue gloves at a yard sale: "Holy crap, Evel Knievel gloves! I bet I can do a wheelie with these!... I have some death to defy." He buys them and puts them on and tries jumping his station wagon over some cars parked outside their house. He crashes the wagon, skidding on its roof to a stop. Watch the full-size video here.
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Playstation TV ad (circa 1990s).
Robbie Knievel appears with Crash Bandicoot.
Little Caesar's TV ads (1996).
Evel plugged pizza in a series of nationally airing Little Caesar's commercials. The self-deprecating campaign suggested that since their pizza is so cheap, Little Caesar's could only afford two-bit spokesmodels like Jimmie "Dynamite!" Walker, Butch "Eddie Munster" Patrick, and Evel. In the first spot Evel is seen in full regalia doing cookies in some slimy talent scout's office; in the second he's trying to play tennis while aboard his Harley. Evel speaks no lines, but both end with brutal, off-camera crashing sounds. Considering how pudgy he looked at the time, it's possible Little Caesar's paid him in Crazy Bread.
Cycle Oregon print ad (March 2, 1997).
Appearing in Portland's daily newspaper The Oregonian was this ad for a seven-day, 514-mile recreational bike ride from the Snake River on Oregon's eastern border to the Oregon's Pacific coast. The copy reads: "You'll be happy to know this year's ride is planned out far better than Evel's death-defying little sojourn ever was. For starters, we're not going to strap a rocket to your bike and jettison you into a canyon wall."
Powell Skateboards print ad (1997).
Appearing in Transworld Skateboarding magazine, this ad spoofs Evel's Ideal toys logo, featuring "Powell Action Stuntman Steve Caballero."
Winter X Games TV ads (1998).
Evel is often considered the grandfather of extreme sports, so ESPN used him in a TV ad campaign promoting their X Games.
Choice Hotels TV ad (circa 1998).
A suitcase emblazoned with stars and stripes and a Caesar's Palace sticker is thrown from an airplane at high altitude and smashes down onto a roadway. Evel crawls out, removes his helmet, and wearily utters the line, "Boy, what I won't do to save a buck." An accompanying print ad campaign has a picture of Evel with the caption, "A 30% discount is about the biggest thrill I can take." The ad is aimed at AARP members and/or folks over 60; Evel turned 60 the year this ad appeared.
Altoids print ad (2001).
Diet Dr. Pepper TV ad (2003).
Medieval Knievel is a renaissance fair stuntman who is launched from a catapult in an attempt to clear a line of horses. However, the catapult simply slams him straight into the ground. Not clear what this has to do with Dr. Pepper, but whatever. Watch it here.
Bud Light TV ads (2005-06).
A dumb ad campaing featuring Ted Ferguson, Bud Light Daredevil, which combines The Office-style humor Knievel-style foolishness. In the example here he tries not to look at other women while dining out with his girlfriend. View the full-size video.
Washington State Lottery TV ad (2006).
A guy challenges his buddy -- who once presented a high-school book report on Evel while wearing a helmet -- to jump a bicycle off a small ramp. Watch the full-size video here.
Holiday Inn Express TV ad (2006).
An on-the-spot reporter covers Robbie's jump over a line of school buses parked on the rim of the Grand Canyon -- as well as the canyon itself -- with the help of a jet engine strapped to his bike. He appears to launch off his ramp okay, but the jet blasts him and the cycle into the side of the nearest bus. However, it's revealed that the bike's rider is merely a dummy. The reporter catches the real Robbie trying to sneak into the safety of his trailer, and asks him, "What happened? Did someone talk some sense into you?" Robbie replies, "No, but I did stay at the Holiday Inn Express last night." Then comes the tagline: "Stay smart - stay at a Holiday Inn Express." Watch it here.
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Earthquake! (Universal, 1974).
Richard "Shaft" Roundtree plays smooth-talking motorcycle daredevil Miles Quade in this disaster epic, released two months after Evel's Snake River stunt. Quade, always dressed in his black-and-gold, bellbottomed jumpsuit, compared himself to Evel at several points, with such lines as, "You can forget about Evel Knievel!" The "World's Top Motorcycle Daredevil" is seen practicing a complicated stunt incorporating a loop-the-loop, a jump over a truck, a figure-eight, and another jump through a flaming hoop and over sharpened sticks. Quade was about to perform the stunt at some Vegas hotel for broadcast on Wide World of Sports, but the big one struck, destroying his entire setup. He was last seen trying to outrace a flood of water... In the July '75 Cracked spoof of the movie (Earthshake), the character is named "Smiles Quake."
The Man with the Golden Gun (MGM, 1974).
James Bond (Roger Moore), racing an AMC Hornet through Thailand with a Louisiana sheriff J.W. Pepper in the passenger seat, eyeballs jumping the car over a washed-out bridge. The sherrif worriedly asks Bond, "What the hell you doin' now, boy? ... You're not thinkin' a..." Bond responds, imitating Pepper's aggressively Southern accent: "I sure am, boy!" And then, in his British accent, "Ever hear of Evel Knievel?" With that, Bond jumps the car over the river, doing a counter-clockwise, 360-degree roll, accompanied by a silly slide-whistle sound effect.
Smokey and the Bandit (Universal, 1977).
Long-haul trucker Cledus Snow (Jerry Reed), speeding down a Georgia Interstate at 96 m.p.h., is on the CB with good buddy the Bandit (Burt Renyolds). Cledus hears a motorcycle cop's siren behind him, indicating for him pull over. Cledus tells Bandit, "You know who dat is? Dat's Mr. Evel Knievel! He done snuck in my back door son, when I wasn't lookin'." In CB/trucker slang, "Evel Knievel" refers to a motorcycle cop.
Viva Knievel! (Warner Brothers, 1977).
Evel and his beer gut play themselves in this unintentionally hilarious camp classic.
The Cannonball Run (20th Century Fox, 1981).
After Bert Convy jumps a motorcycle from flying airplane with colored marker smoke tracking his parachute descent, an unimpressed witness comments, "That is the dumbest thing I've seen since that dimwit tried to jump the Grand Canyon!" Later, when a guy jumps his speeding pickup over a flatbed car on a moving train, his passenger quips (in a Howard Cosell voice), "Evel Knievel, you've got yourself some competition." The driver reflects on the jump, "If CBS woulda had their cameras there, we'd have made Sports Spectacular for sure!" It's surprising that Evel himself didn't have a cameo in either Cannonball Run movie.
Top Secret! (Paramount, 1984).
Brit Eddie Kidd played Val Kilmer's stunt double in this comedy from Airplane! creators Abrahams/Zucker/Zucker. Spoofing Steve McQueen's climactic motorcycle jump from The Great Escape, we see Kilmer's heroic, helmet-less character speeding his motorcycle through the German countryside. After a knowing wink at the camera and a Roadrunner-esque "meep meep!", "Nick Rivers" jumps his bike over five buses between a couple earthen ramps. Perhaps the exclamation point in the film's title was inspired by earlier Evel-related films Earthquake! and Viva Knievel!
Damselvis, Daughter of Hellvis (Big Broad Films, 1994).
Fusing the parallels between the King of the Stuntmen and the King of Rock 'n' Roll is Evel Knievelvis, a supporting character in this ultra-low-budget exploitation film. (Every character's name ends with "-elvis," though "Elvis Knelvis" would've been more succinct.) Knievelvis, played by Robert Gann, is a reclusive former daredevil confined to a life-supporting wheelchair. Unfortunately we don't get to see his crippling crash, which occurred when he tried to jump a motorcycle over 500 steamrollers while playing a Silvertone guitar. Damselvis was written, directed and produced by John Michael McCarthy, who has since done far slicker lowbrow exploitation flicks. Read more here.
Big Bully (Warner Brothers, 1996).
Rick Moranis and Tom Arnold play a nerd and a bully, respectively. In a flashback to their youth, we see the pre-teen nerd playing with his windup Evel motorcycle toy alongside a river, and hear Moranis explaining in a Wonder Years-type voiceover: "Evel was daring, cool, fearless -- in short, he was everything that I wasn't." The cycle toy crashes at the feet of the the pre-teen bully, who tears off Evel's head and throws the decapitated doll into the river, saying "Evel Knievel's a pussy." We later see that the young nerd has an Evel lunch box, and at film's end, the adult bully atones by giving the adult nerd an Evel doll he found at a flea market. The nerd's teen son asks, "Who's that?" The nerd facetiously responds, "He was the original drummer of Guns n' Roses."
Armageddon (MGM, 1998).
A.J. (Ben Affleck) is driving a big moon buggy-type vehicle across the surface of a giant asteroid, and he's about to jump it over a canyon. He says to his passenger Lev (Peter Stomare), "Have you ever heard of Evel Knievel?" The confused cosmonaut replies, "No, I never saw Star Wars."
Detroit Rock City (New Line Cinema, 1999).
Evel's SkyCycle is seen in the opening-credit montage of '70s pop-culture imagery.
John Hawkes (Sol Star of HBO's Deadwood) stars in this comedy as Harold Buttleman, an aspiring Evel-type daredevil. Karen Black plays his mom and Dan "Homer Simpson" Castellanetta is the "Human Canonball." Here's the trailer. Official site, imdb listing.
Fun with Dick and Jane (Columbia, 2005).
Dick (Jim Carrey) and Jane (Tea Leoni) try on various outfits at a costume shop. Dick emerges from a dressing room in an Evel costume, asking Jane "Whaddya think?" Jane ventures to guess, "Elvis... on a motorcycle?" Dick: "It's Evel Knievel, hon!" He turns around to reveal a novelty prosthetic ass. "I like the way it makes my butt look!" Carrey also appeared in the costume on the front page of the December 15, 2005 USA Today.
Jackass Number Two (Paramount, 2006).
Johnny Knoxville re-creates the Snake River Canyon stunt, trying to ride on the back of a rocket as it launches over a lake. On the first attempt, the rocket blows up on the launch pad. On the second attempt, Knoxville rides the rocket up a hundred feet or so before falling into the lake. I love how the stunt is presented here as a silly, dumbass prank, whereas Evel somberly presented his own stunt as the event of the century.
Bad News Bears (Paramount, 2005).
Richard Linklater's subpar remake of the 1976 classic also has a rebellious teen punk who tears around youth baseball fields on a dirt bike. He's confronted by a coach played by Greg Kinnear, who asks him about his "little Evel Knievel stunt." The kid responds, "What's an Evel Knievel?"
Hot Rod (Paramount, 2007).
Saturday Night Live player Andy "Dick in a Box" Samberg will make his big-screen debut in Hot Rod, slated for June 2007. He plays "an accident-prone daredevil who plans to jump the Snake River on a moped to emulate his hero Evel Knievel in order to win over his hard-to-please stepfather." Co-starring Ian McShane and Sissy Spacek, this sounds like a winner. Read more here, watch the trailer here,
The Devil Dared Me To (Elevenmedia, 2007).
A New Zealand movie about an Evel-inspired New Zealand daredevil. Official site.
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Everything You Know is Wrong LP by The Firesign Theatre (Columbia, 1974).
Everything is like an elaborate radio play, with one segment goofing on Evel in the form of "daredemon" Rebus Caneebus. (Considering Firesign's drug-laced humor, it's no stretch to read "cannabis" into "Caneebus.") "I'm gonna fall into the biggest goddamn hole anybody's ever seen," says Rebus. "Live or die, I'll make a million." A comet has created a seemingly bottomless abyss in the middle of the Arizona desert, where 210 million people have gathered to witness Rebus's crazy stunt. He's got special trick power shoes to launch him into the hole, and a reverse drag chute in case he goes all the way through the center of the earth and gets flung out into orbit on the other side. However, the feat proves anticlimactic: Rebus plunges only 60 feet down to the bottom of the hole, which is full of moss.
"Evil Boll-Weevil" 7" single by Grand Canyon (Bang, 1974).
Read about this entry on the Knievel Rock page.
Fred Flintstone Meets Weevil Primeval (Peter Pan, 1975).
A kiddie record with a cover illustration of Fred flying through the air on a stone-wheeled cycle. Out of print.
Citizen's Bloopers LP by by Kermit Schafer (Commonwealth, 1977).
Schafer impersonated how he imagined Evel and other famous people yakking on their CB radios.
"Airline Announcements" by George Carlin, from the CD Jammin' in New York (Atlantic, 1992).
Carlin riffs on pre-flight boarding procedures: "Someone is telling you to get on the plane -- 'Get on the plane. Get on the plane.' I say, 'Fuck you! I'm getting in the plane! In the plane! Let Evel Knievel get on the plane! I'll be in here with you folks in uniform! There seems to be less wind in here!'" Also available on Carlin's Jammin' in New York DVD and in his Napalm & Silly Putty book.
"Evel Knievel" by Brian Regan, from the CD Brian Regan Live (Uproar, 1997).
Regan comments on the stupidity of talk show hosts who, after replaying brutal crash footage of Evel, go on to ask him: "Remember that day, Evel?... What were you thinking right before you hit the ground?" Regan then offers Evel's facetious response: "Hey, did I turn off the iron?... Maybe I should get a puppy!" The routine is much funnier when heard with this cartoon, created in 2004 for Comedy Central's animated series Shorties Watchin' Shorties.
"He's Evel Knievel" by Bubba the Love Sponge, from the CD Bubba Raw (self-released, 1999).
Read about this entry on the Knievel Rock page.
"Evel Knievel" by Felecia Michaels, from the CD Lewd Awakenings (What Are Records, 2000).
Regarding men who brag about their penis size, Michaels (whose painting on the cover bears an Evel tattoo) comments wisely on how no woman would ever claim to have a big vagina, one so large that Evel Knievel would attempt to jump it.
"Evel Knievel Almost Killed Me" by Chris Elrod, from the CD Fun in the Son (self-released, 2003).
A Christian comedian's eight-minute standup routine about kids in the '70s imitating Evel's foolish stunts. "Not real sure where Evel is with the Lord," he ponders, and points out how Evel would preach "'You kids should stay away from drugs,' of course, he was on every painkiller known to man." Download here.
Here's Your Sign Live DVD by Bill Engvall (Image Entertainment, 2004).
Not a record, but a DVD of a live standup performance. The redneck comic does a bit where his suspicious wife asks him, "If you're lying to me about smoking, how do I know you're not sleeping with other women?" Engvall's response: "Not even Evel Knievel could have made that leap!"
"Evel Knievel" by Ken Cosby, from the CD What's Wrong With That Boy? (label unknown, 2005).
A stand-up bit about idolizing Evel as a youth and thus being inspired to jump a Big Wheel across a creek.
Drop Your Pants (And Jacket Off) by Lamont & Tonelli (KSAN-FM, San Francisco; year unknown).
A CD of radio show highlights included a track called "Evel Knievel," though I haven't heard it. Official site.
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A character in Circus Sustainable, an Australian performance troupe dedicated to raising environmental awareness. Read more here.
A Melbourne-based comedian/circus who eats fire, jumps rope and rides unicycles on tightropes, juggles knives and so forth in his one-man show, "The Last of the Kenevals." Read more here.
A New York-based, three-person improv comedy troupe. MySpace page.
"The Evel Knievel of Comedy."
Robin Williams has referred to both Richard Pryor and Sam Kinison as the "Evel Knievel of comedy." Typing the phrase into Google shows it has also been applied to Andy Kaufman, prop comedian Mad Chad Taylor, and the New Zealand comedy troupe the Improv Bandits.
Jim Rose claims once tried to jump a motorcycle over 27 cows.
Kris Knievil, drag queen.
Mark and Brian (KLOS-FM, Los Angeles; 1994 or so).
Mark Thompson and Brian Phelps host a prank-filled morning show on a classic rock station in LA. One time they took a stolen Bob's Big Boy statue, dressed it up like Elvis, and catapulted it over the Caesar's Palace fountains in Las Vegas, much like Evel did in '67.
A performer on The Manly Oracle Show, a radio comedy program broadcasted from the University of Central Florida in Orlando until 2003. Listen here... Not to be confused with Stevel Knievel, who runs the Stevel Knievel Stunt Forum blog.
A performer in the 1996 fetish video P.L.O.W. -- Punk Ladies of Wrestling. Perhaps that's her on the cover? Buy it here.
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www.b3ta.com (July 9, 2002).
Someone named "idlesod" responded to the challenge "Double Take," with this entry. View in its original context.
www.b3ta.com (August 17, 2003).
Someone named "Slim" responded to the challenge, "The All-New Adventures of...", with this entry: "Evel Knievel enters the seedy underground world of kitten jumping." View in its original context.
Fark.com (January 12, 2005).
"Pecosdave" Photoshopped this response to "The worst superhero to see coming to your rescue." Evel jumps a scooter through a flaming hoop, over a bunch of other scooters. View in its original context.
Fark.com (February 21, 2005).
"Nfkiller" Photoshopped this response to "An unlikely name for the U.S. Navy's next warship." A submarine jumps over an aircraft carrier and some destroyers. View in its original context.
Fark.com (March 20, 2005).
"Kif_D" Photoshopped this response to a "Honda about to receive a flying sidekick." View in its original context.
Fark.com (June 2, 2005).
Here's how "midgemckay" handled the request to "Photoshop this span." View in its original context.
B3ta.com (September 4, 2005).
Here's how "Malaka" handled the request to "Pimp my pet." View in its original context.
Soonerfans.com (March 7, 2007).
Another altered image of Evel on his power scooter, this one by "HskrGrl." View in its original context.
Nothing is Impossible. (date unknown).
I don't remember where I got this, but it shows Robbie Knievel splashing around with some dolphins.
Robbie jumping a couple horse-drawn buggies? View in its original context.
View in its original context, accompanying a scathing Viva Knievel! review.
Some fat guy's head stuck on Evel's body. View in its original context.
Deliver Us From Evel.
View in its original context..
View in its original context.
Evel Knievel's Roller Coaster.
View in its original context.
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One of a series of little tiki-themed figurines, Kali comes with a stars 'n' stripes crash helmet. Click the "Characters" link on the TikiMon site, and click on the Kali figure, the second one from the right. It lists his heroes as "Evel Knievel, and anyone else whose name rhymes." Then, after clicking the "Games" link, click the image in the upper left corner to play "Kali's Daredevil Jump!" Use your keyboard arrows to help Kali (in his Evel costume) jump his bamboo bicycle far enough to clear some objects on a pier, but not so far as to crash in the sea beyond the pier.
Here are the Evel Knievel "Wacky Wobbler" and the "Spatik Plastik Amazing Carlos," both by Funko. The Rat Fink-inspired Carlos looks as if Evel had actually taken all those illicit narcotics he was always preaching against.
A figurine of The Muppet Show's "Great Gonzo"; a "Supermonkey Sling Shot," which makes a motorcycle-like sound as it flies through the air; "Ci Boy" and "Kidrobot 12 American Deluxe" figures (both designed by Sket-One); a pin of Stitch from Lilo & Stitch; Chef from South Park, and "travel bugs" Evel Knievel Kid, Geo Knievel, and a Smurf.
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Videos of Evel Toys
Canyon in the Sky and Evel Knievel's Ultimate Jump (2002).
Two films by Brit Gordon Langley featuring Evel action figures: the funny, four-minute Canyon in the Sky, and the 28-minute Evel Knievel's Ultimate Jump. For the second film, Langley attached a rocket to his toy Evel cycle for a launch over California's Pacific Coast Highway.
Creative Department at Work.
Some guys jumping an Evel toy over each other in their office to a synthesized version of Henry Mancini's "Baby Elephant Walk." Watch the full-size video here.
Evel Knievel Flaming Death Jump III.
Some guy jumping an Evel toy through a wall of fire. Not sure where to find Evel Knievel Flaming Death Jump I and II. Watch the full-size video here.
Evel Knievel King of the Stuntmen.
Evel does a living-room jump to the tune of the Who's "Love, Reign o'er Me." Watch the full-size video here.
Evel Knievel Live at Digglers.
Some rock dudes launch an Evel doll through beer cans and fire and into a box fan to the tune of Motörhead's "Ace of Spades." Watch the full-size video here.
Evel Knievel Motorcycle Jump Parody.
"Evelknievelsucks" posted this clip of an Evel doll and toy motorcycle expertly superimposed over the real Evel and cycle in the infamous Caesar's Palace crash footage. It was originally posted as "Evel Knievel Previously Unreleased Caesar's Palace Footage," with Evel's accompanying narration taken from the 1986 documentary Last of the Gladiators: Evel Knievel. That clip was removed, likely due to copyright issues, but then re-posted with some pithy words about the First Amendment and the audio replaced with Boots Randolph's "Yakety Sax," à la Benny Hill. Watch the full-size video here.
Evel Knievel Stunt Cycle.
Some guy playing with an Evel toy on his kitchen's impossibly white linoleum floor, to the tune of Mötley Crüe's "Girls, Girls, Girls." Watch the full-size video here.
Evel Knievel vs Action Man.
Evel jumps a bunch of military action figures to the tune of Limp Bizkit's "Head for the Barricade." Watch the full-size video here.
Evel Knievel: A Day at the Office.
Some guys playing with an Evel toy in their office, to the tune of Guns n' Roses' "Welcome to the Jungle" and Bette Midler's "Wind Beneath My Wings." Watch the full-size video here.
Evel Knievel's Amazing Toy Stunts.
Evel jumps an AT-AT from The Empire Strikes Back -- "He's outta this world!" Watch the full-size video here.
Evel Knievel's Amazing Toy Stunts #2.
Evel jumps barrels of monkeys -- "He's bananas!" Watch the full-size video here.
Evel Knievel's Amazing Toy Stunts #3.
Evel jumps a globe -- "He gets an A!" Watch the full-size video here.
Evel Knievel's Amazing Toy Stunts #4.
Evel jumps a taxidermal armadillo -- "They're OK!" Watch the full-size video here.
Evel Knievel's Amazing Toy Stunts #5.
Evel jumps spaghetti and meatballs -- "He's full!" Watch the full-size video here.
Evel Knievel's Greatest Jump.
Evel makes multiple jumps to the tune of the Caesars' "Jerk It Out," which opens with appropriate lyrics: "Wind me up, put me down, start me up and watch me go." Watch the full-size video here.
Evil Knevil Gets Launched.
An exploding two-liter bottle sends an Evel doll 70 feet through the air. Watch the full-size video here.
Evel does stunts in some comic-book shop, to the tune of George Thorogood's "Bad to the Bone." Watch the full-size video here.
Weevel Kinhell, Plastic Stuntman: Stunt #1.
Weevel gets beaten on the head with a hammer. Watch the full-size video here.
Weevel Kinhell, Plastic Stuntman: Stunt #2.
Weevel gets cooked with some baked beans and sausage. Watch the full-size video here.
Weevel Kinhell, Plastic Stuntman: Stunt #3.
Weevel gets beaten up by George W. Bush and Osama bin Laden puppets. Watch the full-size video here.
Weevel Kinhell, Plastic Stuntman: Stunt #4.
Weevel clings to a car antenna as it drives around Glasgow. Watch the full-size video here.
Weevel Kinhell, Plastic Stuntman: Stunt #5.
Weevel gets stuffed in an envelope and mailed across town. Watch the full-size video here.
Weevel Kinhell, Plastic Stuntman: Stunt #6.
Weevel gets covered in honey and birdseed and crumbs so as to get pecked at by birds. Watch the full-size video here.
Weevel's Way: A Tribute to the Late Tom Weir.
Weevel sings while being driven around the Scottish countryside. Watch the full-size video here.
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Evel attacks a miniature Christmas village, Godzilla-style. Watch the full-size video here.
Evel Knevel Loves the Cornholes.
Some silly dialogue dubbed over scenes from the silly Viva Knievel!. Watch the full-size video here.
Evil Kinevil Toy Car Commercial Dub.
A hilarious over-dubbing of an old Evel Ideal toy ad. Watch the full-size video here.
Evil Knievel Jumps Wrestlers.
A guy in an Evel costume does a broad jump over a bunch of guys in wrestling costumes. Watch the full-size video here.
A music video set to the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion's "Greyhound," featuring guys dressed as Evel, a bee and a cow chasing each other around Philadelphia. Watch the full-size video here.
JonnyG as Evel K.
Some clown dances around his kitchen in an Evel costume. Watch the full-size video here.
No Hands by Colleen Crabtree (1995).
USC senior Colleen Crabtree wrote and directed this eight-minute student film. In it, five-year-old Cassie (Kimberly Aaberg) is inspired by Evel (Scott Emmick) to stand on the seat of her Big Wheel and, with arms outstretched, barrel down a big hill. Of course, she has a horrible crash, but she can still smile about it later. Though the film was shot in Los Angeles, it was set in Portland during the days of Evel's March 1974 jump at the Memorial Coliseum.
"See the sparks fly when Penile Knievel shoots firecrackers out of his urethra on a drunken cookout dare..." This outrage originally appeared on Baltimre public-access TV in the mid-'90s, and was later featured on Atomic TV Volume 3: The FREAKS Episode!. Read more here.
Two other men, each calling themselves "Penis Knievel," demonstrated similar self-inflicted trauma on Howard Stern's radio show in September 1998. Each one claimed that they alone were the true Penis Knievel, and the other was a fake.
Title unknown, directed by Erik Kuska (2001).
A 16-minute video shot in a courtyard atrium situated around a tiered fountain over which Evel attempts multiple jumps. A large live audience cheers him on, and after falling short a few times (and getting attacked by a rubber shark), he finally makes it.
A series of fictional, humorous stories videotaped by a bunch of friends in the UK. Read more here, and here, and here.
A short monologue by a guy pretending to be a doddering old daredevil. Watch the video here.
Sickboy's Pocket Cinema Presents Evel Knieval.
A funny cartoon in which Evel gets distracted during a big jump. Watch the video here.
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Motorbooty No. 4 (Clownskull Graphics, 1989).
The Detroit-based zine Motorbooty lampooned Evel's obnoxious May 1974 Penthouse interview in "Joyriding with the Indestructible Evel Knievel," paring down the original piece to make Evel sound even more pompous than usual. He boasted of having sex with Marie Osmond, talked about selling black velvet paintings out of his Airstream, and admitted to beating son Robbie with his famous cane -- an act which cost him his Chuckles Candy endorsement. The article was strictly satirical, yet because the publication also ran a number of relatively straight features, it wasn't entirely clear whether the interview was legitimate. It wasn't exactly an outright hoax either -- anyone who read it would've found it suspect, whether or not they were familiar with Evel, or Motorbooty. The piece included a few other improbable stories, such as the time he was caught stealing shower caps from Piggly Wiggly, which he explained to the skeptical interviewer, "Buddy, there's a lot of things hard to believe. I've seen things that would just blow your rabbit ass away." Graphic by Mark Dancey.
Dazed and Confused compiled by Richard Linklater, Denise Montgomery, and friends (St. Martin's Press, 1993).
The movie's tie-in book reprinted Craig Karpel's "Failure Is Its Own Reward," an essay that originally appeared in the January 1976 Playboy, which cited Evel: "Kids these days are 'playing Evel Knievel,' riding bikes off board ramps -- probably the first time small children have played at being someone who cripples himself for money." Elsewhere in the book, the movie's fictional pothead character Ron Slater disses the Evel Knievel game in his article "Pinball Flippers and Kickers and Other Helpful Hints": "There is one thing about the state of pinball I don't like... I don't know what they're trying to do with this new junk with bumpers and red electric LED's on the score. You've probably seen them -- like the 'Evel Knievel' table. Those space letters belong on a Texas Instruments calculator and not on a real pinball machine... And by the way, watch out for the lame sell out tables like the 'Spirit of '76'... Let's hope that they come to their senses after the Bicentennial's over and Evel Knievel gets shown for the rip-off artist he is."
Passion and Betrayal by Gennifer Flowers (Emery Dalton, 1995).
Flowers, one of the women with whom Bill Clinton publicly admitted to having an extra-marital affair, recalls in an anecdote from 1977 when she was a backup singer in Roy Clark's Vegas show: "Lots of performers who were in Las Vegas at the same time we were would stop by Roy's dressing room. One man I found particularly fascinating was Evel Knievel. He was a pompous ass, totally obsessed with himself and his 'achievements.' And he loved showing off his diamonds. Everything out of his mouth was me, me, me; I, I, I. Just an idiot. But in spite of that mouth, and all his scars and broken bones, I found him physically attractive. So, when he asked me to have a drink with him, I thought it might be an adventure. We ended up at his room, and I thought, 'Well, this ought to be good'... And it was!" Afterwards, Evel repeatedly called Flowers, evidently a woman with low standards, and asked her to meet him in Florida. "I might have considered it," she wrote, "but it was fun to tell him no and prick a little hole in that great big ego of his."
Stale.com (August 1996).
A one-shot parody of the then-nascent online magazine Slate.com -- bankrolled by Microsoft -- included a panel discusson on the topic, "Is Microsoft Evil?" Among the panelists were Satan, Hitler, Charles Manson and Evel Knievel.
The Onion (March 4, 1998).
The satirical newspaper reported on Evel's plan to return to Caesar's Palace: "In what promises to be his boldest stunt yet, Evel Knievel will attempt an enormous, never-before-attempted leap of logic, trying to convince a twelve-member panel of renowned math experts that there exists a number x for which there is no possible x + 1... Many panel members view the jump as reckless and ill-advised... In 1995, he thrilled the world with a spectacular triple-leap-of-faith, in which he simultaneously joined the Unification Church of Sun Myung Moon, the Church of Scientology, and Jehovah's Witnesses... A month later, Knievel wrestled with existential doubt and rejected all three movements, staging a spectacular fall from grace seen by millions on pay-per-view television." Read it here.
Pop Smear Magazine issue #17.0 (September/October, 1998).
The humor/schlock/sex mag ran a small-print, nine-page cover story/interview by Don Gilbert, "Evel Knievel: The World According to the American Daredevil." This here image came from a postcard promoting the issue. Read it here.
Stupid Ker-nupid (some British TV programming guide; October, 1998).
That's the title of a writeup about BBC2's "Evel Night," which aired on October 3, 1998. The original one-hour documentary Touch of Evel was followed by the infamous Simpsons episode, "Bart the Daredevil" (discussed above), and the 1977 stinker Viva Knievel!
The Stranger (August 19, 1999).
Upon the announcement that 90210 douchebag Luke Perry would play Evel in a made-for-Fox biopic (which, thankfully, never happened), Wm.(TM) Steven Humphrey, I Love Television columnist for the smartass Seattle weekly, rightfully concluded that a meatball would be better suited to play Evel better than Perry. Accompanying "Luke Perry vs. a Meatball" is a cool drawing by Jeremy Eaton. Read it here.
Our Dumb Century (Three Rivers Press, 1999).
In a short article from The Onion's spinoff book, President Gerald Ford vowed in 1976 that "the US would put a man on the other side of Idaho's Snake River Canyon by 1978." Ford budgeted $14 billion to the project, "citing the need to stay ahead of the Soviets in the field of daredevilry."
Midnight in the Garden of Evel Knievel by Giles Smith (Pan Macmillan, 2001).
Besides the title, this book about televised sports seemingly has little to do with Evel.
The Onion (February 21, 2002).
In the regular "What Do You Think?" feature, Aimee Chambers, Student, comments on Bush's "Axis of Evil": "We should not try to stop the access of Evel. That man is a national treasure and should be allowed to move freely in whatever stadiums or canyon gorges he likes." Reprinted in The Onion Ad Nauseam: Complete News Archives Volume 14.
The Many Months of Burgundy (DreamWorks, 2004).
In the faux appointment booklet accompanying the 2004 Anchorman bonus DVD Anchorman: Wake-Up Ron Burgundy, the titular anchorman notes: "Evel Kneivel's accountant called." No, I don't get it either, but Burgundy portrayer Will Ferrell clearly finds Evel amusing, what with this, the SNL citations above, and "A Conversation with Ron Burgundy," a special feature on the Anchorman DVD. In an interview with Bill Kurtis, Burgundy says, "I don't mean this in a braggart sort of way, but a lot of great people have had movies made about them -- Evel Knievel, Cleopatra, the blind girl, the ice skater, the ice dancer, the ice queen -- something like that. So I guess I'm in good company."
The Onion (November 24, 2004).
The Great Martinelli explains why "We Must Protect Our Daredevil Jobs from Cheap Foreign Labor." He concludes, "Face it: When I'm on the bill with some Angolan willing to bungee-jump 150 feet into a flaming barrel of gasoline while French-kissing a meth-stoked cobra, my stunt where I ride a tricycle across a tight-rope loses a little bit of its luster."
Axis of Evel Knievel.
A lefty political blog, apparently begun in March 2005. Read it here.
Trans Global Chronicle (No. 13, October 2002).
The "official monthly news magazine of the Tortoise Islands" ran the satirical story, "Iraq Using Axle of Evel Knievel in Scuds." Read it here... Yet another joke along similar lines was a T-shirt spotted at a September 2005 New York Dolls concert in Seattle. It had a picture of Knievel on his bike and the caption, "Axles of Evel."
The Notorious Diaries of Evil Knievil by Simon Cawkwell (2005).
"This is the 2005 diary of Britain's most infamous bear raider Evil Knievil. The diary appears online on www.t1ps.com three times a week and covers not only Evil's ruthless trading but also his analysis of why he takes positions both long and short. But the book is more than that. Evil is known for his outrageous opinions and hilarious comments on the great matters of the day and also for his excessive eating, drinking and gambling. This is chronicled in its full excessive detail in what is the must read investment book of 2005." Read more here; buy it here.
The Onion A/V Club (May 31, 2006).
An interviewer asks Paul Rudd if he's familiar with the term "Frat Pack," which leads to his sort of free-association response about other real and fictional packs: the Brat Pack, Rat Pack, Lat Pack, Matt Pack, and the Bat Pack: "I was thinking of Evel Knievel, cause he... Who else would beat somebody up with a bat?" Read it here.
The Onion A/V Club (August 23, 2006).
Talking about the first time he hosted the Emmys, Conan O'Brien tells the interviewer, "I remember someone going, 'How do you think it's going to go? Are you worried?' People were acting like I was trying to jump Snake River Canyon on a rocket sled." Read it here.
I Shouldn't Even Be Doing This! by Bob Newhart (Hyperion, 2006).
Newhart recalls about a 1977 meeting at the Beverly Hills Hotel in which he intended to persuade some CBS executives to let him out of his contract for The Bob Newhart Show. Unfortunately, the meeting happened the same day that Evel crashed in a practice jump over a pool of sharks in Chicago, seriously screwing up the finale of the evening's live CBS special, Evel Knievel's Death Defiers. Writes Newhart: "I didn't have much chance to plead my case because ringing phones constantly interrupted the meeting with an even bigger crisis. That afternoon, in a heavily promoted CBS special presentation, Evel Knievel was scheduled to jump over several motorhomes on his bike. Telly Savalas was hosting the event. Unfortunately, Evel had taken a nasty spill during a practice run so there wasn't going to be any death-defying jump. Daly [one of the execs] instructed New York to have Telly keep talking until they figured out what to do." Newhart didn't get out of his contract.
The Stranger (December 21, 2006).
Kyle T. Webster's charicature accompanies this particular Celebrity I Saw U column by former Butte native Adrian Ryan, who writes: "The biggest celebrity Butte can boast is Evel the fuck Knievel. Remember that crazy old coot? He used to get gussied up in faggoty flag-themed jump suits and launch himself, via motorbike, over various natural and man-made obstacles... In fact, I maybe lost my tender virginity to a close member of his immediate family... Ironically, the old coot snagged himself some press in this century by announcing last week his intention to sue the baggy bling-bling off some rapper called Kanye West for using his old and cootish image in a video sans permission... He's not quite dead yet, and he's still suffering delusions of relevancy." Read the whole column here. The next week, Ryan writes of his fear that Evel is trying to kill him, but "I could probably push the batty old turd over these days with one shove of my delicately pink little pinkie... Does he hate me because I called him an irrelevant coot who's not quite dead (yet)? Or is it because I've allegedly boned the various bony members of the various members of his ever-boney brood? Perhaps. Beyond that I am simply not willing to conjecture." Read the whole column here.
The Nose on Your Face (January 6, 2007).
"Evel Knievel to Attempt Record Bed-Pan Jump in Nursing Home" is a satirical, Onion-style news story about Evel's "plans to clear 15 full bed pans with his motorized wheelchair" at the "Hazelwood Home for the Elderly." Read it here.
The Onion (January 10, 2007).
According to the article, "Robbie Knievel Jumps Entire Generation's Awareness," Evel's daredevil son "has safely soared over the attention of nearly every single American between the ages of 13 and 31... [Robbie's] recent A&E reality-show stunt also landed him clean on the other side of most major nationwide demographics." According to Robbie, "I never could have done it without the millions and millions of young people who either have no idea I exist or are only vaguely aware of my last name." Read it here.
The 800 Lb. Gorilla (March 5, 2007).
According to the article, "Six More Weeks of Winter Predicted After Evel Knievel Sees His Liver"... "In what has become an annual rite of spring, former daredevil Evel Knievel is preparing for another liver transplant. Only this time, his liver is coming from a most unlikely source: a donor who just so happens to be lying six feet under the ground. In a medical first, Knievel will receive his new liver from baseball legend Mickey Mantle. The Hall of Fame Yankee has been dead for eleven years." Read it here.
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After Dark 3.0 (Berkeley Systems, 1994).
Along with the familiar Flying Toasters, this popular screensaver program features "Daredevil Dan," an animated motorcycle jumper. Dan leaps school buses, piranha-infested tanks and columns of fire, all the while protecting idle computer screens from irreparable damage. Sometimes he even jumps a bus over a bunch of motorcycles, like the above Sick magazine and Beano comic. And, just like Evel, he frequently bails, only to be whisked away by ambulance.
A juvenile phrase describing a questionable sexual act, as defined here.
An online videogame sponsored by a dairy company in which you try to make a cow jump over a bunch of tractors. Play it here.
Ron Loveless was a Wal-Mart manager in Mountain Home, Arkansas in the '70s when he staged an event to promote the then-new toy tricycle, the Big Wheel. Loveless dressed up an assistant manager in Knievel garb and had him try to jump a Big Wheel over a wading pool and land on some mattresses. For several days prior he ran ads for the event, drawing "thousands" of people who were expecting a serious, death-defying stunt. But the assistant manager couldn't even climb the ramp, the Big Wheels' wheels spinning on the ramp. Some employees then pushed K-Roger up off the ramp and into the pool. "While some people in the crowd enjoyed the scene, the majority grew angry, claiming they were deceived. One or two even threatened a lawsuit for false advertising." But apparently they sold a lot of Big Wheels. Read the full story here.
Evil Kneivel game by Rich Moyer (2000).
Play it here.
Evel jumps Eric Cartman.
"Evel Knievel jumps the largest object known to man, Eric Cartman!" View all four photos here.
"Evel Won" T-shirt.
It's funny until someone loses an eye.
Evel's Night of Lust with Anastasia.
A five-picture photoplay-type thing of the Evel Ideal doll having sex with some female doll. See it here.
Evil Kneivel Travel Bug.
A photo gallery of someone's Evel doll at various spots around the globe -- here he is in Oregon. View it here.
A grotesque costumed character that stalks a New Zealand corn maze. Read more here.
Evil Kinevil drinking game.
Read the rules here or here.
Evel the Weevel (Kaiser Permanente, 1995).
"Bike helmets save lives," says Evel the Weevel, Kaiser mascot. Evel appears in the HMO's "live theater productions presented as a free community service in schools for grades K-12. For information, call (510) 987-5400." Read more here.
Greeting Card by Robb Moser (Moser Studios, 2003).
Evel has joined the Rascal Set, as this photo was swiped from an actual brochure for Pride Mobility Products. Order the card here.
Ku Klux Knievel.
The subject of many a racist joke. The less said, the better.
Paul Frank belt buckle and T-shirt (circa 2000).
Paul Frank's emblematic comic skull Skurvy is depicted on this belt buckle (he also appears on a chain wallet); Paul Frank's emblematic comic monkey Julius jumps over some animal friends. Company site.
"The New Sincerity."
Broadcasting from UC Santa Cruz is "The Sound of Young America," a college radio comedy show informed by what its creators call "The New Sincerity"... "What is The New Sincerity? Think of it as irony and sincerity combined like Voltron, to form a new movement of astonishing power. Or think of it as the absence of irony and sincerity, where less is (obviously) more. If those strain the brain, just think of Evel Knievel... Let's be frank. There's no way to appreciate Evel Knievel literally. Evel is the kind of man who defies even fiction, because the reality is too over the top. Here is a man in a red-white-and-blue leather jumpsuit, driving some kind of rocket car. A man who achieved fame and fortune jumping over things. Here is a real man who feels at home as Spidey on the cover of a comic book. Simply put, Evel Knievel boggles the mind... But by the same token, he isn't to be taken ironically, either. The fact of the matter is that Evel is, in a word, awesome. His jumpsuit looks great. His stunts were amazing. As he once said of his own life: 'I've had every airplane, every ship, every yacht, every racehorse, every diamond, and probably, with the exception of two or three, every woman I wanted in my lifetime. I've lived a better life than any king or prince or president.' And as patently ridiculous as those words are, they're pretty much true." Whatever. Read more here.
A fictional superstar daredevil created for an ad campaign for what appears to be a German-based chain of warehouse hardware stores. Official site.
An all-female rollerderby team from Milwaukee that wears matching Evel costumes. Here's their MySpace page, and here's an unrelated rollerderby queen named Eva Knievel.
Surly Knievel (August 2, 2004).
A blog entry by "Dr. Surly" reviewing the previous Saturday's fare on TNT -- Robbie's New York City jump followed by the network's original Evel Knievel movie -- along with some original art. Read it here.
What the hell is Weasel Knievel?
A three-foot-six cycle-jumping dwarf who since 2003 has provided warmup entertainment for Robbie Knievel's shows. Likewise, four-foot-four "Midget Daredevil" Butch Wilhelm added some slapstick relief to Evel's shows in the '60s, crashing his minibike through small firewalls and jumping over kiddie cars. A program for Evel's May 30, 1967 jump at California's Ascot Raceway said that Wilhem sustained "serious burns suffered during a show in the NW." Then, at Evel's February 1981 show at the Hollywood-Miami Speedway, a dwarf named "Mike" jumped a minibike over a row of toy trucks. Evel told the crowd, "Little Mike worked with me in a circus 15 years ago." Here's a Weeble interview, and here's a Weeble video.
There are too many things named Weevil Knievel to list individually.
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Last updated on January 13, 2011.
© 2004-2011 Steve Mandich