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the Sponge
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An act that I see now and then but I can't say I've seen anything written about is the act where a person enters a small space (box, outhouse, etc.)with an explosive(?) and "blows" themselves up. I would be interested in some information about this e.g. physics or gaff, etc.

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Not sure about this one. I do know of a gaff version (clown in a fridge) which went wrong. The explosive went off too early and the result was a badly hurt clown.

The Village Idiots
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I have always liked seeing this one. Very rare. I guess, no real knowledge, the tnt they take into the box is a prop and that the actual explosive is already set.

I know they wear a crash helmet and if I remember right? the explosion goes off behind them. Every time I saw it they used a styrofoam box. Blows into the air higher and breaks up easier.

Now I have to say, don't anyone try this on my little guesses. This is another one that should be learned from a pro. I am just talking about it for fun.

Sillily, Will
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I guess the best idea would be to track down a stunt co-ordinator and ply him/her with drinks Smile These people sometimes advertise in the phonebook, the internet and through their union. Its the kind of thing they do all the time. A stage pyro company might also have some ideas for you. I have seen stuff they produce that produces a big bang and LOTS of smoke but can safely be held on bare skin without injury.

On a side note, and NOT something to try. Dennis Hopper famously blew himself up with dynamite / TNT once just to see if it could be done without death. He set the explosives around a chair in a way he calculated would cause all the force to be directed outwards. Then he sat on the chair and BLAMMO!!! That guy was very very lucky indeed.

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I saw a member of the Jim Rose team (could have been Mr Lifto, or the rubberman for that matter) light a string of bangers (firecrackers) on his chest. It was really impressive, most probably due to the large bang! It seemed as if he had stuck a piece of cardboard to the back of them unknown to the audience.

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This thread reminds me of a Paul Daniels' trick that he did on one of his specials entitled "The World's Most Dangerous Card Trick". Paul blew up under some sheets, while searching for a selected card when the timer was "accidentally" started early. I have always loved this presentation and could see how it could be applied to many other tricks. Very humourous.
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Profile of Kondini
Daniels used stage marroons. See book "Bed of Nails" for the champ of exploding coffins. This guy performed this stunt for years at U.K. gala shows, although not exposed in the book, large marroons providing they are screened (Usually with quarter metal plate). It will blast outwards and you end up deaf, but living.

The All American Thrill Show, which works the outside shows in the U.K. (under various names), uses the coffin on the table method, marroons along one side of the box with a release bar which tosses the performer out of the other side of the box onto padded matting on the ground as the explosion is detonated. (Guess the release and detonation are under the control of the performer all the time.)

My own version, exploding burning cage escape, uses the giant stage marroon, but I make sure I am in the escape tunnel before it is detonated, even so I have had on occassion burnt boots and broken ankles from this stunt; so it is still a brown trouser job for me!!

Quicksilver in Manchester U.K. and Stage Electrics in Avonmouth are the best source of supply and info for anyone wishing to go down this path.

Hope this is of interest. (I'm off for a Bang).
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Profile of Dr_Stephen_Midnight
Lester Lake did the human bomb in the 1930s, but Lester KNEW his explosives.

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I was tipped to this act many years ago by Jimmy "Crash" Moreau during my thrill show days. Suffice it to say there is a gaff, but it can still be dangerous if done incorrectly.

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Profile of Addy
Harley Newman does the firecrackers on the chest. He is an amazing performer. He does the bed of nails with TWO nails. If Harley is ever performing in your area, see him.
Bill Palmer
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Bill Siros' son, David, used to perform this stunt. One of his names was "Captain Dynamite." The funniest line I ever heard him utter was -- "I do it because I like the roar of the crowd." Like he could actually hear it after the explosion!
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Harry Murphy
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Back in the day, I knew of a "Captain Dynamite" (I think his name was Patrick O'Brian) that did this act. He worked the auto "Thrill Shows" of the late 70's and early 80's. I was doing a Milk Can escape act as a "free show" prior to the opening of the track at some of the same venue's.

Those were fun times. Made a little money, traveled to some nice small southern (and South East Texas)Towns, and met a lot of friendly people.
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Profile of PAN
Can't remember where I saw this, perhaps on Maximum Exposure or Ripley's.

A guy used to make extra money out West somewhere (don't they always start that way?). He would place explosives under a steel plate and then stand on it as it went off. Everything was fine until the plate gave way after many performances. Ended up losing a leg.
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Profile of CamelotFX
Saw it on David Frost's "Guiness Book of World Records" and it was hilarious! The performer was "The Human Bomb" and he was placed inside a coffin loaded with "dynamite." The camera pulled back and the coffin blew all to smithereens. Frost ran in as they were pulling the performer to his feet. "How do you feel?" shouted Frost. "Not so good," replied the smoking performer. I fell off my chair laughing! Brilliant!
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