Tuesday, March 31, 2015
Houdini on American Heroes Channel
I just watched a show on the American Heroes Channel called Americas Most Bad-Ass. It's a historical match up between 4 different famous people. In the episode tonight, the match-ups were Neil Armstrong, Teddy Roosevelt, John Dillinger and Harry Houdini. There are at least two so called experts per contestant, we got, Larry Sloman, co-author of The Secret Life of Houdini and NY magician Matthew Holtzclaw. I honestly had not heard of any of the other folks who represented the other three people.
First off, whose idea was it to pit Houdini against an astronaut? Really? The choice of stories told for Houdini were not the best in my opinion. They opened with Houdini's first straight jacket escape in Washington D.C.. You know what, I can think of someone else a little better prepared to talk about HOUDINI in WASHINGTON D.C. than the two guys they had on the show. Call me crazy, but I do know someone who has written quite a lot about it and has actually been to both locations where he did his upside down straight jacket escapes, as well as researched all his challenges in the area, where he stayed while he was in D.C. and many other aspects of his D.C. escapes.
The second story they choose was the Houdini Frozen Over Belle Island Bridge Escape, which was not frozen over, though, they again throw out that falsehood. I can think of someone who did a fantastic article on Houdini's Belle Island Jump recently. Maybe they should have talked to him. In fact John Cox and yours truly may have been able to provide enough information that would have helped Houdini fare a little better than he did on the show.
They brought up Teddy Roosevelt flying in a plane, not flying the plane, but flying in a plane. But no mention of Houdini's historic First Flight in Australia where he actually flew the plane. Now, in truth, the show is very tongue in cheek and more of a fun way to share history than an actual contest. But I think if you're going to share history, let's get it right.
In my book, the first man to walk on the moon, pretty much beats anyone. Did he? You'll have to watch the show for yourself. But if you want a really fun test, ask any school child, ask some teens, ask some 20 and 30 year olds who Armstrong, Roosevelt, Dillinger and Houdini were. My bet is, Houdini will come out as the best known of the bunch, even beating the astronaut. But then again, I'm slightly biased :)