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Tuesday, June 02, 2009

If Ya Understand That, Yer Right On, Yer With ME!

How many times in life do you get to meet your heroes? Probably not that often. On Sunday, Zain and I were privileged to meet one of our heroes: Ralph Zavadil aka Cap'n Video, the man who inspired my internet moniker.

Who's Cap'n Video? Well for those who don't know, he's that wacky guy in the welding goggles who back in the early 90s used to fill the Friday night void on Niagara's community Cable station, Channel 10 with The Captain Video Show.

His show consisted of two parts; video footage of rock bands (mostly local) performing at various venues and crazy stunts performed by the Cap'n himself. Gradually the videos were almost totally phased out and the show became all stunts all the time. The show ran for roughly five years with a new episode every couple of weeks. And it was WAY better than X Mark's the Spot (suck it Wicabrado)!

Now for the bigger question, why is he my hero? Simple: it's because he's INSANE. Not the dangerous, rubber room kind of insane mind you. He's the utterly fearless, anything for laugh, slide off the roof into a snowbank wearing only a pair of shorts kind of insane! No really, he actually did that. "Roof-top tobogganing". It's a classic.

How we came to meet Ralph was just one of those odd synchronicities life pulls on you from time to time. An associate of Zain's had mentioned he was making a documentary about none other than the Cap'n. Zain in turn mentioned to him that I had made an illustration of the Cap'n back in my college days as part of an assignment. Things fell quickly into place from there. A few weeks of juggling timetables later and we found ourselves sitting down with Ralph by his pool.

Oh yes. THAT pool. The one he almost killed himself attempting to jump into... from a ladder... tied to a fence with bungie cords. In fact, Ralph himself had been skeptical about meeting us because apparently all anyone ever wants to talk to him about is the pool incident. Naturally we couldn't resist asking a few questions about it. Turns out it never occurred to him that even had he succeeded, the pool cover might have folded over, enveloping and drowning him. He just laughed it off. Why? Because he's AWESOME.

We went on to chat for some time about various other stunts. Telephone pole shledding, Clothes-line skiing, Beerios, Chevy V-8 Juice and one of my all time favourites from the episode "Fun with Grass", Cap'n Video's yard sale, which basically consisted of digging up chunks of his yard and attempting to sell them. Alas I forgot to ask him about the Gardening episode where he decided to plant dandelions in his eaves troughs on the windiest day imaginable, lost his ladder and ended up leaping into a nearby tree to get down. Good times...

Ralph himself is as amiable a fellow as you're ever likely to meet. He was genuinely impressed and even slightly awed that anyone would like his antics so much as to immortalize them in an illustration and he was more than complementary. As a rule I don't cope well with praise and felt sort of goofy. I'm just glad he liked it. The documentary itself should be finished by the end of the year and I can't wait to see it because you just know IT'S GONNA BE BEAUTY!

So there you go. I get to tick off the "Meet my hero" box on the play-card of life. You're a stand up guy Cap'n and I'm proud to have finally met you in person. But there's no way in hell I'm going to snort an egg up my nose, dude. Not with my sinuses.


  • The fact that Ralph wasn't doing his show to become rich and famous, but rather just to make people laugh is what makes him a stand up chap in my books. I also completely forgot about the gardening episode! I laughed so hard when he hit that tree I got a stomach ache!

    By Blogger Zain, at Tue Jun 02, 11:14:00 PM  

  • awesome dude!!! man the yard sale idea cracks me up
    is this guy the original 'jackass'? yet another Canadian idea popularized by the USA ala basketball and superman...and pam anderson...mmm..and hot dogs-well probably hot dogs...
    mmmm haw'dawgzzz...nom nom nom

    By Blogger joverine, at Wed Jun 03, 12:00:00 AM  

  • I finally Googled my own name and found this area of beautiness. I now know that 3 people (oops...+ Jay) 4 people actually dug what I was doing enough to be creative on their own.
    Charlie Chaplin, The Three Stooges and Monty Python were already doing cool shyte before I got on the scene but because of my shyness, I did everything ALONE. One Camera, One Man, and a whole lot of ambition. I am already rich because my antics of the past, present and future have brought the coolest people into my life...

    By Anonymous Ralph, at Wed Jul 28, 09:24:00 PM  

  • The Beauty Day documentary is due out in the spring of 2011. see the trailer at

    By Anonymous RC, at Wed Feb 23, 07:08:00 AM  

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