When Sick Kids Who Don't Give A F#@% Get A Make-A-Wish Wish
You've no doubt heard about Miles Scott, aka Batkid, the 5-year-old who had San Francisco transformed into his own personal Gotham City for a day. Well, that all happened thanks to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, an organization that has made it their mission to grant the wishes of children suffering from life-threatening medical conditions. As we've shown you before, sometimes the wishes these kids dream up are nothing short of badass. Grab a box of tissues, 'cause it's about to get both depressing and adrenaline-peeing exciting in here ...
Max Just Wants To Blow Something Up
While 7-year-old Max was weathering the treatments and immense pain associated with his neuroblastoma, the one thing that made his day a little brighter was watching his favorite TV show, MythBusters. When Make-A-Wish approached him, at first he didn't know what to wish for. But then he thought about his favorite episode, in which the MythBusters took explosives and, Max said, "They tested the myth that it's impossible to rip someone's socks off. ... They blew it up, and it knocked the socks off."
So Max decided that he wanted to knock off some socks of his own by blowing up a building.
That's what we call puttin' the "blast" in "neuroblastoma."
That's the seven-story ConAgra grain mill, and it was detonated by Max himself. Make-A-Wish flew Max and his family from California to the small town of Huron, Ohio, just so he could push the big, red button. And that was only the culmination of days filled with explosive fun, because Max also prepared for the demolition by watching tons of videos of buildings being destroyed, helped place the dynamite into the building's support columns, and even got to take the local bomb squad's remote-controlled robot for a spin, yelling, "Fire in the hole!" before remotely shotgunning a root beer bottle.
He'd been weighing offers from Make-A-Wish and Michael Bay.
About 30,000 locals showed up to watch the explosion, because what else is there to do in Huron, Ohio? Oh, and apparently some believe that the ConAgra building was haunted, so it's possible that meddling Max blew up a ghost.
We guess that's one way of conquering death.
Jacob Stars In His Own WWII Movie
When 8-year-old Jacob Angel was enduring treatments for a rare kidney cancer called Wilms' tumor, the one thing that took his mind off of his predicament was watching World War II movies like Saving Private Ryan. For those wondering why an 8-year-old kid was being allowed to watch the very R-rated Saving Private Ryan, the answer is shut up, it's friggin' kidney cancer.
So when it came time for Jacob to make a wish, he knew exactly what it would be: He wanted to star in his very own WWII movie.
"Whatever, as long as he's not asking for one of those crazy 'Nam movies."
The film, which he named Protecting Our Country's Fate, stars Jacob as Private Angel, who finds himself in the thick of a minor Pacific battle. When a team fails to capture a hill, it falls to Private Angel and his group to accomplish the mission. As they approach the hill, the rest of the team is killed or injured by the Japanese, leaving only Private Angel to mount the hill and raise the American flag. Against all odds, he succeeds -- because this is Jacob's movie, after all -- and is awarded the Bronze Star.
"There's chocolate inside it. You've earned it."
The 12-minute movie was filmed in only four hours at the Fort MacArthur Museum during their Living History Event, where a dozen war reenactors volunteered to appear in the film and get mowed down for Jacob's sake. And just in case watching Jacob grenade a swarm of enemy soldiers to kingdom come hasn't solidified his stone-cold badassness in your mind, try this on for size: Jacob was undergoing chemotherapy treatments just days before the film was shot, and he spent the day before the shoot sick in bed, unable to eat or drink. Yet he manned up, put on his military uniform, and saved goddamn America. Think about that the next time you're complaining about being unable to function before your morning coffee.
They composed a song about this whole story. It was called "The Star-Spangled Banner."
Christian And Matthew Wish Themselves Into Star Wars
Playhouses are a pretty popular wish: Make-A-Wish has built them shaped like pirate ships, castles, and even two-story lighthouses. But 5-year-old leukemia sufferer Christian didn't want a replica of a building or just any ship. No, Christian wanted the Millennium Falcon.
What a piece of junk.
Tulsa, Oklahoma, set design and prop company Little Mountain Productions stepped up to the plate and proceeded to knock it to a galaxy far, far away. The $5,000, 14-by-11-foot Millennium Falcon (which is actually just the top section of the larger fort) has solar panels that power LED interior and exterior lights -- which, based on the movies, is probably more technologically advanced than the actual Millennium Falcon. They even called in the Empire's Finest to hand it over to Christian.
Shoot first, Christian! Shoot first!
A few years later, 7-year-old Matthew threw Little Mountain Productions a curveball. See, Matthew was a big fan of R2-D2, but his wish wasn't to have an R2-D2 of his very own -- his wish was to be R2-D2. How could they possibly pull that off?
Simple: They just scaled things up a bit.
With more practical effects than Episodes II and III combined.
In case you can't tell, that's a 6-foot-tall, working R2-D2 with guts consisting of precisely one Matthew. The design company built it from scratch, complete with a joystick control, rechargeable gel batteries, wheelchair motors capable of popping wheelies and leaving skid marks, and an exterior kill switch so Matthew's parents can make him get the hell out of it for dinner once in a while. The fact that Matthew keeps sassing his elders with beeps and squawks is not, however, a circumstance that the design team accounted for.
Why was he allowed to curse like that? Shut up, it's friggin' leukemia.
Grace Teams Up With Bill Hader For A Massive School Prank
When presented with the opportunity to meet any celebrity in the world, high school senior and thyroid cancer survivor Grace chose comedian and Saturday Night Live alum Bill Hader. That's a little odd. What, did she want him to do a stand-up show for her and her friends? Have a tea party? Nope: She wanted him to help her mercilessly prank her entire school.
Classroom by classroom, Grace convinced her fellow students that she'd been awarded the (completely fictional) National Fire Safety Scholarship before introducing them to Mike the firefighter (Hader in disguise), who made them wear stupid little firefighter hats and told them they were appearing in a fire-safety video before dishing out the world's worst fire-safety advice. He told one group of students that standing up and waving their arms was a valid alternative to the tried-and-true "stop, drop, and roll." He informed a gym class that the chirping sound a smoke alarm makes is actually Channing Tatum's voice sped up. He made one student do laps around the gym while pushing him on a stretcher. And throughout it all, Grace displayed a flawless poker face.
The plan was for Hader to reveal his true identity at an end-of-day school assembly, but the pranking duo realized the jig was up when one student greeted "Fireman Mike" with the Stefon face made famous by Hader's SNL character. But Grace, as evidenced by the fact that she survived goddamn thyroid cancer, isn't one to give up easily. Realizing that the cameraman looked similar to Hader, she had him don the fireman disguise for the assembly and, as he removed it, announced to the entire school that "Mike" was actually her favorite celebrity: Jesse St. Clements, who'd starred in ... a Red Lobster commercial?! As the students politely clapped and silently questioned Grace's unhealthy obsession with subpar shrimp peddlers, Hader hijacked the school's PA system and revealed himself in his best Stefon voice. Suddenly, the applause turned genuine.
Mike's feature film is due out in 2017.
Sterling Becomes President For A Day
If asked who the youngest man to serve as U.S. president was, your answer would probably be Cracked's resident moose god, Teddy Roosevelt. But that's only because you've never heard of 11-year-old Sterling Watson, who, while battling lymphoma, decided he could also handle being president for a day back in 2006.
First, Sterling and his family were flown from Texas to Washington, where Sterling was fitted for a custom Brooks Brothers suit. He was then driven to the White House -- accompanied by a full presidential motorcade -- to have his official portrait hung, because you can't be president without at least a bit of narcissism.
"Can we get Beyonce in here to move it a little to the left?"
He went on to make appearances and speeches at the offices of U.S. Customs And Border Protection and the Drug Enforcement Administration and at the Pentagon. At the U.S. Department Of Education, he gave a speech about important issues of the day, like recess time and school snacks.
Absolute power corrupts absolutely.
When leaving the U.S. Postal Service (where he gave a speech written by then-President Bush's speech writer), he was swarmed by 300 volunteers holding signs, waving flags, and begging for pictures. Sterling wrapped up his term with a Black Hawk helicopter trip to Fort Myer military base, where he was greeted with "Hail To The Chief" and a 21-gun salute. In all, the wish spanned 12 government agencies, involved hundreds of volunteers, and is widely considered the one day in recent memory that the U.S. government didn't explosively crap taxpayers' goodwill down the can.
To contribute to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, click here.
Alyssa Feller can be seen performing improv with Sick Puppies Comedy.
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