15 Times Comedy Almost Killed The Comedian
Serious comedy can cause some serious injuries. Whether it be from pratfalls, commitment to the bit, or falling off a 20-foot stack of folding chairs, it is time we thank those who have sacrificed their bodies for our entertainment. Here are 14 serious accidents that occurred making comedy flix.
Jack Black’s Eye Gash
While filming Nacho Libre, Jack Black slammed into a row of folding chairs after diving off the ring, resulting in a large gash over his eye. As Jack tells it, the production paid for the best plastic surgeon in Mexico to repair his eye. The surgeon showed up at the hospital in a full ball gown to repair Black’s eye, because she had been called away from a “fancy event.”
Kaitlin Olsen’s Visible Shin Bone
Although a stunt woman was hired to perform the scene where Dee slams her head into a car door, Kaitlin Olsen insisted on doing the stunt herself, resulting in her needing to see a chiropractor for weeks afterward. On another occasion in 2013, Olsen slipped on a steel grate she was running on while filming. Olsen said, “I ripped my leg completely wide open on a steel grate that we were running on. It was a mess. Poor Glenn was like, ‘I’m sorry, I have to walk away. I can’t see this.’ It was a lot of blood. But I’ve had two babies, so I was extremely calm. I was like, ‘Alright, well, this is a real problem, but let’s get the ambulance here, and I’ll apply pressure, and we’ll figure this out. Don’t worry, everyone. It’s just a skin thing.’ You could see my bone, though… my shin bone.”
Jerry Lewis’s Career Ending Prat Fall
Jerry Lewis sustained so much constant trauma to his back while performing the physical comedy masterpieces that he told Telegram it nearly drove him to suicide after living with it for 37 years. He says the injury that cost him the most was when he tumbled off a piano at The Sands Hotel in Vegas and a microphone plug broke his vertebrae.
Jeremy Renner Broke Both Arms
While filming the most mediocre comedy film of the last decade, Tag, Jeremy Renner broke both of his arms on the third day of shooting. When Renner performed a stunt off a 20-foot stack of folding chairs, the safety rigging broke, and he fell. Renner didn’t realize the severity of his injury and did the stunt a SECOND time. Certain scenes from the movie were then CGI’d to cover up his casts from then on.
Ben Stiller’s Vicious Ferret Attack
Ben Stiller recounted that while filming Along Came Polly, he was attacked by a ferret. Stiller told TV Guide, "I was bitten by the ferret, but I didn't do anything, I swear," Stiller insists. "I was holding him up and he did this crazy turn-around thing. He literally attached himself to my chin and he didn't let go. It was a surreal thing where it's like, 'OK, the ferret is on my chin. Their teeth are sharp like razors. But I didn't provoke him at all. I had just gotten a root canal the day before, and maybe he sensed that or something." Stiller ended up getting rabies shots at the hospital afterward.
Chevy Chase’s Bruised Balls
In one SNL sketch, Chevy Chase as Gerald Ford was supposed to tumble over a padded podium, but in reality, no one had padded the podium, so Chase’s twig and berries were slammed against the hard wood. Chase had to miss the next two shows while he waited for his nethers to heal.
Buster Keaton’s Many Silent Blows
Buster Keaton sustained many injuries during his time in silent films, but luckily no one could hear him howl in pain. On The Electric House, he broke his ankle on a moving staircase. On The General, he was knocked unconscious by cannon fire. On Sherlock Jr., he even unknowingly broke his neck.
Molly Shannon’s Chair Diving
Molly Shannon was not invincible, although you may have that impression from seeing her folding chair landings as Mary Katherine Gallagher on Saturday Night Live. She told David Spade and Dana Carvey on the Fly On The Wall podcast, “I didn't feel the pain when it was going on, but then the next day when I would wake up, I would have cuts and bruises. But I also liked it because I feel like I threw myself into the character. I really did want to perform and be physical, and be 'like the boys' when I started. It also helped me pour my nervous energy into the character. Because I was so nervous, the physical aspect of it felt like a release.”
Ike Barenholtz’s Blockers Fall
During the filming of the box office medium hit “Blockers,” Ike Barenholtz fractured two cervical vertebrae in his neck after falling off a high platform while filming. Talk about bending over backward to get the shot! Barenholtz also had to return to filming The Mindy Project soon after, so his neck brace had to be written into the show. “Luckily, on The Mindy Project I play a character who could break his neck falling out of his bunk bed and it’s completely believable.”
Jim Carrey's Well-Earned Trip To The Hospital
Jerry Lawler slammed Jim Carrey to the ground on the set of Man On The Moon, after Carrey spat in his face. The slam sent Carrey to the hospital for a neck injury. So strange that spitting in the face of someone while pretending to be the reincarnation of their dead adversary may not be the best move.
Eric Andre’s Near Stab Experience
While filming a scene from Eric Andre’s hidden prank comedy film, Bad Trip, one of their victims did not find the prank as amusing as the rest of the bystanders. In a scene where Lil’ Rel and Andre are stuck together via Chinese penis traps, a barber, unable to find his gun, chased the two out of his shop with a knife. Andre said he was so nervous he forgot the production’s safe word was “popcorn.”
Rowan Atkinson’s Vicious Turkey Prop Injury
In a scene where Mr. Bean searches deep within a turkey to find his lost watch, the turkey predictably ends up stuck on the Bean's head. This scene from Merry Christmas Mr. Bean actually caused Rowan Atkinson months of severe back pain afterward. He told People, “Even though it was a prop, that turkey was fantastically heavy, and it had terrible repercussions on my neck and down my back for months afterwards. A vicious turkey prop injury.”
Paul Rudd Ran Over Jennifer Aniston
Paul Rudd revealed on Howard Stern that while on the set of Friends, he ran over Jennifer Aniston’s foot with a Segway. According to Rudd, Aniston was showing him how to use it, and when she let him go he immediately veered right and crushed her foot. Rudd said that Anniston was a trooper and pretended to be in less pain than she was, but he was extremely afraid of being fired from the series.
Stanley Almost Went Blind On Beach Day
While shooting the episode “Beach Games” from The Office, Rainn Wilson admitted that he accidentally kicked sand into the eye of Leslie David Baker, who played Stanley. The sand actually scratched Baker’s cornea and sent him to the hospital for treatment.
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