Meet the Black & Blue Boys of ABC's 'Wipeout'
Right now, I'm not sure how much "Wipeout" fans in Eastern and Central time are going to see on Wednesday, Sept. 9. It depends on whether live coverage of the presidential address to a joint session of Congress and whatever reactions and/or commentary follow it wrap up by 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT.
(Info below was revised from original post.)
According to ABC, fans in Pacific time can expect new "Wipeout" at 8 p.m. (7 p.m. MT), followed by a repeat.
But please don't trust me, check your local listings, whether online, in print or in the on-screen guide.
Whenever the new episode airs, it's a special installment, and here's what ABC had to say:
JOHN HENSON AND JOHN ANDERSON GO DOWN UNDER TO SHOW AMERICAN VIEWERS HOW AUSSIES BOUNCE, IN A UNIQUELY AUSTRALIAN VERSION OF ABC'S "WIPEOUT"
Note: This program was originally scheduled to air at 8:00 p.m., but was pre-empted by President Obama's address to Congress.
Last week, we met the female half of the "Black & Blue Team," a quartet of energetic individuals that tests the "Wipeout" stunts to make sure they balance thrills and spills with health and safety.
This week, we'll meet the male half, Kyle Wasserman (left) and Kenny Shackelford (right), who also took time off from their day to chat during production of the current season.
Shackelford had a cousin who worked on "Wipeout," and who had worked on "Fear Factor," and Wasserman was acquainted with the assistant to "Wipeout" executive producer Matt Kunitz.
For both of them, when presented with the opportunity to run around on an abandoned ranch and bounce off of giant red balls into cold water all day, it wasn't a tough decision.
"They needed some people to run the courses and get hurt," said Wasserman, "and I signed up as quick as I could. Here I am, still here!"
"It's pretty much summer camp, for life," said Shackelford.
"Super playground summer camp," said Wasserman.
Asked about requirements for the job, Wasserman said, "Sturdiness."
"High pain tolerance is crucial," added Shackelford.
"And a lot of endurance," said Wasserman. "You've got to be able to go over and over again. Sometimes the test isn't finished until you've done it six times, and then you've got to move over and test the next thing, move over and rig the next stunt -- just keep going."
As for injuries, Shackelford said, "Every now and again (we get hurt). None of us, I think have broken anything yet. None of us has done anything that critical. A lot of stitches in the last year, here and there."
"A lot of hematomas," said Wasserman.
"Sore muscles," said Shackelford.
"Bruises," said Wasserman.
"That's how we got our name," Shackelford said. "We were originally called Bumps and Bruises, I think, but our team leader didn't like that."
Shackelford couldn't think of anything to criticize about his job -- not even having to get up early to drive in -- but Wasserman had a gripe.
"The only thing is," he said, "after my feet have been wet for about six hours, they start to hurt and get all prune-y. Six hours of wet feet, that can be a bummer."
If you're a kid out there who'd like to grow up to do what the Black & Blue Boys do, Shackelford said, "I grew up in a small ski town -- Park City, Utah -- and when you have seven feet of snow in your yard, the trees and your house are the playground. I used to jump off my roof a lot, do crazy things.
"All my friends' parents used to give me crap and say I was crazy. Now I get paid to do it. That would be my advice, I suppose, so crazy when you're a kid. You can't think too much.
We're smart guys, but when you over think the stunts, that's when you get hit."
"Just relax and go," said Wasserman. "It's alla bout playing. It's all about relaxing, having a good time and getting the rush, jumping around."
And, it's a pretty good workout.
"You don't have to go to the gym," said Shackelford, "and look at a bunch of lame people. We come here, eat hearty, run as hard as we can, sleep well."
"I wouldn't trade my job for a thousand dollars a day in gas," said Wasserman.
"Me, neither," said Shackelford.