Fox Backs Out Of Motorcycle Stunt

July 24, 2014

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Fox Television has backed out of a proposed deal to fund and televise a motorcycle jump of Snake River Canyon in Southern Idaho.

Daredevil Robert Craig “Evel” Knievel tried to jump the canyon on a rocket powered motorcycle on September 8, 1974. He didn’t make it.

Knievel had originally hoped ABC Sports would broadcast the jump but they backed out. So he made a deal with boxing promoter Bob Arum’s Top Rank Productions. Arum broadcast the failed jump on closed circuit television. Everybody lost money on the deal. One of the investors, Vince McMahon, Jr., declared bankruptcy and afterwards dedicated himself to making professional wrestling the wonderful and lucrative spectacle it has grown to be.


Fox had agreed to celebrate the 40th anniversary of that colossal failure this September 14 by televising not one but two attempts of the canyon. A Hollywood stuntman named Eddie Braun was to leap the canyon on steam powered, rocket motorcycle. Motorcycle daredevil “Big” Ed Beckley was going to jump the canyon on some other kind of rocket motorcycle. About a month ago Fox announced that the network was pushing the jumps back into October.

Then ten days ago Fox announced that two veteran executives named Gary Newman and Dana Walden had been named co-bosses of bosses at the Fox Television Group. Their immediate task was to stop Fox from bleeding money, which is what happened shortly after viewers got bored with American Idol. Apparently, someone told them what happened the last time somebody tried to cash in on a Snake River Canyon jump.

Big Ed

Big Ed (photo above), a dreamer who goes about 285 and who promotes himself as the “Worlds Largest Motorcycle Jumper,” issued the following statement on, where else, his Facebook page.

“We received the final word the new bosses at FOX TV have backed away from the Snake River Canyon Jump.  It was not in their new budget for us to make the jump. We will not sacrifice safety, our integrity, and our just reward for attempting a real motorcycle jump over the Canyon. We are now seeking other media partners and we are undaunted by this development because it is in God’s hands. We have followed his lead from the start and whatever he has in store for us, whatever it may be we are along for the ride.

“A special thanks go to those who are closest to this whole deal – my friend, my cheerleader, the one that never gave up thru all this is Cheryl Williamson. Her support has been a lifesaver throughout this whole ordeal. Of course there is my friend and attorney Jon Simmons as well as Rod Woodruff and his crew from the Buffalo Chip. These are the ones closest to the whole project and have been with me thru the beginning. There are many others too like Chad Coppess, Gene Sullivan, my  Team Jesus, my office girls, and more and they all are respected and appreciated for always being there for me.  Also to my back up rider and builder Paul Stender and his beautiful wife Thanks for all you have done and tried to do for this project.

“Thanks to you all – for your support and believing in me. I hope you understand there will be no replies to your questions – nor radio or TV interviews about this subject until we know more – we will move forward. I am not through with this jump or others we have been working on. There is much more to do with this restart of my career. Remember – I have always been the one that when people said he couldn’t – I showed them I could and I have the LORD on my side – everything is possible with him.”


Braun, who also has a Facebook page, is concentrating on his participation in “Evel Knievel Days 2014” in Butte, Montana and has made no comment on the Fox cancellation.

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7 Responses to “Fox Backs Out Of Motorcycle Stunt”

  1. Va.Bob Says:

    Far out.No “Urine Disorder Punk Club”.But a 285 lb stunt-rider flying over rivers.Ride on.

  2. Oldskewl Says:

    That visualization video shows an attempt of a real motorcycle jump, not to take anything away from Evel and his accomplishments, he was the man.

    I sure hope Ed gets his funding.

  3. Mag Says:

    For fun, they should have a couple donkeys on the landing strip. Just to add a touch of challenge…

    Evel Knieval was a chldhood hero. I must have spent hours with his action figure, jumping Matchbox cars. Glad to see the stunt riders are still aiming high. One look at Snake Canyon and I’m impressed at even thinking about jumping it.

  4. 10GAUGE Says:


    Evel was a childhood hero of mine too…as I got older I was saddened to find out how much he despised clubbers and the lengths he would go to bad mouth them as long as they were out of ear shot….for how mediocre he was as a daredevil, he had big balls and made a ton of money crashing….more people came to his jumps to watch him crash than did to see him make it.

    Nine mile skid on a ten mile ride…
    Hot as a pistol…
    But cool inside

  5. slycechyx Says:

    Evel Knieval was a huge influance when I was young. Between him & trying to keep up with the neighbor boys on our dirtbikes, I learned at an early age to ride the hell out of my bike, swallow my fear & just fucking do it.

  6. BMW Says:

    It is sad, but I think the era of motorcycle stunts is drawing to a close. I hate to see the end of an era. It just costs too much to stage these sorts of sensational events.

    No stunt rider, not even Evel, could afford to fund a river jump. The permits alone would bankrupt any of us, and when we add in the cost of the safety crew, the film crew, the fire-fighting crew and the building crew, I would expect a river jump to cost in the high six figures or low seven figures.

    So we are left in a situation where the media monopolies have to fund the stunts, and it all depends on the demographics of the potential audience. In the current world situation, with hundreds of suicide bombers, who will watch a motorcyclist jump a canyon? Sure, it may blow up, but we see that on the evening news. It seems Fox thinks the same.

    Now if it was a drug-dealing, gun-running, murderous crew with a leader with good looks, maybe people (with the right demographics for advertisers) would watch. But Fox already has that on Tuesday nights with the “Sons of Anarchy”. Maybe Opie and Jax, riding in tandem on a river jump would attract the right audience.

    L,H&R TO ALL 1% RIDERS!!!

  7. Grumbler Says:

    I’d rather walk over a swaying pedestrian suspension bridge above the Snake River Canyon than watch a 285 pound quivering mass of jell-o attempt a made-for-tv psuedo motorcycle stunt jump.

    FWIW, the 4-lane US-93 Perrine Bridge is approximately 1,500 feet long and 486 feet above the Snake River. The longest pedestrian suspension bridge in the world is in Russia and has a 1800-foot span.

    The Capilano Suspension Bridge, which I’ve been across umpteen times, is a mere 449 feet long and 230 feet above Capilano River in North Vancouver, British Columbia.

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