IRVINGTON, Alabama – A rider in a red, white and blue jumpsuit leaps a Harley Davidson over a line of Coca-Cola trucks as audience members, including comedian Larry the Cable Guy watched.
“Only in America,” the comedian told the audience at the Mobile International Speedway.
Motorcycle daredevil Bubba Blackwell jumped his Harley over 10 trucks during the taping of a segment for the History Channel series, “Only in America with Larry the Cable Guy.” Blackwell had planned to continue jumping over longer distances and break his record of 14 trucks, but high winds on the Irvington speedway prompted him to stop at 10.
Blackwell, a Summerdale native who still lives in Baldwin County, said he was pleased to be asked to be on the show and to be performing for a local crowd.
I remember coming to this racetrack when I was 5 years old,” Blackwell said. “My dad used to race here, Snake Blackwell.”
Larry the Cable Guy, who was born Dan Whitney, was scheduled to perform Saturday night at a casino in Biloxi. Blackwell said the show producers asked if he could take part in a segment.
During the taping, Blackwell began by jumping nine trucks several times before moving the ramp back to extend the distance. After jumping the longer distance, his motorcycle bounced on the ramp upon landing, but Blackwell kept the Harley under control.
After checking the motorcycle, he jumped several more times, in between takes in which he and his wife, Jamie, talked to the comedian.
Blackwell said that while he was not trying to inspire people take physical risks, he did want to show on the program that America is a place where people can follow their dreams.
“The main thing is, if you get a passion for something, just keep on going,” he said. “Life is a one-lap race. Just enjoy it while you’re here.”
Asked for a comment, Larry the Cable Guy apologized, but said that History Channel officials had asked him and others with the show to not give local press interviews. The comedian posed for pictures with audience members and signed autographs, and joked with fans before the taping.
Taking the microphone before one of Blackwell’s jumps, Larry thanked the speedway for presenting him with a T-shirt.
“You gave me a 3-X,” he joked. “I don’t think I’m quite that big. Of course, one Halloween I put on a white T-shirt and went as a blizzard.”
Rick Crawford, Mobile International Speedway operator, said the speedway was a good setting for the program.
“We’ve got Bubba Blackwell out here with all these people. It’s a great setting for something talking about ‘Only in America,’” he said. “Where else would you find something like this?”
He said the segment would be part of the series’ second season, which will begin in November.
According to a History Channel statement, the program takes the comedian across the country to find people, places and things that define America’s unique history.