Tag Archives: famous performers

The Amazing Iron Gut of Frank “Cannonball” Richards (Video)

Frank “Cannonball” Richards may have the strongest gut in history.  Richards earned his fame with his death-defying 12 pound cannonball to the gut act.

Taking a spring-loaded cannonball to the belly is no easy feat. Richards had to gradually work himself up to this infamous act.

He started with hard punches, slowly working his way up to hammer hits and wood blows to the belly before taking on the canon.

Richards in training (Photo: Bill Meurer/New York Daily News)

Check out the video below to see vintage footage of Frank “Cannonball” Richard’s iron gut in action.

From the video above you can tell that Richards is pretty legitimate, but it’s hard to tell exactly how powerful the cannon is. I’m sure the cannon wasn’t suitable to take down castle walls, but it does appear powerful enough to severely harm or kill a normal man.

Richards made a huge splash in the media in the early 1930’s when the cannonball to the gut act was newly introduced as a live performance. At his prime during the 30s, Richards would perform the act as much as twice a day, but no more because of the obvious pain and risks involved.

Since then, the act has been included on the N.Y. Daily News’s list of “Wildest stunts in New York City History”, reenacted in The Simpsons by Homer himself, and even referenced by Jerry Seinfeld in Seinfeld‘s “The Apology” episode, and more.

You have likely seen this act before, and now you know Frank “Cannonball” Richards is that dude.