Charles Blondin and the Stolen Point: Citation Needed 7×01

By | December 9, 2019

This is the Technical Difficulties,
we’re playing Citation Needed. Joining me today, he reads books y’know,
it’s Chris Joel. Hello again, my beauties! Everybody’s favourite Gary Brannan,
Gary Brannan. And of course, the thing you must not do
if the ape is enraged is the Macarena. And the bounciest man on the internet,
Matt Gray. Marhaba, YouTube. In front of me I’ve got an article from Wikipedia
and these folks can’t see it. Every fact they get right is a point
and a ding, and there’s a special prize for particularly
good answers which is… And today we are talking about Charles Blondin. Which gives us exactly
nothing to go on, apart… I mean, the way I pronounce that
gives you a bit of a hint. Français? Yes, absolutely right. He was French. Oh, the wheel spins and lands on France…! It’s not a wheel! It’s just a piece of cardboard with an arrow
saying France! Charles Blondin, also known as The Great Blondin. Did he do something with hot air balloons? That sounds like you know that. Well, it’s a stunt man-y sort of name,
isn’t it? I know France did hot air balloons. That was the Montgolfier brothers. – See? France did hot air balloons!
– He’s right, you know. I mean he’s not wrong, he’s not wrong,
but no. He’s not wrong and yet, in the back
of your mind, the phrase is: “how do I say he is wrong?” That’s fair. Yes, Chevalier Blondin, or The Great Blondin. Magician? Certainly that sort of entertainer,
that sort of genre… Strongman. Oh, was he like that bit in Ocean’s Eleven
with the acrobatics to steal the money from the vault? We are looking for a specific
acrobatic trick here. Something that you’d be known for. It wasn’t like Henry IV’s
favourite acrobat? I think it’s Henry IV, I might be…
medievalists out there, apologies I might have got
the wrong king there, who was known for
a whistle, a tumble and a fart. That was his act. And he was knighted because the king thought
it was so funny. Apparently, Roland the Farter. Roland the Farter! That’s it. Roland the Farter. You’re not getting points for this, but
you are right. This was King Henry II, in medieval times. A medieval flatulist who each year, in exchange
for 30 acres of land, was obliged to perform a jump,
a whistle and a fart. Can I just take a moment here for “flatulist”? Yes! Now I know this ‘cos Wikipedia has a list
of flatulists. Yes, yes they do. What wasn’t he actually doing? He wasn’t actually breaking wind. He was actually… This is going to grim. He was able to suck wind in, and then blow it out again
through muscle power, I assume. And because that was technically a question
I asked, you’re getting the point. Ever felt you’re on home turf with a subject? We are looking for a specific acrobatic act
that Charles Blondin was famous for. The windy-windy-falling-fabric thing! – Aerial silks!
– Aerial silks! No. What have you got, Chris? The flat-o-mer-boing-a-mi-thing! Slackline? Trampo-mo-line! Trampo-mo-line, no. The high-rope-walkalongy… Yes! Is he the one that walked between big buildings? No, that’s Philippe Petit. Yes, this was… Wasn’t he French? Yes, hence the name Philippe Petit! No, but you said it more “Philip Petty”, though. He’s Philip Petty! Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ brother. You’re absolutely right, it is the
walky-longy-not-fally-downy-thing. Correct. The elastomastring! He was a tightrope walker. He came up with the idea to cross
a certain thing on a tightrope. Oh, Thingy Falls. I’m not allowing you Thingy Falls! Niagara. That’s the one, Thingy. Yes, you’re absolutely right, Niagara Falls. I knew what you meant. Widey! Big! Dangerous! Yeah, Thingy Falls! Widey Falls, not Tall Falls.
Victoria, tall… wide. It’s going to be curved in, it’s going
to be like that… Oh, that’s where I went wrong, I need my
hands that way. Have you ever rubbed a waterfall? Don’t get your hands backwards. You don’t want to rub it the wrong way. Actually you were trying to push the water
back up weren’t you? Get– ugh!– what is Cnut doing
in the wave pool? Stood at the bottom, like Atlas, failing. You’re sort of, “Why is no one else as
bothered about this as me?” “The sea will be empty, the
fish will… “…opposite of drown!” Asphyxiate, Gary! “The fish are drowning!
They seem fine with it, though…” You should have seen Noah trying to
load them onto the Ark! Did not like it, did not like it at all. “There’s going to be a flood!
Get the fish on!” A long time ago… You’re absolutely right, he was the first
to cross Niagara… What did he do, insult it or something? To cross Niagara Falls on a tightrope. What did he then go back and do? Fetch the other end of the rope and
walk back with it. Oh, what an act! You’d pay to see it. Well he did some other acts on the tightrope. Whistle, tumble, fart? Famous mid-air, tightrope walking flatulist. Hell of an entry on Wikipedia,
let’s face it. There were some theatrical variations,
it says here, on the idea of… Oh, he wore a hat. Well he wore something. His wife. He carried his manager. I think the idea of carrying a person
is close enough, I’m going to give you the point there. Is that in case he had any border issues at
the other end? No, it’s in case he wasn’t getting
a big enough cut. Someone to negotiate with him
on the other side. Negotiate at the top of the Niagara Falls! Hey, you’d agree quick, though,
wouldn’t you? Also: in a sack, on stilts,
not at the same time, and also… He was in a sack? Yes, he was in a sack. How did he tightrope walk in a sack? – Carefully.
– You put it on the top, not the bottom. Oh, right, with you, sorry, yeah. Sack racing across a tightrope. I would defo… never mind over Niagara Falls! Well, two people, think about the overtaking! Yes, you could see the waveform on the line. Does that mean they next did an
egg and spoon race over Niagara Falls? Are we talking tightrope sport race?
Sports race? Sports day. Matt. Matt, Matt, Matt, Matt. You are so close… Because unbelievably the word “egg” is
the accurate one in there. What did he do in the middle of a tightrope,
over Niagara Falls in about 1860? Fry an omelette. Omelette. Oi, I was saying that! But how did I get that afterwards? I was doing it better! And Chris steals the point! He cooked and ate an omelette on a tightrope
in the middle of Niagara Falls. What? On what? – Well, the tightrope.
– Pan. Yeah, alright knobhead, but what? Because that means a heat source, so you’ve got to have a little cooking stove
or something balanced on… But what’s that balanced on? – His hand.
– His hand! How the f*** is he carrying a thing, and a
thing, and what’s-a, on a balance…? Well, that is the trick. That is literally the act
he is being paid to do. That is why it’s impressive, Gary. He also stood on a chair, with one chair leg
on the rope, on Niagara.. No, no, no, no, no, no… 50 metres above the water. How big is this wire by the way,
while we’re on it? Well quite long ‘cos it has to go
across Niagara Falls. What’s the diameter of this wire? Cheesewire! Oh no. Ooh, just slices of feet. What I’d like y’all to do at this point is to
gesture how big you think this wire is. What, thickness wise? – Girth?
– Yes, girth. – That big?
– That big? Have you just made whatever happens to be
the size of your…? No, no, I’m thinking of cable for… I’m thinking how big it would be for your
feet to comfortably sit on and be attached, so it can’t be much bigger than about that,
I wouldn’t have thought. Yeah, Gary you’ve basically got it
spot on. Eight and a bit centimetres,
you’re absolutely right. Oh. Balls to this, I can’t actually see the
man do the egg. I’d rather I was closer to him so I could
witness how good the omelette was. I’m sorry, if he’s going to show off I’m
going to get picky as well. Is it going to be Saturday Kitchen where they
try and do it under a minute? Omelette Challenge.
60 seconds. That’s a reference that not many people
are going to get isn’t it? Now there is a sentence in this article. Obviously, at this point — he was born in France, he’s moved to the
US to do this sort of thing. While in the US he married someone called
Charlotte Lawrence. What’s strange about that? Is he a bigamist? Well, we don’t know. I’ll give you the point because the phrase
here is: “while in the US he married a second wife”. That indicates you’re a bigamist. And then slightly earlier it says he married
Marie Blancherie, and it is not known what happened to his French
family after he went to America. So I will give you the point. It’s quite possible that he divorced her
or that something else happened. It’s not recorded in here. Can you imagine being his first wife,
thinking your husband’s disappeared, never to be heard of again, and picking up
Le Monde and seeing the front page, “Man Cooks Egg Over Niagara Falls”
and going “b******!” Oh yes, because it was definitely
front-page-worthy. Oh, yeah! What, you think this isn’t? Blondin came back to Europe,
lived in the UK, retired for a while and then made a reappearance
in the sort of manner you’d expect stars who are
in need of money to do. I’m a Celebrity. Something that existed at the end of
the 19th century and still exists now. Panto. Yes. You are absolutely right. He appeared in Jack and the Beanstalk
at the Crystal Palace. Not at Crystal Palace, at the Crystal Palace. I’m going to guess that what he did is his
tightrope act on was, maybe, the beanstalk. I’m going to suggest that might be it,
it’s not recorded here but, yes. Nah, he was the front end of the panto horse. While on the beanstalk. Back end, not a tightrope walker,
clinging on desperately. It’s like, you have to put some
tightrope walking in there, because this guy’s a one-trick pony… Oh, f*** off… That wasn’t a joke. Oh, horse!
Panto horse. I must just be naturally funny(!) When he’s out of work he’s getting the
washing in, where is he? On top of the washing line. He was so associated with tightrope walking,
what happened to his name? Oh, the tightrope became his name! A tightrope walker was called a Blondin. – Ah.
– That’s how well-known he was. Like how people Google for things… Going back to an earlier thing, like that guy was around in the early 2000s
called Mr Methane. Another one on your list of famous flatulists! Yes. See how I’m tying these bits together today. There is also a thing called a Blondin,
even now. And it’s a bit of industrial equipment. What might it be? Safety rig for working at height? Not for people. – Animals.
– For sheep working at height! “Go on Bessie, the grass is a bit long
near the cliff.” “Baaa!” – Not for animals…
– That’s a valid thing you might need because companies are putting sheep on their
roofs, aren’t they? What? If you build a new building you can put the
organic roofs on that are a layer of turf to help insulate,
to stop it… Some companies want it to be kind of a wild
garden, but other companies… Want it neatly mowed? And they’re putting sheep and goats on it. Cracking. So you might need a safety line for a sheep,
it’s working at height… When was the last time you put a safety harness
on a sheep? Wednesday. All I can think is that I want to change jobs
to aerial shepherd. What might you need to move,
on a rope, in a quarry? Oh, stone. You’re absolutely right. It’s an aerial ropeway used in
Welsh slate quarries. It’s called a Blondin after him. Oh, right, so like the ones at the end of…
nah, that doesn’t spoil anything, like the ones at the end of Get Carter, that kind of thing where it dumps
coal in the sea. Hands up who’s seen Get Carter? – Literally none.
– Literally only Gary. F*** it, bring the screen down. We’re watching this, alright? “You’re a big man, but you’re out of shape.
He does this for a living.” – That’s from Get Carter.
– Get Carter. There is one other person I’d like to talk
about from Niagara Falls and from the history of Niagara Falls. Is it… was it a lady or a gentleman went
over it in a barrel? You said lady or a gentleman, Gary,
I’ll give you the choice, pick one. Oh f***. The little bell that’s ringing in the back of my head
says lady but I could be wrong. – Roll with it.
– Have a point. – Oh, right okay.
– Any idea of the names? Annie Edison Taylor. Born in 1838, ended up in Bay City, Michigan where she hoped to become a dance instructor. Did she not? I mean, have the point. Why not? Couldn’t f***ing dance(!) Bog-all rhythm. There’s nobody wanting to dance. There are no dance schools. Now why didn’t she sort of break the mould
and start one, rather than just… Well she did! She absolutely did, have a point. Then she travelled all over the place trying
to find work, couldn’t find any
and moved back to Bay City. Which means she wanted to secure
her later years financially. She wanted to avoid what? Workhouses? Something like that? Yes, the poor house, absolutely right. She decided she would be the first person
to ride over Niagara Falls in a barrel. And she considers that securing her future? Not putting it at dire risk. She was actually in her 60s,
when she went over. Really? Using a custom made barrel. Why did she use a barrel, not, like a boat
or something proper? “It was a proper barrel!” That’s good question.
What is a barrel designed to do? Oh, keep water out? Exactly. It’s designed… Well, strictly speaking,
to keep water in, surely? – No, keep booze in, and water out!
– Oh, right, with you! – Yes!
– Focus man, come on. It is meant to be waterproof. So the idea is she’s in there,
in a slightly pressurised barrel, with a heart-shaped pillow and mattress. There was a lid on it? There was a lid on it. Oh right, I assumed it was up to the waist
or something! “Tally-ho!” I’ve always assumed that, that’s how I’ve
always pictured it. I never thought… Sort of like a tub over the edge, yeah. Come to think of it, yeah, so have I. No, she was stuffed in a barrel
with the top sealed. A little bit of pressure in there, the idea
being that all she’s going to feel is: darkness, darkness, darkness, plunge, thump,
thump, thump, thump, get out the other side. Did she? Well you keep asking me the questions, Matt, but that’s not actually
what I’m here for. So… Let’s say she didn’t. She did. She made it over the falls with nothing but
a small gash on her head. What did she say afterwards? F***! I mean it was… it was… I’m going to give you the point because
it wasn’t that short, it wasn’t in so few words, but yes, “If it was with my dying breath, “I would caution anyone against attempting the feat.” That’s never a great recommendation for
a ride is it? No, but it’s really smart for somebody who
is looking to secure their fame for being the one who did it. “I would sooner walk up to the mouth of a cannon
knowing it was going to blow me to pieces than make another trip over the fall.” And next week, watch me walk up to a cannon
knowing it’s going to blow me to pieces! At the end of the show, congratulations Chris,
you win this one. Well done. You win a small fast bird that makes clothing
for other small fast birds. Oh God. It’s this Tailor Swift. With that we say thank you to Chris Joel, to Gary Brannan, to Matt Gray. Bye bye YouTube. I’ve been Tom Scott and we’ll see you
next time.

31 thoughts on “Charles Blondin and the Stolen Point: Citation Needed 7×01

  1. Tom Scott Post author

    We're back! Welcome to all the recent subscribers to this channel, who have no idea what's about to hit them.

  2. Wannes De Maeyer Post author

    will there be a next season? and if so, can I come and watch?

  3. Sam Marks Post author

    If that's the size of their… then Gary is massive!

  4. Laura Ireson Post author

    I think this is the second episode, that I've noticed, where Chris Joel has referenced The Simpsons. I enjoy getting the references.

  5. mspenrice Post author

    "Elastomer string" is probably more accurate than you'd think…

  6. mspenrice Post author

    The combination of sheep and probably-elasticated rope is making me think of a new weapon for "Worms"… the ninja sheep bomb…

  7. Josh Keating Post author

    I am amused they all knew Ariel silks. I had no idea what it was , and I woild have also said Ariel fabric fally downey.

  8. Heavygusto Post author

    A popstar's bird's dressmaker would have read as Taylor Swift's Switf's Tailor

  9. Dirk Downey Post author


  10. thewerebear1 Post author

    Is it just me or is that window causing an optical illusion?

  11. D1GITΛL CVTS Post author

    11:02 "Wat might you need to move on a rope in a quarry?"
    Well, for start, legs would be quite useful.

  12. DedElec Post author

    This is one of the all time classic episodes. It has everything.

  13. James Tarn Post author

    10:30 I have a sheep doing roofing over at my house. Drop in sometime, we'll put on Zeppelin and eat cheddar cheese.

  14. Michael Devaney Post author

    these are great but they might but it might be the nerdiest thing on youtube!haha look at the audience

  15. - FULL METAL ANGEL - Post author

    I keep thinking that french viewers must both love and hate these guys since they always end up takin the mickey out on the stereotypes.

  16. Frank Harr Post author

    By the way, 50 m is 160 ft. and 8 cm is 3 in., but since it's 8 and a bit, I'm going to guess 3 1/4.

    Cary on.

  17. maverickbna Post author

    I must be a terrible language fascist. Every time I watch one of these episodes, at the outro, "I've been Tom Scott…" and I'll reply "Have you? Who are you now?" the "I've been…" indicates to my brain that you used to be, but are not now. Am I the only one who thinks that? Still love this show, wish you would continue the series.

  18. Isaac Stevens Post author

    I would have gotten two mystery biscuits for this one 😂 I knew both of the stories well

  19. caterina mastrogiacomo Post author

    Tom trying to make everyone get points: you're INCREDIBLY close
    Reality:a totally different argument.

    Edit:it's no one gonna talk about the heart shaped pillow and mattress? Really?

  20. Wax Meatley Post author

    Unpopular Opinion: My favourite Gary Brannon isn't Gary Brannon

  21. Bryan Shepard Post author

    "Buh-bye YouTube". Matt Gray is as adorable in his sign-offs as Gary Brannan is hilarious in his greetings.

  22. Trevor Harrington Post author

    Chris should get his scalp checked cuz it's always itchy lmao


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *