Get Your Kicks With 'American Daredevils'

New History Channel show stars local thrill-seeker Dr. Danger

Get Your Kicks With 'American Daredevils'

On July 24, local daredevil Gregory “Dr. Danger” Carpenter was flying through the air, 40 feet up in an ambulance going 70 miles per hour, when he crashed into an upright semi-trailer and split the thing in half.

Intending a trick wherein he’d fly the ambulance into the top of the semi-trailer and descend into it “as though it was a grain silo or something,” Danger instead plummeted downward, crashing his ambulance and mangling his body in the process. He’d been squeezed from three different directions; he could only move the tips of his fingers on one hand.

“That’s how I got helicopter ride number five,” he says over the phone. “They cut me out of one ambulance and put me in another and took me away.”

Danger suffered broken vertebrae; a foot drop, a condition in which damage to the peroneal nerve causes paralysis in the anterior portion of the lower leg; and a busted shoulder he says hurts more than the rest.

He’s alive and ready to run another ride again, so it feels OK to make note that the entire incident will air on your television screen some time in the next two months.

Danger’s the central figure in a new History Channel show called American Daredevils, a locally produced program that follows Danger and fellow whack-job daredevils around Texas and other stunt scenes throughout the Southwest. There’s Mr. Dizzy and Spanky Spangler, Spanky’s son Brian, and Danger, who’s 50, and says he would get ride back into that flying ambulance if presented with the chance.

The show, created and produced by Kelly Lipscomb and his Widespread Creative production company, premieres tonight at 9pm and runs two episodes in succession each Tuesday for the next eight weeks. Think of it like the Real Housewives of Texas’ Daredevil Fraternity, an inside look at some of the most intense thrill-seekers you’ll ever see.

“One of the differences between a daredevil and a stuntman is that a stuntman has a huge budget, and they get all the time they need to get it done,” Danger says. “They can have a second take if they want.

“Daredevils get one take, and when the promoter says it’s time to go, it’s time to go. Hopefully we’ve prepared correctly.”

And in the case of Dr. Danger, they’ve hopefully got a second ambulance on hand.

American Daredevils premieres tonight at 9pm on the History Channel.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More by Chase Hoffberger
Revisiting the Railroad Killer
Revisiting the Railroad Killer
Local journo Alex Hannaford’s Dead Man Talking podcast investigates the case against a man on death row

Nov. 16, 2018

EMS Union Set for Leadership Contest
EMS Union Set for Leadership Contest
Association to cast ballot between incumbent Tony Marquardt or challenger Selena Xie

Nov. 16, 2018


American Daredevils, Dr. Danger, Kelly Lipscomb, Spanky Spangler, Bryan Spangler, Mr. Dizzy, Widespread Creative, History Channel

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle