Download comedian breaks neck in crowd surfing stunt – and doesn’t even realise
Stand-up comedian Bob Slayer broke his neck during his Comedy Tent performance at Download on Thursday night – and didn’t even realise.
It wasn’t until he went to hospital after being injured at another show he discovered the damage he’d done during a wheelie-bin crowdsurfing stunt at the Donington festival.
Ominously, Slayer had started his performance by saying: “This is the last gig I’ll ever do” before an assistant helped push his bin into the crowd.
Slayer – who describes himself as “Comedian, promoter, tour manager, idiot” – says: “This is why they tell you now to crowdsurf.”
He appeared on the second night of the Donington festival’s entertainment schedule, which starts ahead of the main weekend event. He planned to be bounced across a wooden table to bridge the space between the stage and the security fence. The crowd were to pick the bin up, carry him around the room then put him back on stage. Instead he was toppled out of the container and thrown to the ground.
“I think it was my own fault due to excessive pies,” says the performer. “I was mega-winded and cut the set a little short. I thought I would be okay, protected in a nice safe bin. But oh no. It’s not the last gig I’ll ever do. It could have been.”
Slayer, unaware of the extent of his injuried, went home without seeing a medic, and even continued with his comedy schedule.
He says: “It bloody hurt, but I had to do a day’s filming riding a tandem around Chelsea. I ran over a pedestrian and dislocated my thumb. It kept popping out and had to be strapped up so we could complete the shoot.
“I went to hospital where they X-rayed my hand. The diagnosis is: it’s knackered. Then I told them about my neck pain – another X-ray and they discovered that’s busted too.
“I now have a lovely neck brace, a strapped-up hand and some even lovelier painkillers.”
Slayer claims it’s the second time he’s broken his back, having snapped two vertebrae in 1992 – which, he says, put an end to his career as a jockey. Bue he vows: “This is going to end nothing.
“Apart from crowdsurfing in wheelie-bins. Those days ar behind me now.”