Skillset Overtime: American Daredevil Spanky Spangler Had a Death Wish

Welcome to our new video series: Skillset Overtime. Editors Jason Swarr and Ben Tirpak share and react to their favorite videos of the week, and leave nothing off the table. Last week the boys took a look at the epidemic known as “Florida Man” and had a few laughs. This week we spotlight a true American hero that you’ve probably never heard of: Spanky Spangler.

The Legend of Spanky Spangler

Think of Spanky Spangler as Evil Knievel … but on a budget.

Spanky grew up like most of us, a young and eager kid in search of the next adventure. In his youth, he would hitchhike to Hollywood just to hang around the stunt men on movie sets. He knew that being a fall guy was in his blood…but not necessarily his direct path. So, being an American patriot, he joined the Army and signed up in the Airborne Infantry. He figured that he would have to learn to do dangerous falls in the movie business, why not let the Army pay him in the process. Well, that decision earned him a trip to Vietnam, but danger was his business and business was damn good. After getting out of the Army he met up with the world’s most famous daredevil, Evel Knievel, which turned his whole career path upside down. From that moment on, Spanky’s future was set in stone. Mr. Spangler went on to perform some of the most insane stunts for the next four decades and even holds the world distance record for a jump performed in an automobile at 328 feet.

There’s a crazy daredevil in each of us, but our common sense and will to live usually squash it! Spanky’s inner voice said “Go for it!” when most would say “Bail!” We applaud you Spanky Spangler and hope future generations will take notice and follow in your footsteps. Check out the video above and keep an eye out for our next episode of Skillset Overtime. If you like our style, you’ll love our magazine! Pick up the most recent issue of Skillset Magazine at

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