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Name That Trauma :: Reader Kara S. on a Burned Out Escape Artist

June 6th, 2009 by aunt john · 4 Comments

Greetings! My memory is of a TV show, possibly LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE or maybe THE WALTONS. I was born in ‘76, so I’m thinking this was in the early ‘80s or so.

There was an old man who was a traveling escape artist. From what I remember, the community gathered to watch him handcuffed or tied and put into a coffin (maybe just a wooden box) and then the box was topped with a pile of straw and set on fire. He was supposed to escape unharmed but something went wrong. I don’t remember if he got out somehow or not, but I remember the townspeople frantically trying to put out the fire and the camera shot of the man inside trying to get his hands untied as the box filled with smoke.

Can anyone help me out with this?

Thanks!

UPDATE: NAME THAT TRAUMA SOLVED! It’s looks like Aunt John‘s favorite repeat offender LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE was responsible for yet another trauma. Special thanks to Reader Senski for extinguishing this nightmare!

Tags: Name That Trauma!




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senski
senski
11 years ago

You’re right, Kara – it is “Little House on the Prairie,” an episode from 1981 entitled “Gambini the Great” –
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0633009/plotsummary

I never watched the show – I always thought it was too “safe” – but I’m gonna have to search this episode out!

senski
senski
11 years ago

And the whole episode is on YouTube!

PhantomWerewolf
PhantomWerewolf
11 years ago

Little House on the Prairie had a magician dying in a coffin that was on fire? Are we thinking of the same show? Why wasn’t Little House this awesome when I was forced to watch it?!

DavidFullam
11 years ago

Again, another example of how old “family viewing” shows had some real balls.