G4′s Craig Pumphrey: Breaking Stuff For A Living

by | November 25, 2009 at 3:54 PM | Interviews

Craig and Paul Pumphrey are G4′s resident human wrecking balls, with the inhuman ability to destroy machines with their bare hands. And they do this for a living!

Together, they wreck gas stations, helicopters and houses for their series ‘Human Wrecking Balls,’ now in its second season.

Craig shared their tips and tricks for utter destruction, and let us in on exactly how painful (and stitch-friendly!) the job really is.

What’s up this season? How much stuff are you destroying?
We destroy a bunch of stuff! Season two is totally off the hook. We destroyed some crazy stuff, much bigger than season one. We traveled to some different states as well to do some cool stuff. We get a little bit more interesting as the show moves forward and have special guests. Cool graphics, kind of Star Wars type stuff. We did pretty good this time around because I didn’t get any stitches this time. Paul did, though.

Any war stories you can share?
We had one cameraman who totally got heatstroke. Passed out and hit the ground. That was when we did the carnival episode. Paul also has been doing a bunch of rehab. He’s in the doctor’s office being evaluated now, actually. We destroyed a house in Indiana, and Paul jacked his leg up there. Then at a fast food restaurant in LA, he tore it up.

How often do you face injuries?
It varies from episode to episode. Last season, Paul and I got 8 or 10 stitches a piece. Of course as far as contusions and bruises, small cuts, that’s pretty much every episode. That goes with what we do. Paul got 8 to 10 stitches this season and I broke my toe. We made off kind of lucky though, it could have been worse. There’s a lot of things that we do that are dangerous. That’s what makes the show.

What strikes me is the impact you make with just your body. For example, when you kicked in the windshield of the military helicopter in episode 1. How does that happen, exactly?
There’s a lot of technique, and if you weren’t into Martial Arts, you wouldn’t realize what we are doing. You can generate a lot of impact in a small part of your body. When we are doing that, we are making impact with a small part of our foot. There’s a very fine point we’re connecting with. The larger that area, the more it takes away that power. On the helicopter, we’re not actually hitting it with our entire foot, but we’re hitting it with the very tip of our heel. That’s how you get that devastating result.

You were talking about guest stars?
The first episode, we had Sargeant Michelle Manhart. She was really popular for being the lady with a military background who posed for Playboy. After she did that she got kicked out of the military – there was a huge court battle. She was there with us during the military helicopter episode.

Was there ever a concern from the network about having you guys wear protective gear or things like that?
There were worries and of course. Before G4, there were a lot of other networks that were interested but concerned. First of all, they said, we don’t know if these guys are gonna get killed? Can they continue on for a full season? That’s a bit part of the reason they didn’t pick us up. But G4 put a little bit more stock into what we were telling them. They were concerned, but we told them, ‘we’ve been doing this for 22 years. What’s a couple of months out of our lives schedule?’ I mean, we’re professionals at what we do. We try to be as safe as we can without cheapening the show, of course.

Watch ‘Human Wrecking Balls,’ Wednesday nights on G4