George the Giant On Stage

Feb 27, 2014 | 2014 Articles, Arts & Entertainment, Terrance V. Mc Arthur

by Terrance Mc Arthur

He swallows swords! He eats fire! He’s been on TV, in movies, and in The National Enquirer! He’s set Guinness World Records that nobody wants to break, he’s 7’3”, he’s a master of the sideshow arts, and he’s coming to Fresno for the Rogue Festival! FOR ONE NIGHT ONLY…GEORGE “THE GIANT” Mc ARTHUR…my little brother. No, I’m not taller, just older!

I wanted to interview George the Giant for Kings River Life, but he said, “You know all the answers to all the questions,” so this is a made-up interview…with real answers.

KRL: How did you get into sideshow?

GEORGE: When you’re 7’3”, you have two choices: the NBA or sideshow…and I’m no good at sports! The truth is, I saw a sword-swallower and a fire-eater at the Kern County Fair when I was a kid, and I was fascinated by the things the human body could do. When a member of my family was attacked and seriously burned, I became afraid of fire, so I decided to get over it MY way—I learned to eat fire.

KRL: Why are you performing in the Rogue Festival this year?

GEORGE: I’ve wanted to do this for years, but it never worked out. This year, I get to be on the stage with Bobby Reynolds, the sideshow king who was my mentor. He taught me how to swallow swords by practicing with a coathanger!

George the Giant swallows steel at Ripley's Sword Swallower's Day.

KRL: What is your biggest pet peeve?

GEORGE: People ask me if I really do these stunts or are they just magic tricks. Here’s the difference between magicians and sideshow–with magic, it’s fake, but they pretend it’s real; with sideshow, it’s real, but you really hope it’s fake.

KRL: You’ve been performing for more than 20 years. What are you the most famous for doing?

GEORGE: It used to be because I lay on a bed of nails with Roseanne Barr and Kelly Hu standing on top of me–there was pictures in The National Enquirer! Then it was the fire blow-out I did in the Tim Burton movie Big Fish. After that, it was becoming the Human Crazy Straw on America’s Got Talent. For a while, it was being the Umbrella Guy on 1000 Ways to Die. My friends thought I was dead (“I saw you die on TV!”)! Now, it seems that more people know me for my daily Odd Facts and Stupid Jokes on Facebook and Twitter.

KRL: Sideshow is real, I know, but is it really as dangerous as it looks?

I have been burned fire-eating, I really bleed when people staple-gun my body, and I pierced my esophagus while sword-swallowing. Yes. It’s really dangerous.

KRL: What would it surprise people to know about George the Giant?

GEORGE: As a sideline, I make and sell duct-tape wallets. Besides that, on Sundays at church, I teach a class of five-year-olds!

KRL: Thank you for the imaginary interview, George. You’ll be at Full Circle Brewing Co., 620 F St., Saturday, March 1, 8:30 p.m. It’s only $8. I’ll see you there.

GEORGE: You’d better.

Editor’s Note: This is a BYOV (Bring Your Own Venue) event at Rogue. Admission is $8 cash, Rogue bucks are not accepted. (It has been brought to our attention that while happening at the same time as Rogue, it is not officially a Rogue show.)

Terrance V. Mc Arthur is a Community Librarian for the WoW! (WithOut Walls) Division of the Fresno County Public Library, roaming the Valley to meet the public’s information needs.


  1. Quick note: Full Circle is NOT a BYOV for the Rogue Festival this year.

    They were nice enough to place an ad in the program, however.

    • Sorry about that-we were told they were. Thanks for the information.
      Lorie Ham


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