“Captain Explosion”, Evel Knievel’s own version of Maine, has died
James “Crash” Moreau, a stuntman who over the course of a career spanning more than 50 years has crashed almost every type of vehicle imaginable and set himself on fire for the entertainment of crowds across the country, died last month in his hometown of Lincoln. He was 73, according to an obituary published in the Bangor Daily News.
Moreau began his stunt career in 1967 at the age of 21 with Joie Chitwood, a famous stuntman, daredevil and racing driver whom Evel Knievel said was his inspiration. Moreau has toured with Chitwood and other stunt show organizers for decades, visiting fairs and carnivals across the United States and Canada.
Moreau’s specialty was crashing or blowing up cars and blowing himself up, according to Canadian stunt show organizer Rob Connelly, who has worked with Moreau over the years.
Moreau detonated over 2,000 cars during his career, and he learned to “blow himself up” with dynamite in the early 1970s, calling himself “Captain Explosion,” Connelly said in a Facebook post making homage to Moreau.
“Jim is possibly one of the most versatile stuntmen in the outdoor entertainment business,” said Connelly. “He is known to everyone in the company from coast to coast.
Moreau crashed, exploded, or jumped over ramps with more than cars. He did stunts with motorcycles, snowmobiles, go-karts, school buses and dump trucks, according to Connelly and Moreau’s obituary. He sometimes dressed as a clown, and once, for the 1976 stunt documentary “Death Riders,” he rode in a car while naked, wearing only a hard hat and cowboy boots. -boy.
Born in 1948 in the Old Town, Moreau grew up in Lincoln and attended the Mattanawcook Academy. Although his career took him across North America, he made Lincoln his home all his life. He is survived by his two daughters Tina and Shasta and six grandchildren.
In addition to his own stunts, Moreau also coordinated stunts for other performers, including training motorcycle riders for new shows. In 2004, he helped “Wildman” stuntman Al Sleep set a Guinness World Record for the longest garbage truck ramp jump, sending a garbage truck out of an 8-foot dirt pile to navigate. 77 feet in total.
In 2013, Moreau appeared on “America’s Got Talent” as Captain Explosion, blowing himself up in front of the judges, although he didn’t make it past the first round of auditions. Although he is a legend in the stunt world, he has kept a low profile in Maine.
“After 54 years, I have met so many people in the company. But because of the internet, I now have so many friends from Australia and Europe, ”Moreau said in a 2020 interview posted on YouTube. “It really makes me feel good because most of the people in the house don’t even know who I am. “