A bad day at the office for most people is a stack of paperwork and a grumpy boss.
For the late TV legend Steve Irwin, a bad day at the office was having a python bite his neck while millions of people watched live.
In a clip that dates back to 1991, Steve “The Crocodile Hunter” Irwin appeared on the children’s program of a local television station in his home country.
Since this was years before Internet video or Irwin’s fame as a television personality, the footage went mostly unseen by the world outside of Australia, until finally getting noticed again thanks to YouTube.
“In 1991 Steve Irwin did a weekly segment on the local TV station’s kids show,” explains the video description.
The clip starts off fairly routine — for Steve Irwin, that is — but quickly shows Steve’s unique character that would make him an international star.
“The only reason I’m doing this is because this one’s a python,” the young-looking Irwin stated confidently with a black snake draped around his neck, while a female TV presenter and a puppet bear character look on.
“And as you see, he won’t bite because he can’t eat me, and he doesn’t feel scared,” explained the wildlife expert.
He would regret that bold statement just seconds later.
As the camera zoomed in, the python opened its large jaw and dramatically clamped onto Steve’s neck.
The Crocodile Hunter instantly knew that something was wrong, but stayed calm.
In the cavalier tone of somebody ordering afternoon tea, Irwin looked up at the cameraman. “Do you mind cutting, he’s biting my neck.”
Hilariously, the bear puppet immediately stepped backwards in fear. Yes, apparently puppets have feelings too.
Trying to figure out how to proceed, Irwin looked at the woman standing next to him and laughed. “Can you get a close in on this?” the wildlife expert asked the cameraman, still trying to stay professional as a python was attached to his throat.
“Did that hurt?!” asked the woman.
“No,” Steve responded with a sideways grin. “Sorry about that.”
The adventurous Australian would go on to star in several television programs about wildlife, and be a frequent guest on American talk shows. Sadly, Irwin was killed by a wild stingray in 2006 while trying to get footage for a project his daughter was producing.
Today’s generation seems increasingly distant and separated from reality. While people stare at smartphones or complain about which gender pronoun to use, role models like Steve Irwin are badly missed.
“The Crocodile Hunter” may have been controversial at times, but he was a family man and an icon of masculinity, hard work, and getting your hands dirty in a world that seems increasingly emasculated and disconnected.
It takes poise and courage to carry on calmly with a python latched onto your neck, but that was just another normal day for Steve Irwin.
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