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Juggling Dangerously

While it has been done, in Real Life chainsaw juggling is unusual even for highly skilled professional jugglers who want to add the spice of danger to their act. But it's much more common in fiction — want to take that juggling act Up to Eleven? Just add chainsaws!

A common yet very dangerous trick that is often performed at sideshows and circuses. It is typical for someone of exceptional bravery to juggle chainsaws while the chainsaws are running. In Western Animation, expect a character to appear fine for a minute before literally falling apart or to fall through a hole in the floor that was caused by the chainsaws.

Of course, chainsaws aren't the only dangerous things that can be used in juggling. People can also juggle flaming torches, tasers, and swords, which makes this trope Truth in Television.

Not to be confused with: Juggling Loaded Guns


Examples:

Advertising
  • In a Progressive commercial, a man feels so empowered by being given the "Name Your Price" tool that he approaches a man juggling chainsaws and wants to participate. Obviously the juggler refuses, for their mutual safety. Watch it here.

Comic Books
  • The Mickey Mouse comic Lost in Limbo includes a medieval jester whose juggling act got boring for the king, so he decided to spice things up by juggling weapons instead. Unfortunately, he forgot to revise the ending of the act, which involved all the items falling on his head. Hence why he is a ghost now.

Newspaper Comics
  • One The Far Side cartoon shows a stage performer who has been juggling nuclear warheads, but has just dropped them all over the place. An audience member complains: "More like defused nuclear warheads!"
  • This Calvin and Hobbes strip.
    Calvin: Where do we keep all our chainsaws, Mom?
    Calvin's Mom: We don't have any chainsaws, Calvin.
    Calvin: We don't? Not any?
    Calvin's Mom: Nope.
    Calvin: How am I ever going to learn how to juggle?

Literature
  • In Jingo, Vetinari goes from juggling melons, to juggling melons and knives. He adds the knives because juggling items of multiple shapes is more difficult than juggling items of only one type. This is followed with a footnote that this is, in fact, true even of chainsaws, but if you do happen to miss one, that's only the first of your problems, and some more will be along shortly.

Live-Action TV
  • In an episode of Bones, Brennan has called in all her interns (instead of the usual one-per-episode), and while they're standing around waiting for her, they decide that they must have been called in to study a body with a chainsaw sticking out of its chest. When Brennan arrives, she scolds them because it should have been obvious that the body was just some silly person who had been trying to juggle a chainsaw, a tennis ball, and another object; not murder.
  • In an episode of Thousand Ways To Die, there was this teppanyaki chef that talks about treating knives with respect while juggling massive kitchen knives.

Stand-Up Comedy
  • Penn of Penn & Teller has a routine where he juggles broken wine bottles (very carefully smashed open at the large end, so he's not going to hurt himself as long as he catches them by the neck every time) while pattering on at length about how this is the most difficult and dangerous thing he's going to do all evening.

Music
  • "Chainsaw Juggler" by the Four Postmen, although most of the song isn't about the eponymous juggler.
    Whatever happened to the Chainsaw Juggler?
    He was a good friend of mine
    I heard he died, but nobody cried
    Instead they all chopped off their arms!

Video Games
  • Dead Rising has Adam, an early psychopath who's dressed as a clown and juggles chainsaws and can use them to cut everyone up. He also can use balloons filled with some sort of gas, but defeating him will only net Frank the clown's chainsaws, and they're arguably the best weapons in the game.
  • In the Amiga game Freddy, you play as a clown going through various circus acts while a mischievous rival tries to sabotage your efforts. In the juggling act, you may end up juggling multiple chainsaws while dancing on a ball.
  • Team Fortress 2: The Soldier's taunts with the Buff Banner, Battalion's Backup, the Concheror, or the Righteous Bison has him juggling two grenades from his bandolier and a rocket.
  • In the Sega Genesis Licensed Game of Aladdin, some enemies are juggling knives, and throwing some at you. Throwing apples at them can lead to the apples getting sliced in midair.

Western Animation
  • In Lilo & Stitch, David juggles torches on stage at a restaurant and accidentally sets things on fire, embarrassing himself in front of his crush, Nani.
  • In the Beavis And Butthead episode "Comedians", the first scene inside the Laff Hole shows a juggler juggling a small white ball, an axe, and a chainsaw. It is heavily implied that his arm is cut off by the chainsaw at the end of the act. At the end of the episode, Beavis sets up his own juggling act involving newspapers lit on fire. Cut to Beavis and Butthead outside the Laff Hole, watching the fire department arrive and put out the fire.

Real Life
  • Michael Goudeau would juggle during magician Lance Burton's show at the Monte Carlo Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. He juggled three beanbag chairs as well as a chainsaw, a bowling ball AND a flaming torch!
  • Chainsaw juggling is, ironically, unimpressive to more experienced jugglers because they're too heavy to show any real technique with.

Jaw DropZany CartoonLimited Wardrobe
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