Chris and Elaine Steele, of Atlanta, Georgia, have been performing classic sideshow stunts as vaudeville couple Captain and Maybelle for over 17 years!
Their show includes a variety of feats, including eye-socket weight lifting, glass eating, fire breathing, human suspension, and of course, sword swallowing. A fixture during Ripley’s yearly World Sword Swallower’s Day festivities, Captain became the new record holder for “weighted sword swallowing” when he downed a 17-in (43-cm) blade with 84 lb (38 kg) of weights attached!
When I was young, I would go to the carnival, and I was fascinated with the entertainers, from fire breathers to sword swallowers. But I was more fascinated once I knew it was real, that it wasn’t an illusion. In my mind, if they could do it, I could do it. -Captain
Speaking of weights, Captain even uses his eye sockets to lift a bucket holding a 10 lb (4.5 kg) brick! If you think that’s impressive, watch Maybelle swallow and eat an entire balloon. This may be TMI, but she has proof that the balloons are completely digested…ew!