PARKOUR HAS BEEN SUPER TRENDY FOR a few years now, thanks to the rise of internet streaming video and Hollywood’s use of parkour in a bunch of recent action movies. But Arnim Dahl and John Ciampa were doing crazy urban acrobatics before it was mainstream. Dahl, a German stuntman, and Ciampa, an Italian-American circus performer, were known back in the day for their wild stunts. Dahl once walked on the railing on the roof of the Empire State Building finishing with a handstand. Ciampa (the one climbing the wall with the boy on his back) was once arrested for climbing the exterior of a hotel because onlookers didn’t realize it was a stunt, and thought he was going to commit suicide.

Incidentally, the footage shows Dahl jumping off of a crane into the water. During this jump, he broke his spine, which put him in the hospital for nearly a year before he got out to do stunts again. The footage of the two is from the 1977 documentary Gizmo!, and despite what the YouTube video says, is actually from the 1950s and not the 1930s.

What did you think of this article?