World Sword Swallower’s Day With Matthew Bouvier

The fifth annual World Sword Swallower’s Day took place this past weekend. Organized by Sword Swallowers Association International and Ripley’s Believe It or Not! who hosted sword swallowing performances at their museums all over the world.

Sword Swallowing on How Stuff Works

How Stuff Works has a great article on sword swallowing. They cite Harry Houdini himself reporting on contemporaries who swallowed metal tubes ahead of time. But, the article continues, in the real practice, which began in India 4000 years ago, the “trick” is getting extraordinary control over your body and putting the immense danger out of your mind.

Sword swallowing involves deliberately conditioning your body to do something its defense mechanisms prohibit, so it’s not surprising that it’s a dangerous activity. It’s also not widely studied in the field of medicine, perhaps because there are so few sword swallowers.

Matthew Bouvier (aka Molotov) has been swallowing swords, walking on nails, eating glass, and (consensually) throwing knives at lovely ladies for many years with the likes of Circus Redickuless and The Yard Dogs Road Show amongst other Bay Area and national acts. Currently he’s performing a knife-throwing act with Hubba Hubba Burlesque Revue and at the monthly Baxtalo Drom cabaret at the Amnesia bar.


Actor, nerd, poet, producer, writer mikl-em made his name short so you wouldn't have to. In addition to his blog you can find his writing in "Hi Fructose" magazine and witness him almost life-sized in various plays at The Dark Room Theater in SF's Mission district.

He tends to write about theater, humor, San Francisco culture and history, and stuff that's just plain weird. He thanks Scott for sharing the keys to the Laughing Squid virtual HQ and promises to uphold whatever it is that the mirthful cephalopod would prefer to be uplifted.