When Ron Ely Explained How To Fight A Tiger – WonderCon

Charlene Ellen wrote for Bleeding Cool from WonderCon;

If you can get away with being a seat squatter at a Comic Convention, it may be the only way for you and your friends to see the panels you want and still have time to eat or pee (all in different locales, of course). Not knowing what to expect, I set up camp at the Warner Archives Pulp Heroes Panel, so that my friends and I could see the Disney Writers Panel scheduled for the following hour.

After brief introductions of the Warner Archive Collection team, a tanned, white-haired guy showed up. Ron Ely, the star of Tarzan (1966-1968), Doc Savage (1975) and many other shows and films not only shared some TV history, he taught me stuff. Things like: when you’re on a film shoot and your costume is 90% skin and 10% loincloth, you will make things infinitely easier for the production if you do your own stunts. Why? Because someone has to smear makeup all over the stunt guy in the hopes of matching your skin tones, and you’re losing daylight. Just wrestle the tiger and move on to the next scene, already.

This led to a lesson on how to play with a tiger.

Tigers will swipe at you. They will also karate-chop you. But there is no guarantee they will wrestle on cue. So, Ron Ely’s helpful tips are: 1) swat tiger on the nose, 2) turn your back to the tiger, 3) immediately drop and roll because 600 pounds of stripes is about to fall on your head.

The Warner Archive panelists are dedicated geeks. George Feltenstein, DW Ferranti and Matthew Patterson know the material and want to share the love.  For those into retro TV, “Bomba the Jungle Boy” and “The Adventures of Superboy, Season 3” will be coming soon to DVD.

And thank you, Mr. Ely. You rock.


The panel screened clips from Tarzan episodes….


…and Ron Ely explained tiger pounce.

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