1000 Ways to Die is an American docufiction anthology-horror television series that aired on Spike from May 14, 2008, to July 15, 2012, and also aired on Comedy Central during its run.[2] The program recreates unusual supposed deaths, true events, and debunked urban legends,[3] and includes interviews with real medical experts who describe the science behind each death. Up until the end of season one, the final story of each episode showed actual footage of dangerous situations that almost ended in death, along with interviews of those involved in the situations. A portion of these deaths have been nominated for or have received a Darwin Award. Ron Perlman served as the narrator on every episode since the third episode (with Tom Beers narrating the first two episodes); beginning with the episode "Tweets from the Dead", Joe Irwin was featured as the replacement narrator.[4]

1000 Ways to Die
Written by
  • Tom McMahon
  • H.A. Arnarson
  • Geoff Miller
Directed byWill Raee (pilot), Tom McMahon
Narrated by
  • Thom Beers (pilot, U.S. broadcast)
  • Ron Perlman (seasons 1–6 U.S. broadcast)
  • Joe Irwin[1] (season 6, U.S. broadcast)
  • Alisdair Simpson (pilot & series 1–2 UK broadcast)
  • Howard Ritchie (series 3–6 UK broadcast)
  • John Moore (pilot & series 1–6 Australian broadcast)
Music byJohnathan Thomas Miller
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons6
No. of episodes74
  • Tom McMahon
  • Thom Beers
Running time21 minutes
Production companyOriginal Productions
Original release
ReleaseMay 14, 2008 (2008-05-14) –
July 15, 2012 (2012-07-15)[2]
1000 Ways to Lie

Spike burned off the final four episodes, ending the series with the airing of "Death, The Final Frontier." 1000 Ways to Die was cancelled after the producers and stars of the show ran a strike against the network.[5]

Opening sequence edit

U.S. version of Warning

WARNING: The stories portrayed in this show are based on real deaths and are extremely graphic; names have been changed to protect the identities of the deceased. "Do not attempt to try ANY of the actions depicted...YOU WILL DIE!"

UK version of Warning

WARNING: The deaths portrayed in this show are based on real events; names have been changed to protect the identities of the deceased. Some of the dead were unlucky; many were bored; most were incredibly stupid. "Do not attempt to try ANY of the actions depicted...YOU WILL DIE!"[6]

First version (only used in the first two episodes)

"The human body is remarkably resilient; everyday we fight a new war against germs, toxins, injury, illness, catastrophe and calamity. The fact that we survive it all is a miracle; because everyday we live...we face 1000 Ways to Die."

Second version

"Death is everywhere...most of us try to avoid it, others can't get out of its way. Everyday we fight a new war against germs, toxins, injury, illness, and catastrophe. There's a lot of ways to end up dead, the fact that we survive it all is a miracle; because everyday we live...we face 1000 Ways to Die."

Stylization edit

1000 Ways to Die takes a tongue-in-cheek dark humor approach to death through its presentation of stories derived from both myths and science, and the show makes liberal use of artistic license to significantly embellish or change the circumstances of real-life incidents that resulted in death for greater entertainment value. Not only are the names changed, but also substantial amounts of the locations, dates and context. Four notable exceptions are the accurate descriptions of the deaths of Harry Houdini, Jack Daniel, Mary Mallon, and Sigurd Eysteinsson, although the latter's death was depicted as having occurred in Norway but in actuality it occurred in Scotland.

A frequently recurring motif is that of unsympathetic or unintelligent individuals' choices backfiring on them, resulting in death.

Some of the deaths resemble real life events they are based on, for example death No. 197 – "Dead Eye" was based on the real life death of Jon Desborough.

Some take enormous poetic license with the truth. For example, death No. 692 – "Gone Fission", a story of two hapless Yemeni terrorists in 2009, implausibly attempting to build an atomic bomb, was based on the real Demon Core accident involving U.S. scientist Harry Daghlian in 1945.

Some of the stories include elements of truth, for example No. 396 – "Onesie & Donesie," where an accident-prone TV shopping network host is injured by a collapsing ladder, stabbed by the tip of a broken katana, then finally burned to death when a onesie he is wearing catches fire. The ladder collapse happened to Harold McCoo on the Cable Value Network in 1988, although he was unhurt. The katana incident happened to Shawn Leflar on The Knife Collector's Show on the Shop at Home Network in 2001. However, the third part of the story is made up.

The show is filled with black humor (particularly in the narration) which tempers the otherwise somber theme of death. It portrays the deaths using live-action recreations of the events along with expert and sometimes witness testimony, also using graphic computer-generated imagery animations, similar to those used in the popular TV show CSI, to illustrate the ways people have died, similar to the "X-Ray moves" of the 2011 reboot of Mortal Kombat and Mortal Kombat X, due to them showing bones being fractured and organs being damaged. A narration provides background information within each death-story, which all end with titles that are puns on popular figures of speech.

Seasons edit

Season Episodes Premiere date Finale date
1 12 May 14, 2008 (2008-05-14) April 5, 2009 (2009-04-05)
2 12 December 6, 2009 (2009-12-06) February 24, 2010 (2010-02-24)
3 14 August 3, 2010 (2010-08-03) January 5, 2011 (2011-01-05)
4 16 February 8, 2011 (2011-02-08) August 29, 2011 (2011-08-29)
5 12 October 24, 2011 (2011-10-24) February 29, 2012 (2012-02-29)
6 8 March 12, 2012 (2012-03-12) July 15, 2012 (2012-07-15)

See also edit

  • 1000 Ways to Lie – A spin-off series to 1000 Ways to Die.
  • Final Destination – A horror film franchise which also feature people dying in an unusual manner.
  • Happy Tree Friends – An adult animated series which features cute cartoon animals dying in an unusual manner.
  • List of unusual deaths – Some of the deaths on this list served as inspiration for episode segments.

References edit

  1. ^ "1000 Ways To Die | Free Full Episodes". Spike. Retrieved March 15, 2013.
  2. ^ a b "1000 Ways to Die Episode Guide 2012 Season 6 – Death, the Final Frontier, Episode 8". TV Guide. Retrieved September 18, 2012.
  3. ^ Conroy, Tom (December 4, 2009). "'1000 Ways to Die,' this show being 1001". Media Life Magazine. Archived from the original on December 5, 2009. Retrieved August 13, 2011.
  4. ^ Episodes:
  5. ^ Verrier, Richard (February 29, 2012). "'1000 Ways to Die' halts production". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 29, 2012.
  6. ^ 1000 Ways to Die Season 1 Warning and Intro (UK Version), retrieved August 30, 2021

External links edit