Stunt comedian Wacky Chad bounces into the Festival of the Arts in Oklahoma City

Bostonian Chadd Deitz is doing handstands on a skateboard, pedaling a toddler-size bike and backflipping on a pogo stick as the official street performer of this year’s festival.
by Brandy McDonnell Modified: April 25, 2014 at 11:05 pm •  Published: April 26, 2014

With perfect poise and balance, Chadd Deitz cruised across the concrete behind Stage Center on his bright orange skateboard.

The poise and balance came in handy since he happened to be doing a handstand at the time.

And that was just for starters as the stunt comedian known as Wacky Chad pedaled a toddler-size bicycle while a 10-year-old boy perched on his shoulders, juggled atop a 9-foot-tall unicycle and bounded above the heads of the crowd on a large pogo stick.

The multitalented Bostonian, 29, ended his Friday afternoon performance at the Festival of the Arts with a backflip on the bouncing orange apparatus, a finale that got the dozens of festivalgoers that gathered on the grass, curbs and bleachers cheering enthusiastically.

“Come on, people, high fives! I’m alive!” Wacky Chad crowed, running around slapping hands with his audience after he landed his last trick following a bit of technical difficulties.

He wasn’t entirely joking when he delivered the wisecrack.

“Every time I perform a show, I’m risking my life, and I’m doing tricks that took me 10 years of my life (to learn),” he said after the show. “If our job was easy, then it wouldn’t be a job, you know. That’s the thing about it: It’s dangerous and that’s why people do it.”

Bouncing into festival

Every year, festival organizers at the Arts Council of Oklahoma City invite a crowd-pleasing entertainer to be the event’s official street performer. Program director Christina Foss said festivalgoers this year have enjoyed Wacky Chad’s quick, quirky quips and jaw-dropping pogo stick tricks.

The venerable downtown “rite of spring” marks Deitz’s first Oklahoma gig; he is performing three shows a day during the festival, which runs through Sunday.

“Really good audiences. The afternoon shows, a little hot, but the audiences are still with me and they want to watch. But the late-night shows are really kicking it; they’re really doing well,” he said, adding he executed a difficult trick called a wraparound on his pogo stick Thursday night.

“I was able to pull off a stunt that I don’t normally do, because the audience was there, the energy was there. ... The audience was relaxed, they all wanted to watch my show, I had filtered out all of the impatient people that are like ‘Do a trick, do a backflip.’”

Jumping into a career

The Syracuse, N.Y., native has been working as a stunt comedian for about a decade, starting out as a 19-year-old who casually accepted a request to play a child’s birthday party for $50.

“I was a mouse at Chuck E Cheese, so I kind of knew how to skateboard and unicycle,” he said.

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by Brandy McDonnell
Entertainment Reporter
Brandy McDonnell, also known by her initials BAM, writes stories and reviews on movies, music, the arts and other aspects of entertainment. She is NewsOK’s top blogger: Her 4-year-old entertainment news blog, BAM’s Blog, has notched more than 1...
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GOING ON

Festival of the Arts

•When: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday

Where: In the Festival Plaza, on Hudson Avenue and at the Myriad Gardens

Wacky Chad performances: 1 to 1:30 p.m., 3 to 3:30 p.m. and 7:45 to 8:15 p.m. Saturday and 12:30 to 1 p.m., 2:30 to 3 p.m. and 4 to 4:30 p.m. Sunday behind Stage Center

Admission: Free. Pets are not allowed

Information: 270-4848 or www.artscouncilokc.com

ON NEWSOK

To see a video

of Wacky

Chad’s Festival

of the Arts

performances,

go to NewsOK.com.

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