I forget by now if it was a phone call at my desk or an e-mail to my inbox. I also don’t remember who, exactly, contacted me first about it. All I remember was the rush of excitement that swept over me; the joy that overtook both the me of today and the me of 20 years ago. Someone had offered me an opportunity that left me slack-jawed.
I was going to meet a Power Ranger.
In the latest episode of our “Guinness World Records OMG!” YouTube series, On The Road, Oli White and I headed to Rosharron, Texas, to see if none other than the original Green Ranger himself, Jason David Frank, could break a record for the most pine boards broken in freefall.
You can watch how the whole thing went down here:
For me to be there and adjudicate that record was a stark reminder of how great this job can be. True story: as a kid, I was a dues-paying member of the official Power Rangers fan club (well, my mom paid the dues). My 10th birthday party? A trip to Pizza Hut followed by 10 of my friends going to see “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie.”
Before writing this piece, I went home to visit my parents, hoping to take a picture with the Green Ranger action figure I knew was still up in the attic. My dad told me he had taken it to a toy donation bin with a bunch of others a few months ago. I’m still trying to forgive him.
So, to have a chance to meet JDF (which I’m now referring to him as because we’re obviously new best friends) was – while maybe a level down from "dream come true" – certainly a highlight of my time at Guinness World Records. Look, there we are together!
The coolest thing about the whole experience – besides, you know, watching a Power Ranger punch boards in half WHILE FALLING THOUSANDS OF FEET FROM THE SKY – was seeing how JDF embraced his history and his fandom.
How many cult actors or child stars immediately try to distance themselves from their most famous project? It’s like they feel ashamed of the work they did. But, as you see in the video above, JDF still embraces the Power Ranger legacy.
He talks about it openly, jokes about it freely. For crying out loud, he spray-painted his hair green just for the attempt. Judging this attempt could’ve easily turned into me meeting a legitimate childhood idol, only to learn he’d grown bitter and full of contempt for playing a role that provided a seminal part of my youth.
Instead, he was a great guy, a fun and gracious person, and now an official Guinness World Records holder.
I’d say it was a perfect experience, but really, part of me deep down had hoped Goldar would come to try and foil the attempt, only to have us defeat him and a bunch of Putties with our coordinated martial arts attack.
Alas, this will have to do.