The Yogi Kudu is in the box

Back when I was a whee boy there was a show on tv called “That’s Incredible.”

My favorite feature was when Fran Tarkenton and the very bodacious Cathy Lee Crosby would marvel over the antics of the inimicable Yogi Kudu.

YK was a unique daredevil, a purist. All his stunts occured by cramming himself into a box. He was a normal sized man, but he’d cram himself into a two foot square box, and then stay in there.

These leads to the coining of one of the most salient phrases ever uttered:

“The Yogi Kudu has now been in the box for 8 minutes.”

Sometimes they would do things with the box.

For example, if I am recalling one episode correctly, they once took the glass box containing a folded and crammed YK plainly visible, and through it into the bottom of a pool.

Again, if I am recalling correctly, YK stayed in his box at the bottom of the pool for more than fifteen minutes.

Now I’ve been reading James Randi’s informative book Flim-flam, and just finished the chapter on meditation (particularly TM) wherein he goes about debunking Yogis.

Randi makes a strong case that meditation is BS in terms of its claimed unique metabolic effects and supperpowers.

On the other hand, the Yogi Kudu stayed in his box at the bottom of the pool for fifteen minutes.

Shouldn’t this qualify for Randi’s 1 million dollar challenge?

Or, was the Yogi Kudu perpetuating a scam with the help of “That’s Incredible?” kathy Lee, say it isn’t so!

Whatever happened to the Yogi Kudu?

I tried a websearch, and I was only able to find some vague passing mention of this guy. Oh, and I found that apparently there was a band called Kudu that made a song “in the box,” so I guess that means I’m not hallucinating.

Perhaps you websearchers can do a better job than I in finding facts.

Personally, I would think that if YK could compress himself into his box and sit in a an airless prison for 15 minutes without artifice that that makes a strong argument for the claims of his discipline.

Scylla, I can be of no help beyond saying I remember the show. I remember Fran was doing commercials for baby shampoo about that same time and that his pronunciation of “harsh” was weird. I also remember thinking he didn’t have all that much hair to wash anyway. I also remember Cathie Lee (I can accept any of your spellings, too) and her oddly Maria Schriver (Ms. Arnold) look, and her being in something like Wonder Woman around that same time.

I don’t remember the Yogi Kudu, but I wasn’t a “must watch” fan of the show. Must have missed it.

Was YK anything like Super Dave Osborne? (He’s Albert Brooks’s brother, you know)

Somehow your description has conjured up the image of Dave Madden (was it?) riding the tricycle with the raincoat on on Laugh In.

Sorry I can’t help. And for butting in with the hijack.

Don’t know about Kathy Lee, but Time and TV Guide had something to say:

That’s Incredible…and it was

Unfortunately I have nothing much to add, except to say I remember the guy who would put himself into a box as well (I didn’t recall his name though). You definitely didn’t hallucinate the whole thing (unless we shared the same hallucinations :)). I saw the epicode where they put the box in a water tank (I didn’t see the pool stunt but it would be similar). I seem to recall it was for 10 min. though. It always looked SO uncomfortable it would give me shudders watching him fold himself up into those tiny boxes.

Even if it was totally legitimate though, I’m not sure if this would qualify for J Randi’s million though. To me (if it wasn’t a fake) it was a purely physical thing. Certainly some people can control their breathing and heart rate through various training. There would be SOME air in the box, and if the Yogi could control his breathing rate, I don’t see why he wouldn’t be able to survive for 10 or 15 min on just the air in the box.

This actually sounds like a good subject for The Master. What ever happened to the YK, and was he legit or a fake?


I hope this isn’t a hijack, since it relates to the OP in a way, but there’s news that David Blaine (the street magician who has done several stunts such as the Yogi Kudu is credited with) is preparing to go for an extended period with no food.

I’d post the link (which is at Yahoo! as I type) but fear it will be gone too soon to serve as worth keeping in this thread. But here are some keywords if you want to look it up for yourself:

Blaine Trying to Go 6 Weeks Without Food
1 hour, 23 minutes ago

LONDON - For his latest trick, magician David Blaine will try to last more than six weeks without food in a plastic box suspended high over central London.


Oddly enough, I just read an autobiographical treatment by Blaine which detailed some of his more yogi-like stunts.

For a review of the book go here.