When Mama was in charge, look out. A true visionary, she had the moxie and foresight to see that her wild-haired schemes came to fruition. Rest assured, there was never a dull moment when Mama was jamming the controls, and the “Live-Action Billboards” were no exception. As they became more sophisticated – they also grew more dangerous – by the day. Stunt performers worked eight-hour shifts ‘round the clock and saw it all: they wore jetpacks, wingsuits and bungee harnesses. Their job was to pitch product and entertain motorists, soaring across the Intestate horizons from 600 feet above. If you think there’s any chance of Hyper-Citation lightening up, think again. We were just getting started.

Jetpacks and Chimney Sweeps – Mama’s Lasting Legacy

Getting More Sophisticated – and Dangerous – by the Day

A lot of water has gone under the bridge since Mama departed the scene after rolling out “Live-Action Billboards” on the south side of Seattle.

Today, it doesn’t matter if it’s 842 Indie cars racing nonstop coast-to-coast on Interstate 70, or a cast of jet-propelled “Queen of Diamonds” card-riders over Atlantic City; Mama’s fingerprints are evident in all aspects of these breathtaking, mind-boggling, one-of-a-kind, high-flying displays.

She was always one to push the envelope.

Mama Really Knew What She Was Doing – And Still Does

When you’re dealing with the genius of the Crimpanfortis crowd, and especially Mama, you knew that things weren’t going to stand still. The pot was always going to be stirred. The same definitely held true for the evolution of “Live-Action Billboards.”

Under Mama’s resourceful watch, they went from being a novelty to cutting edge to edgy to heart-pounding to “you-can’t-be-serious” in record time.

From Diapers to Jetpacks – It’s all about the Show

Case in point was our diaper-clad friend, Murph the “Muffler Prince,” and his bulldog sidekick. What started as a staid, run-of-the-mill, two-dimensional billboard ultimately transformed into an extravagant Interstate display featuring a gigantic hydraulic lift, identical to the ones you see in automotive service bays, that was 10 times larger and raised to an elevation of 185 feet!

Mama just loved the bungee cord and had a thousand-and-one uses for it. Performance artists for Murph the “Muffler Prince” were soon hurtling toward the I-5 pavement, ending up perilously close to palpating motorists. It got really intense when performers began jousting with mufflers on their way down, then using them as crude pogo sticks to bounce along the Interstate. This went on 24 hours per day, seven days a week, rain or shine. The crew now consisted solely of stunt people. They also had to learn how to sing and dance–or at least pretend.

The Whole Freeway was her Stage

Mama didn’t stop with mufflers. She scoured the marketplace for products and services that lent themselves to the dynamics of a quality live-action presentation.

She rendered the freeway stage setting for North Roxborough Chimney Sweeps featuring the massive cutaway of a chimney with a spiral staircase leading to a brick-lined fantasy village. The sprawling panorama rose to a height of 205 feet. Fifty-six chimney sweeps interacted with the villagers 24/7 with lots of singing and dancing in clogs and pointy-toed boots–and of course bungee jumping. It evoked a Mary Poppins kind of feel, catering to the awestruck eyes of motorists who slowed to take a wondrous gander.

New Form of Advertising Takes Country by Storm

The Crimpanfortis organization aggressively expanded into other markets. Various products were presented in outrageous places, igniting the collective conscious of an enraptured public. Advertisers lined up for a piece of the action, a place in the sun.

It was just the beginning.

As we will see, one display after another, each more outrageous then the last, began rolling out resulting in the rollicking displays we are all familiar with today.

Just as long as Paymor Kalabrashion and his crew are kept at bay . . .