Punkin Chunkin premieres Dec. 4 on Discovery Channel

It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s a… pumpkin? Projectile pumpkins are the stars of PUNKIN CHUNKIN, a one-hour “man meets machine meets mayhem” special premiering on Discovery Channel on Sunday, Dec. 4 at 8 p.m. ET/PT.  

Staged in a Delaware cornfield, PUNKIN CHUNKIN is an annual extravaganza where teams (and more than 30,000 fans) gather to see whose homemade contraption can propel a pumpkin the farthest.

Viewers go behind the firing line at the 2011 event, getting up close and personal with the explosive contraptions and personalities that make PUNKIN CHUNKIN define “gourd glory.” Then, viewers can swap pumpkin mash for heavy metal with the premiere of FLYING ANVILS at 9 p.m. ET/PT.

No strangers to explosions of all sorts, MYTHBUSTERS’ Kari Byron, Grant Imahara, and Tory Belleci join as hosts of PUNKIN CHUNKIN, going inside the madness to uncover the singular subcultures of these passionate participants. Now in its 26th year of competition, PUNKIN CHUNKIN has become a pop culture phenomenon, inspiring countless backyard warriors to recreate the wacky rituals that make up this lively event.

The World Championship Punkin Chunkin Association (WCPCA) hosts the PUNKIN CHUNKIN event annually in Sussex County Delaware to benefit a number of charitable organizations including St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. Every fall, the competition showcases the backyard “engi-nerds” and basement tinkerers who work year-round to fine-tune the next champion chunker.

The competition is divided into categories defined by the type of machine used such as air cannons, centrifuges and colossal catapults. This year, the chase continues for the never-before-accomplished feat of launching a pumpkin one full mile (1.6km). The current world record is 4,483 feet (1,366 meters), approximately 800 feet short of a mile (244 meters). The 2010 Chunk marked the first year in WCPCA history that an all-female team – aptly named “Hormone Blaster” – took home the top trophy. This year promises even more intense, nail-biting excitement as 2009 champions “Big 10 Inch” attempt to dethrone the lady chunkers with other hungry teams at their heels. Could this be the year that one team hits the coveted one-mile mark and is crowned the greatest chunker ever?

Then, take two anvils, add a pile of gunpowder and ignite. The high-flying explosive entertainment continues at 9 p.m. ET/10 p.m. PT with the one-hour special FLYING ANVILS. What might seem like a recipe for disaster is actually the formula for high-flying, explosive fun. FLYING ANVILS joins the ranks of one-of-a-kind, extreme engineering events like PUNKIN CHUNKIN that tests the boundaries of physics – and good judgment!

Hosted by Tory Belleci of MYTHBUSTERS, FLYING ANVILS explores the culture of anvil shooting and focuses on the premiere event, the national 2011 U.S. Anvil Shooting Championship, where fanatic anvil crafters see who can design the most aerodynamic piece of steel and launch it the highest. Teams from around the country gather to compete in a pyrotechnics playground that seemingly defies both physics and common sense.  The annual competition features a marquee event in which contestants fire a 45-kilogram anvil off another using .5-kgs of gunpowder.  In a second, super-modified event, teams use specially engineered anvils with 1-kg of gunpowder to send anvils flying in excess of 150 meters in the air.

Serving as host and tour guide, Belleci takes the audience on a wild ride through the behind-the-scenes practices of this addictively bizarre sport, where each team’s anvil launch is scored based on height and accuracy.  Belleci introduces viewers to an eclectic cast of characters, including 20-year competition veteran Gay Wilkinson, whose house is a veritable anvil-shooting museum; as well as mechanical engineer Mark Bollinger, who relies on a highly-scientific approach to take his anvils to new heights.

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