Count Dante (Kung Fail)

Yeah, you’re reading the title of the video correctly: Count Dante—Deadliest Man in the World/Arsonist Karate Hairdresser.

For this video, let us go back to the late 60s and early 70s”.

A time of social and cultural upheaval and malaise caused by the Vietnam War and the generation gap, women that still had natural breasts and retained some semblance of femininity, and killer sideburns. If you were a young man reading comics, the back pages of said funny books would have had a lot of ads for various mail-in products. Of course there’s always the old reliable toys and gimmicks: X-Ray Specs and sea monkeys and occasionally ACTUAL monkeys *pause sound effect, chipmunk voice NOTE, DO NOT MAIL ACTUAL MONKEYS. IT UPSETS THEM*, but the 60s and 70s were ALSO a time period of a newfound Western interest in the culture of the exotic Far East, in particular the martial arts.

And you know what that means!

…Dante was not a count, or even a Dante for that matter. Born John Keehan in 1930s Chicago, he…actually was a legitimate martial artist! He started out as an amateur boxer, and then went into karate, obtaining a second degree black belt and legitimately became the director of the United States Karate Association.

He organized tournaments that included such luminaries as Ed Parker and even a young Bruce Lee. Also notable is that he was one of the first senseis that accepted students of all races and ethnicities.

He also worked as a hairdresser…

…Fittingly for a man who would shortly be advertising in comic books, he made up a backstory to go with his new name that was quite comic booky: he claimed that his name all along was Juan Dante, and that his name change was to avoid political persecution, as his parents were noble fugitives fleeing Spain during the Civil War

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About Larsen Halleck

Larsen Halleck is a physical culturist, martial artist, musician, writer, and (barely) a video reviewer and cartoonist a man of many talents and moderate wages corresponding to said talents. You can also follow him on Twitter, on Gab or on his Youtube channel where he gives how-tos on fitness/martial arts, and talks nerd stuff.