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The In Living Color Guide

Fire Marshal Bill

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Fire Marshal Bill Burns is one of the most popular fictional characters to emerge from the sketch comedy show In Living Color. He was portrayed by actor Jim Carrey and appeared in 10+ sketches. He is the only character to appear consistently throughout all 5 seasons of ILC.

A common sketch would be for Fire Marshal Bill to appear unexpectedly then show how unsafe ordinary activities were by showing himself engaging in off-the-wall, dangerous activities which he responded with "LEMME SHOW YA SOMETHIN!!!!" Examples included where he warned against drinking cocktails on a cruise liner because it would be dangerous if one was holding a vial of hydrochloric acid in the other hand. The climax of the sketch occurred when he would perform the most destructive act involving explosives which would inevitably destroy the set, only to have people running for their lives and his response '"Do not panic, I am a fire marshal!" before the expected destruction. Despite sometimes losing limbs(in one sketch, only his head was left) Fire Marshal Bill was never killed, as he was then seen among those forced out of the destroyed structure. His immortality also lends itself to long life as he apparently performed the same standard of service as a fire marshall on the Titanic as in his own words "Unsinkable? I showed them". The character is widely known to have been modeled as a caricature of Mr. Rogers. The idea was suggested to Carrey by longtime friend and fellow actor Daniel Lichtblau.

"Fire Marshal Bill" is a term used to describe someone who is engaging in very risky behavior, such as a man who smokes a cigarette while pumping gas.

Examples of Fire Marshal Bill's destructionEdit

  • Lighting the pilot light when a meteor shower occurred, burning down a house.
  • Injecting himself with nitroglycerin and then Farting, resulting in an explosion destroying a hospital.
  • Arming the self-destruct sequence on a futuristic space station, vaporizing it.
  • Defusing a plastic explosive only to send it to a cruise liner's engine room, reigniting it and forcing everyone to abandon ship.
  • Throwing a grenade into a fireplace during a Christmas party.
  • Throwing an explosive in a bar during the Super Bowl, blowing the bar up.
  • Chopping off his thumb for no reason.
  • Blowing up a blimp. A video of the Hindenburg's explosion was shown after.
  • Stop, drop and rolling on thumbtacks.
  • Setting a fish tank on fire using gasoline.
  • Plowing a Barbie Power Wheels through a wall.
  • Dipping his hand in liquid nitrogen then smashing it with a hammer.
  • Plugging in a projector while standing in a tub of water.
  • Doing a self operation extracting his intestines and a TV remote then stapling himself shut.
  • Amputating his own leg.
  • Drinking an alien from a jar and having it burst from his stomach.
  • Pouring Gatorade on himself while holding a microphone in his mouth causing him to blow up into a big screen TV.
  • Having people throw darts at his face.
  • Sucking laughing gas then shocking his ear and mouth with a defibrillator.
  • Burning his face on a skillet.
  • Chopping off his fingers while preparing stir-fry.
  • Slamming his hand in a door on purpose.
  • Drinking acid which caused his teeth to launch out of his mouth and onto the chin of a bride.
  • Jamming an orange in the vibrating bed.
  • Bouncing on the bed causing him to be impaled on the ceiling lights.
  • Inflating a sex doll with Hydrogen and igniting it with static electricity blowing up a hotel.
  • Slamming his hand in a waffle iron.
  • Sticking his foot under a tree getting it caught in a bear trap.
  • Replacing a snowman nose with lit dynamite.
  • Jabbing a sea urchin in his eye.
  • Squeezing a lemon wedge in his eye.
  • Shoving and churning his hand through a meat grinder.
  • Roasting a marshmallow using his index finger
  • Igniting a petrol bomb and dropping it onto his foot

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