If you remember Bumfights, you’ll definitely remember Rufus.
A while back, before YouTube was around, I got given a copied DVD with BUMFIGHTS scrawled across it in scruffy handwriting. They were the days. The video unsurprisingly came under great scrutiny. If you haven’t seen it, basically, some guys went around paying homeless people to do stupid shit or fight each other. Now you can see why some people hated it.
The main ‘star’ of the show was Rufus Hannah, aka Rufus The Stunt Bum.
It was pretty sad to watch to be honest. I won’t lie, I did laugh at some parts, but it was impossible to escape the guilt for watching this guy be continuously exploited.
Rufus was a homeless alcoholic, who was paid an average of $10 per stunt, which, when you see them, really aren’t worth the money. He once hit his head against a steel door so badly that he now suffers from epilepsy.
The Bumfights video is actually banned in the UK and the US, but it can still be found online. Somebody made a montage of some of the ‘stunts’ that Rufus did.
Being honest, I hadn’t thought about Rufus in a while (a LONG while), but imgur user PsychoDK posted that he had been looking him up online and found some things out.
While PsychoDK and many people (myself included) half expected Rufus to be dead by now, it turns out he has completely changed his life.
He’s been sober since 2003, and is now working full time as a property manager, and also an advocate for homeless rights.
In 2010 he wrote a book, ‘A Bum Deal: An Unlikely Journey from Hopeless to Humanitarian’, talking about his decline to become a homeless alcoholic, his time with the ‘Bum Fights Krew’, and his battle to get sober.
It’s great to see him doing so well now. What a story!