Watch Ben Stiller Get Shot Out of a Cannon on 'Letterman' - Rolling Stone
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Watch Ben Stiller Get Shot Out of a Cannon on ‘Letterman’

Actor fails to imitate high-flying grace of Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus’ own Gemma, the Human Cannonball

David Letterman still has some time before his Late Show tenure ends with a bang, but ahead of the May finale, the longtime host has already started breaking out the big guns. On Monday, Letterman enlisted Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus to set up a massive cannon outside the Ed Sullivan Theater, where it fired both Gemma, the Human Cannonball, and Ben Stiller, the Human Goofus, down 53rd Street in Manhattan.

Before she took flight, Gemma Kirby, already a pro at age 25, explained to Letterman proper human projectile technique and that, upon discharge, she goes from zero to 65 miles an hour in a quarter of a second and hits an elevation of about 40 feet. Following the Ringmaster’s official countdown, Gemma flew down the block, completing a half flip, and hitting her mark with grace and ease.

Stiller, however, did not fare as well. The actor, on hand to promote his upcoming film While We’re Young, surprised Letterman after their interview by popping up inside the cannon — though his trip through the air ended not on an inflatable cushion, but the hood of a cab. Albeit a bit dazed and bloody, Stiller gave Letterman the thumbs up, assuring the host, “I’m good, Jimmy! Hey, congrats on the new show, you’re killing it, man.”

Along with While We’re Young, which once again finds Stiller teaming up with Noah Baumbach, the actor has a bit role in the new Comedy Central series, Big Time in Hollywood, FL, which he’s also executive producing. Stiller’s biggest upcoming project, however, is Zoolander 2, the long-awaited sequel to his 2001 comedy about the glamorous — and nefarious — world of male modeling, which he and co-star Owen Wilson announced on the runways at Paris Fashion Week.


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