Eccentric Ways Americans Have Fun

Dave Mordal has done a lot of things in his life. He’s been a Marine, a heavy-equipment operator and a standup comic, appearing for two seasons on Last Comic Standing. But an alligator wrestler? “It was hard,” he says of the experience. “I have a morbid fear of alligators.” And no, he says, he doesn’t feel any less terrified after getting up close and personal with one while filming an episode of Wreckreation Nation, airing Tuesdays beginning Jan. 6 on Discovery Channel.

What makes this show so delightful are the dedicated competitors and Mordal’s enthusiastic participation in all the events, including laying hands on a reptile that makes his knees go weak. In the series, he also takes part in such odd competitions as downhill bar stool skiing, lawn mower racing, “punkin chuckin” and fighting with a gang of Dark Age barbarian mercenaries.

And what’s with the strange title? “The series is named Wreckreation Nation because we wreck a lot of stuff. It’s a lot of demolition derbies, stuff flipping over. Sometimes that’s intentional, sometimes not,” Mordal says. “[The series] explores the way Americans have fun on the weekends without spending a lot of money. It’s sports without sponsors.”