I worked as a knight for four years at Medieval Times in the Buena Park, CA (the company's busiest castle). I rode horses and fought with swords! AMA

Comments: 1588 • Responses: 70  • Date: 

ItsOppositeDayHere347 karma

Holy shit, they should open up a Medieval Times but like...set in the future, you know? Like spacemen fighting with lightsabres and shit, drinking space beer and tang and shit.

...don't you think?

LateKnight287 karma

Yes I do.

I also want to see something like a Gladiator Times. The knights talk about that a lot. I think we just look for any excuse we can to be more horrendously violent at any turn.

Hollywood Wax Museum across the street has been vacant for years. We're so close... it'll happen.

neanderthalman54 karma

This could work. I mean really really work. Toga parties were king in school, so there's an element of nostalgia there as well. Encourage guests to wrap up in a bedsheet like they're a freshman again. Print simple instructions on the back of the ticket for those who never did.

Scary_the_clown mentioned making it adults only. That might make for an excellent show, but from a business perspective it cuts down on the available clientèle. Of course, if instead of a "dinner and theater" type show, it's more of "live entertainment at a bar" type show, then making it adults only could heap massive profits on alcohol. As a bonus it would not be a direct competitor to Medieval Times.

Or do two shows. One family friendly dinner show, then the evening adults-only show.

LateKnight72 karma

Indeed. Maybe a slightly smaller venue and more shows. Pack in the adults, liquor them up, and let them watch the blood fly.

I'm telling you, I have always loved this idea.

spacekitteh267 karma

I must shamefully admit that as a kid, I wholly and completely believed that Medieval Times was real. I knew that it was a show put on for the entertainment of the audience, but I still believed that people died. In my 8 year old mind I couldn't piece together the logistics of how it was acceptable to have someone die every single show.

So I guess what I'm trying to say is, thanks for keeping the magic alive. And distorting my views of the world. You're right up there with Santa Claus in my memories.

LateKnight301 karma

SO DID I! And working there, I can't tell you how often I had to console a crying kid who's dad was telling them, "It's alright! See? He's fine!"

nocubir230 karma

Dun dun duuun duuun duuun duun duuun dun dun duuun dun...

Dun dun duuun duuun duun duuun duun dun dun duuun dun...

Prrrrrrrrr rraaa

Prrrr ra.

Prrrrrr rrraaaa

Prrr ra....

LateKnight261 karma

I can not overstate the persecution my people have underwent because of films like Cable Guy and Garden State. Those are ugly stereotypes. WE SHALL OVERCOME.

nocubir41 karma

You're the Red Knight aren't you? The Red Knight sucks the big one.


Seriously though - when was Medieval Times in Garden State?

LateKnight90 karma

Green Knight mostly, and I agreeeeee with you.

There were characters in Garden State that worked for the Jersey castle. They took their armor home with them. They never let us do that! As much as we might try.

BeerGoggles71 karma

"But Mark, he's a knight."

"He's just a fast food knight."

and more importantly.. "You have balls on your forehead."

Even though the movie may not be true to the real life workings of the knights of medieval times, that part is still pretty hilarious!

LateKnight132 karma

I always thought it was funny when one of the knights would get defensive about our portrayals in film. "It's not like that at all! You can't take your armor home with you."

Yes. Because the point of Garden State was an accurate portrayal of life WORKING FOR MEDIEVAL TIMES.

masturbating_fetuses50 karma

The Green Knight I saw in SoCal was dual wielding swords and it. was. hot.

Did you dual wield?

edit: omfg. dual. not duel. wtf brain.

LateKnight114 karma

There is one part of the final fight in the new show (the one out now) where the green knight and the champion gets to do a dual-wielding battle. I always really liked that part, but I wished it lasted longer. People got so amped up when you take two swords in your hands, and then it's over so quickly.

Like so many things.

nocubir11 karma

Ah I remember now.......

So did you know how to ride before working there?

LateKnight58 karma

Not at all. But by the time I left I was pretty proficient at riding and could do some basic dressage.

Our style of riding is kind of a mix of different styles, so it doesn't always help to know what you're doing when you first start. Experienced people try to ride with strict English or Western styles, and our horses aren't used to it. They get all squirrely and freaked out.

I've seen a few "experienced" riders get thrown by our calmest horses.

AnimalLands184 karma

How much action did you get?

LateKnight482 karma

Women LOVE horses. I don't know what it is. They see you on a horse, and it doesn't matter what else you have going on. You're in. At the bar upstairs (the KNIGHT CLUB), after the show, it's open season.

I MIGHT have banged a princess or two.

AnimalLands122 karma

Awesome. I totally had crushes on the knights at my local place when I was younger. (I'm a verifiable female)

Craziest story? It seems like you took advantage of your position.

LateKnight383 karma

I don't want to say I took ADVANTAGE, but it definitely improved my average.

I hate to say it, but the princesses were the most shocking part. Theater girls, plus the whole workplace romance thing, plus the knight factor, and that leaves you with about ONE princess during my time there that didn't sleep with at least a couple of the knights.

This, for me, culminated after one of the holiday parties at the castle. I had been... "seeing"... one of them for a while, and she invited me over to her place. A few other knights and princesses were there. One of the princesses was her friend, and the three of us started to gradually move away from the party. Eventually everyone left, the three of us were in her room, and nature took its course.

I would say, in that instance, I was the one being taken advantage of. Vigorously.

mdonell20206 karma

So--The Tudors, basically.

LateKnight305 karma

Basically. EXACTLY.

Spysix129 karma

I want to be a knight now...

LateKnight177 karma

DO IT. It was an awesome experience. Just get out in a couple years. Don't wait for your body to break.

n1rvous186 karma

Don't wait for your body to break.

What body parts broke exactly, other than your penis from having threesomes with princesses

LateKnight179 karma

As I've said, it's just the constant stunts wearing you down over time. Your joints ache, I've seen people who have back problems, neck problems, and by the time those things develop they've been with the company so long they have no other skills and are kind of screwed. They get relegated to another position in the company, maybe bartender or something, but that eventually ends too when the company's done with them.

Personally, and thankfully, I avoided grievous injury. I sprained an ankle pretty bad one time and a DICK of a horse kicked in the thigh so hard I had trouble walking for a month. I got hit in the head with a sword a few times, took a ball and chain to the face (not swinging)...

Once I was skewered on a flag during on of the games. Gave me a scar across my stomach right through the THICK leather belt. That was pretty intense.

SaintsSinner115 karma

I was an up and coming knight at the Myrtle Beach Medieval Times, and I can confirm the validity of this statement... Theater girls, even the waitstaff that gets to parade out during the show, all very interested in knight penis.

LateKnight123 karma

Yeah, I forgot to mention the servers. That's fair game as well.

SensibleRedditor135 karma

There were no utensils in medieval times, hence there are no utensils AT Medieval Times.

So why is there Pepsi?

LateKnight457 karma

There WERE utensils in medieval times. There aren't utensils AT Medieval Times because a kitchen staff doesn't want to have to wash 1300 place settings every show.

There is Pepsi because it is DELICIOUS.

SensibleRedditor74 karma

I love you.

One real question. I have been a few times, but don't remember the details. Do you guys switch up who is the Green/Black/etc. Knight? And who gets to win the tournament?

And how long does it take to learn how to speak in Medieval tongue?

LateKnight238 karma

The longer you've been working there, the more you've trained so the more spots you can learn. You start out with the easy fights (you die quick), then you learn different weapons and can do different spots. Eventually, when you've been there long enough (and you're as good as me!) you can do every spot in the show.

Each show is planned out by the Head Knight when you come in for the day, so everyone knows who's winning that night. If you have friends coming to see you, you usually request to win. I always asked to be Green. The villain's more fun.

It takes none (0) seconds to learn to fake a British accent.

Corrupt_Reverend54 karma

They brought me a fork when I asked them.

LateKnight113 karma

Yes they will! My mom came to see me a couple times. She brought her own. There is always a way around the system.

yawetag1299 karma

Take us through a typical day or week with the job.

LateKnight155 karma

You show up around 2pm and change into your training gear (usually a training shirt and the SHINY TIGHTS). We stretch, do a little physical training, then get into practice.

For the most part, that's broken into an hour or so of riding for the squires (and as a refresher for the knights) followed by fight practice. The choreography is really intense and very specific so we can avoid injury (really the name of the game there), so most of the practice is taken up by the squires learning the fights to become knights and the knights practicing the fights so they don't get sloppy. That's a real uphill climb. The more you do the fights, the more complacent you get, and you get sloppy and dangerous.

Then we have about an hour break before the show. We spend the half-hour before the show getting all the horses ready and getting into costume, and then it's showtime.

Days with multiple shows are different. Less practice, or sometimes we'll play volleyball or a special Medieval Times game called FloBall. Saturdays we had no practice. Just show after show after show. Exhausting. But, in a way, always nice to not have to practice.

DeaditeAsh66 karma

What is FloBall?

LateKnight109 karma

It's not completely original or anything, but it's really fun when you're doing it instead of practicing.

Basically we stick two of the wooden flags standing up at each end of the arena. Two teams of about six people, and a soccer ball. The idea is to knock the flag over with the ball. If you're holding the ball and whack it over, one point. If you throw it and knock it down, 3.

There's passing and running, and if the ball hits the sand it changes possession. It's a really good way to get thirteen people who don't feel like doing much to do sprints across the sand for an hour or so.

KryptKat97 karma

I'm a regular "actor" at Renaissance faires. I do the wars, train with the weapons, choreograph fights, and know the difference between a Paul Chen and a BKS, while actively interacting with the public.

How can I get a job doing this? Are there any requirements? Seriously, his sounds like the most kickass thing ever.

LateKnight171 karma

Go to the castle, find the office, and ask for an application. Fill it out, and ask to talk to the Head Knight. DON'T hand it off to the receptionist, as it will get mixed up with all the server applications and you might never hear anything.

As I've said, as long as they're currently hiring (which, if they're not, they will be soon. High turn-around), and as long as you're able-bodied, you can get a job there. Easy.

KryptKat105 karma

Thank you, kind sir. Living in San Diego, I'll be applying to the very same castle. Maybe I'll get to fight some of your old buddies :)

Seriously though, I've upvoted every post of yours in this thread. Every response is witty, informative, and downright entertaining. Thank you.

LateKnight215 karma

Fight them. Destroy them!

And thanks!

mdonell2096 karma

I still cannot believe that a place like Medieval Times exists. How such a seemingly inane business idea took off continues to perplex me.

IterativeLoop60 karma

People like to fantasize, you know? And they enjoy it even more when someone else does it for them.

mdonell2076 karma

I agree. But imagine yourself in a suit, with some foam boards, in a conference room, trying to pitch this idea to a bunch of venture capitalists.

LateKnight213 karma

They were a group of LITERAL Spanish royalty. They were already rich, and they started the first castle in Spain, which was apparently extremely popular (each Medieval Times castle is a "spanish" castle).

mdonell20128 karma

There is no way this is true.

edit: wtf. it is.

LateKnight205 karma

The owner of the company is named Don Pedro. Don is a title. No joke.

mdonell20102 karma

Medieval Times just became that much more mystical to me.

edit: I still cannot wrap my head around this.

LateKnight219 karma

It gets better! Originally, the partners the Spanish Don accumulated in the beginning had a falling out. One of them went off on his own venture, and now is the head of Pirates! Dinner Adventure right next door. There's some real bad blood there. A friend of mine almost got fired because he was training to become a pirate in his offtime.

MEGC227 karma

Legitimate Pirates vs. Knights action.

Best. AMA. Ever.

LateKnight267 karma

I'm considering opening up Ninjas Battle Dining on the other side. That'll get us the hat trick.

LateKnight267 karma

I'm considering opening up Ninjas Battle Dining on the other side. That'll get us the hat trick.

tehvagcanno46 karma

I have been to both (the buena park location), and I have to say Medieval Times kicks the shit out of pirates every single day of the week. I still asked to go there for my birthday all the way up until I had to start paying for my own damn birthday parties. I probably saw you perform at least once.

LateKnight176 karma

I saw the Pirates show. It's definitely more kid-oriented. They've been talking about putting an "adult" show in for a long time at Medieval. More revealing costumes for the wenches, a bunch of strippers running around for some reason or other that is VAGUELY Medieval-related, but most importantly the knights were going to get to do MUCH more brutal stuff in the show. Slitting throats and using blood packs and things.

I'd still go back and see that.

FG_SF89 karma

It's not MT, but at the MT-style show at Camelot in Vegas, we got seated in the Black Knight's section. My friends and I screamed and booed the other knights so voraciously that they flipped us off & gave us the "I've got my eyes on you" hand signal. It made the night even better.

Do you have any favorite crowd interaction moments that don't involve some moron hopping the barrier?

LateKnight232 karma

Jesus God! They flipped you off?! I can't believe that! I want to work THERE!

I got booed all the time, being the bad guy so much, but it was all part of the show. I never actually got mad at anyone unless they were throwing shit into the arena (which happened a lot). If people were booing me, I was doing my job right. The best nights were the nights when everyone in the crowd hated my guts and everyone in the Green section cheered me on.

My favorite thing to do was ride along the wall near other sections and wait for someone to boo me really distinctly form the front row. I'd stop my horse dead, turn really slowly and give them the murder-stare. They shrunk away into their seats, everyone else in the crowd laughed and thought it was great, then I'd ride away.

A knight friend of mine once had a pair of panties thrown at him from the audience. THAT'S some audience interaction.

Arlieth85 karma

This has got to be one of the most entertaining AMA's I've ever read, next to Ken Jennings's.

I watched this show about ten years ago with some friends of mine in Buena Park (back when Southern Hills Golfland was still around and was the king of arcades) and loved every minute of it. Our "wench-for-the-evening" introduced herself to us bored and formally... until she noticed my very-fit-and-manly-friend and she went from a very bored wench to very enthusiastic one. >_>

Please let us know when the show gets changed up :D

LateKnight108 karma

Oh you'll know. You'll see those awesome commercials all over the place. MEDIEVAL TIMES DINNER AND TOURNAMENT! COME CHECK THIS SHIT OUT.

I don't think that's the actual tagline... but it's in-your-face.

billybob200181 karma

what was the pay? what are you doing now?

LateKnight226 karma

The pay was okay, the knights pretty much cap out at around $21 an hour. You start out at around 10 as a squire, then work your way up. I will say this, we were not in ANY WAY getting paid what we deserved. Any other performer at our level would be in a union and be getting paid well enough to live. Medieval Times crushed unions, through threats or firings. That part was always pretty dire.

I'm doing this and that now, nothing super steady. It's hard to lateral out of that skill set. "Oh, you can ride horses and know how to swing a horseback sword. Excellent. how are you with Excel?"

pdxpoly325 karma

You should tell them that Excel is a traitor and will die by your hand.

LateKnight316 karma

I never get past the "burying the battleaxe in their desk" stage of the interview. You'd think more employers would respond to that kind of zeal.

sandusky_hohoho91 karma

I was a server at a Medieval times. I made, on average about $120-$140 per show. I also felt like the knights where getting screwed. They worked way harder than me, got injured all the time, and got paid roughly half as much :-/

But hey, what can I say? Parents pay good money for a man in tights to tell their kid that they are eating a baby dragon.

LateKnight154 karma

Exactly. There was no tipping system in place for knights. I wanted to tie a little bucket to my horse and ride real close to the wall. They said no.

The servers were cool people too. I'm still dating one.

funsizedsamurai80 karma

from a female perspective, all you guys are really f*in hot. Sorry, but that seems to do it for me. I went to the one in toronto, what a great show.

LateKnight169 karma

Please, don't apologize.

kamkazemoose79 karma

Is everything scripted, or do you guys actually fight/ try and beat the other person?

LateKnight450 karma

I don't want to shatter any dreams, but it's all completely scripted. Someone once wrote a complaint saying that the jousting wasn't authentic enough. That we used breakaway lance tips and INTENTIONALLY fell off the horses.

If we actually tried to joust each other off, if we actually tried to beat each other, we would DIE. DIE UNTIL WE WERE DEAD.

smacksaw260 karma

For $39.95 I expect multiple fatalities.

We need a Mortal Kombat restaurant. And Sub-Zero serves magic ice cream.

LateKnight178 karma

Sub-Zero is my co-pilot.

Hasuko79 karma

I want to be a knight an engage in shenanigans, but I am female.

Some MT should write a script for a female masquerading as a man and have her outed every so often for a great show.

LateKnight154 karma

Yes. This suggestion has been brought up a few times.

It is a terrible idea.

Hasuko59 karma

Why's that?

LateKnight136 karma

No, I only say that because there have been so many suggestions to have one of the knights be female, and logistically it wouldn't work.

That female would only be able to play that one role. If you're a knight, ideally you learn every spot in the show so you can do any spot if needed. Having one person learn to do one fight just to do one spot in the show couldn't work. Alternately, you'd have to employ two or three females to fill that one spot, and train them, and hold them to a standard being applied to all other knights who are learning more spots, which would ultimately be unfair to everyone involved.

It's not a problem with the women, it's just the way the show is put together. It would have to be completely rehauled to accommodate the one role.

LateKnight154 karma

Yes. This suggestion has been brought up a few times.

It is a terrible idea.

Hasuko59 karma

Why's that?

LateKnight136 karma

No, I only say that because there have been so many suggestions to have one of the knights be female, and logistically it wouldn't work.

That female would only be able to play that one role. If you're a knight, ideally you learn every spot in the show so you can do any spot if needed. Having one person learn to do one fight just to do one spot in the show couldn't work. Alternately, you'd have to employ two or three females to fill that one spot, and train them, and hold them to a standard being applied to all other knights who are learning more spots, which would ultimately be unfair to everyone involved.

It's not a problem with the women, it's just the way the show is put together. It would have to be completely rehauled to accommodate the one role.

Hasuko79 karma

I want to be a knight an engage in shenanigans, but I am female.

Some MT should write a script for a female masquerading as a man and have her outed every so often for a great show.

LateKnight154 karma

Yes. This suggestion has been brought up a few times.

It is a terrible idea.

Hasuko59 karma

Why's that?

LateKnight136 karma

No, I only say that because there have been so many suggestions to have one of the knights be female, and logistically it wouldn't work.

That female would only be able to play that one role. If you're a knight, ideally you learn every spot in the show so you can do any spot if needed. Having one person learn to do one fight just to do one spot in the show couldn't work. Alternately, you'd have to employ two or three females to fill that one spot, and train them, and hold them to a standard being applied to all other knights who are learning more spots, which would ultimately be unfair to everyone involved.

It's not a problem with the women, it's just the way the show is put together. It would have to be completely rehauled to accommodate the one role.

LateKnight154 karma

Yes. This suggestion has been brought up a few times.

It is a terrible idea.

Hasuko59 karma

Why's that?

LateKnight136 karma

No, I only say that because there have been so many suggestions to have one of the knights be female, and logistically it wouldn't work.

That female would only be able to play that one role. If you're a knight, ideally you learn every spot in the show so you can do any spot if needed. Having one person learn to do one fight just to do one spot in the show couldn't work. Alternately, you'd have to employ two or three females to fill that one spot, and train them, and hold them to a standard being applied to all other knights who are learning more spots, which would ultimately be unfair to everyone involved.

It's not a problem with the women, it's just the way the show is put together. It would have to be completely rehauled to accommodate the one role.

Lollercaust98978 karma

Something about you sounds hot. Might you be so kind as to provide a picture?

LateKnight163 karma

Oh Lollercaust! I do declare!

McLargepants68 karma

Awesome AMA!

I've been to Medieval Times twice, and the story was more or less the same, but it was the same location. Is it the same nationwide? Does it change over time?

LateKnight136 karma

It is the same INTERNATIONALLY, as we do have one castle in Toronto. Actually forced me to learn Canadian geography, as I kept getting embarrassed when people from Ontario told me they were closer to us than Toronto. Not PRECISELY accurate, but I take their point now.

The script does change every six years or so. The fights change a little, but for the most part it's a different story that they take all the basic elements of the show and shape them around. They did take out the wizard for this new show. Big mistake.

They're going to change the show again pretty soon, actually, after only three years with this new one they put in. This is because the new show is TERRIBLE, and people don't seem to like it. I don't blame them.

Alaric200040 karma

I just went to the Atlanta location last night. First time going.

You are telling me the Yellow Knight always loses first or just the general idea of the Green Knight being bad? Obviously I was in the yellow section and mad I didn't pick a winner.

LateKnight94 karma

The colors change, but the order of the fights don't. So one color one day might be doing different fights the next day.


If you want a good bet, try to get red. They like Red being champ.

blitzkannon64 karma

What was the average age for knights? I'm 27 and a few years from graduating with a MA in International Relations and this all of a sudden seems like the next logical step in life. I went to college late and I'm kind of tired of being that "slightly older dude."

LateKnight64 karma

Most of the guys were pretty young, early twenties. I started when I was 24, but I wasn't the oldest guy there by a long shot. I would say it's pretty spread across the board.

And honestly, the pay's not great but it's a hell of a time. Do it for a year or so. No reason not to.

ScubaDivingElephant58 karma

You make it sound fun to work there.

LateKnight131 karma

Oh my god. If I can communicate nothing else here, let it be that it was the BEST TIME. It was a really relaxed work atmosphere, I made a ton of great friends, and doing the show is one of the best experiences I've ever had. I learned to ride horses, I made a good enough living... it was a fantastic job to have for a LITTLE while. JUST don't want to do it for too long.

amandawong55 karma

Are you still in touch with people from there? Do you go back from time to time?

Unrelatedly, why did all the horses have boners when I saw them after the show?

LateKnight172 karma

I still talk to my friends. Like I say, I met some fantastic people working there. Not EVERYONE was such a wonderful person. It kind of polarizes you working there. You become everyone's friend, or the biggest dick in existence.

I went back once, and it was great to see everybody, but I feel like the show's kind of ruined for me since I know it so intricately. It's hard to remove yourself from going, "Jesus, his form is terrible."

And they had boners because you were staring at them. They get off on that.

UniQueLyEviL57 karma

And I'm a former gift shop maiden! [From the Arundel Mills mall location....excuse me. The Arundel Mills Castle M'lord/M'lady!]

I'm one of the annoying people that would be in each and every one of your faces before the show trying to get you to buy lame glowing swords and roses [among other cheap and pointless shit] for arena sales.

I FUCKIN' HATED ARENA SALES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It was an interesting experience, and job. I kind of miss it a lot at times. We had a good run there with an amazing staff before things started changing. I'll never forget it! I'll always miss the good times.

LateKnight93 karma

I'd like to thank you. When the lights would go down in the arena and it was almost completely black, I was always amused by the little points of strobing, multicolored light bobbing around the audience. Brought a smile to my heart.

mdonell2056 karma

How did you get this job?

Did you have a strong equestrian background?

LateKnight218 karma

I applied! It's like getting a job at McDonalds. As long as you can move across broken ground (the sand pit) they'll give you a chance. Since I first applied they put a bunch of physical standards in place, you have to take some ridiculous test, but it's honestly so tame that as long as you don't have a wooden leg and lupus you'll be fine. You start out as a squire and work your way up.

They taught me everything I know about horses. As I said in my hiring interview, I was on a horse once when I was five. I wore a helmet and I think it bit me.

SaintsSinner40 karma

If the ridiculous test you are referring to is sprints and pullups and learning the basic timing that all the fights are based on (that whole step and swing, step and block thing) then that's all they were doing 4 years ago when I started.

LateKnight101 karma

No! They've been doing that one every six months or so for all the knights to make sure we were still in shape. Of course, there were never any repercussions for people who couldn't, but as long as there's some ridiculous thing for us to do, then corporate's doing it's job.

There's a new entrance test, apparently, where you have to step up onto a box holding a flag, over and over again, and they measure your heart rate. Other things like that are involved... I never found out exactly. Thankfully, I got the job when the entrance physical was, "Can you run on sand?" "Yes." "Go get some tights."

SaintsSinner92 karma

Yeah I actually got the job and then two weeks in, when I started training, the lead knight, who we lovingly called 'Monkey' (I swear that's all we called him and I don't even know his real name anymore), had me do that stuff I referenced up there before he put me on a horse. I was a Marine for 4 years before that so I think he did it to appease someone else. Either way, there we go, off to train as the green knight.

LateKnight165 karma

MONKEY! He's in charge of the Buena Park castle now! We were told not to call him that anymore.

senorpepe777749 karma

What was your favorite weapon that you ever got to use?

LateKnight107 karma

There were a lot of cool ones. The alavarda was fun because you look like a monster wielding that thing around (it's an 8-foot-long axe). The small bola was really fast an exciting, just a ball and chain in one hand and a shield in the other, and the fight with that weapon was really fun, the two knights just beating the hell out of each other.

But my favorite was the big bola. In the new show, only the Green Knight uses it, which is what I did the most, but it's just so terrifying. It's basically a huge ball and chain. The stick is an axe-handle and there are two balls at the end of the chain. Needless to say, there were PLENTY of jokes to be made during practice with a weapon that was essentially a giant shaft with two balls at the end of it.

But that thing was so brutal. You swung it with both hands, and the whole fight was basically you chasing this other guy around the arena beating the shit out of his shield every time he held still. When the bola smashed into the shield, people flipped out. Tons of fun.

heylily47 karma

This is awesome. How many days a week/shows a week did you work? How many people do they have on payroll at one time to play princess/knights/etc? Have any stories of crazy drunken guest antics? There's a kid in my class who said his weird aunt tried to get married at a Medieval Times...does that really happen??

LateKnight113 karma

Hooo.... that's a lot of questions. I'll give this a shot without talking too much. You work five days a week, and the schedule floats to an extent. For the most part, you can expect to do as many as 9 shows on a typical week (2 Fridays and Sundays, 3 Saturdays). That's not counting holidays or summers when they add more shows during the week. It can get pretty exhausting.

At any given time there's about 20 knights and maybe 6-8squires. Kings, Princesses, and Chancellors... about three each.

There are TONS of stories about crazy drunken antics. I'll get more into that if you want... they're all pretty great.

I've never seen anyone get married, but in the Chancellor's announcements in the middle of the show he always ends with a joke about a fake couple there on their honeymoon. It's charming, but after you've heard it every night for four years it GRATES on you. That being said, every now and then they would replace that fake announcement with one for people who were actually there celebrating their wedding or their honeymoon. Apparently, some people are even more into Medieval Times than the people Medieval Times ACTIVELY PAYS to give a shit. Shocking.

tehvagcanno83 karma

I personally would love to hear about the drunken antics. Please, do go on.

LateKnight279 karma

This is my favorite story.

There is a standing rule for the knights at Medieval Times. You're not allowed to go over the barrier in any way into the crowd. You can't reach over, you can't take a drink (no matter how much they offer), at some of the other castles they don't even like you directly engaging with individual guests.

However, if anyone comes over the wall into the arena: all bets are off. The knights have carte blanche to do ANYTHING THEY CAN to get that person under control and out of the arena. The reasoning behind this is that it's extremely dangerous. They could get themselves killed or one of the performers hurt. Needless to say, knights LIVE for the moments that someone comes over the wall.

One night the red and yellow section was packed with a group of really rowdy kids. They were drunk when they showed up and continued to drink heavily throughout the show. One dude was down in the gutter between the front row and the wall running back and forth. Security was informed of this and, reasonably, did NOTHING.

So the Green Knight dismounts his horse and starts giving his big speech with his minions to either side of him. Five people on the ground in the center of the arena in total. We're all backstage listening the show, and we hear, being blasted out over the entire arena, "Kings?! Weary old men who no longer have the stomach for WHAT THE FUCK..."

The dude in the gutter had jumped the wall, run across the arena, and FOOTBALL TACKLED the green knight, who at the time had a broadsword in his hand.

We all run to the curtain to watch what is happening, and we see the Green Knight, who has gotten to his feet, STEAMING with rage, standing over this kid laying in the sand with both his hands up. We learned later he was saying, "Just kidding! Just kidding!"

The kids around Green were all squires and didn't really know what to do, when suddenly one of the more senior ones jumps the kids on the sand, puts him in a headlock, and drags him backstage to us.

The kids laughing, stumbling, and a friend of mine who works there, a terrifying 6'6" dude with long, black hair grabs him by both shoulders. The kid looks up, having to crane his neck back to see the knight's face, and my buddy says, "You're coming with me."

I have never seen joy drain out of someone's face that quickly in my life. He was scared shitless, and he stopped laughing REAL quick.

Fun Fact: When he took the Green Knight down, he lost a sneaker. We kept it.

TL;DR: Some drunk asshole jumped into the arena, was bodily dragged out of the arena, and had the shit scared out of him by a real monster of a knight backstage.

tehvagcanno60 karma

Even just reading that was just so satisfying. Thank you.

LateKnight159 karma


We were out doing the show when suddenly there was a big commotion in the green section. We looked up to see someone lying in his chair, people flipping out around him. Apparently, he had drunk himself into an alcoholic stupor and was unresponsive.

The paramedics were called and took the guy to the top of the section where he had to be defibrillated into consciousness.

I had never before literally seen anyone drink themselves to death.

LateKnight91 karma

I mean, to have to get shocked back like that he must have some other stuff going on health-wise... BUT STILL.

CubemonkeyNYC12 karma

Very awesome. Just so happens a drunk friend of mine tried to talk to the damn king while he was speaking last weekend. Walked right up to the booth (we were right next to it). Some security guy was not nearly forceful enough with him. This was the NJ location.

LateKnight55 karma

A guy came up to a friend of mine in the bar and acted angry that he'd lost a bet because of him. My friend had lost the rigged fight, you see.

My buddy kind of brushed it off, not wanting to engage with the extremely drunken dude, and the guy got REALLY angry REALLY fast. I think he just kind of felt unmanned around so much Knight Power.

The guy squares off with my knight friend, screaming at him, and security's just standing outside the bar not sure what to do.

Before anything could happen, my friend had six other guys wearing armor standing behind him, staring Sir Drunky down.

He put his hands down and walked out the exit really fast. His girlfriend wouldn't hold his hand. VICTORY.

IronyIron45 karma

How much armor did you have to wear and how authentic was it?

LateKnight110 karma

For practical armor, stuff that actually protected us, we wore leather gloves with armored fingers (rubber), leather belts (to take the sword/axe hits), and leather bracers for our forearms.

We also had presentation armor just for show. Shiny plastic and formed leather, fastened in the back with nylon straps and plastic fasteners.

In the NEW show, started about two years ago, we had to start wearing metal pauldrons on our shoulders. They were EXTREMELY awkward to move in, really uncomfortable, and didn't protect you from ANYTHING, but they sure were shiny, and corporate LOVED that.


Mybrainmelts43 karma

Is it easy to get injured?

LateKnight133 karma

Traumatic injury, getting whacked with a weapon or falling off a horse and hurting yourself, didn't happen very often. You train a ton, and it's all to keep stuff like that from happening. When it did, you were mostly protected by the (aforementioned) armor. Head shots, though, you were wide open. And head wounds BLEED. I still have a few scars on my face.

The real problem was repetitive stress injury. Jump off a horse into soft sand once, you'll be fine. You can land on your head and be fine. But jump off a horse every night, twice everyday on weekends, and after a couple years or so your knees don't like you anymore.

btdubs14 karma

Any serious injuries while you were working?

LateKnight32 karma

The worst I ever had was doing a roll-off from a horse. I slammed my leg down pretty hard and sprained my ankle bad. Basically limped through the entire fight. Not fun to do, not fun to watch.

Other than that, just superfluous head injuries, which are always fun. The blood running down your face really adds to the psychotic maniac aspect of fighting another man FOR YOUR LIFE.

[deleted]42 karma

Can you share with us your best Accident story

LateKnight134 karma

BEST accident story was during the flag game, where we're tossing flags back and forth to each other from horseback. I lost my grip on mine and it fell into the sand in front of me, wedging its end in at the same time the top made contact with me. Usually there's a wooden ball on the end of the flag, but it had fallen off and no one had replaced it. This left only the jagged screw that had held it there.

So the flag was stuck between the ground and me, and I'm on a horse cantering forward, and apparently the ground didn't want to lose that fight. The flag sunk into my belt, punched through two layers of thick leather and moved a metal plate aside, then stuck into me. The flag snapped in half and the noise it made stopped every single person in the arena cheering. It was totally silent, that's what I remember the most. It's NEVER quiet in the arena.

I got pushed back off the horse and fell to the ground on my back. The Chancellor asked, "How do you fare?" And I waved from the ground. Got up, went over to my horse (who was waiting for me, sweet little guy) and finished the game. Won, too.

That was the only time I was ever ACTUALLY jousted off a horse. Medieval Times itself was the only opponent that could unseat me.

LateKnight124 karma

Most AWESOME accident story: I burst a blood vessel in my eye, so the entire white of my right eye was blood-red.

That accident didn't happen AT Medieval Times, but for the next three weeks when I was doing the evil Green Knight and some kid would boo me from the stands, I would turn to show him the eye and he shrunk away into his seat.

If I could have that eye forever, I would.

Gincognito36 karma

True or false, the black night gets all the bitches?

LateKnight158 karma

There is no Black Knight. I'll tell you this much: The White Knight? The Prince? He gets NOTHING.

itchyfish31 karma

Ha! This is pretty timely. My family and I just went to Medieval Times two nights ago. Lots of fun. How long does it take to go from squire to knight?

LateKnight54 karma

It depends on how hard you work at it. I was going to college at the time, so I couldn't make horse riding practice in the mornings. Took me about five months, but I'm a fast learner. A friend of mine did it in three.

Some people are a little slower, however, and stay squires for YEARS. There are plenty of people who just never get the hang of it and never make it to knight.

itchyfish20 karma

Years?? Wow! During the show we saw, there was a guy I assume that was in training to be a squire, because he was all dressed up, but he never carried a banner or anything, just followed another squire around.

Oh, another question. You say you did 2 shows on the weekends. I saw on their calendar here that next week they have 3 shows in one day. How tough is that on the actors?

LateKnight48 karma

Every Saturday, for the most part, three shows.

We have more than one set of knights, so one knight rarely ends up doing all three shows. We rotate out. The squires have it tough, since they are doing all three and they're basically running through sand for two hours. It can get really tiring.

My first day of training was a Saturday, and yes, I was the dude running around behind the other squire. Three shows of that, and I was completely worn out. It put me right to sleep, as soon as I got home. But after a year or so you get used to it, and the fights become more muscle-memory, and they're really not as strenuous as they were when you started. If you're doing it right, you still come back from your fights winded, but you feel good.

heylily29 karma

comp tickets... do you get them? and how often? do they feed you for free from that surprisingly scrumptious bill of fare?

LateKnight109 karma

We got four free tickets on our birthday and on Christmas. This worked out well, as those two dates were about as far apart as you can get for me. You can give them to friends or family, but I always gave mine to the manager of a bar I liked in exchange for a running tab.

On days we had multiple shows they fed us in between the shows. Some of the knights complained about getting sick of it, but I never really did. There WERE times when we'd get the chicken and it'd be bleeding in the middle, or those few TERRIFYING times there were still feathers on the legs, but I always liked the food, honestly.

There was a while where our Head Knight petitioned the kitchen to get us some vegetables to go along with all the meat. That lasted about one meal. The chef was simply not having that. THEY EAT THE MEAT, DAMMIT.

One more thing: if you ever go, request the vegetarian meal. Delicious.

V2Blast14 karma

I remember going once, long ago (as a little kid), and I'm vegetarian. Not a clue what it was I ate...

LateKnight30 karma

That seems to be a complaint of MOST people who go there.

bowltron500028 karma

Do you have to be any particular size to become a knight? I imagine that someone who is 5' 3" wouldn't seem to be very menacing to the crowd.

LateKnight92 karma

You'd think so, but we've had two Assistant Head Knights who were around 5'6" and they did just fine for themselves. It used to be that they would hire anyone who could do the job, but lately they've gotten pressure from corporate to hire taller dudes.

I know the guys in the Dallas castle are, almost to a one, at least six feet tall. But I've seen at least one guy who was about 5'3" become a knight. It took him a long time to prove himself, but we were so proud once he made it. Dude had heart.

bassic_person27 karma

What type of shoes do you wear?

LateKnight67 karma

We wear Ariat riding boots. Very expensive, not so great running through sand. We got new ones every six months, and every time the new ones came my boots were duct taped together and barely hanging on.

The squires wear combat boots until they start knighting. They last FOREVER.

t-rexa26 karma

What color were you?

LateKnight76 karma

I was ALL COLORS! But they liked me doing Green, so I did that a lot.

krackbaby23 karma

Did The Cable Guy give a fairly accurate representation of the restaurant/cast? Do the knights really get laid all the time?

LateKnight62 karma

Nnnnnot really. I hate to debate the authenticity of The Cable Guy, but no, of course not. If you see the show, it's obvious.

However, the knights riding around during that scene were actual Medieval Times knights! I knew a few of them. It's funny if you pay attention to the background and realize that nothing is really going on back there. Just people on horses going back and forth.

And yes. All the time.

DeaditeAsh15 karma

What is your education background, and did they even care about it when you applied?

I figure a theatrical background/major is preferred.

LateKnight55 karma

You don't NEED a theater background to get a job there, but I can tell you that if you have some experience with that, or just some natural talent, you make a much better knight. There are knights who can do the movements, perform the choreography perfectly, but if you can't sell it as someone fighting for their life and getting hurt and winning glory, it's just not as much fun.

Personally, I was one of the more educated people there, but it had nothing to do with me getting hired. They're really just looking for people who can stand the physical toll and who'll look good as a knight.

usiopkgy13 karma

what do you think of the documentary "reclaiming the blade"?, if you saw it did you use the style of fighting featured in the documentary or did you use the classic kling kling Hollywood style?

LateKnight34 karma

Haven't seen it, but the style we use it very much safety-oriented while still trying to be thrilling to watch. The difference is that we have to do it every night, sometimes multiple times, and the statistics are stacked against us because of that.

Also, we're theater in the round, so you can't cheat the angles as much as you can for film. I like both styles, obviously, but they're very, very different.

I like anything that goes "kling kling."