The short features a dramatic reenactment of Whitehead dealing several unexpected blows to a reclining Houdini in his dressing room.
A voiceover at the end of the short explains, “Houdini would go on to die of a ruptured appendix roughly a week later. After that day, the world would know to never underestimate the unexpected strength of an angry Canadian.”
“It’s so rare that a Canadian gets to kill or even badly injure a well-known celebrity,” said a spokesperson for Historica Canada. “We wanted to highlight this prime example of Canadian ingenuity.”
“Of course we could focus on other more worthy Canadian historical figures like Margaret Atwood or David Suzuki, but did any of them gut-punch frickin’ Houdini? We just can’t pass up that kind of name recognition.”
The short is part of a new series of Heritage Minutes to be released in coming weeks, others of which include honouring Marvel’s X-Men character Wolverine for being born in Canada, a celebration of the history of horse meat in Quebec and last in the series, Thunder Bay: Murder Capital of Canada.