04/20/2012 03:11 am ET

'Swamp People': R.J. Nearly Dies Trying To Catch 50 Gators For His 50th Birthday (VIDEO)

The 50th birthday is certainly a big one, but most people settle for a memorable trip or a big party. R.J. Molinere Jr. challenged himself to catch 50 alligators on his 50th birthday on the latest episode of "Swamp People" (Thu., 9 p.m. ET on History). It was a lofty challenge, especially when considering that each gator is a dangerous beast that could kill him with one snap of its jaws.

It's hard to stay poised and on one's toes for the length of time that such an ambitious goal requires, and R.J. did indeed get lax in his concentration. At one point, he put his foot on the side of the boat, and quickly had a gator snap onto his toes. Luckily, he was wearing steel-toed boots, but it was a sobering reminder to stay -- ahem -- on his toes. They made it to 49 alligators, so Jay Paul got him a gator cake to make number 50.

It's that mixture of danger and heart that has turned "Swamp People" into an unparalleled success. As pointed out on the Miami Herald, History's reality series is drawing more viewers than "Community" or "30 Rock" and besting the entire NBC lineup in the coveted 18-49 demographic, and it absolutely kills in the young male demo.

The runaway success of "Swamp People" continues Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET on History.

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