A wrestling legend comes to the "Magic City" to showcase his brand of stand-up comedy
Three-time WWE Champion and New York Time best-selling author Mick Foley is known for breaking bones with is hardcore style as one of his three personas, Mankind, Dude Love, or Cactus Jack. Thursday night at the Comedy Club Stardome he broke more bones but these were funny bones as he brought his stand-up comedy act to Birmingham.
"It was an amazing show", said a frequent patron, "I came because I am both a wrestling fan, and a fan of great comedy. I have been coming to the Stardome for 12 years."
Life-long fans, including Thomas and SueAnne Harwell, who have been wrestling fans since the 1950's came out on a cold night to see the Hardcore Legend along with droves of other wrestling and comedy fans alike. "Debo Lynam", the merchandise manager for the Birmingham-based hard-rock group Lynam and actor Daniel Taylor from "Road Trip" and "Return of the Swamp Thing" were also in attendance.
Stand-up comic and sports radio host on 97.7 The Zone, Matt Mitchell, also known as "The Casio Kid" started the evening with a very funny act to open for Mick Foley. He got the crowd warmed up with very funny observations about the counties surrounding the Birmingham area and its residents, along with poking fun at himself and allowing for audience participation in the last section of the show.
With the crowd loose and ready to laugh, the headliner for the night, Mick Foley was introduced by "Maddog" from Global Championship Wrestling (GCW) and came to the stage to the familiar sounds, if you know wrestling, of screeching tires and heavy guitar riffs, his signature entrance music that he has used for the majority of his Hall of Fame career.
The crowd erupted and was ready to here Foley spew some of his unique style of comedy but this is not what they were treated to. What the rowdy crowd got was an ornery Mick Foley who cut his entrance music short. He complained that he was six-foot four and the mic should be adjusted to the level of his mouth, not to the level of his chest.
He also complained that the quote about how many times he had been on the New York best-sellers list was wrong. He also took offense that his wrestling theme music was played when he was at the Stardome do a stand-up show. He apologized to the crowd but said he wanted to wipe the slate clean and start over.
"Maddog" again came out, shaking his head at what Mick Foley had said, and adjusted the mic. The crowd was in some state of shock and Foley walked off the stage for another introduction.
To everyone's amazement the loud speakers burst with sound once again, but this time it was the song "Olympic Hero". To non-wrestling fans that is the entrance music of two-time Olympic gold medalist Kurt Angle. Foley came out running and dancing (as Angle does) and encouraged the crowd to chant, "YOU SUCK!!" as WWE crowds did when Angle was with the promotion.
The crowd went nuts and this set the tone for a fun-filled evening of funny wrestling stories and jokes from one of the best the wrestling business has ever seen. Toward the end of the act, Mick Foley opened the floor up to a Q and A session then held a meet and greet where he sold t-shirts and photos. He also signed autographs for, and took photos with and fans whether they bought his merchandise or not.
He also spoke to every fan and took time to converse with them, which (from experience) is a great treat for the fan receiving the autograph. After the show and the hour plus meet and greet Mr. Foley still took the time to conduct a short interview for CullmanSense and here is what he had to say.
Josh McBrayer: Mick, tell us a little bit about what got you into doing stand-up comedy.
Mick Foley: I had been fortunate enough to speak to some colleges over the years, but that kind of dried up in 2007, yet it was something I really enjoyed. The interaction with the audience. So when I had the chance to do stand-up in Los Angeles, I jumped at it. It's not exactly the same as talking to student because there is more of an emphasis on making people laugh, but I still try to throw in a couple of things that people can think about. I try to make it substantial but it is up to each individual whether it is or not.
JM: I understand about your biographies, but what lead you to write children's books ?
MF: I literally woke up one day and said "You know what, I am going to be Americas most beloved author of children's Christmas books". I just had to convince my publisher I was capable of it, and I think we turned out a pretty good children's Christmas book the first time. My goal is to have another children's Christmas book out by the holidays of 2013. So I am thinking of ideas and I hope it just comes pouring out like it did the other three times.
JM: Tell me about what you do to prepare for things such as going through a flaming table, off a cage or being slammed on thumbtacks.
MF: Tori Amos music. It's the only answer. It wasn't key for some of my matches. I mean I had to be inspired. Whether it was by Tori's music, or crowds. There had to be a red light on that camera. I gave it my all every night for a lot of years but when it came to the WWE I was pretty worn down so I kind of had to pick and choose when I could do that extreme stuff, so I tried to do it somewhere where it would count.
JM: Who was your favorite to work with, whether it was a partner or opponent
MF: I was really lucky that I got to work with all the top guys of the "Attitude Era" (95 to 01) so it's hard to say. Wrestling Terry Funk meant so much because we worked so hard to try and get a little promotion in Japan off the ground, but there was nothing like wrestling "Stone Cold" (Steve Austin) when he was at his peak in the WWE. The reactions were so much larger than anything I had ever imagined being part of. Of course, without the Undertaker I would probably be cleaning somebody's pool right now. Triple H, The Rock, there are a lot of guys I could mention but I think I have covered the pillars of the "Attitude Era".
It was a real delight to conduct this interview, not only from a sports writer's perspective, but also as a life-long wrestling fan. The show is extremely funny and if you have a chance, wrestling fan or not, I recommend you go to see him. Mick Foley's show makes for a great night of entertainment.