November 30, 2011
Foley takes laughable approach to career
By JIM SLOTEK -- Toronto Sun
On YouTube, you can see wrestler-turned-comedian Mick Foley boldly go where few grapplers will -- smack into the topic of abortion.
Specifically, he's riffing on the (since defeated) Mississippi personhood amendment that would have assigned human rights at the moment of conception.
Going further, he says such rights should be applied to sperm, and confesses to a lonely night on the road where, "I lured my boys and girls into the world to their deaths under false pretenses."
Regardless of your politics, the elegance of the language makes it a pretty funny joke in our book. But the erudite Foley says -- over a cellphone while driving to a gig in New Hampshire with his eight-year-old -- "funnily enough, I was thinking today of retiring that bit."
"A minimal number of people enjoy it a lot. My audience is largely wrestling fans, and I try to keep a balance between wrestling-related material and non. And I think, in a couple of places, the feeling was, 'This isn't what we came to see.' "
Still, Foley, the author of novels, biographies and children's books, and a public speaker who has made the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff laugh, will find a way to speak his mind.
"I'll throw in some political humour, but I'll mix in some wrestling analogies," he says of his plans for this week's dates in Oshawa (Wednesday), Ottawa (Thursday) and Toronto's Underground Cinema (Friday).
"One of the things I tackle is our current U.S. president and the former, and figuring out which one was a pro wrestling fan. It's obvious when President (Barack) Obama says a day after killing Bin Laden, 'We need to get back to the challenges that face the American people.' Whereas George Bush would have realized that now is the time to start bragging about what you've done for the next two years.
"Every wrestler knows, when you grab a microphone, the first thing you do is remind people of what you've done. So there's no doubt, that, had George Bush been in office when Bin Laden was killed, it would still be headline news."
Foley has been looking for ways to stay in the limelight without being busted up since an infamous bout in 1998, when the Undertaker threw him off the top of a 20-foot cage through a table. He's still with the WWE, but in a non-combat capacity.
"I had the opportunity to do comedy two-and-a-half years ago at the Improv in L.A., and it did not seem like nearly as big a leap as other people thought, because I'd spoken to colleges in other years and told stories that were funny. I enjoyed the idea of still having a live audience and communicating with them in a way that did not physically harm me."