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Foley hopes to get laughs at Jericho's expense
By DOUG LUNNEY - Winnipeg Sun


Mick Foley's Tales from Wrestling Past Tour hits Winnipeg's Park Theatre on Feb. 19. A 7 p.m. show sold out quickly, so a 9:45 p.m. show has been added for the same date. He will be in Brandon on Feb. 18.

WINNIPEG - Chris Jericho plays in a rock band, Diamond Dallas Page is a yoga guru, and Jesse "The Body" Ventura is the former governor of Minnesota.

So it's not a stretch that Mick Foley, the Hardcore Legend, has made the transition from pro wrestler and best-selling author to performing comedy on stage.

"It's more of a one-man show with stories from my career, so it's not the giant preposterous leap that it might seem like," Foley, 48, told the Sun on Friday during a tour stop in Kalamazoo, Mich. "It's really a natural extension from me being a storyteller in the ring, to a storyteller on the written page, to being a storyteller on stage."

Foley's Tales from Wrestling Past Tour hits the Park Theatre for two shows on Feb. 19 (call 204-478-7275 for tickets). A 7 p.m. show sold out, so a 9:45 p.m. show has been added. He performs at The 40 in Brandon on Feb. 18 (call 204-727-3800).

Foley doesn't consider himself a traditional comedian.


"People in Winnipeg can rest assured that I will not be in a bad bow-tie telling one-liners," he said with a chuckle. "Don't get me wrong, the stories are funny and other comics who watch my show say storytelling is a form of stand-up, but it's an image that I dread of the guy saying 'Hey, how about this weather?'

"That's not what I do."

Foley has been doing his shows for a few years, while maintaining a connection with World Wrestling Entertainment. He has performed at the Montreal Just For Laughs festival and the Edinburgh Fringe Fest -- two of the largest comedy festivals in the world. He's also headlined tours of the U.K., Ireland, Australia, and South Korea.

"I'll be trying harder in Winnipeg because I want people to like me more than they like (hometown wrestling hero Chris) Jericho by the time the night is over," Foley said. "I can almost guarantee I'll surpass their expectations.

"I'll ask my friends in Winnipeg to kind of take it easy on the strong Canadian beer. My show is best enjoyed with one or two beverages, not a slew of them ... there are stories that require listening. They're not jokes. There is some depth to some of the stories."

Foley's sense of humour was often evident during his wrestling career of almost three decades, but his hardcore style also caused numerous serious injuries.

"I'm moving a little slowly and that's why I found this way of connecting with fans and getting the same reactions I loved as a wrestler without getting hurt," he said. "A couple of nights ago, I got off the stage in Detroit and I felt like I used to feel emotionally after a really good pay-per-view show."

In Winnipeg, Foley intends to "get some laughs at Jericho's expense," he said.

"He and I have a very friendly rivalry. I never once defeated him during my career -- a fact he made obvious dozens of times during the course of his last book, so I have to win moral victories on stage over him."

Foley, who lives in Long Island, NY, was high school pals with comedic actor Kevin James. The two were briefly reunited last July on Katie Couric's show, Katie.

After the show, Foley bumped into Shaquille O'Neal, and the retired basketball star asked to get a photo with him.

Foley got a kick out of it, but laughed when the retired basketball posted the photo on Twitter, identifying Foley as Hacksaw Jim Duggan.

RELATED LINKS

  • RealMickFoley.com
  • Twitter: @realmickfoley
  • Mick Foley bio and story archive

    Doug Lunney has been with the Winnipeg Sun since 1995, working as a sports reporter, news reporter, city editor and assistant managing editor before becoming a columnist.