Thursday November 15th, 2012 – Rockford, IL
Mike Preston called today, and that’s usually a sign something fun is about to commence. Mike interviews a wide range of people for his ‘Psychobabble’ cable TV show, and often needs a hand to help him with video shoots. His guests range from celebrities on all levels to strippers, and it’s always been big fun to tag along and be part of the adventure. If nothing else, it’s an experience.
Dealing with celebrities up close can be unpredictable, but I guess that adds to the fun. Mike is an outstanding interviewer, and always does his homework. He likes having me along because he doesn’t have to worry about me being star struck or saying the wrong thing. That can really be an issue, and he’s had it happen quite a bit in the past. He knows I’m not going to ruin the moment.
Today’s interview was the former WWE wrestler and current author Mick Foley. I’ve admired his work for a long time, both in the ring and in print. It’s difficult enough to develop a wrestling persona that resonates with the public for any length of time, but he has done it again and again.
First there was ‘Cactus Jack Manson’. Then it was just ‘Cactus Jack’. Then in the WWE it was ‘Mankind’ and then ‘Dude Love’. Then it was just Mick Foley – much like the metamorphosis of John Cougar Mellencamp. He’s had a very respectable run, and I’m sure he’s made a nice living.
My friend Mike Moran has been wrestling about as long as I’ve been a comedian, and we have both reached about the same level. We’ve made our livings at it, but haven’t managed to become household names. Only a few in any profession ever reach that level, and we didn’t make the cut.
We’ve both rubbed elbows with the biggest names in our fields however. I remember bowling with Jeff Foxworthy and sitting in a diner with Drew Carey just like Mike remembers driving in a car with Stone Cold Steve Austin and working in Puerto Rico with Mick Foley. Why the ones that make it big do has to do with a lot of factors – luck being part of the mix. It’s a crapshoot.
I’m not saying Jeff Foxworthy or Drew Carey or Steve Austin or Mick Foley don’t have talent. Sure they do, but so do Mike and myself. We’re in the mix when it comes to the pool of those to choose from, but for whatever reason we just haven’t been able to make that final leap to glory.
Mike has told me stories for years of making long drives and working in dingy hell hole arenas just like I’ve made drives to work dingy hell hole honkytonks doing comedy. At least in comedy I don’t have to take body slams night after night, but the bruises to the ego can be pretty severe.
Mike Preston had interviewed Mick Foley before, and said he was pretty laid back and also an interesting interview. I was looking forward to meeting him and bringing up Mike Moran’s name to see if he remembered working with him in Puerto Rico, but I wasn’t able to have that chance.
He showed up about an hour late, and apparently had some issues finding the book store where he was set to appear for the signing. He gave a short interview, but was scattered the whole time and cut it short to do his signing. This was a disappointment, but it’s one in many that went well.