An Evening With Mick Foley (Bang! Bang!)
The hardcore legend, multiple-time New York Times bestselling author, three-time WWE Champion, and WWE Hall Of Famer, has lately been applying his patented claw on the mandible of stand-up comedy clubs everywhere. On the night of June ninth, I was fortunate enough to have “Mrs. Foley’s baby boy” perform at a local comedy club so of course a friend and I jumped at the chance to be in the presence of such a wrestling figure. Between us getting into the club, Foley’s performance, a Glamazon appearance, the meet and greet afterwards, and a small Owen Hart story, it was quite a night to say the least!
Well, for those who don’t know, I am under the age of twenty-one. So is the friend I ended up going with. So, you can imagine how getting into a comedy club that serves alcohol could present a bit of a problem. Fortunately enough, this friend of mine works at the same mall as this comedy club, had a friend who worked there, and subsequently was able to get us in with little slack.
Here we were, the only two under-aged kids in the packed little club. Just the thought of being in the presence of arguably one of the greatest wrestling stars to ever lace up a pair of boots amazed me. I couldn’t help but marvel at the journey he made to get where he was today. We found our seats (which were awesomely close and to the left of the stage, near the ‘private’ door where Foley would come out later on) at around six and awaited for the show to start at seven thirty.
With two pretty strong opening acts, one of which was put on by a former writer for the WWE (who most-likely very commonly performs at shows with Foley), I looked forward to Mick’s performance. Mick Foley took the stage to his trademark theme music all the while wearing a Santa-filled Hawaiian shirt and sweats. It was awesome because you could tell the man genuinely was enjoying what he was doing. His love for entertaining people was so apparent and really speaks volumes of what kind of man his is.
As his act started, he made sure that a prop picture of “The Nature Boy” that had been used by the former WWE writer the act before, was removed as he wittily commented, “I don’t think I can stare at this for the next hour!” With the past between Foley and Flair, it didn’t really surprise me but, I was glad Foley had made the comment out of humor and not of bitterness. He also made it a point to introduce “The Glamazon” Beth Phoenix who had been sitting among the audience with Foley’s family and some of hers. I assumed she made the show as she lives moderately close to where the club is. With Flair gone and Beth pointed out, Foley commenced on putting on an hour and a half plus performance. To my surprise, I was genuinely impressed with how comfortable Foley was on that comedy stage. He fired from the hip, doing a great job with telling behind-the-curtain stories, featuring guys such as Al Snow (who apparently is a bum in the ring), The Rock, Undertaker, Terry Funk, “Diamond” Dallas Page, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, and even Mr. Vince McMahon himself.
After a great show (which I highly recommend to any wrestling fan who has the chance to attend), a meet and greet was held. Foley only charged for the buying of his promos to sign or Cactus Jack tee shirts. He stated that the fact that you (the audience) made a leap of faith on the hope that he’d entertain you and that you even bought the tickets to come to this comedy show, that that fact alone was good enough for him. This also impressed me, as Foley willingly sat for two hours and met with the (roughly) three hundred people that had packed the venue, for an added bonus included in the original twenty-three dollar ticket price.
I wore my Owen 3:16 shirt as I felt I had to, as Foley and Owen Hart were well known to be pretty close friends. I was determined to get an Owen story out of Mick before the night was over and that is all I could think about while standing in the winding line. We had found ourselves at the tail-end of the sea of people so by the time we got up to Foley, you could tell it had been a long night for him. He’d gone through two Red Bull energy drinks and quite a few snapped pictures, which made me reconsider asking the man a question. He is only human after all! Luckily enough, I was able to overhear an Owen story though and listened as intently as I could. It was a quick snippet, told by somebody who was very close to Owen Hart in the business. According to Foley, when Owen and Mick would do signings together, if Owen was asked by a fan to take a picture for them while they met other wrestlers after him Owen would intentionally sabotage the picture by either zooming in on the foreheads or mouths of those in the picture. Thus, he would fail to capture the moment properly and fans would wonder what happened. How could you ever be mad though, imagine as a fan being unknowingly ribbed by the legendary ribber Owen Hart! Awesome stuff for sure. The story made me smile and I was glad Mick has such warm, entertaining memories still in reserve after all these years…
Meeting Foley was quick but enjoyable. He eyed down my shirt, threw out a fist-bump (as he prefers not to shake hands due to his hand being broken once by an overly stern handshake), signed my Greatest Hits & Misses: Hardcore Edition DVD, and posed for a picture. Again, all for free with the purchase of a ticket to the show. It is true what they say after all. Foley is good. A good person, entertainer, and professional.
Overall, I was highly satisfied with the entire night and left the club with a few thoughts. His routine impressed me. The hybrid mix of a fan event and stand-up comedy performance was very entertaining. He even included answering two or three questions from the audience as a brief Q&A of sorts. It was really worth the price of admission to hear this mans tails of life on the road, the men and women he spend years at a time with, and funny occurrences in his life since. Another thought that I could help but ponder over was the fact that the toll the wrestling business took on Mick physically was remarkable and almost sad. He walked with a moderate hitch. As well, after years of taking flash photography photos with fans, was unable to look directly into cameras during the photos. He sacrificed his body for the entertainment of wrestling fans around the world and the price he paid has become obvious. To credit the man, these facts do not provide bitterness for Foley in the least. The real fact is that he is nothing but a kind, funny individual who I have great respect and admiration for. He also came off as a regular guy. A vulnerable, very human individual, caught me off guard as being the hardcore legend who is Mick Foley. He came off as a man who had seen it all, had lost dear friends, and had made lasting memories for himself, his family, and his fans around the world. Several times during his performance, I caught myself being entertained by the human who is Mick Foley, not the wrestler, legend, or author. I swear I could see, hear, and feel all of the pain, joy, humor, turmoil, and growth in this special man. I’m very glad I was given the opportunity to watch Mick perform and meet him afterward.
Be in his presence. Meet this man. If you can, talk to him. It will really be something special.
Until then, have a nice day!
As the nice day I met Mick Foley, is one I will never forget…
And for those interested in more information on Foley’s stand-up and a bunch of other things, his website can be found here: Mick Foley’s Website