Pruett's in-person review of WWE Hall of Famer Mick Foley's "Tales from Wrestling's Past" comedy show in Los Angeles featuring Dolph Ziggler, William Regal, Hornswoggle, JTG, Lillian Garcia, Candice Michelle, and more
By Will Pruett
I had no idea what to expect going into this comedy show. I have heard good things about Mick Foley's comedy act, but I was honestly worried I would be bored or burnt out after SummerSlam. I also had my wife with me, who is more of a casual observer of wrestling, and was worried she would feel left out during the comedy show. I couldn't have been more wrong with both presuppositions.
Mick Foley's comedy show was funny to both wrestling fans and non-wrestling fans. It contained some great stories from one of the legends in the business and had some surprisingly poignant and self-reflective moments as well. Foley is a master story-teller and has really honed his craft as far as comedy goes. Leaving this show, it was impossible not to be charmed with Foley's personality and the wrestling business in general. It was also impossible not to reflect and say "wrestling is weird."
We arrived at the show pretty early, since we came straight from SummerSlam and were able to escape Staples Center quickly. We were surprised to walk up to the front of The Improv and see Mick ordering from the food truck outside. Mick was quickly getting ready to go inside and get ready, but took a picture with the food truck employees and stopped to chat with us a little. He was a very nice guy and seemed genuinely grateful to us (and everyone else) for coming out to his show.
We moved inside and gathered at the bar as the club started to fill up. Dolph Ziggler wandered in at one point and some fans mobbed him. Lillian Garcia was very kind when she walked in and took pictures with fans, as did Candice Michelle. William Regal hung out outside and talked its fans for a while, as did Hornswoggle, as the actual club started to fill up.
The show began with the host, who's name escapes me at the moment (my apologies to him), telling some wrestling themed jokes and reacting to SummerSlam. He lead the crowd in a "Yes!" chant in a moment of catharsis for everyone. He warmed the crowd up nicely in a quick and efficient manner.
The first act was Jenifer Bloodsworth, a former WWE creative team member who has transitioned into stand up. She was really entertaining, doing a set mostly built around wrestling, but veering into her life and other comic moments as well. She was a nice opener and won a crowd yearning to see Foley over rather quickly.
As a part of Bloodsworth's set she had a special guest join her to read WrestleMania 40 spoilers. The special guest was Dolph Ziggler. Ziggler was excited, yet seemed slightly nervous. He and Jenifer went back and forth a little bit before getting into the actual "spoilers." This was a very funny bit I enjoyed a ton.
Mick Foley was up next and he began his set by going over some ground rules. He asked fans not to shout punch lines or the ends of stories. He also asked people not to ask any stupid questions or questions about Hell in a Cell during the question and answer portion of the show.
Foley's set was over an hour long and he engaged the crowd quite a bit. He asked us to chant, make sound effects, and participate in general. Foley told stories spanning his entire career and featuring many wrestlers he has interacted with. While many non-wrestling fans wouldn't know all of the characters, Foley made sure to offer enough exposition for them to understand. He knows his audience well and realizes many wives and other folks may get dragged into it.
The set was very funny and crafted like a traditional story telling comedy set. Foley wasn't telling a bunch of one-liners, but was working hard at telling humorous stories logically building to a punch line. Foley let his mind wander at times during the set (at least it seemed that way) but that kept things pretty organic. He often involved certain crowd members, including one who's breasts he was a fan of.
Special guests on Foley's set included Dolph Ziggler, JCW's Kevin Gill, and Jenifer Bloodsworth, who was hilariously dressed as "Diamond" Dallas Page. They added a little something to the set and their interactions with Foley were quite fun.
I'm not going to break down his jokes or his set, other than to say he was really fun and time passed quickly. Even though it was late and I was exhausted, I was wide awake for Foley's entire show. It is well worth going to see if it come to your town soon.
The next portion of the show was the question and answer portion. Ziggler, Hornswoggle, William Regal, JTG, Lillian Garcia, and Candice Michelle took the stage with Mick. Pat Patterson was supposed to join him, but apparently had to leave. Mark Henry was invited to the stage, but declined (I'm assuming because that's what he does). The questions asked were usually pretty insightful, allowing fans to get to know these wrestlers as people, not comics or wrestlers. All of the wrestlers were extremely receptive and friendly.
William Regal was given time to tell a few stories. He was a little too low key for the environment when bringing the funny, but his wry wit did shine through. Regal told a couple great stories. He was a very nice guy (even when fans mobbed him outside the bathroom after the show) and seemed legitimately humble.
This was a great night of wrestling discussion and laughter. Fans and non-fans alike will enjoy Mick Foley's comedy stylings. He brings with him an odd perspective on a very weird sport and its rituals. Foley and his special guests worked hard to entertain and put on an almost three hour show that never lacked in entertainment value. This was a great night.
For more thoughts from me, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or to follow me and interact on twitter at twitter.com/itswilltime.
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