Normally when Long Island’s Mick Foley, 47, stands before a crowd, he wears a flannel red shirt, yells into a microphone and may or may not be swinging a baseball bat wrapped in barbed wire. However, on Saturday evening, Foley wore a red flannel shirt, yelled into a microphone, and proceeded to crack-up a crowd of 100 with stand-up comedy at the .
Many know Foley not as a stand-up comedian, but as a professional wrestler. Starting in World Championship Wrestling in 1991, Foley went on to wrestle in Extreme Championship Wrestling, World Wrestling Entertainment, and Total Nonstop Action Wrestling. He was better known in these promotions under the personas Cactus Jack, Mankind and Dude Love.
What made Foley stand out was that he had a different look from the typical bodybuilder wrestlers, a la Hulk Hogan or The Rock. Instead of using muscle, he was more of a technical and hardcore wrestler. Many of Foley’s matches included steel chairs, tables, trash can lids, thumbtacks and the aforementioned barbed wire baseball bats.
Spare a few matches in the last few years, Foley for all intents and purposes retired from the ring in 2000. Since his time away from wrestling, Foley became a New York Times best selling author, as well as a well-known humanitarian who raises money for the RAINN Network (Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network).
One of the reasons Foley was such a popular figure in the wrestling world was due to his humor while performing in the ring. He had many memorable skits during his time wrestling with WWE CEO Vince McMahon, as well as The Rock and HHH. Foley’s finishing move involves putting a sock on his hand and jamming said sock into his opponents’ throats. Due to this finisher, while teaming with the Rock, their team was known as the “Rock N Sock Connection.”
Since retiring, Foley took to pursuing comedy, and has been performing for the past few years. On Saturday evening at Long Branch, along with Australian comic Brendon Burns, Foley performed in front of 100 fans who were excited for comedy and wrestling musings from the hardcore icon.
Burns was first to go on stage and seemed to relish the fact he was performing in front of wrestling fans, as he too was a fan himself. He continually noted how normally he would have to go in depth explaining who each wrestler was, but for the fans in attendance on Saturday night he was "thrilled to be able to gloss over that information."
Burns regaled the crowd with stories of his time at wrestling events and heckling the grapplers, but instead of using boos or cheers, he would use proper English grammar.
One story he told the crowd was watching a wrestling match in England from 2007 between Indian wrestler The Great Khali and Puerto Rican wrestler Carlito. He explained Khali is not the most nimble wrestler, and when a move between the two was messed up, there was a stretch of silence from the crowd until he heckled.
“I stood up and yelled out to Khali, ‘Excuse me sir! I said sir! I do not know what you were trying to do in the ring right then but by my calculations it did not seem to work!,” he said to a laughing audience.
Once Burns concluded his act, Foley came out to a rousing ovation, and an assistant even played his well-known theme music for the crowd to cheer while he made his way to the microphone. Foley performed about a half hour of jokes, intertwining stories from the wrestling world as well as some musical parodies.
One of the funnier portions of the night was Foley recalling how he would listen to Tori Amos’ song “Winter” to pump him up before a big match.
“One wrestler wanted to know what I was listening to, and I gave him my old headphones to which he listened, shook his head and gave them back to me,” Foley said. “He told me, ‘remind me not to mess with you ever again!’”
At the conclusion of the show, Foley took part in a question and answer portion with the crowd. Some fans were very specific with their questions on specific matches involving individuals like Terry Funk and Al Snow, while others asked about his charitable work with the Daily Show. Last year Foley took part in Jon Stewart’s “Rally to Restore Sanity,” in Washington D.C.
The evening concluded right after and Foley took time to say hello to all the fans in attendance. Following this performance, Foley will be seen on Monday Night RAW’s 1000th episode this evening. Then, he and Burns will be making their way to Montreal for the Just For Laughs Festival, followed by a trip overseas to the world famous Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland.
More information on their tour can be found on the website RealMickFoley.com.