For a prime-time television show to last five seasons (and that’s with re-runs) is an accomplishment. To do it 19 (with no re-runs), forget about it.
With so many unforgettable moments, Raw did it, and WWE celebrates those memories during Raw’s 1,000th episode on Monday, July 23 at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis. The historic show debuts Raw’s three-hour format on the USA Network, beginning at 8 p.m. EST.
Of those 1,000 shows, spanning 19 seasons, Jerry The King Lawler worked more than 900, maybe closer to 950, according to him.
“It’s been quite a ride,” Lawler, 62, said.
The King has wrestled, announced and even hosted a segment on Raw called The King’s Court. A first of its kind spot on Raw, The King’s Court served as a springboard to such recurring skits like The Love Shack, The Cutting Edge, The V.I.P. Lounge and The Highlight Reel. Piper’s Pit and The Brother Love Show preceded it but not on Raw.
“I do look back sometimes and think about some of the things that I helped get started,” Lawler said. “Don’t give me personally any credit for that. It was something they came to me and said we have this idea. I think they wanted to capitalize on the fact that at that time — and probably still today — I was better known for my talking abilities and interviews more so than my wrestling abilities.
“I think they just thought, ‘Let’s not waste this. We’ve got this opportunity. We’ve got a guy who can talk and interact with people.’ So they came up with the idea of The King’s Court, and I just ran with it.
“We had some great ones on there. I’ll never forget people like Tiny Tim and busting poor Tiny Tim’s ukulele during a King’s Court or having William Shatner on. I actually got the alien monkey flip from William Shatner on live television. There were some great King’s Courts.”
During his high-profile feud with Bret The Hitman Hart, many times Lawler angered fans and others by making Hart’s parents, Stu and Helen Hart, the butt of his jokes.
“They were such great material for me,” Lawler chuckled. “Bless their hearts. They were so kind and so gracious. Honestly, I feel their son, Bret, really got offended several times, but Stu and Helen never did. They had a great attitude. They loved to be mentioned in any capacity on the show.”
• The King’s favorite Stu and Helen Hart joke.
Lawler thought a few seconds and answered: “[Because they had so many kids] I said one time, ‘Stu and Helen Hart produced more tragedies than Shakespeare.’”
During the Attitude Era, Lawler became synonymous with the word puppies, when describing a diva’s upper body part.
“I actually got to give credit to a guy who I think will be returning on the 1,000th episode,” Lawler said. “It was a member of DX, Road Dogg [Jesse] James. I believe he was talking to Sable at the time. DX was in the ring, and Sable was in the ring, and somehow I believe Road Dogg said, ‘Hey, show us your puppies.’ It kind of floated by. No big deal at that point and time, but then I started using the word a couple of weeks later, and it just stuck.
“The Attitude Era has been over for quite a while, but not a week goes by where some fan will come up to me and say, ‘Hey King, say puppies.’”