WWE Hall of Famer Mick Foley is bringing his popular “Tales from Wrestling Past” stand-up show to the Fort Lauderdale Improv on Wednesday, July 31 and Miami Improv on Thursday, Aug. 1.
After a historic career inside and outside the ring, the Long Island native decided to try his hand (and mouth) at comedy with a debut at the Improv in Los Angeles four years ago. The comedy show developed after the New York Times best-selling author did a few college speaking engagements.
“I had graduated toward stories that were humorous in nature,” Foley said. “Obviously, there is a world a difference in telling stories as part of a college lecture series and actually getting people to physically laugh. During the course of those four years, I’ve realized that I’m not much a stand-up comic as I am a storyteller. Therefore the tour name ‘Tales from Wrestling Past’ will allow wrestling fans to know that this is a show for them.”
Many former and current WWE associates have been known to be the subject of a few Foley zingers on stage. For the budding comic, it’s all in good fun.
“I think those people realize I wouldn’t even spend time on people I didn’t like,” Foley said. “I don’t have a mean-spirited sense of humor. Even the guys who are the butt of the jokes are dealt with affection.”
With that in mind, how many Al Snow quips will attendees hear during the South Florida shows?
“I don’t ever have a design number of Al Snow jokes or references,” Foley said. “However, if I sense an audience is responsive to a little Al Snow and to laugh at his expense, I’ll keep that ball rolling. It’s like being in the ring. If it’s an Al Snow night, I’ll roll with it.”
Much like in the ring, Foley feeds off the crowd.
“I used to think I owed it to the audience to give them a completely different show every time I got on stage. Now I realize I owe it to the audience to give them the best show I can every time I get on stage,” Foley said. “I do have some structure, but I try to make each show a unique experience. I will go out of my way to make sure the show I do in Fort Lauderdale is quite different than the show I do in Miami.
“I go back to experiences I’ve had in cities. One story specifically takes place in Miami, and I do have a special surprise lined up in Fort Lauderdale. One of my guests hails from there and will make a nice addition to a story…I’m lucky I have a woman named Jenifer Bloodsworth to support me on these shows. She is a former writer for WWE, so she brings a unique perspective to her comedy. She also plays a really vital role to one of my scenes that I try to create.”
The consummate entertainer believes for a while his show suffered a bit because he was trying so hard to make it accessible to everybody. A revelation came at a comedy festival in Montreal.
“I realized if people want to hear talk of subjects other than wrestling, there were plenty of other places to go,” Foley said. “So I do the show with the wrestling fans in mind, but I make the atmosphere an inviting one for non-fans. It’s very gratifying that after almost every show I will get three to four women who come up to me to say that they accompanied their spouse with no idea what to expect and really enjoyed themselves.