Interviews

Mick Foley on His Comedy Career, WWE Hall of Fame Induction, and Interaction with Triple-H

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Do you get into stories that aren't in your books? It's a combination. I've obviously got four volumes of memoirs and a lot of material to work on. So, for example, I just told the cookie story for the first time. I rewrote it. I told it for the first time last summer only because Diamond Dallas Page was going to be in the audience. And so I spent six hours on the flight rewriting that story for the stage. And I was just thrilled when I saw it take on a whole new light. So I don't look at these things like I'm reciting old stories. It's kind of like a band that can rediscover and old tune and make it better in a live setting.

So in some cases I will be telling stories that have known endings but I ask the viewer to trust that I will take them there in an entertaining way. And in some cases there are stories that I did not think to write in the book or that come about because I get a question at a show and it turns into a story that I can then work on and make part of the show.

Like what? So in Arizona, Flagstaff's [performance] will be all ages so I probably won't do this one in Flagstaff, but I have a grand conclusion, a grand concluding story that's become one of my favorite things I've ever done. And it only came about because a few weeks earlier someone asked about the strangest thing I'd ever seen. They asked if it was losing my ear in Germany. And I just thought about it and I said, "You know, that's not even the strangest thing I've seen in Germany." And I went off on a story that I never intended to tell that has become my favorite story of all time.

How does it feel to be part of the WWE Hall of Fame? You know, up until a couple of years ago I would say, "Hey, the recognition I get on a daily basis from fans is my Hall of Fame," because I didn't think I'd get the invite. And then once you get invited, you realize that it is a huge honor, especially at Madison Square Garden, which is the building that I grew up hitchhiking to and taking trains to, where I saw so many amazing moments take place. And without slighting any other class of inductees, I have to feel that this the one that's going to be the benchmark for all the classes that follow.

Do you like how your career has come full circle? Going from hitchhiking to MSG to see Muraco versus Snuka to being inducted into the Hall of Fame in the same building? Yeah, 30 years later. Yeah, it has occurred to me and I'm really excited about it. I have some the same friends who used to accompany me to those same Garden trips, not on the hitchhiking one, but some of the same guys who used to go to the shows with me will be in attendance. So I'm excited. I have a couple of surprise guests coming by to show their support.

I also got the coolest Hall of Fame tribute video from Arizonan Nils Lofgren yesterday. He's one of my favorite musicians and he sent a little musical tribute, played a little jam and sang a couple of lines about me entering the Hall of Fame. And it was really stunning for me to have one of my favorite musicians send me a personal tribute.

You and WWE owner Vince McMahon have had your differences over the years. Is getting into the Hall of Fame a sign of his ultimate respect of you? You know what, Vince always liked and respected me. Well, he didn't always like me but he respected me. This is not so much the definite sign of that as much as him mentioning my book [Countdown to Lockdown] on my show when I wasn't with the company. And it was really at that moment that I decided that if I was ever asked to be a part of the Hall of Fame then I would do it without a second thought.

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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.