Former wrestling champ Mick Foley brings his amazing life story to humorous life Tuesday at the Ice House
By Carl Kozlowski 08/07/2014
After being a three-time World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) champion, writing two books that hit No. 1 on The New York Times bestseller list, and enduring a gruesome string of injuries including having a tooth lodge inside a nostril and the amputation of an ear, Mick Foley has plenty of stories to tell. But rather than saving his tales for drinking buddies at the local pub, he has collected them into an 80-minute show that has opened yet another lucrative career path for him.
In fact, Foley, 49, is bringing his show, “Hardcore Legend: An Evening with Mick Foley,” to the Ice House Comedy Club Tuesday night. Offering tales ranging from his Long Island boyhood through his wrestling, writing, acting and stand-up comedy careers, the show has been praised by England’s top comedy magazine “Chortle” as “charm personified: eloquent, self-effacing and funny.”
“After Notre Dame invited me to speak at an event for their unusual authors’ week, I spoke at 50 colleges over seven years,” says Foley. “For the most part I was given a free platform. While I tried to make my talks educational, I also gravitated to humorous stories, so by the time I did standup in 2008 I had performed 50 times prior to that. There’s a big difference between telling funny stories at a college event, which is a bonus, as opposed to making people laugh over the course of a show, but I get better at it every night, 80 minutes at a time.”
It should not be surprising that Foley managed to reinvent himself to such great success as a writer, for he had already accomplished a daring switch during his pro wrestling days when he switched personas from Cactus Jack to Mankind and became even more popular in the process. When he saw his wrestling days coming to an end and was offered the chance to craft a memoir, he was dissatisfied with the work done by his ghost writer and insisted on taking the work into his own hands.
“I always was a good writer, and in fact, years after I retired and after I’d written first several books, my mom came across a college paper which said I should think about writing as a career,” recalls Foley. “That seemed ridiculous because I was so driven to be a wrestler. I loved it and thought about it constantly and luckily had both a trainer and good parents who understood the necessity of a college education and having a Plan B in life, which is a lesson I’ve tried to carry forth to other wrestlers in life.”
Mick Foley will perform “Hardcore Legend: An Evening with Mick Foley” followed by a Q&A with the audience, at 8 p.m. Tuesday at the Ice House, 24 N. Mentor Ave., Pasadena. Tickets are $25 general admission and $32 for VIP seating. Call (626) 577-1894 or visit icehousecomedy.com.