DID YOU READ

Requiem For a Macho Man

Requiem For a Macho Man (photo)

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Sad news, children of the ’80s: wrestler Randy “Macho Man” Savage died this morning after suffering a heart attack behind the wheel of his car. He was 58. According to TMZ, Savage, who was wearing his seatbelt at the time, was driving his “2009 Jeep Wrangler when he veered across a concrete median … through oncoming traffic … and collided head-on with a tree.”

Without exaggeration, The Macho Man was one of my biggest childhood heroes. For a kid who read comic books, when he and Hulk Hogan teamed up to form the Mega Powers it was like tangible proof that super-heroes really did exist. When Macho and the Hulkster broke up (over a woman!), it was like learning Santa Claus didn’t exist. I quickly got over my emotional devastation when I remembered what a great villain Macho Man made. Nobody could piss off a crowd, or cheat when the ref wasn’t looking, like the Macho Man. After he beat “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan, the current “King of the Ring,” he finally earned the title he so richly deserved: “The Macho King.” Later, he played a great professional wrestler in Sam Raimi’s first “Spider-Man” film.

In his prime, Macho Man’s work in the ring was so good it invalidated the whole “wrestling is fake” argument. Yes, the matches’ outcomes are predetermined. But Savage’s athleticism was 100% real. His feud with Ricky Steamboat at Wrestlemania III is still considered one of the greatest of all time, or so I’m told by Wikipedia. All I knew at the time was it was awesome.

Speaking of the Hulk Hogan Macho Man breakup, back in the ’80s, that was as clear a battle of good versus evil as World War II. Looking back, though, I wonder if we all sided with the wrong guy. The crux of the Hogan/Macho feud was Macho’s onscreen girlfriend (and then real life wife) Miss Elizabeth. Essentially, Macho became jealous of Hogan’s success and was convinced that he was trying to steal his girl. In anger and frustration, he lashed out. Here’s the thing: Macho Man was exactly right. Hogan was kinda horning in on his girl, and Hogan was getting more attention even though Savage could wrestle circles around him. That’s not a cartoon wrestling feud: that’s classic Greek tragedy.

Of course, Savage will be best remembered for his years of outlandish commercials for Slim Jims, which all involved his trademark “OOOOO YEEEEAAAAH!” and his ferocious interpretation of the company’s slogan (“SNAP INTO A SLIM JIM!”). Without question, any person born in America between the years 1980 and 1989 has done their impression of Macho Man selling Slim Jims at least six thousand times. Savage’s commercials were fantastic: anarchic, manic, and hilarious. Pump the Kool-Aid Man full of methamphetamine, sprinkle in a dash of Carrie White’s telekinetic powers, and you start to get a sense of Savage’s pungent pitchman persona: pure, insane adrenaline. Here’s a prime example of his work to snap into.

I haven’t watched wrestling in more than fifteen years, but I still look back fondly at all those childhood Saturday mornings spent with “Superstars of Wrestling” and “Wrestling Challenge.” Unfortunately, it does feel like the story told by Darren Aronofsky in his beautiful and sad film “The Wrestler” has become far too common. Too many wrestlers die young and broke (the aforementioned Miss Elizabeth tragically died in 2003 of a drug overdose). The toll that lifestyle takes on your body, and the price these guys paid — and continue to pay — for our entertainment, is far too high. But I hope the Macho Man knew how much pleasure he gave the kids of my generation.

The Macho King is dead. Long live the Macho King. Oh yeah.

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Millennial Wisdom

Charles Speaks For Us All

Get to know Charles, the social media whiz of Brockmire.

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He may be an unlikely radio producer Brockmire, but Charles is #1 when it comes to delivering quips that tie a nice little bow on the absurdity of any given situation.

Charles also perfectly captures the jaded outlook of Millennials. Or at least Millennials as mythologized by marketers and news idiots. You know who you are.

Played superbly by Tyrel Jackson Williams, Charles’s quippy nuggets target just about any subject matter, from entry-level jobs in social media (“I plan on getting some experience here, then moving to New York to finally start my life.”) to the ramifications of fictional celebrity hookups (“Drake and Taylor Swift are dating! Albums y’all!”). But where he really nails the whole Millennial POV thing is when he comments on America’s second favorite past-time after type II diabetes: baseball.

Here are a few pearls.

On Baseball’s Lasting Cultural Relevance

“Baseball’s one of those old-timey things you don’t need anymore. Like cursive. Or email.”

On The Dramatic Value Of Double-Headers

“The only thing dumber than playing two boring-ass baseball games in one day is putting a two-hour delay between the boring-ass games.”

On Sartorial Tradition

“Is dressing badly just a thing for baseball, because that would explain his jacket.”

On Baseball, In A Nutshell

“Baseball is a f-cked up sport, and I want you to know it.”


Learn more about Charles in the behind-the-scenes video below.

And if you were born before the late ’80s and want to know what the kids think about Baseball, watch Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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Crown Jules

Amanda Peet FTW on Brockmire

Amanda Peet brings it on Brockmire Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

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GIFS via Giphy

On Brockmire, Jules is the unexpected yin to Jim Brockmire’s yang. Which is saying a lot, because Brockmire’s yang is way out there. Played by Amanda Peet, Jules is hard-drinking, truth-spewing, baseball-loving…everything Brockmire is, and perhaps what he never expected to encounter in another human.

“We’re the same level of functional alcoholic.”


But Jules takes that commonality and transforms it into something special: a new beginning. A new beginning for failing minor league baseball team “The Frackers”, who suddenly about-face into a winning streak; and a new beginning for Brockmire, whose life gets a jumpstart when Jules lures him back to baseball. As for herself, her unexpected connection with Brockmire gives her own life a surprising and much needed goose.

“You’re a Goddamn Disaster and you’re starting To look good to me.”

This palpable dynamic adds depth and complexity to the narrative and pushes the series far beyond expected comedy. See for yourself in this behind-the-scenes video (and brace yourself for a unforgettable description of Brockmire’s genitals)…

Want more about Amanda Peet? She’s all over the place, and has even penned a recent self-reflective piece in the New York Times.

And of course you can watch the Jim-Jules relationship hysterically unfold in new episodes of Brockmire, every Wednesday at 10PM on IFC.

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Draught Pick

Sam Adams “Keeps It Brockmire”

All New Brockmire airs Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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From baseball to beer, Jim Brockmire calls ’em like he sees ’em.

via GIPHY

It’s no wonder at all, then, that Sam Adams would reach out to Brockmire to be their shockingly-honest (and inevitably short-term) new spokesperson. Unscripted and unrestrained, he’ll talk straight about Sam—and we’ll take his word. Check out this new testimonial for proof:

See more Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC, presented by Samuel Adams. Good f***** beer.

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