by Chris Davis
Weird that I missed this. Memphis' multiple inclusions on this list of crazy interviews is usually the sort of thing I catch for Fly on the Wall. Anyway, earlier this year Nerve.com made a list of the 20 weirdest celebrity interviews of all time and Memphis dominated with three completely bizarro chat segments. Two were in the top five, and one was produced locally and conducted by none other that iron weatherman and wrestling commentator Dave Brown. High five!
Sun Records' fuzzy-headed founder Sam Phillips owned the 19th position (could have been much higher up on the list IMO) for his wild-eyed, charmingly uncooperative 1986 turn on Late Night With David Letterman. Phillips, who'd just been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, described Letterman as “lucky” because not many people with buck teeth can make a million dollars.
According to Nerve, “Phillips set the template for the Joaquin Phoenix interview — looking and behaving like a Montana militiaman is the surest way to Dave's heart.”
Just as Phillips' ’50s-era recordings at Sun represent the Big Bang of Rock and Roll, King Jerry Lawler's F-bomb-spotted smackdown of conceptual comedian Andy Kaufman on Letterman's show represents the Big Bang of professional wrestling as a mainstream mega-entertainment. That trash-talking segment only earned a fifth place finish on Nerve's list though.
But you can't keep Jerry Lawler down. He also clawed his way into third place by taking part in a totally dada threeway conversation with Dave Brown, and Batman TV star Adam West. The interview — a promotion for a Memphis car show — found West dressed in his finest Bat-sweatsuit and sluring his Bat-speech. “There's hope for you yet,” says the terry-clothed crusader after scolding the King for calling his fans rednecks.
Lawler, looking and sounding a little like Larry the Cable Guy, wore a Superman costume to the interview.
So maybe this is all old news to those of you who are even geekier than I am. But if you haven't watched all 20 of these videos yet it's still an awesome waste of time.