Thursday, June 23, 2016

What Might've Been: The Bobby Heenan Show (1989)

Let me try to explain this one.

Bobby "The Brain" Heenan, veteran heel manager, was given his own talk show as a spin-off from Prime Time Wrestling in 1989. When it came to promos on his men's opponents, Heenan spouted clich├ęd insults, but ran like a coward when confronted, as a villain like him is wont to do. Unfortunately, instead of being the 2nd coming of Don Rickles, Heenan came across as a flesh-&-blood 2nd coming of Wacky Races' bumbling villain, Dick Dastardly.

It wasn't long, of course, before Vince McMahon and USA Network pulled the plug on this experiment in silliness. While Heenan was doing this, "Rowdy" Roddy Piper replaced him as Gorilla Monsoon's partner on Prime Time, but before long, the three of them were sharing time after The Bobby Heenan Show bit the dust.

McMahon must've figured that the interview segments he gave to people like Piper, Jake Roberts, Jesse Ventura, and others might still work if stretched out to at least a half-hour. As has often happened since with other outside-the-box ideas from Chez McMahon, it flopped harder than a basket of dead fish. Left all by himself, save for Lord Alfred Hayes as a poor man's Arthur Treacher, the same role, mind you, that Hayes had on Tuesday Night Titans four years earlier, whatever charisma Heenan possessed dissipated like morning dew.

Ya don't believe me? Scope this sample clip.

McMahon should've learned his lesson from Titans, his Tonight Show parody, but he didn't. Nearly 30 years later, he still hasn't figured out what went wrong.

Rating: C-.

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