Being Andre the Giant
April 1, 2015 8:44 AM   Subscribe

"The biggest, most famous guy on the roster is Andre the Giant," DiBiase said. "Andre made Hulk Hogan, in my opinion. Here comes this guy that has everything going for him, you know, Hogan. His size, his whole deal, his look. But you know, somebody's gotta make him a star. And Andre the Giant more than anybody, I think, is the guy who helped Hogan become a star, and I think Hogan would tell you that."
Being Andre the Giant.
posted by MartinWisse (22 comments total) 38 users marked this as a favorite
 
One of the most fascinating people of his era.
Boy, he could drink, too.
Even among stars like Billy Crystal, he was maybe the funniest part of Princess Bride.
You gotta respect that.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:48 AM on April 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


Beloved and in constant demand, Andre the Giant spent his life balancing the wrestling spotlight with his thirst for a normal existence.
and beer (if Modern Drunkard is to be believed).
posted by Seamus at 9:01 AM on April 1, 2015


And this article.
Reading about him always makes me sad.
posted by Seamus at 9:08 AM on April 1, 2015


Thanks for finding this. Andre was an ever-present part of my childhood, and the thought of him being normal and tooling around a ranch with a bunch of dogs following him makes me tear up and smile at the same time.
posted by kimberussell at 9:10 AM on April 1, 2015 [3 favorites]


When he ate yogurt, Andre intentionally chose the small yogurt cups, for entertainment purposes.

"When it got empty, he'd put it down on the floor and let the miniature daschund get its head stuck in it trying to lick all of the yogurt out of the container," McAuley said. "Andre thought it was funny."


What good is the Internet if I can't watch video footage of Andre the Giant feeding yogurt to a miniature goddamn dachshund??
posted by Atom Eyes at 9:17 AM on April 1, 2015 [22 favorites]


The only thing better than reading about Andre the Giant is drinking 120 beers and then reading about Andre the Giant
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:20 AM on April 1, 2015 [4 favorites]


Obligatory link to Admiral Haddock's encounter with Andre the Giant.
posted by Kabanos at 9:24 AM on April 1, 2015 [5 favorites]


If you're ever at Baylor hospital in Dallas, you have to make a point to see the collection of hand molds on display there. Nothing really gives a sense of scale unless you're there in person, but here are Andre's.
posted by resurrexit at 9:24 AM on April 1, 2015 [3 favorites]


Andre could eat a lot when he felt like it -- tales of his food intake are second only to his drinking stories...

There are many stories of Andre ordering entire menus. Just "Bring me one of everything," and then finishing it off. Beating Hulk Hogan is one thing -- Andre the Giant beat restaurants.
posted by Etrigan at 9:30 AM on April 1, 2015 [5 favorites]


I really enjoyed "Andre the Giant: Life and Legend". It's actually a comic book biography, but it had some touching moments in it.
posted by HappyEngineer at 10:53 AM on April 1, 2015


I really don't understand how his appetites could be nearly as prodigious as are so frequently suggested. He was maybe three times the mass of a normal guy, so maybe he can force himself to eat three pizzas? But 120 beers? Can any normal 180-200 pound guy drink 40 beers without being hospitalized?
posted by skewed at 11:04 AM on April 1, 2015


Can any normal 180-200 pound guy drink 40 beers without being hospitalized?

I think that story was over the course of an entire day/night, it's certainly possible (although not advisable, obviously) for a normal, high tolerance, say college frat guy to finish a whole 30-pack case in 12 hours of football tailgating. That's 2.5 an hour, or 3.75 an hour if you cram it into just 8 hours. A 220lb frat dude would be 40% of Andre's wieght at his heaviest, 550lbs. Scale up 3.75beers an hour, and you've got what, 9.3ish/hr or 111beers in 12 hours? Back of the evelope says that's about what you'd need to fell a giant, but he could still sleep it off without dying.
posted by T.D. Strange at 11:18 AM on April 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


Does alcohol tolerance even map linearly with body weight? I wouldn't assume so.
posted by ODiV at 11:21 AM on April 1, 2015


I love the story that when he was young, he would get a lift from Samuel Beckett to school.
posted by Dagobert at 11:44 AM on April 1, 2015 [8 favorites]


college frat guy to finish a whole 30-pack case in 12 hours

I read that the Hell's Angels have a tattoo to signify drinking 24 beers in eight hours, but that could be an urban legend.
posted by jonmc at 12:02 PM on April 1, 2015


I love the story that when he was young, he would get a lift from Samuel Beckett to school.

I was wondering about this recently and I'm pretty sure it's not true. Or at least not as told by Andre the G on the set of Princess Bride. It hinges on Beckett having a truck, like they're in the southern US or something. Beckett had a 2CV, which wouldn't be much cop for giant-transporting. Maybe Andre's dad helped build Beckett's cottage in Ussy-sur-Marne and maybe Andre got a lift from Beckett once. Or maybe not. The only source for the story seems to be Andre himself and he could drink 120 beers so I'd take it with a pinch of salt (and lime).
posted by Mocata at 12:33 PM on April 1, 2015


Anybody want a peanut?
posted by the bird at the bottom of the tree at 12:37 PM on April 1, 2015 [4 favorites]


Beckett had a 2CV, which wouldn't be much cop for giant-transporting.

Well, what does Wikipedia have to say about the Citro├źn 2CV?
Often called "an umbrella on wheels", the bodywork featured a distinctive and prominent full-width, canvas, roll-back sunroof, which accommodated oversized loads and until 1955 reached almost to the car's rear bumper, covering its trunk.
Emphasis mine. "Oversized loads" such as, say... a giant?
posted by Faint of Butt at 12:40 PM on April 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


Andre the Giant will always be my favorite. Thanks for this, MW.
posted by ob1quixote at 12:53 PM on April 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


We Took the Mountain Goats' John Darnielle to His First Wrestling Show in 35 Years (relevant because wrestling and it includes Darielle's story of Andre).
posted by misskaz at 3:30 PM on April 1, 2015 [3 favorites]


Here's your scale, resurrexit. His hands were the size of a tractor seat. A real one, not a Cub Cadet.
posted by cookie-k at 9:43 PM on April 1, 2015


Anybody want a peanut?
posted by Joseph Gurl at 3:31 AM on April 2, 2015


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