Let me tell you something mean Gene
January 2, 2019 6:42 PM   Subscribe

Gene Okerlund has passed away. Gene and Captain Lou.

He was an institution for a fan of a certain age.Wikiwhatnot page.
posted by vrakatar (26 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
posted by joedan at 6:43 PM on January 2

I cried out "OHHHH MY GOODNESS" when I heard the news, just as Gene would have done.

So many Sunday mornings, I got home from Mass on Sunday morning and it was already halfway through wrestling -- but I threw myself down on the footstool and watched the rest of it anyway.
posted by wenestvedt at 7:03 PM on January 2 [6 favorites]

My absolute favorite Mean Gene promo is from Halloween Havoc. I miss both these guys.
posted by deezil at 7:20 PM on January 2

I was really bummed when I read this morning; he seemed to be an earnest, consummate professional and was arguably, in the 80s and 90s, the voice of professional wrestling.

While scrounging for some clips this morning, I found this gem with him and Hulk Hogan where Hogan goes on a rant:

Macho Man, I hope you're ready, brother, because Donald Trump has questions in his own mind.
He sent a whole team of seismologists out here to check the foundation of the Trump Towers because when the Mega Powers explode off the launching pad, brother. As we erupt over the whole Atlantic City, he was worried about the foundation. He was worried that the thousands of people in the arenas might become unseated and swallowed by The Earth.
Donald Trump, don't worry about my Hulkamaniacs, they're survivors!

This was 1989; Trump's Casino was adjacent to the venue of Wrestlemania V and sponsored of the event.

Honorable mention: "Gene Mean" with Chris Jericho, 1998-11-23; another Jericho on Nitro (unknown date).
posted by fizzix at 7:25 PM on January 2 [4 favorites]

One of our family friends used to work in advertising with Gene when they were both living in Minneapolis, before he became the voice of the WWF. Evidently he was super nice.

posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 7:41 PM on January 2 [2 favorites]

posted by Joey Michaels at 7:48 PM on January 2

Watching Mean Gene (or as the Iron Sheik would say, "Gene Mean") as an adult, I finally understand why the straight man in the act would get paid more in vaudeville days.
posted by MrBadExample at 8:08 PM on January 2 [10 favorites]

One of the great straight men of all time. None of those promos would have worked without him — he made so much of it possible.
posted by Capt. Renault at 8:16 PM on January 2 [5 favorites]

posted by pt68 at 8:25 PM on January 2

posted by KillaSeal at 9:12 PM on January 2

Re-watching these now with the 'straight man' label makes me feel like the time I re-watched Princess Bride when I was old enough to understand that it was a comedy and not just a pirate / sword fighting movie and appreciated even more that it worked both on my kid self and now, too.
posted by Space Coyote at 9:41 PM on January 2 [2 favorites]

posted by evilDoug at 9:44 PM on January 2

I grew up watching Mean Gene on AWA wrestling. Heck of a guy.

posted by Sphinx at 10:37 PM on January 2 [2 favorites]

posted by riverlife at 1:48 AM on January 3

posted by LostInUbe at 2:27 AM on January 3 [2 favorites]

I haven't watched wrestling since the 80s, this hits me right in the nostalgia. Mean Gene Okerlund. I never thought of him as a vaudevillian straight man at the time, but I think it's an apt description. I just watched 20 minutes of Mean Gene clips. There is a lot of horeshit that I do not miss from the 1980s, but Mean Gene Okerlund is a fun memory. Say it again, Mean Gene.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 2:57 AM on January 3 [2 favorites]

I love Mean Gene's recovery in this SummerSlam blooper.
posted by maurice at 4:14 AM on January 3 [1 favorite]

I woke up to this news today. The man was a prominent part of my childhood, and unlike, well, a lot of the people who came and went through wrestling, Okerlund seems to have been a genuinely decent guy, as well as fantastic at what he did.
posted by Ghidorah at 5:46 AM on January 3

Lemme tell you somethin' Mean Gene, you were a big part of my Saturdays growing up!

posted by cmfletcher at 5:52 AM on January 3 [4 favorites]

Oh please, Ref!

posted by The Bellman at 6:15 AM on January 3

posted by sporkwort at 6:20 AM on January 3

Watching Mean Gene (or as the Iron Sheik would say, "Gene Mean") as an adult, I finally understand why the straight man in the act would get paid more in vaudeville days.

Seriously. His ability to keep his composure, while Randy "Macho Man" Savage talked about the cream rising to the top, is envious. I would have busted out laughing as soon as the first non-dairy creamer was shown.

posted by stannate at 7:41 AM on January 3 [4 favorites]

posted by SonInLawOfSam at 8:49 AM on January 3

What about his straight face during the debut of...the Gobbledy Gooker?
posted by praemunire at 12:50 PM on January 3 [2 favorites]

He did corpse once.

It's like "Garbo Laughs!", but for wrestling.

posted by droplet at 1:16 PM on January 3 [3 favorites]

Well, damn, that turned unpleasant real quick: Hulk Hogan will be on Raw on Monday to eulogize Okerlund.

I guess McMahon decided Okerlund’s death is the perfect way to bring back Hogan and pretend all the racism is forgiven. Wrestling/WWE always seems to take a good long look at the best, most sensible thing, and go running headlong in the other direction. I had kind of looked forward to Raw next week, if nothing else, WWE has an incredibly talented team doing their video clips, I have no doubt the Okerlund memorial will be amazing, but with Hogan there, I won’t be watching.
posted by Ghidorah at 4:18 AM on January 5 [2 favorites]

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