And Here it is: The 1980’s Personified

November 13th, 2012 Posted by Gavok

About a year ago, I went to my friend Bob’s place to watch a wrestling PPV and with an hour to kill before the show, he broke out a bootleg DVD he bought at a convention. The DVD featured two videos starring “Rowdy” Roddy Piper. One was Tag-Team — a failed pilot where Piper and Jesse Ventura were blacklisted wrestlers who became cops — and the other was listed as being just the Roddy Piper Show. Tag-Team was worth a watch, but it was nothing special. Besides, it was nothing new to us. Most everyone in the room had heard of it one time or another.

The other video was pure insanity and the fact that nobody had heard a single thing about it made it even more troubling. Originally known as the Herve Villechaize Show, the special was taken over by top WWF villain Roddy Piper. Few remember, but back in the 80’s-to-early-90’s, Friday nights in the fall would usually include a prime time look at the upcoming season of Saturday morning cartoons. I mainly recall this being on ABC’s TGIF, where you’d see Carl Winslow talking excitedly about the upcoming season of Winnie the Pooh. This special in question is one of those, but increasingly batshit insane.

The version I watched was completely cut to pieces, but I later found out that it was called the All-Star Rock ‘N’ Wrestling Saturday Spectacular. It aired on CBS in the fall of 1985, during the heyday of the Rock ‘N’ Wrestling Connection. The reason behind Piper’s inclusion here is that this is also the year that they would introduce the big WWF cartoon, which featured Brad Garrett voicing Hulk Hogan.

Not only does the show star Roddy Piper and feature the misadventures of ousted would-be host Herve Villechaize, but it also includes such guests asPatti LaBelle, Pee-Wee Herman, New Edition, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Hulk Hogan, Captain Lou Albano and Cyndi Lauper. All while showing clips of Muppet Babies and shit. Oh, and Gary “Original Space Ghost” Owens as the announcer.

I’ve always been meaning to do some kind of review of this, but never liked how Bob’s copy would skip around constantly. Luckily, a guy by the name of Ray Boucher found a VHS tape of the show and uploaded the entire thing to YouTube a couple months ago. It’s up there in all of its “Captain Lou doing Shakespeare” glory.

It’s a surreal and entertaining way to spend 48 minutes. Or 96 minutes if you’re like me and have to watch it twice. If anything, you need to see Piper and Pee-Wee argue with sock puppets.

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