Comedians Remember Bobby “The Brain” Heenan

The greatest manager in pro wrestling history is gone. Bobby “The Brain” Heenan has passed away.

You could call him the greatest “manager”, but that would be to neglect his talents as a color commentator, TV personality, author and everything else he did. Let’s put it this way. The greatest comedian in pro wrestling history is gone.

Bobby Heenan knew what was funny and what would make a wrestling audience pop. He had a natural born instinct on how to get heat, not only for himself, but for the wrestlers he managed. And that was a long, long list including Ric Flair, Andre the Giant, Ravishing Rick Rude, Big John Studd, Arn Anderson & Tully Blanchard, Mr. Perfect, Harley Race, King Kong Bundy, Paul Orndorff, Ken Patera and the it goes on and on from there. All these wrestlers knew that to be associated with Heenan meant they made it in the business.

In the ring and at ringside, a single glare from him could start a chant of “Weasel! Weasel! Weasel!” from a WWE audience. And he was always ready to be thrown across the ring and find himself on the wrong end of a bump that left him hanging upside down. His in-ring humiliation wasn’t a loss, it was a comedy victory for him. Including the time, he was stuffed in a weasel suit and was in the ring, spinning around in circles chasing his own tail for everyone to enjoy or his unforgettable entrance at the toga party-themed Wrestlemania IX, riding backwards on a camel, terrified and his toga up ending up over his head.

Heenan’s comedy and expert timing was even better when he moved to wrestling commentary. The insults were fast, furious and so damn funny. When he worked with his nemesis (and real life best friend) Gorilla Monsoon, it was pure comedy magic. Bobby Heenan could have laid out the Gorilla at any time verbally, but Heenan knew that’s not how you get over. He always ended up on the losing end, even if that included having his face pushed in a cake or being locked outside the arena and getting caught trying to sneak back in by wearing a multitude of disguises. When Heenan presented Monsoon with a lightning quick line, Gorilla always came back with his catchphrase, “Would you stop!” It was all he could do. The WWE recognized the non-stop comedy of the Brain and that resulted in his own talk show on USA Network, “The Bobby Heenan Show” where he insisted the series have showgirls, which turned out to be plus-size women, Heenan called, “The Oinkettes”.

It’s no wonder that so many comedians who grew up watching the Brain on Saturday mornings and Monday and Tuesday nights, always admired him. Bobby Heenan was all about timing, comedy and getting the laugh, no matter what or who the audience was laughing at. Several comics took to Twitter over the past 24 hours since Bobby Heenan’s death was announced to show their respect and love for a man that even though they may not have realized it when they were young, went on to become one of their greatest comedy influences. Here’s some of those memories. That’s if you Humanoids know how to read. Thanks Brain for all the laughs.

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