Jake is afraid of snakes!

Leg­endary pro wrestler in town for wild night of spo­ken word at Sec­ond City

North Toronto Post - - Arts -

Pro­fes­sional wrestler Jake “the Snake” Roberts’ life took a ter­ri­ble turn as his ca­reer spi­ralled out of con­trol as a re­sult of sub­stance abuse. His dra­matic un­spool­ing and sub­se­quent come­back was put to film in the mov­ing doc­u­men­tary The

Resurrection of Jake the Snake. Now, he wants to help others. He brings his hi­lar­i­ous and frank spo­ken word show to Sec­ond City on Sept. 11.

What can we ex­pect from this show in Toronto next month?

Oh man, ex­pect ev­ery­thing in­clud­ing the kitchen sink, man. A wild ride of road sto­ries from hell and back. An­dre [the Gi­ant], Terry Funk, Rick Rude, Un­der­taker, voice im­per­son­ations. The list goes on and on and on. The good, the bad and the ugly. Stuff you’ve never heard be­fore, I guar­an­tee that.

It must have been so tough just go­ing through your addiction, let alone hav­ing a cam­era in your face for the doc­u­men­tary.

That was tough, you know. It was very in­va­sive. We were on-cam­era 24/7. The only place there wasn’t a cam­era was the bath­room, and I some­times won­dered about that too. It was what was needed.

What is it about that sport that messes with a guy so much?

Wrestling is the only sport, or busi­ness-slash­what­ever, where the ath­lete has no con­trol over what he is do­ing. You’ve got writ­ers [who de­ter­mine sto­ry­lines for the wrestlers] that work for [WWE CEO] Vince McMa­hon, and some­times they get to just feel­ing like not writ­ing for a per­son any­more.The per­son could still be tal­ented, healthy and pro­duc­ing, and it doesn’t mat­ter. They get bored and cast him aside. You spend your whole life get­ting there, and for no other rea­son you get cast aside. You go home and what the hell are you go­ing to do? You’ve spent your whole life get­ting ready for that mo­ment and you’re not in con­trol of it. You end up in de­pres­sion and start med­i­cat­ing.

Are the peo­ple in charge are do­ing enough for you guys?

Well, I’d thank Vince McMa­hon for throw­ing the rope out there to me. I went through three re­habs, and he foot the bill on ev­ery one of them. If they were go­ing to do some­thing dif­fer­ent, it should be more on the lines of re­tire­ment or some kind of com­pen­sa­tion for the time spent. They make a lot of money, but very lit­tle goes back to the tal­ent. Maybe they should get a union? That would be nice. I doubt it’d ever hap­pen.

Who de­cided to give you a snake, or was that your idea?

No, McMa­hon sup­plied those. I don’t like snakes. I never have liked snakes. I’m ter­ri­fied of the damn things. Sorry to burst your bub­ble.

So what have you learned about life from all of this? What’s the se­cret?

For me, it’s just undy­ing hope and feed­ing that in­ner­most per­son that’s so im­por­tant, to take care of your­self in­side. You’ve got to be able to feel good about you, and I think that’s what I learned more than any­thing. I hated my­self for so many years, and that’s a very bad thing to do. You have to learn to love your­self.

Tell me one of your favourite mem­o­ries from your glory days?

Just any time I was in the ring, man. Per­form­ing live is just an in­cred­i­ble feel­ing, con­trol­ling peo­ple’s emo­tions, take them on that ride. It’s an in­cred­i­ble feel­ing. I didn’t have prob­lems in the ring.

Hall of Fame wrestler Jack ‘the Snake’ Roberts

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.