I understand the notion of working your gimmick. You’re a fat guy – emphasize the fat. You’re a drunk – be drunk. Your whole shtick is that you’re from the ghetto and you smoke crack? Fine.
Just realize – some of these have a shelf life. Yokozuna. Haystacks Calhoun. John Candy. Chris Farley.
Look, my shtick in the past has been to be a boozy journalist. After my colleague Andrew Breitbart dropped dead…I’ve been reconsidering how well that works.
It sucks to hear that wrestling superstar Nelson Frazier, a.k.a. Viscera/Mabel/Big Daddy V dropped dead today from something that seems so extremely obvious. Now, maybe it wasn’t – maybe there was such a history of heart disease in his family that nobody lived into their 50s.
Frazier never knew me. I’m just one of many who bought a T-shirt that says “Viscera Lover” on it. But that he didn’t realize people like me wanted him to go on, regardless of what we could or couldn’t do to help, makes me sad. And if our fandom made us prod him into staying hugely, dangerously obese to maintain the gimmick, when other courses would have been better for him…I think that’s something we should think about.
Most fans who truly appreciate your work will love you whatever you do. If you think you have to hurt yourself for us – come to us first.
And absent that – we thank you, descendants of Nelson, for everything he did to entertain us. And I’m sorry.