I’ve always had a fondness for Jake the Snake Roberts.

A few weeks ago, he stopped by ComedyWorks to perform his spoken word show “Unspoken Word: Tales from the Road” and Walter and I were lucky enough to hang out with him for a bit (recording of that hangout below).Jake Roberts, Jake "The Snake" Roberts

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He was never really one of my all-time favorites, because I think I was just a little too young to really appreciate what he brought to the squared circle (I was a big Ultimate Warrior fan, and now I look back at his matches and wonder what the hell was wrong with me when I was a little kid). But he was always, in my childhood mind anyways, one of THE guys. Jake posed a legitimate threat to whoever he stepped in the ring with.

He cut great promos, he had great in-ring psychology and the DDT looked like it was an actual bad ass move. Hulk Hogan could leg-drop me all he wanted, I was more terrified of the DDT. And, it turns out it was an actual badass move since he once knocked Ricky the Dragon Steamboat unconcious with the move.

He also had a great moustache. My dad had a moustache (a pretty great one too) and by extension, by dad was a little bit cooler in my eyes because he had a moustache like Jake Roberts. Tom Selleck, Burt Reynolds and Jake the Snake were basically the kings of rocking amazing moustaches in the 80s and 90s. But I digress.

As a pro-wrestling fan, it was often difficult to hear about the dark road that a lot of my childhood heroes ended up on. From the stories of brain damage, to chronic back pain, to substance abuse, sex addiction and far, far too many of these performers passing away much earlier than they should have. It honestly cast a very dark cloud on my enjoyment of the entire industry.

In 1999, a documentary called Beyond the Mat came out. It chronicled some of the struggles endured by a number of pro-wrestlers as they dealt with difficulties of being an up and coming talent, a talent in their prime, or a talent in the golden years.

By far the most hard to watch segments were with Jake Roberts. I’m not going to rehash all of that because you’ve heard it before and it was 17 years ago.

Jake Roberts, like so many of my other heroes, was on probably the darkest road I had ever heard about as a pro-wrestling fan.

I read a lot about pro-wrestling. I pay attention to /r/squaredcircle, I occasionally read “The Observer”, etc. When I heard that Jake was doing a lot better thanks to the help of Diamond Dallas Page (who let Jake and Scott Hall move in with him on their road to recovery), I was really pretty pumped. Too many guys never come back from the kind of stuff I had seen in “Beyond the Mat”.

Then I saw “The Resurrection of Jake the Snake” and saw how hard it was and my respect for a guy turning his life around grew even more.

You should really watch this documentary you guys. It’s super inspiring and terrifying and honestly it’s great to see one of these stories of aging pro-wrestlers finally turn out for the best.

Talking with Jake was amazing. To know what he has been through, to know what he still goes through every day and then actually be speaking to a hilarious icon from my childhood was one of the greatest “fanboy” moments of my life.

His live show was also amazing.

He mixes dirty jokes with dirty road stories and if you’re really lucky he’ll do his Randy Savage impersonation. He’s also not afraid to get real as all hell and talk about the hard times he’s gone through. Nobody is as harsh a critic on Jake as Jake himself.

Anyhow, he’s back at ComedyWorks tonight and tomorrow. If you’re in Montreal you should really come out, it’s damned cool to see a guy like that (a WWE Hall of Famer no less) in a small, intimate venue, just shooting the breeze, talking about the old days, and letting everyone know that no matter what you can get your act together and get your life back.

Check him out tonight or tomorrow at ComedyWorks (1238 Bishop St) at 7:00 pm, tickets HERE.

As always, a big thank you to the providers of our theme song: Aural Turpitude!
Image from Huffington Post

Keith does all sorts of things here on 9to5.cc, he works with the other founders on 9to5 (illustrated), co-hosts our two podcasts: The 9to5 Entertainment System and Go Plug Yourself and blogs here as The Perspicacious Geek

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