Friday, March 25, 2011

Sir Oliver Humperdink [RF Video Shoot Interview]

The Good
I'd listened to this one a couple years back and had it on my to-review list and felt obligated after Sir Oliver Humperdink's recent passing to bump it to the front of the list. One of the greatest, yet often most overlooked, managers of all-time, Humperdink was a staple in Florida for years and had significant runs in a number of other territories. His stories of breaking in are hilarious from crashing the ring truck with "Hippie" Mike Boyette on his first night as a referee (after being a long-time security guy) to getting legitimately suspended after interfering in his managerial debut in Quebec City. He was endless tales like those and is definitely a great talker and storyteller. His rise to prominence came when Buddy Roberts and Jerry Brown became the Hollywood Blondes and headed into Quebec for the Vachons. The duo took this pudgy guy with long red hair, gave him a name stretching of English nobility (major heat-getter in French-Canada) and they popped the territory. Humperdink became a vital part of the act that traveled to Los Angeles, Florida and Mid-South before parting ways. Humperdink had established himself in Florida and remained there with periodic trips out for nearly a decade. Although he is really a nice guy and not looking to bury anybody, Humperdink gives some pretty honest opinions and has a hilarious way of getting his points across. Not surprisingly, he waxes nostalgic about the old territory days and expresses frustration with what the business became. However, he seems like a well adjusted person who periodically visits "the boys" when they're in town and was active in Cauliflower Alley Club and other reunions and fanfests up until his death several years later.

The Bad
If this was the first and only shoot that I heard with Sir Oliver Humperdink, I would probably count it as an excellent one that most everyone should check out. However, the "Art of Managing" shoot he did with Gary Hart is amongst the best shoots out there and this seems uninspired in comparison. There is the typical lack-of-knowledge nonsense that undermines what should've been one of the best of the best. It is very good and Humperdink is never disappointing, but this is not the best interviewer he's been paired with.

The Rating: ****

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