So my publicist called me a while ago and said they'd like me to come talk about ghosts on the Mancow show. Mancow is a bit of a shock jock, so I was a bit leery of the whole endeavor, but I can use all the publicity I can get, even though being a "ghost hunter" makes you an easy target for ridicule. Well, no one ever got anywhere if he was afraid of looking like a fool now and then.
THEN they asked if I'd like to come in on a day when the other guest would be Hulk Hogan. When someone asks you if you would like to meet Hulk Hogan, you say "yes."
I knew I wouldn't be chatting with him or hanging out with him or anything, but I did some wiki-reading to get up to speed on all the various wrestling storylines since I stopped watching wrestling (circa 1988 - I totally lost track during the 90s "attitude era" - i like my wrestling hilariously campy, thank you very much) (also, all of the rednecks at my high school were WAY into wrestling, and I avoided anything they liked). Getting up to speed turned out to be pretty easy. When you don't actually watch the fights, you can get the gist of any given wrestling storyline very quickly. It was fun to watch those matches from the 80s again - I remember the Hogan / Andre feud very well. I watched Hulk Hogan's Rock n Wrestling every week, had the sticker album and the rubber "thumb wrestler" figures. I remember how furious I was when I Andre choked Hogan during that feud, and then how scared I was when Andre pretended to be scared to death by Jake the Snake's snake.
There are some interesting parallels between the wresting business and the ghost hunting business. In both, the best way to get ahead is showmanship, not worrying one bit about the fact that you're faking most of the storyline. Wrestlers at least get to sort of have a "nudge nudge wink wink" vibe about it, though, while even ghost hunters who've given up on legitimate investigations in favor of crap that the network will be happier with are expected to stand their ground and insist that they're for real. My whole "act" has been to try to be serious about what I do, analyzing stuff as scientifically as I can and keeping a skeptical head. I can never say for sure if a ghost is real, but I'm happy to say so if I'm sure one is fake. This is not the way to make friends in this business.
Anyway, I got to the station VERY early, and Hogan walked in, accompanied by Jimmy Heart ("The Mouth of the South") a few minutes later, giving me a "hey bud" as he walked past. I sat in the green room and listened to him talking about the terrible couple of years he's had, with his son's car accident and his wife leaving him for a 19 year old and all. He talked about how life is all about riding peaks and valleys, learning lessons, and that all you can do stay positive and attract more positive things to you.
Now, guys, I had a really bad night the night before. Really bad. Didn't sleep, and didn't know where my life would be the next day. My days making a living as a ghost hunter may be winding down, and I find myself in a sort of "what the hell do I do now?" state. Never in my LIFE did I think that, on a bad day, I would find inspiration and comfort in the words of Hulk Hogan, but, well, there I was. It was a surreal moment. It must be odd to be Hogan, going around inspiring surreal moments just by showing up.
Just before Hogan left, they brought me over for a quick "how ya doin'" and a photo.
Mancow then brought me in to talk about ghosts and the tours I run for a few seconds. It sounded good enough that he and the producer asked me to stay on and talk about some more stuff for the national show. The green room window actually looks out into the alley known as "the alley of death" where 100+ people fell to their death during a fire in 1903, so there was a built-in story for me to tell.
It went very well - as has usually been my experience with radio guys who can come off as conservative jerks on-air, he was really quite friendly in the studio.
Hogan noted that at Wreslemania III, they had 94,000 people crammed into the superdome. The next week, the pope had 80,000. I'll bet the pope would have topped 100k if he had body-slammed Andre the Giant.