On a recent episode of Wrestling with History on VOC Nation, Bill Apter and Ken Resnick discussed the career of Bobby ‘the Brain’ Heenan, including his creative freedom and a few legendary pranks. Highlights are below.
Bill Apter on Bobby Heenan being a great self promoter:
“One of the thing that he did that was brilliant was that he was a self-publicist – I wish everybody was like him. There were two guys in Detroit that were photographers: Gary Kaminsack and Gary Mancuso. Heenan used to get them when he was in WWA and the Detroit area and Heenan would set them up to take pictures of Heenan and his guys in the dressing rooms and made sure they sent them exclusively to (the Apter Mags). 90% of them were all bloody and gory pictures and he knew we would use them.”
Ken Resnick on Bobby Heenan pulling pranks:
“Bobby lived to pull ribs. Bobby Heenan got me than anyone ever could have. It was when I was in WWF and it was in Pittsburgh… I left my rundown (sheet) of the interviews (for that day) in the (hotel) we were staying at in Pittsburgh. (I was ) already downtown at the arena…I was trying to think who might still be at the hotel. I know Bobby was staying there and he wasn’t scheduled for later. So I call the hotel, get Bobby, tell him what happened, tell him where the rundown is in my room, (and) call back to the desk, identify myself, and say ‘will you please give Bobby Heenan a key to my room.’ Bobby said ‘I’ll get the list and come right down.’ I’m thinking to myself, ‘I made the biggest mistake in the world – I gave Bobby Heenan a key to my room (while) I’m not there.’ (Later on in the night) I go back to my room, take my contacts out and wash up, (and I) pull the sheets back, climb in bed, and I scream ‘HEENAN!!!’ at the top of my (lungs)’. What he had done was gone to the restaurant, got two or three salt shakers, pulled back the bedding and filled the sheets with white salt, and remade the bed. When I got in I was just crawling into a bed of table salt.”
Ken Resnick on backstage interviews Bobby Heenan:
“Bobby was a very hard interview in that he was so good, you could never really let your guard down. Even on a day that we had to do 100 interviews, you never knew what Bobby might come back and challenge you on… When I would interview Hulk (Hogan), once Hulk got going he would pretty well carry the interview… You could always relax mentally a little bit (with others) but you never could with Bobby. He would sometimes come up with stuff (and) if you weren’t paying complete attention you would have no idea… Bobby is the only guy that cracked me up (so bad) that we had to redo the interview. I was laughing so hard I just couldn’t stop.”
Apter on Heenan getting some creative freedom in WWE:
“Even though the broadcasters had Vince in their earpiece and they were instructed where to go verbally in various (situations), they did give Bobby some freedom to be Bobby Heenan. You can’t take a guy like Bobby Heenan – (with) such great wit – and just put him in a box and say you can’t go out of this box.”
Full episode can be found below.