Friday, August 7, 2015

Da Maniac Loves You

Glenn Howerton, Roddy Piper, and Rob McElhenney
Photo via @R_Roddy_Piper
Roddy Piper didn't have a whole lot of marquee acting roles to go on his resume. Sure, his IMDB page is lengthy, even removing all the wrestling related stuff, but a lot of it is cult stuff even more obscure than the roles he's famous for. But that isn't to denigrate anything he's done in his career outside of the ring. When he had a chance to bat as an actor, he hit a home run. His role in They Live is about as iconic as they come, while Hell Comes to Frogtown held almost as much acclaim to those who've seen it even if it didn't reach cult mainstream status.

But for me, Piper outside of the ring will always be tied to one of my favorite shows of all-time, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. He had a two-episode run as a character known only as Da Maniac, a down-on-his-luck pro wrestler-slash-drifter. The first episode, "The Gang Wrestles for the Troops," is a pantheon serial, but he was damn funny in his repeat appearance at the very end of "Mac and Dennis Buy a Timeshare" as well. His role was like if his WWE persona had been ground into dust by years of not being able to quit the biz until he was a homeless man's Randy the Ram, all with the fucked-up comedic twist that Sunny puts on everything. Yet, for all the absurdity, one line sticks out the most, a heartfelt message delivered from the back of a police cruiser.

I get the feeling that from the bottoms of everyone's heart, the feeling is mutual.