09. Mean Gene meets Andy Warhol
WWE and celebrity appearances go hand in hand, as Vince McMahon and his Sports Entertainment behemoth will do everything in their power to get mainstream recognition.
As WWE started picking up steam in the mid-80s, it tapped into the zeitgeist and planted itself at the forefront of American entertainment.
MTV got involved as did Cyndi Lauper… and so too did Andy Warhol.
Backstage at The War to Settle the Score and you had the usual suspects like Lauper, Hulk Hogan, Mr. T and Captain Lou Albano all theatrically screaming bloody murder, as a wig sporting winter coat wearing Warhol looked on.
Naturally, Mean Gene Okerlund wanted a few words with the pop artist.
Warhol was far from bombastic as he slowly, unenthusiastically, and quietly said “it’s so exciting I just don’t know what to say” when pressed about his feelings on the event. Turns out he’d walked into the wrong room and was never meant to be on television, so he and Mean Gene just ad-libbed.
As a pioneer of pop art and at the forefront of the cutting edge and camp since the 60s - and a lifelong wrestling fan - it’s no wonder that Warhol would want to get involved with the WWE, but he stuck out like a sore thumb in this environment and the accidental segment was truly surreal.