Joe Hendry went on down to South Park and had himself a time.
South Park has been cited as an inspiration by Joe Hendry, the current IMPACT Wrestling Digital Media Champion. During a recent interview with WrestleZone, Joe Hendry was put on the spot and asked to name his favorite episode of the series, which now totals 300+ episodes over 25 seasons. Hendry picked out a few notable episodes from the lineup, noting the relationship between comedy and wrestling’s broad appeal.
“I’m not even going to say the name of the episode, but I think the Tiger Woods episode [the Season 14, Episode 1 called “Sexual Healing”] is very funny. I don’t know if you know the one I’m referring to. The government are addressed and people behaving strangely, and the guy who’s like at the head of this meeting is like, ‘I want answers, damn it’ and just hits the table in the softest way possible,” Hendry explained. “I find that that episode very funny. Actually, I will say, ‘Make Love, Not Warcraft’ from start to finish is probably, I think you could argue that’s the strongest episode. Which is funny because they think that, Matt [Stone] and Trey [Parker] think that episode is terrible.”
“A lot of the episodes that the fans love are ones that they don’t think are that good. I think when you’re in any endeavor and this is what we need to think about as wrestlers, when you’re in the thick of it and sometimes there may be references that will be immediately obvious to you, that won’t be obvious to or funny to your audience. So, for example, the ‘Tegrity Farms’ episodes, I don’t really care for them that much because I think it references issues that take place in more specifically in Colorado, which is where they’re from. I think it’s people who are especially internationally might not get the jokes quite as much. So yeah, I think it’s a difficult thing to be able to not only do what you think is funny, but also try and make entertainment for the audience.”
When the season 8 premiere “Good Times with Weapons” and season 5’s “Scott Tenorman Must Die” were mentioned, Hendry agreed that the latter marked a turning point for the show.
“‘Scott Tenorman Must Die’ is a real turning point of South Park,” he said. “It goes from fart jokes to something a bit more clever.”
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Joe Hendry’s work in IMPACT has touched on popular culture and wrestling news briefly, including the infamous All Out brawl being referenced in his debut promo. Asked how far in advance does he look for topics to include, Hendry said he doesn’t really plan like that and it has to feel right in the moment. In regards to AEW, Hendry felt like there was a lot of tension in wrestling at that time, and he just wanted to add some levity to the situation.
“That’s a rare thing for me to do to reference something else in wrestling. But I think that it was done in fun. There was a lot of tension in pro wrestling at that moment, and it was meant to just sort of ease the tension and, just add a bit of fun to what was a tense situation. That was the intent, and I think the fans got that. Ultimately, that’s what wrestling is about. It’s about entertainment. I think, to be honest for what I’m doing now, it’s one of these things,” Hendry explained, “if something happened in the world or in professional wrestling that I thought it would be entertaining for the audience to reference and it was appropriate, then I would do it. But I think you have to be careful not to do it for the sake of it. I think sometimes referencing things — like that was a rare occasion for me, just because it felt like that would be what would be entertaining and what would be good for the fans and would relieve a bit of tension at that point and from what was a tense situation.
“But I think moving forward, I can’t really think of any other situations recently where I’ve wanted to mention something that’s happened in pop culture, for example. It’s got to again, it’s like that thing that we were talking about earlier, it’s got to feel right,” Hendry noted. “And if something does feel right, we can pitch that. But that hasn’t happened since yet.”
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