It’s pretty interesting to me that a mythological half man, half ape living in the woods has become a fascination for so many people. For instance, my Death of WCW co-author Bryan Alvarez has been borderline obsessed with this rumored beast for all the years I’ve known him. Me? Not so much. Still, Bigfoot has been in all forms of pop culture as long as I can remember, popping up on everything from monster trucks to pizza. Seriously, there was a Bigfoot pizza in the early 90’s…and apparently people bought it. And ATE it! In fact, here’s Haley Joel Osment to tell you all about it:
Have to admit, when I woke up this morning I wasn’t expecting to drop a Haley Joel Osment bomb in an induction, but here we are.
Naturally, Bigfoot has had countless appearances on television and in the movies. Heck, there was even a time when the Bionic Man met up with Bigfoot…
…as played by Andre the Giant!
Perhaps Bigfoot’s most successful moment came when he starred in a little movie from 1987 called Harry and the Hendersons, a film that did huge business. Heck, it basically made as much at release as The Princess Bride (which also starred Andre the Giant…but not as a sasquatch). You’d think I would have for sure seen this being a teen of the 1980s, but nope, never have. And rest assured, after today’s induction, I never will.
The movie was big enough to spawn a television spinoff which is what we will be talking about today. Having never seen either of them, I can only surmise the plot by watching the intro to the TV show. From what I gather, Bigfoot was going for a walk in the woods and was about to be shot by a sniper, but instead was run over by a car and strapped to the roof. I guess if that treatment was good enough for Clark Griswold’s Aunt Edna, it works for Bigfoot as well. He then comes home and dances, jogs, does some crap with plants, and breaks furniture. As the kids like to say,
hilarity stupidity ensues.
Just when you may think things couldn’t go any more off the rails, tonight Harry and the Hendersons will be welcoming a very special guest – none other than “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan!
So we are introduced to the family, with young Ernie giving Harry the famous “Henderson Headlock”. Then dad joins in on the fun, giving the live-in sasquatch a noogie which is returned in kind.
We’re less than ten seconds in and I can’t tell if I am going to love this stupid show or absolutely hate it. Guessing it will be one of those two extremes, and willing to go out on a limb that the latter is going to be the victor here.
We learn that dad is going to be meeting Hacksaw as part of a marketing campaign of some sort. Just imagine the kind of products good ol’ Hacksaw could sell for you, tough guy!
The kid wants to meet Hacksaw desperately, but no go says pops. But as Ernie runs upstairs to grab a poster for his dad to have Duggan sign, we learn that the parents are actually planning a surprise: Hacksaw will be showing up ‘unannounced’ at the house!
For her part, mom has no idea what this wrestling thing is all about, so she plops down on the sofa to watch Hacksaw ply his trade in the ring. It takes mere seconds for the entire family become fans, with everyone giving HO’s and thumbs ups. Not only that, but Mom goes on and on about how cute Hacksaw is.
So dad brings Hacksaw to the homestead and lil Ernie is in for the thrill of a lifetime. The little guy only has one regret – that Harry isn’t there with them. I guess they keep him “hidden” or something. Which is dumb, as they should at least profit for housing him, right?
Maybe Duggan can educate them on charging $20 for Polaroids.
As Harry has to remain out of view, we instead get a ‘dream sequence’ where Ernie fantasizes about Harry learning the finer arts of 2×4 tossing from Hacksaw. Amazingly, it’s every bit as stupid as it sounds. Maybe moreso.
And thanks to that ‘adorable’ grin from Bigfoot, it doesn’t take long for me to determine the answer to my love it or hate question from earlier – I legit want to drench that thing with gasoline and set it and the entire house ablaze.
So Hacksaw has some dinner (three whole chickens!) and gets ready to leave. Before going, the family begs him to show off his signature move and he does, which causes Harry to bounce his head on the ceiling in excitement. Duggan wants to know what that was, and they somehow convince him it was an Ozzie and Harriet rerun. I’ve never seen that show either, but I’m going out on a limb and guessing it’s better.
The subplot here has Sarah, the daughter, attempting to raise funds for a sea lion in need of rescuing. Unfortunately her efforts yield little results as their candy drive was thwarted by the Girl Scouts stealing their thunder with their cookie sales. Sister, I know that feeling – RD Jr. had to sell popcorn for the Boy Scouts for years and it was always tough sledding trying to one up Thin Mints.
Not to be outdone, mom has a suggestion – an amateur wrestling match! An amateur wrestling match for charity! Before I can even type “that’s the stupidest idea I’ve ever heard”, we go to the gym as the family scopes out potential competitors, quickly landing Mad Dog Depew and a dude named Phil. Not Fast Phil…not Furious Phil…just plain ol’ PHIL. Like a dude in accounting or something. But hey, don’t worry about getting too attached to that geek as he breaks his elbow right after we meet him and is thus out for the match.
No need to worry though – Dad is more than up to the task, and begins practicing in the backyard. Practicing what precisely I don’t know, but after five seconds of whatever ‘action’ that is above, he throws his back out. With mere hours before the match, who oh who could take his place?
To the event we go, as Mad Dog is pacing about impatiently and the ring announcer girl (who also thinks Hacksaw is a hottie – do all the women in this town all have impaired vision?) do everything they can to stall. Just as it looks like the bout is going to be cancelled, out comes…
…BIGFOOT MAN, who we are told is “eight feet of woodland fury, whose heavyweight style and bright smile make him everybody’s favorite forest denizen!” That sounds like an intro to one of those guys in that old Power Move Pro Wrestling game on the original Playstation!
I’m not the only one that played that thing, right?
The match starts with Mad Dog lunging at Harry, who side steps him and reaches over to shake Hacksaw’s hand. The big guy gives Hacksaw an attempt at a “HOOOOO!” that is so terrible that even Duggan is shaking his head.
Just trying to imagine how many times that exact same thing probably happened to Duggan in real life has me shaking my head too.
Despite being quite literally a monster, Harry is anything but mean and refuses to beat on his opponent. That match is in fact so boring the fans in the crowd begin demanding their money back! Just as it seems all hope is lost, dad shows back up and tries to get Harry to show something of a mean streak. Unfortunately, Mad Dog will have none of that, and throws the old man into the ropes, knocking him down in a bump that I really need to send over to Maffew.
And THIS is too much for Harry to take, and he responds by running over Mad Dog like a freight train.
Not a figurative freight train mind you, but…
…QUITE LITERALLY AN ACTUAL FREIGHT TRAIN!
I can only guess a young Braun Stroman was watching this and decided to stick that in his back pocket for later in life.
Hacksaw declares Bigfoot Man the winner and we get some more thumbs ups and ho’s as we go off the air.
No idea how many brain cells I had when I started this induction, but rest assured I have a lot fewer now.
Hope y’all appreciate it.