“Mean” Gene Okerlund has passed away at the age of 76. The WWE shared the news in a statement this morning, remembering the Hall of Fame WWE broadcaster and announcer as “the most recognizable interviewer in sports-entertainment history.” His cause of death was not released at the time his passing was announced.
As fans of WWE and major names in the pro-wrestling world pay tribute to the Okerlund, here are some of his best on-camera moments:
Interview With Andre the Giant (1980)
WWE legend Andre the Giant, who passed away in 1993, towers over Okerlund throughout the interview, during which his massive hand never leaves Okerlund’s shoulder. Okerlund even takes a moment to compare the size of his hand to Andre’s, before asking him what size shoe he wears. When Andre responds that he is a size 22, Okerlund asks the cameraman to pan down to his feet so that viewers can see the size difference between Andre’s foot and Okerlund’s size 9. Another highlight of the interview, for Andre the Giant fans, is his reveal that the Washington Redskins wanted him to play football for them, but he turned down the offer because he was making too much money wrestling.
Promo Interview With Paul Orndorff
About 49 seconds into the video, Okerlund introduces “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff, who steps into frame looking forlorn. When Okerlund asks him why that is, he responds “It has gotten to the point where, you know, every time I look at the cameras, another woman leaves her husband for Mr. Wonderful.” The back-and-forth continues between the two until Orndorff says “I’m going to show you the body that women love and that men love to fear.” Shortly after he takes off his shirt, to conclude the video, Okerlund cracks up and covers his face to hide his laughter.
Interview With ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage (1987)
Macho Man and Mean Gene are, in fans’ eyes, one of the greatest WWE pairings. In this interview video, Macho Man delivers the iconic line “I’d rather die of exhaustion than die of starvation.” Okerlund has some great lines in this interview too, including “You know, I get the impression you’re trying to swerve me.”
Okerlund’s “F— It!” Blooper From SummerSlam (1989)
This 9-second clip shows one of Okerlund’s most “viral” moments – when a sign fell while he was broadcasting live. The sign drops and Okerlund turns to see what happened, yelling “F— it!” He turns back toward the camera and says “Damn it, who put that up? Is that $200 an hour?”