Ever hear about that time Bill Murray swiped a lady’s french fry and left her with the words “..and no one will ever believe you?” What about the allegedly telekinetic James Hydrick? How about pro-wrestlers Brian Pillman and Hulk Hogan – two men who fooled promoters and fans alike. These are the subjects that Stuart Millard tackles in his collection of essays dubbed; “Smoke & Mirrors and Steven Seagal.”
Smoke & Mirrors was a fun, quick read. Millard clearly did his homework when it came to all the pop culture topics he explored. It certainly doesn’t hurt that he’s hilarious as well. There were more than a few occasions I found myself laughing out loud. I’m sure he could’ve have just compiled all the rumors and tall tales surrounding several of the text’s subjects but where’s the fun in that? Had it not been for his endlessly entertaining wit, I’m not sure the book would be as enjoyable a read.
For someone like myself – who is as big a pro wrestling fan as they come – I had a great time during the Hogan and Pillman bits. His dissection of the immeasurable number of lies spewed from the mouth of Hulk Hogan had me in tears from laughter. Such highlights include:
Hogan once kicked John Belushi out of a bar in 1986 – despite the fact Belushi died four years prior to that night.
Hogan saying that Andre The Giant died days after he bodyslammed him in 1987 at WrestleMania III. Andre died six years later.
Darren Aronofsky begged him to star in his 2008 film, The Wrestler (he did not). Oh and his films, Mr. Nanny and Santa with Muscles made thirty to forty million.
It should be worth noting that Millard runs a blog dubbed Frantic Planet. Seeing as a few of these essays are basically expanded blog posts, much of his new material should be in line with what’s on the site.