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Eye on Film: “Mike Tyson Mysteries”

Former heavyweight champion boxer started discussing his upcoming cartoon the "Mike Tyson Mysteries” almost a year ago while promoting his live standup act “Undisputed” on Broadway.

Former heavyweight champion boxer started discussing his upcoming cartoon the "Mike Tyson Mysteries” almost a year ago while promoting his live standup act “Undisputed” on Broadway. Back then, very few people knew exactly what that show would encompass. Despite Tyson’s dearth of formal acting ability, he was an integral part of such cult classic film offerings as “Black and White” and “The Hangover” franchise, in addition appearing as a guest star in over a dozen television shows spanning over 25 years.  Tyson’s co-stars in many of these offerings have applauded Iron Mike for his comic timing and ability to make fun of himself. With “Mike Tyson Mysteries”, he takes the self-deprecating humor that has endeared him to a new generation of fans to another level.  The animated “Mike Tyson Mysteries” is a sendup of such Hanna-Barbera cartoons as “Scooby Doo”, “Jabber Jaws” and “Catch the Pigeon” of the 70s and 80s.  The animation style is even reminiscent of the style incorporated by the aforementioned shows and it also has a similarly composed group of characters as well. 

There’s Young Hee, voiced by actress Rachel Ramras, she is Tyson’s adopted daughter who is glasses wearing Asian version of Scooby Doo’s Velma. Then there’s Marques of Queensbury, an 18th century ghost voiced by Jim Rash. Next is Pigeon, voiced by SNL alum Norm McDonald, he’s a hard drinking and foul mouthed, divorcee whose ex-wife somehow turned him into a pigeon.  And, of course, there’s Mike Tyson. Adorned in a blue hooded sweat suit, Tyson looks to make retribution for a life spent causing harm to people in the ring by solving mysteries. What ensues is a series of irreverent send ups of everything and anything that comes to the writer’s mind. “Mike Tyson Mysteries” fits right in with the rest of Adult Swim’s ridiculous, nonsensical and often profane late night animated offerings such as the “Family Guy”, “Robot Chicken” and “The Boondocks”. Another laugh out loud factor of the show is the manner in which Tyson solves his mysteries, and that’s mostly with his fists.

 

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Though Mike Tyson’s lisp has been the stuff of comics and late night talk show hosts for decades, no one does it quite like the original. Mike knows that people have been making fun of him for years, so why not make fun of himself and get paid to do so?  After watching the first two episodes, guest appearances by the ghost of former heavyweight contender Trevor Burbick and the brain of former chess champion Bobby Fisher lead me to believe that nothing is off limits. The cheap laughs and ludicrous logic displayed by Tyson’s caricature of himself are clearly by design and are the engine of the endeavor.

No subject matter is too heady or sacred to lampoon, no topic is too serious to lambast, and Mike Tyson won’t hesitate to play upon some people’s belief in his lack of sophistication for a laugh. And that’s actually pretty smart. Get your money Mike. We ain’t mad at ya. The “Mike Tyson Mysteries” premieres on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim on Monday, October 27th at 10:30 Eastern and Pacific.  If you’re looking for a controlled substance free break from a hectic Monday that’s good for a bunch of chuckles and a few gut-busting laughs, “Mike Tyson Mysteries” is worth a look.  Parental guidance is advised because of adult themes and profanity. 


Starting his career as lead writer for EURweb.com back in 1998, Ricardo A Hazell has served as Senior Contributor with The Shadow League since coming to the company in 2013. His byline has appeared in the Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, the South China Sea Morning Post, the Root and many other publications. At TSL he is charged with exploring black cultural angles where they intersect with the mainstream.