Thursday, November 10, 2011

I Can't Get My Head Around Mike Tyson as Herman Cain

Mike Tyson portrays Herman Cain a series of Funny or Die clips, including the (pretty funny) one above. It's obvious why the juxtaposition of Tyson in Cain's shoes works for comedic effect: both are considered in many circles to be batshit lunatics, with Tyson's crazy obviously on a much steeper level than Cain's. But it also works because Mike Tyson is a convicted rapist, while it is documented that Herman Cain has had settlements paid on his behalf as a result of sexual harassment grievances filed against him.

I'm no expert on the recent "rebirth" of Mike Tyson as a public figure, but i do understand that he's talked many times about the remorse he feels about his past deplorable hell-raising behavior. That being said, to this day he still denies that he raped Desiree Washington, despite his conviction, and even in 2006 said in an interview that "now I really do want to rape her."

Thus, this sketch is hard for me to wrap my mind around. It can't have escaped the Funny or Die folks that there's a sexual violence correlation between Tyson and Cain, no matter how much Tyson denies it, which also makes it very odd that Tyson agreed to do this. Then again, he is clown shoes mental. The sketch is damningly effective and brilliantly funny when you just focus on the whole mental imbalance thing. But there's a rape joke subtext in here somewhere that's messing with me, even if it's not an explicit source of broad humor.

I dunno. What do you think? Is this appropriate? Is any use of Mike Tyson making light of his past appropriate? Am i out of line for writing this post having not seen the Tyson documentary?


  1. I couldn't even believe it when I saw the link on facebook - it seems remarkably inappropriate to me. I did not click on it, I don't think I could stand watching it. Gross.

  2. It *is* a funny video, and there's absolutely no mention of sexual harassment, sexual assault, or anything of the kind in the video. It's just the casting that introduces it into the subtext. Which is why it's been so hard to wrap my brain around.

  3. I'm sure there is no mention of it, but knowing what we know about Mike Tyson, I don't think I'd watch anything with him in it. Especially about another person accused of a sexual violation.