Over the past couple posts, I’ve explored how Hulk Hogan has been an acclaimed wrestler, actor, rock star and American hero. But I can’t let Hulk Hogan Week conclude without a tribute to something I wish I’d made up, Pastamania.
In what must be simultaneously one of the laziest and the most incredulous celebrity cash-ins of all time, Hogan decided in 1995 that the time was ripe for him to take his unstoppable brand to the world of food. Regular restaurant cuisine would not do the trick, however — it had to be mall food, and it had to be pasta, because it did.
Despite his business savvy and pasta passion, the venture would end within a year of its start. Pastamania was just too pure for this world. And unfortunately, there hasn’t been a book-length oral history of Pastamania published as of yet, so the exact details of how and why (and under the suggestion of what substances) this came to be are still out there somewhere, waiting to be discovered by a generation of long-lost Pastamaniacs. We can dream, right?
Hulk Hogan has worn many hats throughout his career, all of which usually deserve quotation marks: “wrestler,” “musician,” “pasta mogul,” “television star” are among the most recognizable. But for some reason, he’s mostly forgotten as an actor despite appearing in terrible movies for kids across a span of decades.
But fear not–if you’re uninitiated with Hogan’s oeuvre, WhatCulture compiled a list a few years back of some of the many bad things he’s done on camera (thankfully, sex tape not included). My personal favorite of the bunch, Mr. Nanny, is well-represented–it’s basically the predecessor to Vin Diesel’s The Pacifier, but with more Home Alone infusion and a whole lot less to like earnestly. (Also, for some reason David Johansen of the New York Dolls plays the villain?) There’s plenty else to like there too though, so take a look.
For a while now on WOAT, I’ve wanted to do a whole week of themed content based around something that is awful enough to deserve it. And this semester, the universe smiled on me and gave me a Hulk Hogan sex tape lawsuit where he gave Gawker the Leg Drop to the tune of about $140 million. In honor of every terrible thing Hogan has done in this world, WOAT will be celebrating Hulk Hogan Week until next Monday! May Macho Man have mercy on your souls.
One of the more fascinating pieces of Hogan pop-culture ephemera is his cash-in album made in 1995 with a ragtag entourage called the Wrestling Boot Band. Long before John Cena would try to change the rap game forever, Hogan tried to change all music by stuffing his album full of an incoherent mix of styles united behind one theme: isn’t Hulk Hogan just the fucking best?!
Continue reading “Music Monday: Hulk Hogan and the Wrestling Boot Band “Hulk Rules””