If you’re Kevin Hart and the Mountain Dew Kickstart you’re drinking is so good it causes in-brain hallucinations about you being a pro wrestler, who’s going to be standing next to you, interviewing you backstage? If you said anything other than the legendary Mean (Woo, By God) Gene Okerlund, you’re lying.
As with everything Kevin does, fans should expect the unexpected in this series of 15-second spots, which play off what’s going through his head while he’s getting pumped up with a MTN DEW KICKSTART. In “Wrestler,” WWE Hall of Fame Legend ‘Mean’ Gene Okerlund interviews Kevin, who channels his convincing wrestling persona, and makes DEW Nation wonder if we’ll see the comedian in the ring one day.
Mean Gene shows up in one of Hart’s three new Mountain Dew commercials, which you can watch below. Impressively, they didn’t make Gene do the Tom Phillips backstage wide stance to make Hart look taller. I’m trying to pinpoint his look here … High Energy Koko B. Ware? Needs more checkers.
We actually had a chance to talk to Mean Gene about the spots, and asked him how he got involved and what it was like working with Kevin Hart. Read this in Mean Gene voice for the full effect:
“The reason, Brandon, that I got involved is that I test drove Mtn Dew Kickstart and it gave me a boost, helped me get through the day. I’m not a young man … 47 years in the broadcast business for wrestling for yours truly, and working with Kevin Hart, what can I say? An absolute delight. I heard all about the guy from my very good long-time close personal friend Dwayne Johnson, The Rock. He put him over big time.”
As for Hart’s promo skills, Gene gives him probably the best comparison you could hope to get:
“Kevin’s got a little of the Macho Man Randy Savage I would say, a little bit of that touch to him, and he really comes out as a very … he could be one of our guys on the front line of the WWE any day or night of the week. Obviously he’s got his own career, but he’d fit right in with all of the Superstars of WWE.”
We also asked him about the problems with WWE’s current backstage interview scene, and what the modern team needs to do to reach Mean Gene levels, and not just do that thing where they stare off into the distance waiting for the camera to stop filming them:
“Absolutely … we need a little bit of that prying and innovative interviewing that I expect backstage, with people asking the tough questions. Seems to me like there’s a lot of softball questions coming out these days, and it’s part of an all-around promo. I like an honest to goodness interview, like Brandon, you’re conducting with me right now.”
You can check out the other, less Gene Mean-related spots below.