On Friday, WWE Hall of Famer ‘Rowdy’ Roddy Piper passed away in his sleep at age 61.
Piper’s memorable wrestling moments could fill their own hall of fame, whether it’s boxing Mr. T, locking himself in Alcatraz to destroy Hulk Hogan or smashing ‘Superfly’ Jimmy Snuka in the head with a coconut, but he had just as strong a connection with a non-wrestling audience. Piper was a household name in and out of the ring, and to celebrate his pop culture life we’ve put together a list of the moments and things that made him so.
The They Live Fight Scene
If you want to see one of the greatest fight scenes — and maybe one of the greatest scenes, period — in movie history, look no further than Rowdy Roddy Piper and Keith David beating the sh*t out of each other for 6 straight minutes in John Carpenter’s 1988 cult classic They Live. What it lacks in fight choreography, it makes up for in realism and … uh, length. It just goes on and on, and gets more confusingly wonderful as it goes. “Put the glasses on! Put ’em on!”
Hell Comes To Frogtown
After They Live, the Rowdy Roddy Piper movie most people can name is Hell Comes To Frogtown. They’ve probably never seen it, but with a name like that, how could you forget it? If you’ve never heard of it, here’s the plot: a guy named Hell goes to a place called “Frogtown.” Not kidding.
In all seriousness, it’s Mad Max Fury Road. A group of mutant amphibians kidnap a bunch of women to use as sex slaves, and Piper (as “Sam Hell”) has to drive through the desert fighting them in a bunch of crazy cars. Watch the trailer, you’ll see what I’m talking about. If you combine Mad Max and the Super Mario Bros. movie, boom, Hell Comes To Frogtown.
Rowdy Roddy Peeper
“Tomorrow on Rock Bottom, he’s the foreigner who takes perverted videos of you when you least suspect it … he’s Rowdy Roddy PEEPER.”
You know you’re a pop culture icon when you make The Simpsons as a reference — a classic season 6 episode, even — and not as a guest star. “It makes you look like a pervert—but every single Scottish person does it!”
Piper lent his voice to The Flame Lord Don John in a season 5 episode of Cartoon Network’s Adventure Time, entitled ‘The Red Throne.’ Don John’s a villain who helps the Flame King overthrow Flame Princess in exchange for her hand in marriage. He doesn’t do much better than Da Maniac, though, and gets knocked out by Flame Princess before being imprisoned in an old lantern. It makes sense if you watch the show. Kind of.