Professional wrestlers and boxers have a long and storied history within the walls of 30 Rockefeller Center, with stars of the two mediums bringing the funny on Saturday Night Live for decades. Just the context of wrestling and boxing alone has provided fans of SNL with a plethora of comedy nuggets.
With UFC star and former women’s champ Ronda Rousey hosting the newest episode of SNL, what better way to celebrate her appearance than with some of contact sports’ best sketches on the long-running show?
Jerry “The King” Lawler Destroys Andy Kaufman
Andy Kaufman was a performer best known for his absurdist humor that blurred the lines between reality and comedy. Perhaps his best work in that realm came during his “feud” with Jerry “The King” Lawler. Kaufman was going around the country facing females in wrestling matches, and real-life wrestler, Lawler, took exception to his mockery of the sport. The two eventually met in a wrestling match where Lawler pummeled the comedian with a back suplex and piledriver.
The feud was well documented in the above clip from a 1982 episode of SNL and also spilled onto David Letterman’s show, where Lawler slapped Kaufman. It wasn’t until years later that we learned that the two men concocted the elaborate ruse, but for a time, it felt entirely real and tense.