Mike Tyson said it took an entire lifetime to create his latest and greatest venture, ‘Mike Tyson Mysteries’. He spoke to us at The Source Magazine about it’s Cartoon Network Adult Swim premiere October 27.
‘Mike Tyson Mysteries’ features the voices of Mike Tyson, Norm Mcdonald (as beer-swimming pidgeon), Rachel Ramras (as Mike’s adopted daughter, Yung Hee) and Jim Rash (as Ghost of the Marquees of Queensberry).
Tyson, 48, lends his own voice to play a character he said is very personal to him; episodes that deal with his inability to drive and adventures ending in moments of realization are what the gang find themselves delving into. Closely resembling the classic cartoon ‘Scooby-Doo’ both in aesthetic and setup, Tyson says it’s exactly what they were going for.
“The idea was to mix Scooby Doo and The A-Team,” said Tyson. ” I initially had reserves about it, but I’m very proud of the work that we did, its very special.”
The show’s characters all compliment Tyson, picking up personalities from his family members and friends, and projecting them onto the shows figures, Tyson confirmed. The show’s cast are a compliment to who he is, and those who are important are to him. In catching up with Tyson we found him very pleased and eager to present “Mysteries” as it is an engine for kids to share in the bits and pieces of his life, and the knowledge that goes along with it.
The Source: It’s 1986, and you’ve just become the youngest heavy weight champion in the world – was having a TV show a goal in your mind at the time? When did an animated show make sense to you?
Mike Tyson: Well, I did a first few recordings and didn’t think it was going to be good, but then I saw the footage, and man – when I saw the footage on it, I knew it was going to be incredible.
The Soure: What can viewers expect to see when they watch “Mike Tyson Mysteries”?
Mike Tyson: Man! They can expect to see something great. It’s a first time show, I’m very proud of it. It’s awesome and special.
The Source: The show is kind of like Scooby Doo and Mr. T.
Mike Tyson: Yeah, that’s what we said, it’s like “Scooby Doo” meets “The A-Team!
The Source: You yourself and your career have become so iconic, it’s as if the individual characters are all elements to your overall personality and sense of humor.
Mike Tyson: Exactly, one hundred percent, there are parts of my character of who I am. It’s more like what I really am. They’ve just picked up parts of my personality, based off my relationships and the way I conduct myself, sincerely, when off the camera.
The Source: Speaking about honesty – your one man show, “Undisputed Truth,” went from Vegas to Broadway. What was it like embracing who you were and are, then getting applauded for it.
Mike Tyson: Excuse me?
The Source: Your show helped you tell the truth about who you were in a vulnerable way, and then helped you be accepted for it.
Mike Tyson: It was really interesting, really. Because, as a man, you feel like wow – by being who we really are sometimes, from an emotional standpoint, you leave yourself vulnerable – and most people think you’re soft. But that’s not true at all.
The Source: Speaking of honesty, and Broadway – did you get to see the Tupac inspired play, “Holla If Ya Hear me“?
Mike Tyson: No I did not see it. I desperately wanted to see it. But unfortunately I didn’t get to it.
The Source: You and Pac have such a storied history, both young black men from urban ghettos experiencing success at very early ages – what did you take from Pac, and how were you guys alike?
Mike Tyson: Yeah. Two young men raised by a woman, trying to prove themselves. I’m in that spirit without will. But sometimes what happens is, there’s confusion. Because it’s not what you do, or who you do it to, but the message that you’re trying to spread out to other people, so to speak.
The Source: What was Tupac like off camera?
Mike Tyson: Very generous. A real strong energy. Extremely intelligent. When I say that, I’ve been around a bunch of people, and he was really intelligent. He was a philosopher, he knows Mao, and everyone else. He knew all those Black Panther leaders and they too were philosophers. Dating all the way back, he knew the greats.
The Source: The same can be said about you. Spike Lee’s film on “Malcolm X” created, for most youth, his understanding; and for him to choose you, and to direct “Undisputed Truth,” says that you also have a message. The trailer to “Mike Tyson Mysteries,” premiering October 27 on Cartoon Network, mentions everyone has a message – what is your message?
Mike Tyson: (Pauses) … Love overcomes hate.
The Source: Okay next question —
Mike Tyson: Hey, before you ask your next question – I want to tell you that never in a million years would I have thought I would say that (“Love overcomes hate”). I used to be a person who thought war dictated peace, and all that misdirected junk, but as corny as it sounds, or cliché, that is the real deal. I had to live a whole life, and be brought to my knees to know that love overcomes hate.
The Source: You have to go through hell to make it to heaven.
Mike Tyson: You have to survive it first.
The Source: Word. But you are David and Goliath, you are Hercules, you are the last one standing. Considering everything you have experienced – you have found a way to make use of your experiences. At this point, you’re success is based upon making fun of the toughness that once represented Mike Tyson. Your character’s vulnerability and softness in the movie “The Hangover” movies would not have been as funny had it been anyone else, It was Mike Tyson’s irony in singing and being vulnerable that made those moments so legendary. Is that conflicting or something you embrace?
Mike Tyson:I totally embrace it. It’s a win-win. Now listen to this, it’s like being in a gang, a real vicious one, and finding a way out. A gang of disloyalty, dishonor, malice – and finding a way to be free.
Q: “Mike Tyson Mysteries” has some gems of knowledge and wisdom that could only come from have being exposed to, and experiencing what you endured. As you’ve said in previous interviews before, everything is written. If Mike Tyson doesn’t lose to Buster Douglas, a loss that ended your perfect boxing record, do we still get Mike Tyson Mysteries?
Mike Tyson: If Mike Tyson doesn’t lose to Douglas he would not have a consciousness of what people are feeling that he has now. And this show is a vehicle that shows the spirit of exactly that – going from the dark side to the light – and now we teach them the lessons through entertainment with our show.
– Hurtjohn (Mr_Hurtado_)