In wrestling they have terms for the good guys and the bad guys – the face and the heel.
But in day-to-day life it’s just, he’s a good guy and he’s a bad guy. Simple, huh? I think most people who are seen as EVIL ONES don’t know it. The hated boss at the office, the guy at school everyone thinks is a dick. And so on.
Then there are the rare, media bad guys.
In KC there is no doubt who that guy might be; ME. Oh, am I the one and only? In day-to-day media, pretty much yes. Sure we always have the disliked jock from the Chiefs or Royals. Or you can throw in an Aggie Stackhaus here or a Funk there (he was getting there).
But to really make this work you have to engage, be funny, have a regular public face, and of course be on the air and/or in print often. Bingo!
That narrows the bad guy vote down to one. Tag, I’m it!
On the local scene we’ve had few media-recognized bad guys. Almost all were sports figures. Chiefs like Dale Carter, Andre Rison. And more recently, Larry Johnson. Again, these guy were household names in KC, but had little in the way of on-air personas.
None of them were the funny guy on the air. Most of their media came from sports talk radio and online. Plus they didn’t stick around KC very long. The exception to this was THE HAMMER, Fred Williamson. Back in the late 60’s he was the good looking, strong, Chiefs defender and media junkie.
Fred’s crimes were simple: he had a big mouth, said he was the best corner ever (got knocked out in Super Bowl 1 against the Packers) and was a black guy who openly dated white girls. Fred kinda got run out of town in the end – booed on the field by Chiefs fans. But Williamson did well after he left KC. He had a ton of movie and TV parts, including on MASH (as spear chuck-er Jones) and landed on MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL with Howard Cosell and Dandy Don.
Howard and Fred did not get along, so Fred was let go.
I later befriended THE HAMMER, through my actor pal Sonny Landham and we even worked on two small films together. And I brought him back to KC twice for charity softball games with the Royals in ’92 and ’93 at the stadium, Fun guy.
Fred gave me lots of advice on being THE BAD GUY.
So why me?
Off and on for 40 years I was written about in the KC Star regarding both entertainment and crime.
My family was also media friendly. My dad Stan ran for mayor twice, sued his sons, was a ladies man when single and had a really big mouth. Stan did lots of radio and had his own show on KMBZ. He didn’t have my thick skin though and wasn’t as funny.
My book KING OF STING was about me being a bad guy that you could cheer for. Plus my movie deals along with other film/TV stuff also added to the game. I was villainized on a two-part special on Entertainment Tonight.
And on and on.
Then I was kept in the public eye weekly and often daily by Hearne at the Star in the 90’s and 2000’s. As well as with Johnny Dare on 98.9. Most of it bad. And, of course, all the other radio/TV appearances.
But Hearne and Johnny stood out cause it was constant.
There have been the Civellas, the other Italian names, but again no real public faces, just articles and rumors.
So do I like my bad guy role? Yes and no.
I’ve been nice to most people, working on several charities and done many good things in KC. But nobody wants to hear about any of that. Just the, "Which girl, how old are you? Strippers, drug stories and now songs like "Lil dick bitch."
It never ends.
Does it hurt sometimes? You bet. I love my nephews and the youngest, Alex kinda is scared of me because of it. The older boy Jake gets it. Sometimes a person will walk up to me and I just don’t know if they are friend or foe.
Rumors become reality and someone like me has to wear that.
So I tried and make the best of it, entertain, be funny, smile, but yeah sometimes I don’t like it much.
My brand of bad boy humor has hurt some nice people and that makes me feel real bad. I don’t want to hurt innocent people. Yeah, when I was in the crime game, people got hurt, including me and my team (some died). But every one in that world asked to be there, so that’s different.
Like Al Pacino said in Scarface, "YOU NEED THE BAD GUY…TO FEEL BETTER ABOUT YOURSELVES…."
So there it is….keep smiling.