I Want To Talk A Little Bit About Pushing Comedy Characters

With Santino being in the Chamber last night I figured this was a good time for another one of these.

When did the idea of being a comedy character become such an evil thing? Most of the people I read stuff from are clamoring for Santino to get a big serious push and maybe even win MITB. In the words of South Park, are you high or just really stupid? The LAST thing Santino needs is a serious push.

Now, for those of you that are going straight to the comments because you’re too angry at me already, this is the part I’ll be referring you to later. There’s nothing wrong with Santino getting more TV time and winning some matches. There’s nothing wrong with that at all. However, him beating a top level heel on his own or winning a title or being near a PPV title match one on one is lunacy.

Here’s the thing: some people belong as comedy characters. Why? Because comedy characters are a good thing. They bring levity to the show and offer a little breathing room in between the heavy lifting. Think about it like this: the Divas are there to give you a break right? Which would you prefer: a Santino comedy match or a second Divas match? “But KB! The fans are cheering for Santino so he should get pushed harder!” That’s the statement you’ll often hear and it’s stupid. Here’s why.

Santino is a funny guy. I can live with that although I don’t always agree with it. Let’s look at the TNA version of Santino: Eric Young. Young has been a serious character before and look what happened: it bombed. They put him with Hall and Nash and he still couldn’t get over as a serious guy. The fans rejected him so he went back to comedy and had his most successful time ever. Santino’s best times have come when he’s a comedy guy, be it as a face or a heel.

That’s because Santino has something unique about him: his comedic abilities. The fans for some reason want him to stop doing this though and get a serious push. I think the idea is that if you push him harder, he can still keep the comedy aspect. The problem is that it won’t work that way. If you push a face against serious heels, you’re running two risks. If you put the comedy guy over them, the heels look weak which is a rampant problem already in WWE. If you push the comedy guy as a serious guy, he’s just another guy and the specialness is gone.

That’s the big issue with this: if you push Santino as a serious guy, why would the fans cheer him? They cheer the comedy. If you take that away, the luster is going to wear off Santino quickly. You also really don’t want say Wade Barrett losing to a hiptoss, a saluting headbutt and the Cobra, as Barrett could be a top heel on Smackdown if pushed right. This has been tried before, which brings me to this.

Back in 2004, we found out that Eric Bischoff had a retarded nephew named Eugene. He debuted as a comedy guy, imitating stuff he’d grown up watching on TV. Eugene exploded on the WWE and was probably the most popular guy on Raw for a little while. Then he became involved in the HHH vs. Chris Benoit feud, costing HHH the title and resulting in a match between HHH and Eugene at Summerslam.

What followed was one of the harshest crowd reactions ever, as Eugene did his stuff and was booed out of the building. The fans didn’t want to see a character like him facing one of the top heels. They wanted HHH to face a real top face, not a converted comedy guy. That would hold true today as well I think. Eugene was never the same and his push was over. Why risk the same thing happening today?

Finally, I want to get into the idea that being a comedy character for life is such a bad thing. There are a bunch of characters that have never been booked seriously and have had very successful careers. Think of guys like Hillbilly Jim, Road Dogg, or probably the biggest of all: Jim Duggan. Santino probably has had a more successful career than Duggan but Duggan is a legend that still got a solid reaction at the Rumble this year. He was never booked in any really serious way and was more or less a lovable idiot that got over huge and was probably the second biggest face in the company for awhile.

This is what it boils down to: Santino is already over as a comedy guy. Now people want to change that because of reasons I don’t get. If you want him to be on TV more often and maybe get some more wins that’s fine, but if you do that you’re running the risk of breaking something that’s already working. It rarely works on other TV shows and it hasn’t worked well in the past in the WWE, but what do I know about stuff? I actually think Cena shouldn’t turn heel so I have no idea what I’m talking about right?

3 comments

  1. Sully says:

    Santino type guys are perfect for moments like last night and at the RR last year. He will get loud reactions but never win against top guys cleanly. He will get close (every once in a blue moon) and have the fans in a fever pitch, but will never win. That is what comedy guys can be great at.

  2. Mathix says:

    Everyone just begs for every superstar to get that World Title. What people do not understand is, that should be a VERY select group who get to win that title. Period. You are pretty much placing the company on someone’s shoulders. That’s why I hate these rushed title reigns because WWE magically thinks it will get someone over fast. Not everyone is going to be Brock Lesnar (and likely never will).

    On to Santino, I don’t think he has a problem with being a comedy relief. Does he have dreams of winning the WWE or World title? Oh yeah, i’m sure everyone in WWE does. If not why are you there? But I’m sure he knows his part. He is GOOD at the comedy relief. The man is naturally funny and brings something different to the table. This is Professional Wrestling. A man’s soap opera. Entertainment. It’s not a legit competitive sport. I never watched that 70’s show in hopes that Fez would one day be taken seriously and be given spotlight because I thought he was a great character. Same with Santino. He’s a great character in the role that he plays. Not as a World Champion

  3. The Killjoy says:

    I gotta disagree with the Eric young bit. The man got steady heat as a heel when he led World Elite. But when Hogan came in and all the writing changed, his faction literally vanished, he was forced into a face turn, was made to look weak against Nash in a match, then was paired up with him because Pac and Hall bailed and at that point there was pretty much no choice but to reset EY as a comedy guy because they totally derailed from the original objective and threw away what credibility he had just to push The Band.