Chappell: Before I go too
much further, I wanted to ask you
how your professional name ‘Sir
Oliver Humperdink’ came about.
I’ve never heard the story on
Humperdink: You’re gonna
know this guy…Don Jardine!
Chappell: Oh yeah, without
a doubt…one of my all-time
favorites! The Super Destroyer!
Humperdink: And the
Hollywood Blondes…Buddy and Jerry!
Chappell: This would be
Buddy Roberts and Jerry Brown,
Humperdink: That’s them.
Chappell: Mid-Atlantic fans
will remember them from a stint in
the area during the first half of
1977. They were the Mid-Atlantic
Tag Team Champions for a period of
Humperdink: Jardine and the
Blondes came up with that name.
Brainstorming one night down in
Humperdink: This was
between the time that Buddy and
Jerry finished up in ’72 in
Montreal, before getting back
together in ’73. And they wanted
to come back in ’73 with something
a little bit different…and they
thought a manager would be good.
Of course, I had known Buddy…when
Buddy was there working for Verne.
Buddy came up with me, and we were
trying to figure out a name for
Back then, they had a big
separatist movement going on in
Chappell: I hear about that
bubbling up occasionally up there.
Humperdink: Well, back
then, it was really boiling!
So they were brainstorming trying
to figure out a good name for me.
And since the people up there
hated everything British,
everything English, they came up
with the name Sir Oliver
Chappell: (laughing) That’s
great! I had never heard how that
name came about. And of course, it
stood the test of time and stuck
with you ever since!
Humperdink: That’s how it
Chappell: So, the Hollywood
Blondes were the team you really
started managing with?
Humperdink: Yes, that’s the
team I started with. We started
together in 1973 in Montreal. We
did the season there to November,
and then they ran a couple of
special shows around the holidays.
Christmastime…when they ran in the
Forum in Montreal. Couple of other
big shows…they brought us back up
Chappell: I really liked
the Blondes as a team. I wish they
had gotten even a bigger push with
Crockett in 1977. Would have been
great if you would have been
managing them when they were in
the Mid-Atlantic area!
Humperdink: They were a
great team. They had the gimmick
and everything, but back then, you
still had to be able to work!
Chappell: That’s right.
Humperdink: And they were a
couple of the best. You mentioned
them not getting a bigger push in
the Mid-Atlantic in 1977…George
(Scott) was trying to get away
from it being a tag team territory
Chappell: That’s very true.
Tell us about your times with the
Blondes, being that they were the
first team that you managed.
Humperdink: A lot of people
talk about the first night
actually working and how excited
they were and how nervous they
were…I actually slept on the way
to the town!
Humperdink: By that time, I
had been around the business a
long time…even though I hadn’t
acquired the ring time.
Chappell: Well, that’s
right. You had surely been around
the block a few times by then.
Humperdink: So it wasn’t
like they took me out of a foreign
environment, and gave me three
But I actually did fall asleep!
The first night I ever worked was
in Quebec City, and I fell asleep
on the trip there from Montreal!
Chappell: Do you have any
recollections of that very first
show you worked?
Humperdink: I do, indeed. I
Chappell: (laughing) Your
very first match? For real…or was
that part of an angle or
Humperdink: Yeah…it was for
Chappell: (laughs) Okay,
please tell us, what did you do?
Humperdink: We had the
Athletic Commission there. And we
came in on the night of the Finals
of the tag team Tournament…naming
new tag team Champions. And in the
Finals were Maurice and Paul
Vachon versus the Hollywood
Blondes and me as their manager.
And the finish was, out of a big
four way spot…Jerry Brown and
Butcher Vachon would be on the
outside of the ring fighting and
the referee would kinda be looking
at them, and in the meantime [Mad
Dog Vachon] gets the stretch on
Buddy Roberts and I roll in the
ring, and at the time I carried a
Chappell: Managers and
canes just seem to go so well
Humperdink: With the cane,
I go and nail Maurice Vachon with
it. He goes down, and I roll out,
Buddy tops him…one, two, three and
we’re the new Champions.
Well, you know, the only part I
was nervous about was hitting
Vachon with the cane. Because, you
know, you gotta know how to do
Humperdink: And Maurice
told me in the dressing room
before the match, ‘When you hit me
with that cane, you better REALLY
hit me. If you don’t, I’m gonna
take the cane away from you and
beat the living crap out of you
Humperdink: And if you know
Mad Dog, he was serious!
Chappell: He meant it!
But it came off, and the Athletic
Commission from that point on
allowed me to go to the ring, but
I had to leave the cane behind.
Chappell: Yeah, some of
those Athletic Commissions then
could be very strict.
Humperdink: Up into Quebec,
Eddy Creachman had been working up
there, and Eddy would do
Chappell: (laughs) They
were used to trouble with him!
Humperdink: Eddy started
riots every night!
Humperdink: So, I guess the
Commission went, ‘Well, let’s see
how this new guy does. If he
screws up, he gets suspended.’
So, that was my first night!
Chappell: I can see now how
you remember that first match so
Humperdink: Oh yes!
Chappell: Before that
infamous first match you speak of,
you had already been around the
business for eight years or so.
Who did you learn the most from as
you were becoming a manager?
Humperdink: The only
manager I had seen prior to the
time I entered the business, was
Chappell: An all-time great
Humperdink: Going back to
the Minneapolis Auditorium, when I
was working security in the
corner. So I was right behind
Bobby Heenan…watching his back!
Chappell: Up close and
Humperdink: So it would be
the crowd, me and then Heenan.
So, David, I got an education from
the Professor…the Master!
Chappell: Oh boy, I’m sure
you did…and learned your lessons
Humperdink: The guys back
then, you know, they trusted me.
It was very hard back then to get
the guys to open up too much, to
let you know what was going on.
Chappell: I’m sure.
Humperdink: But they all
knew me, and they trusted me. So
they let me on to what the
finishes were going to be. That
was important to me when I was
working security, because I would
know ahead of time the spots where
the fans were probably going to
come towards the ring.
Chappell: Very important to
you at that juncture!
Humperdink: But Hennan was
the Master…he really was.
Chappell: No doubt about
Well, did you stay in Canada long,
before you went down to Florida
where you spent the bulk of your
Humperdink: Well like I
said, we were up there in ’73 and
then we started in Florida, I
would say probably
November-December of ’73. That was
the first time I went to Florida.
Chappell: Other than the
weather, what prompted you to go
down to Florida?
Humperdink: (laughs) The
weather played a part. Eddie
Graham…he was a genius---can’t say
enough about him. Short
territory…not a lot of long trips.
You know, we were just coming out
of Canada…which was a mega-mile
But I’ll tell you David, the
business was so good in Montreal.
You hear people talk all the time
about a building being so full
that they were hanging from the
Chappell: Yes, a pretty
Humperdink: Well, in
Montreal, they did hang from the
rafters…literally! There were two
promotions there at the time…us
and Johnny Rougeau.
Chappell: I remember Ivan
Koloff told me that they would
literally hang from the rafters up
Humperdink: They would! We
would hit some towns in Quebec
where they would get no other
entertainment. You know, they’d
come out in droves. I think Ivan
worked for Johnny Rougeau.
Chappell: I believe he did
Humperdink: We had the
Giant too…Andre. It was one of
Andre’s first territories.
Chappell: That’s right.
Humperdink: So business up
there was just unbelievable.
Chappell: Florida must have
been different on a number of
Humperdink: Not on a number
of fronts, but it was certainly
easier than where I’d been
Chappell: The size of the
Humperdink: Right. But then
we were in Florida in ’74, when
Dusty turned babyface…and that lit
that place on fire. And we were
part of that too.
Chappell: During that time
period, Florida was certainly
considered as one of the top, if
not the top, territories.
Humperdink: It was doing
good business before, but when
Dusty turned…it just caught on
Chappell: Why did you stay
in Florida for so long?
Humperdink: I always
enjoyed Florida…I just loved
Florida. It was an easy place, and
I was established there…it was
like a second home.
Chappell: Where did you
live when you were working in
Humperdink: I lived in
Tampa when I was working for the
office there. I also lived in
Clearwater…but mainly Tampa.
Chappell: You worked the
heel side for most of your career,
but wasn’t there a period in
Florida when you worked as a
Humperdink: There was,
Chappell: What happened
Humperdink: It involved
Ivan Koloff. And Ivan had a match
with Dusty Rhodes. It was Dusty’s
hair, versus my valet services for
a month. Now, this was way before
Chappell: (laughs) Yeah, I
was just gonna say, ‘This sounds
Humperdink: Ivan got beat,
and I had to be Dusty’s valet!
Humperdink: We filmed all
these little vignettes, with me
polishing Dusty’s car, and things
like that. And it got over
And then it came time for my 30
days to be over, and in the
meantime Lord Al Hayes had come
in. And he started taking over the
House, you know?
Chappell: The House of
Humperdink: After the 30
days were over, I told Al that I
During the 30 days, Al had been
associating with Bobby Jaggers and
Nikolai Volkoff, and a couple of
others. And Al said no way. And
then Al Hayes slapped me!
AL HAYES SLAPS OLIVER HUMPERDINK
ON CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING FROM
Chappell: I remember that
from one of the Apter
magazines…the incident on TV where
Hayes slapped you and Jaggers and
Volkoff backed Hayes.
Humperdink: That’s exactly
Chappell: How long were you
on the good guy side of the
Humperdink: I was on the
babyface side for at least six
Chappell: I’m sure that was
quite different for you?
Humperdink: It was REAL
different! People that were trying
to stab me the week before, were
Chappell: Sir Oliver, I
never saw the babyface manager as
having the kind of impact that a
heel manager had.
Humperdink: Well, you had
(Arnold) Skoaland up there in New
Chappell: True, he does
come to mind.
Humperdink: He’s probably
the one exception.
But with Rhodes, I got paired with
him…and he’d make Adolph Hitler a
Chappell: (laughing) That’s
Humperdink: And I was
beating up the heels. I was doing
the same stuff, but I was doing it
to the heels.
Chappell: The fans loved it
I’m sure…and you were backed by
Humperdink: I even did a
little program with Al Hayes, and
we took that around the horn.
Chappell: I bet that was
good! I enjoyed Hayes when he came
into the Mid-Atlantic area in
Humperdink: Sure…they hated
Al and they loved me!
Weren’t you in Los Angeles for a
time as well?
Humperdink: Yes, in 1975 I
went to L.A. Me and the Hollywood
Blondes, Greg Valentine and a guy
named Troy Choisun. This guy
Choisun was really unbelievable.
He was a martial artist, and he
was the kind of guy that could
stick long needles through his arm
and all that.
We had all gone to L.A. from
Florida. Louie Tillet was the new
booker out there. When Louie went
from Florida to book in L.A.,
several of us went out there for a
Chappell: Where did you
head after you left L.A.?
Humperdink: In 1976, we
worked for Tri-States…this was
Leroy McGuirk’s area---before
(Bill) Watts. Parts of Texas,
Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma…
Chappell: What would later
become Mid-South Wrestling.