Comedian Taylor Williamson keeps his finger on the pulse of pro wrestling and is a longtime WWE fan. He talked about Vince McMahon promoting/hiring Paul Heyman and Eric Bischoff to prominent positions when he spoke to Wrestling Inc. on our WINCLY podcast.
"It's fascinating in WWE that the people he hires to take the company to the next level are the people who tried to put him out of business and who he put out of business 20 years ago. That just seems like a soap opera," said Williamson.
"Vince keeps hiring all of these people that he hated forever; that's curious to me. Like Jeff Jarrett, that's very admirable and Howard Stern did that with Rosie O'Donnell who he's friends with now."
Williamson has been a longtime wrestling fan and opened a roast of Bruce Prichard last year at Starrcast. When asked about what he likes most in pro wrestling right now, Williamson didn't point to a certain promotion or content being created, but rather the current landscape of wrestling.
"I love all the opportunities that are out there. It's cool that there are so many more jobs now than six months ago. Real full-time jobs and people get to live their dreams and more artists can perform. I think that's just the coolest thing," stated Williamson before bringing up specific performers he's enjoyed.
"I've always loved Cesaro and hope that something happens, maybe this Paul Heyman thing, that helps push him to the next level. I'm a huge Rocky Romero fan. I love seeing people take roads that some people may seem are crazy or even irresponsible."
Williamson has performed on America's Got Talent several times and he was asked how much of that show is scripted like pro wrestling.
"I came out to Hulk Hogan's theme song; that's like pro wrestling, right? And I came out to Hanson's theme song which was The Young Bucks theme song before they sold out to work for a billion dollar company. That was in jest by the way, I'm not calling them sellouts," joked Williamson.
"The show is very much like wrestling because it's a storyline and you perform and then they ask you about your storyline. Then people decide if they like you based on your talent or your dramatic story."
Williamson says he kept trying to create a story about how he was bullied as a kid. During his audition they let him talk about being bullied but they took control of his story after that and he never revisited it.
"Heidi Klum didn't think I was funny because she found me to be non-appropriate for children. Then in my next act, I wrote a whole act really tongue-in-cheek with jokes for kids that were really PG boob jokes. I made fun of her and she played along with it. I got a storyline by circumstance of me trying to impress and court Heidi Klum," revealed Williamson.
"Now five years later people come up to me and are like, 'Hey, where's Heidi?' So, I have a career thanks to her playing along with my nonsense."
Williamson then talked more about how much America's Got Talent crafts its storylines.
"It's not rigged by any means. It's categorized as a game show so they can't rig it or they will go to jail," revealed Williamson. "Howard Stern got accused of that stuff and he was like, 'You think I'm gonna go to jail for a white-collar crime? I don't need this f***ing show!'
"But the producers get to pick who they want on the show in the beginning and how they want to be presented and edited. Thankfully they liked me. They put you out there however they want to put you out there and it's up to you to carry on however they presented you.
"It does remind me of WWE because it's such a giant machine. I just went back on for AGT The Champions…and it was like a very different atmosphere. Simon Cowell is the man there and he's very Vince McMahon-y in many ways – billionaires in charge of their companies and that's the way it is. If you wanna be on this show, this is how you have to act even though you're an artist. …But they are geniuses too."
Williamson has many ties to pro wrestling so he was naturally asked if he has any pro wrestling-related goals.
"Maybe – I might be talking to some people about doing some stuff," said Williamson. "I love the business so much but I also don't wanna do anything that I don't deserve to do. I've fantasized about what WWE would do if they made me world champion David Arquette-style. I'd like to think that I'd be, 'No. No. No.' But I can't say that I'll do that.
"With that said, I am exploring some stuff. I love how Joe Rogan is able to do UFC and it's not a side job. It's something he respects and treats seriously; but he also does comedy. I couldn't do something where I'm not doing comedy at the same time. But if I could do both in a respectful manner, which WWE is allowing for some people…and it's smart too because it allows them to get attention outside of wrestling. But I am exploring some stuff and I'm really excited about the experiences in comedy and things not working out the way I wanted leading to me being a small part of this world that I love."
To support Taylor Williamson follow him on Twitter @TaylorComedy or visit his website TaylorWilliamson.com.
Taylor's full interview with Wrestling Inc aired as part of a recent episode of our WINCLY podcast. It can be heard via the embedded audio player at the bottom of this post. In it Taylor discusses the WWE 24/7 Championship, helping to write jokes for pro wrestling legends, how WWE backstage politics are like a soap opera, how WWE and America's Got Talent are the same, Colt Cabana's influence on comedy and pro wrestling and more.
You can check out past episodes of the WINCLY here.