‘The Mouth Of The South’ Jimmy Hart has credited WWE Chairman Vince McMahon for suggesting he use a megaphone at ringside.
Jimmy Hart is one of wrestling’s all-time great wrestling managers, having stood ringside for the likes of The Hart Foundation, Adrian Adonis, The Funks, Honky-Tonk Man, and Hulk Hogan to name just a few. Hart was honoured with his own induction into the WWE Hall Of Fame in 2005 for his exploits, the same night that The Hulkster was inducted himself.
Known for his colourful outfits, machine-gun speaking style and iconic megaphone, Jimmy Hart has revealed the two of the men he credits for helping his career. Speaking to Caleb Beames of KTRE9, The Mouth Of The South named a broadcast legend as the one responsible for his outlandish attire:
“Well, a quick story here, two different parts of a story, one, is the reason I where the colorful jackets is because before I got into the world of wrestling, I was in a band called The Gentrys. We toured with Dick Clark back in the day with The Beach Boys, Sonny and Cher. It was all bus tours back then, and I remember something Dick Clark said once in a meeting.”
“He said, ‘Look, some nights when you get on stage, you might not feel good. Do the best you can but you can always do one thing. When you’re on that stage if you dress like the audience, one day you’re gonna be sitting in the audience. Be colorful. Give the people their money’s worth. They don’t want to buy a ticket to see somebody who looks like them.’ I remembered that, so when I went into this business, I made sure to wear colorful jackets.”
As for the megaphone, Hart revealed that all came about thanks to Vince McMahon, although there may be some debate as to whether over the years Hart heeded McMahon’s warning not to “overdo it:”
“Number two, the megaphone, it’s been around the world two or three times. Vince McMahon was the one that brought this to me from Japan and said, ‘You can use this at ringside, just don’t over do it.’ I said, ‘Can I paint it,’ and he said, ‘Anything you want to with it.’ Two people who have helped out my career, Dick Clark and Vince McMahon.”