He Should Have Used a Closed Fist off the Top Rope

Burt Reynolds allegedly slapped a CBS television news producer in the face yesterday outside of the premiere of his new re-hashed movie “The Longest Yard”.

NEW YORK — Burt Reynolds’ spokesman says the actor was just being playful when he slapped a television producer in the face at a movie premiere.

The producer was asking Reynolds on camera about his new movie, “The Longest Yard,” outside a premiere Tuesday when Reynolds appeared to become annoyed.

“You don’t know anything about the movie?” Reynolds, 69, asked the producer for CBS NEWSPATH.

The producer acknowledged he hadn’t seen it or the original 1974 version–and then Reynolds smacked him.

“What … kind of guy are you?” Reynolds asked.

The producer was just outside camera range when Reynolds delivered a quick but audible slap.

He should have used a closed fist and actually made decent contact with the producer’s (likely) glass jaw. However, this whole story reminds me of another classic slapping incident – it was July of 1982 and Jerry Lawler and Andy Kaufman were appearing together on the David Letterman show on NBC (you remember… back when it didn’t suck).

From Random House’s transcript:

Letterman: Jerry Lawler and Andy Kaufman are here. Now, we saw the tapes that allegedly provoked Mr. Lawler into the match. Andy, why did you do that? That didn’t seem like a very nice thing to do there.

Kaufman: Um, I don’t see how, uh, you could get, a person could get so mad from that. I was playing bad guy–that’s what I was doing. I was playing bad-guy wrestler–it was a role I was playing. I wasn’t serious about it. I don’t take things like that seriously. Like: I am a star, I’m from–You know, that was just a role I was playing, you know?

Letterman: Was it a scam?

Lawler: I couldn’t warm up to this guy if we were cremated together. He is a wimp. That’s exactly what he thought–that’s what he thought about wrestling. He thinks it’s all a big joke–a big fix or whatever. And then you’re right–there are a lot of people that think that.

Kaufman: As far as I’m concerned, you’re nothing but a redneck. And you’re just trying to prove a point, ’cause I was a Yankee. And I heard this from so many people in Memphis. I was going down there, and because you believed all that stuff that I was saying–

Lawler: There are a lot of people that think that way, and he was one of ’em. And I did to Andy exactly what I would like to everybody that thinks that way.

Kaufman: You’re lucky I didn’t sue you!

Lawler: It was a chance to show him exactly what it’s really like. And you found out what it’s really like.

Kaufman: ‘Cause let me tell you something. My father said, my manager said–they all said that I had a right. I could have gotten a lawyer, and I could have sued you for what you did. And I didn’t. And I just–all I want is an apology. Even you asked me, the last time I was on your show, if I was gonna have a lawsuit.

Letterman: That’s right, yeah.

Kaufman: And I could have sued you. I could have sued you for everything you’re worth. And I didn’t, because I’m not that kind of a guy.

Letterman: Yeah. You know what–

Lawler: What kind of a guy are you?

Letterman: And I’ll just be over here… We’re going to pause here for station identification, and get the hose…

(Andy and Lawler quarrel in background. Lawler stands up, faces Andy and lets loose with a sweeping right-handed slap to Andy’s head. Andy and his chair topple to the ground)

(Band plays out to commercial…)

Read the entire transcript to find out what a potty mouth Kaufman had. Now, that’s REAL reality television, ladies and gentlemen.

Other breaking coverage of slappygate: Dan the Man, Goldstein, Bill.

Cross-posted at Conservative Thinking

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