When The King Met The Exorcist
Jerry "The King" Lawler was the most recent guest on The Apter Chat with Bill Apter and Josh Shernoff. Lawler talked about his illustrious six decade professional wrestling career and opened up on a myriad of topics including the relationship he had with his late son Brian Christopher, how he became known as The King, and how he unexpectedly came to be a pro wrestling commentator.
Lawler pulls no punches and in a world too often handcuffed by political correctness,his honesty is a breath of fresh air. One of Lawler's most intriguing stories includes the time he and fiance Lauryn McBride met Linda Blair of The Exorcist. In 1973, when Blair was only fourteen years old, she famously played the role of Regan McNeil, a child possessed by a terrifying demonic entity. Jerry Lawler revealed to both Apter and Shernoff that the movie is the most terrifying he has ever seen,
"For me the scariest movie that affected me for a long time was The Exorcist. Man, that was so scary."
Lawler recently had the opportunity to meet Linda Blair, now a 59 year old woman, at a comic convention in Seattle, Washington. Lawler elaborated,
"We are at a comic con in Seattle and I look at the bill and who do you think is appearing there; but, Linda Blair? Oh my God! It was like the greatest thing ever to go and meet Linda Blair. This was the scariest movie I'd ever seen and we're gonna meet her in person."
Lawler and his fiance, Lauryn McBride, went over to meet the horror icon. Lawler describes the encounter,
"She was expecting to meet us; but, she had been a little bit perturbed that morning. She had a bad experience getting to the comic con or whatever, so she wasn't in the greatest of moods."
That's when McBride chimed in,
"So we went over at first and she was super nice. I was pretty excited about Linda Blair. To be honest I had not seen the whole Exorcist movie because I was really scared of it; but, there she was, so I was pretty excited. We go over and talk to her and she kinda takes my arm and she's like, 'I just get a good vibe from you. You're such an old soul. I feel the two of you together. The age difference, I'm not really feeling that. I feel like you're such a good soul.' I was like, 'Oh, that's cool. She called me an old soul.' Later on in the day, Jerry just keeps saying, 'Oh my gosh, we met Linda Blair.' He was so excited and so I was like, 'We should go get an autograph for the movie room.' He's like, 'Yeah, you're right.' So we go back over."
That's when things became a bit terrifying, even for fans of The Exorcist. Horror fans know that you never ever go back. If you're lucky to escape, count your blessings and carry on; but, Lawler and McBride really wanted that autograph and the two noticed an Exorcist like personality change from Blair.
"So we go back over and she's going off on some guy."
"Her mood had changed."
Cue Tubular Bells.
McBride carried on,
"The guy apparently was the person who brought her in and they were having a discussion about whatever her money situation was, so we caught the end of that. Anyway, I look at her and we talked for a second and she was saying how she had such a crappy day, so I say, 'They're actually having a VIP Party for the celebrities. It's a private party for us later on. Are you gonna go?' She cuts her eyes at me and says, 'Do I look like I want parties?' I was like, 'Ummm, OK."
Lawler remained unaffected and when McBride looked over his way, he was still giddy about having met his horror idol.
"He's giggling and I look over at him like, 'What are you laughing about?' She kinda leans in and grabs his arm and says, 'He gets me. See, because we're the same age.' [She was] insinuating I'm a young girl and blah blah blah. I look at her and I just walk off."
Lawler then interjected,
"So anyway, I stay there another couple of minutes and she signs a picture for me and I go back over ---"
Lauryn wasn't having it,
"You were gone for thirty minutes! You were gone forever and I look at Mike Kingston, who does the shows. I look at Mike and am like, 'Where the hell is he at? He knows I'm upset about that."
"No, I didn't. I swear. I did not know she was upset. So, anyway I finally get back over to the table and Lauryn is sitting there and I swear I did not realize she was mad about anything. I just said, 'Wow! Was that not great? We got to meet Linda Blair!' She just looks at me and says, 'Screw Linda Blair!' Except she didn't say screw."
So, there you have it: the time The King met The Exorcist and the encounter exceeded all expectations. Personality changes, fits of condescension and rage: I'm not saying that Linda Blair is Regan McNeil; but, the parallels are too obvious not to be drawn. The horror fan in me wonders where Lawler was for those thirty minutes that McBride describes; but, personally, I am too terrified of The Exorcist to ever really want to find out.
Readers interested in listening to The Apter Chat in its entirety may do so below: