Creator and star of the hit-animated series "Corner Gas" Brent Butt was on today's episode of The Wrestling Inc. Daily podcast where he and Wrestling Inc. Managing Editor Nick Hausman discussed a recent episode of the series that featured WWE Hall of Famers Trish Stratus and Bret Hart as well as pro wrestling legend Lance Storm, who also discussed the series on his appearance on The Wrestling Inc. Daily. Butt gave his thoughts on the notion that Storm presented saying Butt was more excited to have Hart on the show than Storm.
"I wouldn't say more excited," Butt admitted. "When I first got to meet Lance Storm, I was very excited about it. I found out that he was a fan of the show. I was going to be doing a stand-up show not too far from where he was, and we talked on social media. And I invited him to the show, and he came. And I got to meet him there, and I was very excited about all that, but there is something about that 12-13-year-old kid watching Stampede Wrestling and seeing Bret Hart, his pre 'The Hitman' days. Before, he was about 280 lbs. when I was watching him wrestle. It was exciting."
Butt joked that he had not heard of "The Simpsons" when Hausman pointed out that Hart had also appeared on that hit animated series as well. Butt discussed coming up with Hart's character for Corner Gas, pointing out that Hart was not originally envisioned for the character until they were able to cast him.
"Yeah, The Bad Mechanic," Butt noted. "Well, the way it kind of came about was when we were doing this storyline, I don't want to give away any spoilers for anybody, but we thought at some point -- Lance Storm plays a character named Lance Fury, and we thought we should have his arch-nemesis come back to fight him. And we created this hell character called The Bad Mechanic.
"[I] can't remember which one of the writers in the room came up with that name. I loved it, The Bad Mechanic, and so I kind of sketched out what the character would look like. I put him in overalls, and he had a wrench, but that was before we had the notion of 'well, let's see if we can get Bret Hart to play this' because if we're going to Calgary to record Lance, Bret's in Calgary, so we reached out anyway. And then once he agreed to do it, then we designed the character to look more like Bret Hart. I mean we kept him in the overalls. It's good for The Bad Mechanic."
Storm noted during his Wrestling Inc. Daily appearance last month that Chris Jericho was supposed to be featured in the episode. Butt confirms this was true and noted that there were issues that they came across which prevented Jericho from appearing on "Corner Gas".
"It has more to do with performers' unions and stuff, and he was a member of SAG vs. ACTR," Butt said. "Smarter people than me know all that stuff but there were legal reasons why that was going to be at least difficult if not impossible."
Stratus' role in the episode was as a "Siri" type voice coming from a box. Butt admitted that he would like to cast Stratus as an actual, human character and hopes to get her back on the show.
"I want to have her on again now because we just used her voice," Butt stated. "I want to have her on playing something else again. I'm going to approach her again to see if she'll do another character. I think we're going to make that happen."
Storm's character is in some ways similar to himself in that they are both podcasters, but the difference is that Lance Fury is the host of a gardening podcast. Butt discussed the creative process behind coming up with the Lance Fury storyline.
"Well, the idea in the writing room was it would be kind of fun, for whatever reason, an ex-pro wrestler for Brent and Hank to look up to, who came to town for some reason," Butt revealed. "And so then we had to contrive a reason, and we thought he's coming to town, let's say he's quit wrestling and he's a podcaster now. And he's come to interview Emma about her plants. He's a garden podcaster, and then the notion that Lance Storm has a podcast, and he's a fan of the show.
"He's always been a champion of 'Corner Gas'. So then it became just a very natural organic thing to say, 'let's make this.' I quickly sketched out this character looking like Lance Storm being very serious, sourpuss holding a microphone. That's kind of how it came to be. It was that nugget of an idea first, and then as we talked talked it through, the notion of approaching Lance Storm just became a very organic natural thing to do."
Butt noted that in real life Storm is not that serious as his wrestling person and praised his sense of humor. Noting that Storm is not as much of a "sourpuss" when you hang out with him.
"In real life, he's much less of a sourpuss. I hope he doesn't mind me telling the wrestling fans that he's not as much of a sourpuss in real life as he was in the wrestling situation," Butt revealed. "I mean, he's not wacky. He's not zany. He's not honking your nose, but he's got a really good sense of humor. I mean, he's a smart guy. Generally speaking, smart people have a tendency to be funny people in my experience. He's very smart. He's a curious guy, well-read. I wasn't surprised to find out that he likes comedy very much and is actually a funny guy with a good sense of humor."
Hausman noted the stereotypical contrasts between pro wrestling and gardening with the former being seen as more masculine than the latter. He asked Butt if there were any hang-ups with Storm to portray a character with some feminine aspects to them, and Butt said there was not. He also spoke about how his father was similar to Storm in that they both don't put much value over what is masculine or feminine.
"I don't think he has those kind of hang-ups," Butt admitted. "Lance is the type of guy that's like -- my father was the same way. My father was very manly. He was a strong guy, tough guy, high-pain threshold. He worked as a lumberjack, a coal miner and everything, but he never had any hang-ups about this as masculine, and this is feminine.
"I remember hearing somebody say something that 'real men don't do dishes,' and I remember chuckling to myself saying, 'yeah, go tell my dad that.' He does the dishes every night with Mom. That was kind of one of their bonding moments at night. After dinner, they do dishes and talk, and I just kind of chuckling myself. 'Yeah, don't let my dad hear you say that because you'll get choked out pretty quick.' And I think Lance is kind of the same way.
"He doesn't bother with those kind of masculine, feminine things. I think he just thought it was a funny thing that the guy was a podcaster like himself, and he just kind of thought it was funny he was a garden podcast because he himself doesn't really know anything about gardening and here he was like an expert on all these plants."
You can follow Brent Butt on Twitter @BrentButt. Butt's full interview aired as part of today's episode of our podcast, The Wrestling Inc. Daily. Subscribe to get the latest episodes as soon as it's released Monday - Friday afternoon by clicking here.