When fighter Mike Tyson served his prison sentence in Indianapolis for rape after an incident in Indy while judging a beauty pageant in 1992, his who's who list of approved celebrity visitors made headlines.
Rapper Tupac Shakur, the O'Jays (yes, the whole group), Whitney Houston, Dionne Warwick (who happens to be Whitney Houston's aunt), BB King, Phyllis Diller and Florence Henderson of "Brady Bunch" fame were all on the list leaked to media. (Diller said later, while friends with Henderson, she wasn't sure why her name was on the list, since she didn't "even know the poor devil" and "never intended visit him in prison.")
After a successful bout on Broadway, fighter Tyson brings his one-man stage show, "Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth" to The Venue at Horseshoe Casino in Hammond at 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 8 for one exclusive performance as part of his national tour.
During the two-hour narrated look at the ups and downs of Iron Mike's life and career, narrated in person by the man behind his now famous tattoo, Tyson explains why he refused to see Henderson, who was in Indianapolis at the time to attend the Indianapolis 500 Race, during his incarceration.
It was in February a year ago when Tyson brought the same show to Chicago for two sold-out shows at the Cadillac Palace Theatre as part of the 2013 Broadway in Chicago season.
The concept for Tyson to make the rounds and talk to the masses is the idea of Spike Lee and producer James L. Nederlander.
After what's described as "a successful run at the MGM Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas and on Broadway at the Longacre Theatre," the show has charmed both critics and audiences eager for a fascinating discovery into the roller coaster mind that is this built-like-a-machine man.
"The show is only about 5 percent boxing related," Tyson, 47, reminded last week while chatting by telephone.
"This is a look at my life and where I came from and where I've been and where I'm going."
As audiences discover, no topic is too delicate for Tyson to tackle while sharing his stories, photos and video clips during the nearly two hours journey, which includes the infamous "ear bitten-off" moment, when Tyson chomped Evander Holyfield in the ring in 1997. The show is a mix of personal life, pop culture and his own preachings and laments.
Tyson covers his life from his family and early start in the ring at age 14, to his ill-fated marriage to actress Robin Givens and his prison sentence in Indianapolis and his newest life chapter working as a fight promoter.
During one segment, he shows a video clip of him and Givens being interviewed by Barbara Walters, freeze-frames it and describes the pair on screen as "the classic chump and the tramp," claiming Givens and her mother Ruth worked together to trick him and gain as much financially as possible. He also says a young, yet-to-be-discovered Brad Pitt was having an affair with Givens to further his career, while she was in the midst of their divorce drama.
Tyson also gives his manager Don King a working over for "stealing from him" with "double billing" and charging $8,000 a week for towels for Tyson.
Created by Adam Steck, CEO of SPI Entertainment, "Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth" is presented by Nederlander, directed by Lee, written by Kiki Tyson, executive produced by Mike Tyson, Kiki Tyson and Adam Steck and originally directed by Randy Johnson.
In addition to his touring, Tyson also admits he gets plenty of other offers for television and film guest appearances, like his funny cameo role playing himself in "The Hangover" and "The Hangover II."
"I did a version of 'Dancing with the Stars' in Italy and then I was approached to do the American version," Tyson said.
"But compared to the amount of money I got in Italy and how much they wanted to pay me here compared to how much work it is, I said no way."