Bret Hart on The Simpsons

Forgot to post about this birthday gift from a couple weeks ago.

Waaaay back in 1997, during season 8 of The Simpsons, former WWF Champion Bret “The Hit Man” Hart appeared in the episode “The Old Man and the Lisa.” And like 20 years later, NECA made a toy of it.

I’m hesitant to call this thing an “action figure,” because he only has joints at the shoulders and waist. Technically there’s one at the neck as well, but Hart’s curly black locks of hair prevent there from being any movement.

As you can see from the package (which I discarded, as the glue holding the plastic bubble to the cardboard was disintegrating), this figure is part of a whole line of celebrity guest stars on various episodes of The Simpsons.

WWF promoting Hart’s cameo

Legend has it, when Bret was approached about doing a voice for The Simpsons, allegedly they told him he’d be playing a crazy Russian wrestler. After recording his lines, everyone went out to dinner, and one of the producers saw people just lining up to get the Hit Man’s autograph. After realizing what a big star Bret was in the world of wrestling, since the animation for that scene hadn’t started yet, they went back and redesigned the character to look more like Hart — hence, the figure above. Amusingly, though, they left his dialogue unchanged, so it’s still Bret doing a voice of someone that’s not him. Bizarre!

The clip of Bret’s appearance on the show is embedded below, for as long as YouTube leaves it up:

Thanks to my buddy TJ for this very thoughtful gift. Not something I would have ever thought to buy for myself, but mixes a lot of my favorite hobbies.