In a world with 500 cable channels, nearly infinite webpages, an ever-growing list Netflix original series, and billion-dollar-grossing video games, standing out is difficult. Because of this, many shows and movies fall back on shock factor or name recognition to gain traction. The Mike Tyson Mysteries – premiering this fall on Adult Swim – has both in spades. The latest cartoon from the venerable late night comedy block that seems to green light shows after extensive focus grouping on people whom they have dosed with LSD, stars the real Mike Tyson who, with the help of his adopted Korean daughter (Rachel Ramas), the ghost of the man who codified the rules for boxing (Jim Rash) and a talking, and extremely lecherous pigeon (Norm MacDonald), travel the countryside, solving mysteries. Yeah.
Last week at Comic-Con, Collider sat down with Tyson and talked about how Tyson came to Warner Brother’s with the idea and more. Lots more. At one point, Tyson even tells a moving story about his parents that begins with a reference to Silence of the Lambs. Hit the jump for our Mike Tyson interview!
TYSON: This is what really happened — every now and then, remember when they had Bart Simpson? They had me on [The Simpsons] and Bart Simpson would bust my chops and stuff and I would get mad and threaten the guy? And I would get mad and, I took myself totally too serious back then. You know? And that’s what it is.
Did you have any influence on the appearance of your character as it was drawn?
TYSON: No, no. No. I just know that, when it was time to perform the character, I did the best I could. I wasn’t concerned with wanting to have some creative control or coming up with my own scenario. I just want to be involved. Get me in a scenario and let me do my best. I’m a performer. You put me in a scenario and I’m like, ‘Boom!’
Do you have a catch phrase for every time a mystery comes through?
TYSON: No. I think I have to work on that.
TYSON: I just want to try everything. I want to see how good I can be, the best I can be at what I’m doing. I want to do everything. You know? I want to be in a musical. I want to do everything. I want to try and sing.
Are you going to sing the theme song?
TYSON: No. It’s going to be on stage. It’s going to be a broadway show. On stage.
Can you sing us the theme song now? Are there words to it?
TYSON: As a matter of fact there are words.
What are they?
TYSON: I just don’t remember them right now.
How does it feel to perform dialogue that is written in ‘your voice’ by other people?
TYSON: If you’re a professional, you’ll make it work. you can be like, ‘I’m not going to do that, I’m going to do it where I’m satisfied.’ But I’m very comfortable being uncomfortable so I just go for it.
TYSON: I like to spend some time with the script so I can do the best I can do with what I have. I can always change it, but I like to see what I can do before I change it. I want to be a serious actor one day.
How do you get into character?
TYSON: I’m very emotional, I’m very excited to have the chance to work and perform and go for it. I’m not afraid to be a jerk or anything and laugh at myself anymore.
You’ve reinvented yourself probably more than anyone—
TYSON: I don’t know that I’ve reinvented. I just think I’m more, in this stage of my life, I just work and I grow up to be more responsible. This is a stage of my life where I’ve got more going on and stuff. It’s just a matter of time. I’m still working on it.
What’s your mystery solving style? Do you get all your facts first?
TYSON: No, no. No. I get my pigeon. When it’s time to get a mystery solved, I go to my pigeon coop, get the message and get my team. My – I thought she was Chinese, but she’s Korean – my stepdaughter, I get my ghost of the Maquis of Queensberry and then I get my pigeon and we go on little brain searches and figure stuff out.
TYSON: I’m going to explain it like this: where I come from there is like a culture, like a person that has horses or something. Everybody I’m associated with in my neighborhood; everybody I know, we all have it. We all understand it; we all have the same lingo, we all know. Most of my of life is when outside, I’m looking up. I’m looking up for Hawks, I’m looking up at what kind of stray bird that is. That’s the type of mentality that a pigeon sire has. I’m sure you have some guy who flies birds. I’m sure you have— everybody knows somebody who has pigeons. And that’s just who we are. That’s just our life. We live our life, but we love our birds. We constantly look up because we’re always thinking of a stray bird or a bird coming back. And it’s just what it is.
Do you have a certain bird from your past that you miss?
TYSON: I like Rollers. Home ones make the money, but I like the ‘Rollies.’ I like the ‘Rollies.’ They’re a lot like me. There are different kinds of ‘Rollies.’ You may have watched Sir Anthony Hopkins… What was that movie? The one where he is in the cell?
Silence of the Lambs.
TYSON: In that movie he says, ‘You don’t mix two Deep Rollers together.’ They have to be a shallow one [And a Deep Roller]— My mother and my father, in metaphor, they’re both Deep Rollers, you know? And when you mix Deep Rollers… I’m the offspring of two Deep Rollers. They crash. They kill themselves. They can’t stop. They get into the roll and they go so deep that they get into a suction and they can’t open up their wings. They’re going too fast and they smash into the ground, you know? And I’m like, descended from two Deep Rollers, but I’m learning not to crash. And that’s my metaphor because they die. They die. They’re going to die, I don’t care what you do when you let them out, they may survive the fall, but when you let them out, they’re going to hit the floor. They’re going to die. That’s just what they’re going to do. Nothing is going to stop them, that’s just what they do. So I learned not to be too reckless and not to hit the ground.
Do you have a favorite mystery that you’ve—
What might that be?
TYSON: I won’t be able to tell you. But I promise, once I tell you, I’ll come back at the end of the show and tell you, ‘This my favorite.’