Jake “The Snake” Roberts Talks
Wrestling, God, and His Comedy Tour
Jake “The Snake” Roberts — one of the most revered, intimidating men to grace a wrestling ring — has been through the ringer (no pun intended) and lived to tell the story. He is embarking on an UnSpoken Word Comedy tour that gives fans opportunities to hear comical stories from a career that has spanned well over 40 years. And we’re talking about a man who carried 15 feet boa constrictors (or longer) and various snakes into the ring with him during his tenure as a professional wrestler.
During those years he battled drugs, alcohol, inner demons, and himself, and he now uses his experiences to educate, inspire, and help people all over the world who have similar problems. With great power, great responsibility comes with it, and Jake was a pioneer in proclaiming his faith in Jesus, quoting scripture, and bringing life-changing knowledge to people through his platform of professional wrestling.
Jake is a true testimony to the human spirit — and to the Spirit of Christ — and my life has been enriched just from speaking with him. To hear one of your boyhood heroes speak openly and honestly about his shortcomings as well as his success is a powerful thing.
To see where he is performing and stay updated, follow him on Twitter at #JakeSnakeDDT or if you’re in the Nashville area on Wednesday, you can catch him at Zanies (more info here).
What made you decide to do UnSpoken Word/comedy at this point of your life?
It will answer all of the questions that you were always afraid to ask. Basically you sit around locker rooms for 40 years and you hear a lot of B.S., and you have a good time and you have experiences, especially from me with the snake always around, causing problems, and then some of the idiotic things you do when you are drinking and doing the things that guys do sometimes and the practical jokes we played on each other. I was sitting back and I would go out to eat with somebody, and we would start talking about the old days and bring up a story, and then the next guy would bring up a story, and everybody was laughing and I thought, “You know what? This stuff would be funny to tell people.” And at 59-years-old I am glad to have some memory left and do this, and it helps me keep things fresh in my mind.
Do you bring a snake onstage when you perform?
You never know…can you keep a secret?
So can I.
[laughs] Hacksaw Jim Duggan is coming with you to perform in Nashville, did you talk him into it?
Yeah, I have talked him into taking a step out there on the wild side. Hacksaw and I spent a lot of time in cars together over the years, in cars and bars, and there are a lot of stories that we lived, and this will be pretty easy for us. It will be like sitting around the locker room, except we will have our clothes on. That’s a good thing with all of the wrinkles we have now because to see that wouldn’t be very funny.
So you have been doing DDP (Diamond Dallas Page) yoga. How are your transformation experiences with that?
I started doing it two-and-a-half years ago when I started my sobriety challenge basically. I was at the point where I was not wanting to live. My body was really beaten up, and my idea of rehabing my hip replacement was drinking beer and smoking crack cocaine, and that is not the way to do it folks. So my health was in bad shape. You know, what is fun in life when you lose your mobility? Walking to the ice box was a challenge sometimes. Getting off the gluten and getting off the dairy, the DDP Yoga thing is more than just a workout, it’s a mindset. Staying positive, staying up and staying on your game and looking forward to life instead of dreading the next freakin’ move. DDP yoga starts you out slow and they have different positions to do the same exercise and you don’t hurt yourself so you wind up challenging yourself and you end up making some awesome gains. I have seen it in myself and I have seen it in a whole lot of other people. Going from being stuck in a rut, to getting around and enjoying what they want to be doing. Enjoying life and living it. I love being able to get on the floor with my grandkids and chasing them around and acting like a kid.
You were one of the first to incorporate your faith in Jesus with wrestling entertainment. Do you consider yourself a religious or spiritual person?
I have got my connection with God, man. We are pretty tight, brother. I changed my name to “GAT” here awhile back — that’s God Amusement Toy — because God has always been there for me especially when I didn’t know it, and I am not too proud to stick my hand out there and ask Him for help. I realized a short time ago that He is my best friend — He is my Father. He is the Father that we all should have, and He is there for us. All we got to do is reach out and He is there for us. Find comfort in your faith. I have beaten cancer. I still got a few health issues that we are dealing with, a few spots on my brain that they are concerned about, but I know with God and doing the proper things and taking care of myself, I am going to be around a long time to aggravate a lot of people.