An Interview With Chris Hyatte
Posted by Gorginfoogle <mailto:email@example.com>
Gorginfoogle: You've written for Scoops, Scoop This!, and now 411. Which site did you most enjoy working for?
Hyatte: All three had their strong suits.
Gorginfoogle: What were/are the good and bad points of each?
Hyatte: I liked Scoops because it allowed me to grow and develop. I was their resident troublemaker. I liked the irony of being a non-professional idiot on a site just dying to be professional. They let me get away with a lot at first, then by the time they started editing me heavily, it was too late, I was already spoiled.
Gorginfoogle: Yeah, I remember how terribly they were chopping up your Mop-Ups by the end
Hyatte: At Scoops, there was actually a rule for new writers that said, "Be sensitive to race, religion, and creed. We don't need another Hyatte running around"
Gorginfoogle: Was there really?
Hyatte: I swear... not word for word, but as close as possible
Gorginfoogle: That's ridiculous
Gorginfoogle: But weren't you their most popular writer?
Hyatte: No, Al Isaacs was. Some months there were one or two other writers who had bigger months than me, readership wise
Hyatte: I am/was an acquired taste there. People hated me or loved me.
Gorginfoogle: Yes, I know how polarized people have always been on you
Hyatte: I try to encourage them. Being hated can be more fun.
Gorginfoogle: You enjoy putting bits of hate mail at the start of your columns. How often do you get mail that couldn't be published?
Hyatte: Nah, those are the best kinds of mail to post... just clean up the curse words with a well placed * and it's suitable
Hyatte: There is no e-mail ever written that can't be cleaned up for posting. It just has to be interesting. Something I feel the audience might get a kick out of.
Gorginfoogle: Well, I can't speak for everyone, but I always enjoyed them
Hyatte: It's no fun posting letters that praise and compliment you. It makes you look like a self-involved jerk
Gorginfoogle: That's true
Gorginfoogle: How do you feel now that you no longer write the Mop Up?
Hyatte: Like a huge weight has been taken off my shoulders
Gorginfoogle: Was it really that bad to write by that time?
Hyatte: No. Once I started recapping and riffing, it was fun. Once I got a few pages into the recap and started to get into the zone, I vented all my anger and frustration on "paper" and had a blast. I loved doing that.
Gorginfoogle: Then what was the problem, just getting started on them?
Hyatte: Yeah, getting myself jacked up to actually sit down and recap... that was the tough part.
Gorginfoogle: Here's a question related to that
Gorginfoogle: About how much time does it/did it generally take you to write a Mop Up, Midnight News, or And Another Thing?
Hyatte: The Mop-Up took me between 10-15 hours. One sitting, straight through.
Gorginfoogle: Holy crap
Hyatte: AAT takes a few hours, depending on how well thought out the subject matter is.
Hyatte: The news takes about two hours to write, and about two hours to research and find enough cool stuff for that column.
Gorginfoogle: When you began writing the Midnight News, what made you start including so many messages from wrestlers? Have you always gone to their sites, or did you just luck out with the Honky Tonk Man?
Hyatte: No, going to wrestlers sites suck, because most of them jam in the pop-ups and have nothing of worth to say.
Hyatte: I honestly don't remember how I started pulling quotes from Honky's site. I think I recapped an interview he did with someone and followed the link to his site and thought, "Geez, this guy has opinions!"
Hyatte: It took off from there. His webmaster wrote to me and said he liked what I was doing, promoting the site and providing a link. Honky himself likes what I'm doing. The readers love it. So it's all good.
Gorginfoogle: I think he's become my favorite part of the Midnight News. It's great watching a guy who recognizes that he's done in the business and doesn't mind insulting everyone else around him
Hyatte: Well, he knows he'll never be WWF Champion... but he still goes out there and he still performs and he still entertains people.
Hyatte: He still makes money.
Gorginfoogle: Well yes, but it's on the indy circuit. If you used to be a name at some point you can be a huge asshole and still make money that way
Gorginfoogle: As Bagwell is now proving
Hyatte: That's the business. You are a name, and you try your best to make as much money off that name as you can.
Gorginfoogle: I think he's got quite a career ahead of him as the older wrestler that keeps shooting on everyone. I haven't thought about him as much as I do now in years
Hyatte: I suspect that was the whole point of opening a website. To get his name out to the new fan.
Gorginfoogle: Given all that you've said about Scott Keith in the past, why did you decide to have "And Another Thing" syndicated at thesmarks.com? For that matter, given all that you said about the people at Scoop This back when you were at Scoops, what made you decide to move the Mop-Ups over there?
Hyatte: That's two big questions. Which one do you want addressed first?
Gorginfoogle: Umm, start with Scoop This first, to keep in in chronological order
Hyatte: ScoopThis was about to have another re-launch. Their third, I believe. By then (last few months of '99, I believe), I was friendly with Dusty the Fat, Bitter Cat. I had done their Chat This 2.5 with a bunch of other B-Players. So by the time they were ready to re-launch, I didn't have any problems with them.
Hyatte: I was, however, having major problems with Scoops. They had gotten so frightened of the content of the Mop-Ups that they were slicing and dicing just about anything that even hinted and controversial material.
Hyatte: I had to get out. The initial plan was to work with ScoopThis for a few months, then open my own site. I realized that I had no interest in opening my own site, so I stuck around for a while, until they dried up and shut down again, and 411 took me in.
Gorginfoogle: And The Smarks?
Hyatte: What have I really ever said about Scott Keith?
Hyatte: I've never bothered with him too much.
Gorginfoogle: No, you weren't as bad with him as you were with some others, but you made it clear you disliked him
Hyatte: I did? When?
Gorginfoogle: In your last month or so of Mop-Ups, you would often throw in insults to him
Hyatte: I don't like the guy, but I don't dislike him either. We both laid the law down on exactly where we stand with each other in a private Delphi Forum some time back. I think we're both cool with each other.
Gorginfoogle: Okay then
Hyatte: Syndicating AAT was a move initiated by me. It's better to have your product featured on two popular sites rather than just one.
Hyatte: Plus, it's a kick being on the site that Sean Shannon built.
Gorginfoogle: And speaking of Shannon....
Gorginfoogle: You've had a large number of feuds with people online, from the Scoop This guys to the aforementioned Sean Shannon. Who do you think gave you the best fight out of all of them?
Hyatte1com: My ex-girlfriend
Gorginfoogle: Since you're no longer doing recaps, have you tried to get CRZ to bring his recaps to 411?
Hyatte: Actually, I did ask if he wanted to hyperlink them. He said no.
Hyatte: He said no politely
Gorginfoogle: Well that's good
Gorginfoogle: Did he give a reason, or does he just want to avoid big boards right now?
Hyatte: I think he gave me a reason, but sometimes he gets lost in his own little universe and speaks in vagueness.
Gorginfoogle: Does he always talk to you like he does in the quotes you put in your news updates?
Hyatte: He speaks like that guy in Star Trek who Captain Picard had to help slay the invisible beast. The guy who only spoke in metaphors.
Gorginfoogle: The Darmok guy?
Hyatte1com: yeah, "Darmok... his fist open"
Hyatte: Yes, when we speak online, sometimes he drops these vague little bombs out of nowhere
Hyatte: But sometimes, I have to push him for a vague bomb. He always delivers.
Gorginfoogle: Have you ever thought of doing another "wrestler interview" like the one you did at Scoops with the Head of the Villanos?
Hyatte: Have I thought seriously? Not really.
Gorginfoogle: I think you could make another good And Another Thing with one
Hyatte: Well, I try to make AAT a serious column.
Gorginfoogle: Speaking of which, when should the Howard Stern one be done?
Hyatte: A week or so. I have about 75% of it written in my head... or laid out. I'm just looking for the hook
Gorginfoogle: How long does it generally take you to come up with the idea for a column?
Hyatte: I get ideas all the time. The trick is to wait until you know the idea will make for a full column before you sit down and start writing. I refuse to do a "Random Thoughts" column because all that is just lazy-ass bad writers with all these ideas and absolutely no clue how to develop them.
Gorginfoogle: I really hate those columns. There's never any real thought put into them
Hyatte: Yeah, most Net Writers are truly stupid people
Gorginfoogle: Do you talk to that many of them, or do you generally try to avoid other Net writers?
Gorginfoogle: He asked, being a Net Writer that went out of his way to talk to you....
Hyatte: Nah, I don't avoid anyone. Hell, I post my home phone number from time to time. When I was on ICQ, I allowed anyone to put me on their buddy list. I hide nothing. I am very accessible. I just know that most of these fuckheads are so wrapped up in being them that they won't contact me. I don't contact them because... what the fuck do I have to say to them that I don't say in my columns?
Gorginfoogle: Why did you decide to post your phone number? Weren't you worried about winding up spending all your time on the phone?
Hyatte: No, because I trust the readers not to hassle me.
Hyatte: Besides, I can always hang up
Gorginfoogle: That's true
Gorginfoogle: Well, since we're on the subject of you at home, what goes on in a regular day for you? How much of your day do you generally spend working on 411?
Hyatte: Well, I get up in the A.M... feed my bird... shower... dress... go to work... work a full day... go home... eat... watch TV... sit down and do the Net thing at around 10 pm until it's finished... then go to bed
Gorginfoogle: What kind of job do you have? And how did you do it when you were spending all day Tuesday doing the Mop-Ups?
Hyatte: You did absolutely no preparation for this, did you?
Note to future interviewers: Don’t ask Hyatte what his job is
Gorginfoogle: I prepared several questions, I just planned on adding to whatever you said if something came up
Hyatte: I refuse to announce what my job is. Only because I still want people thinking of me as a writer. Not as a (Job Title) who writes
Hyatte: I would just like to say that my work has NOTHING to do with the Web. That's why unlike these other goobers, I am actually in shape and my ass isn't huge.
Gorginfoogle: No problem
Gorginfoogle: Moving onto some wrestling questions, you've said that you were a big fan of the NWA back in the 80s, when the WWF was in full force. Then in the mid 90s, when WCW was king, you would usually side with the WWF. Aside from the sheer underdog tendencies, what was it about them that you enjoyed more than their competition at the time?
Hyatte: Why did I prefer the WWF?
Gorginfoogle: Was it just a rooting for the underdog deal?
Hyatte: Well, the honest truth is that I live in the heart of New England, the Heart of WWF Country. I grew up on the WWF. I always preferred them, like New Yorkers generally prefer the Yankees. The only time I liked WCW more was when the WWF was doing too much cartoon stuff in the 80's... while WCW was the place to be Saturday nights at 6:05.
Hyatte: See, until then, I only saw guys like Ric Flair and Dusty Rhodes in the PWI Mags... so to actually see them do their thing on screen was a real thrill.
Gorginfoogle: How long have you been a wrestling fan?
Hyatte: Since I was 8... 23 years?
Hyatte: But there was a period of about 4 years when I had no interest in it and never watched it
Gorginfoogle: When was this?
Hyatte: Umm, last few years of Hulk-A-Mania... the rise of Bret Hart... The IBF.... The Lex Express... right up until... 1995
Gorginfoogle: What made you start watching again?
Hyatte: Because the WWF had like, five big guys. Diesel, Razor, Hart, HBK, and the Undertaker. I liked them. Hogan was in WCW. Nitro kicked off. It was a good time to be a fan again.
Hyatte: Then when Scott Hall walked out on Nitro for the first time, I went to being hardcore
Gorginfoogle: What have been some of your favorite wrestlers, and wrestling moments over the years? Also, what wrestlers and events have you particularly hated with a passion?
Hyatte: That's a tough question because I don't dwell on moments or wrestlers. I guess my answers would be the standard ones. Whatever everyone else generally liked is what I liked. Nothing or no one really sticks out.
Hyatte: I really liked the Nitro return of Ric Flair... I really loved the first time Ric Flair showed up on WWF TV
Gorginfoogle: Is he one of your favorite wrestlers then?
Hyatte: In his prime, I suppose. Can't really say the guy who walked out on the last Nitro and fought Sting in a t-shirt to hide his sag is my favorite wrestler, though
Gorginfoogle: Would you be excited to see him appear in the WWF now?
Hyatte: WCW needs a WCW spokesman
Hyatte: And I would KILL to see Ric Flair vs Vince McMahon at Wrestlemania
Gorginfoogle: Yeah, when he was trying to get freed from his WCW contract a couple years ago, I was really hoping he'd turn into McMahon's corporate champion to fight Austin
Gorginfoogle: And speaking of Mark Madden.....
Gorginfoogle: The comments you used to have back when you recapped Nitro about Mark Madden's mom. Why? I'm specifically talking about the skull-fucking comment, but what made you hate him to the point where you started this campaign? Was it the Wrestling Jesus parody he stole from you, or just his overall obnoxiousness?
Hyatte: Mark Madden wanted to be the Internet heel. Mark Madden wanted to be hated. So, I attacked him in a way that would go beyond what he expected.
Hyatte: Try to shake him up some. I don't know if he even knew I was doing it, but the readers liked it. That's all I care about, really... that the readers liked it.
Gorginfoogle: I particularly enjoyed your reader contest to find new ways of abusing his mom
Hyatte: Yeah, some dark, dark ideas came out of that
Hyatte: My favorite was explaining how I ate his Mother's cooking, crapped it all out in one huge loaf, and made her give the loaf of shit a blowjob. SHE LOVED IT MARK, SHE MOOOOAAANED
Gorginfoogle: I think that was some of the most horrifying stuff I ever saw in your Mop Ups
Hyatte: It was the first really new "gimmick" I had in a looong time. I was sad to see him fired before I could beat it into the ground.
Hyatte: I can give you ten more minutes
Gorginfoogle: You've gone off on a number of Queen-related tangents in your writing. What is there about them that you like so much, and are they your favorite band?
Hyatte: They were. In the early 90's I LOVED Queen
Hyatte: Only because they were so diverse. They could rock hard, they could do ballads. They could be funky. They even could do some punk material.
Gorginfoogle: Which of their albums is your favorite?
Hyatte: Which one? I think, pound for pound, when I want to listen to some Queen the first CD I grab is "Sheer Heart Attack"
Hyatte: Or Queen II, when I'm feeling bombastic
Gorginfoogle: I've always loved Ogre Battle
Hyatte: Come tonight... come to the ogre site... come to ogre battle fiiiight
Gorginfoogle: Their first couple albums, when they didn't think they'd be big so would just sing about Tolkien were so good
Hyatte: The first one is a great record too. "Liar" rules
Gorginfoogle: If, for some reason, you had to leave 411 as well, what would be your first choice for a new site to work at?
Hyatte: You know... when I leave 411, I'm gone for good. That's it. No fourth site. It's over and I'm retired.
Gorginfoogle: You wouldn't go to the Smarks or anywhere else?
Hyatte: Fuck no
Hyatte: Look, this is a fun ride and all, but I don't make money from this and I'm not that much of a slut for myself that I NEED to stay online. When 411 is over, I'm gone.
Gorginfoogle: Heh, okay
Gorginfoogle: So is there anything you'd like to say as some parting words?
Hyatte: Parting words? Scaia takes it up the seat and I have pictures. I fucked your wife last night. I have about 1000 illegitimate children and they all seem to be writing wrestling columns. GWB ain't that bad. And Kill Whitey!
Gorginfoogle: Well thank you for your time.
Note: Clever readers might notice a lot more text after this, as the interview became a bit extended in what I like to call “More Talking”
Hyatte: How did I do? Was I “Hyatteish” enough for you?
Gorginfoogle: Yes, you were
Gorginfoogle: You were a lot more fun than Keith was, actually
Hyatte: Of course... I think it's no secret that I am a TON more fun than SK
Gorginfoogle: Did you read the interview I did with him?
Hyatte: Were you the one who said that it seemed Hyatte doesn't realize that no one pays attention when he feuds?
Gorginfoogle: I meant it in a loving way
Hyatte: You little shit!!
Hyatte: Well, I can explain this.
Hyatte: I don't care if not a single fucking person I talk about is even aware I exist.... What I care about is if the READER LIKES WHAT I DO
Hyatte: In the end, it's all about getting them to want to read you again and again. That's all it is.
Hyatte: Entertaining the reader. End of story
Gorginfoogle: Hey, it made for good reading, so I'm not going to complain about it. I just thought it was weird that you keep going after people like Scaia when they don't show any signs that they even know what you're saying about them
Hyatte: Actually, I noticed that after a column where I was really hard on poor Ricky, he would usually hug CRZ harder than usual for that week.
Hyatte: So, while I have no clue if the Rick checks in with me every week or day.... I do know he does checks in with me from time to time.
Gorginfoogle: Well, okay, Scaia was a bad example
Gorginfoogle: But yeah, the bad part when I interviewed Keith was when I dared to include some humor into one of the questions, and he completely missed it and got all snotty with me like I was a complete idiot
Hyatte: Did you phone talk to him or was it like this?
Gorginfoogle: It was on ICQ
Gorginfoogle: I have no recording equipment
Hyatte: Ah... and why did you choose to talk to him first, before talking to me... or anyone else, for that matter?
Gorginfoogle: Well, you and Keith were actually my first two choices of people to interview
Hyatte: Right.. right.
Gorginfoogle: And I never saw you give an interview before, other than Chat This, and Keith has given several to people before, so I thought I'd have more success with him
Hyatte: Well, I did do the Edge
Gorginfoogle: But that was a radio show, not just a regular interview
Hyatte: Hmm... Zach, I think you'll find that just about every net idiot like me will say yes to your request
Gorginfoogle: Quite possibly
Hyatte: We are all marks for ourselves.
Hyatte: Okay... I’ve gotta go write news and stuff...
Gorginfoogle: All right. Thank you for giving me the interview