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"My governor can beat up your governor"
—T-shirt popular during his term as governor of Minnesota.
Wrestler, actor, politician and broadcasting personality from the Twin Cities, born James George Janos.
He performed in the AWA and the World Wrestling Federation under the name Jesse "The Body" Ventura, a Heel, from the mid-1970s until the mid-1980s, when he had to leave the ring due to blood clots in his lungs (which he claimed were the effects of exposure to Agent Orange). At that point, he took up color commentary with both the WWF and WCW.
In 1987, Ventura appeared alongside fellow future governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in Predator. Ventura and Schwarzenegger would also appear together in The Running Man and Batman and Robin. In the same year as Predator, Ventura made a guest appearance on Small Wonder; he also appeared in the famous X-Files episode "Jose Chung's from Outer Space".
He was elected mayor of Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, in 1990, serving from 1991 to 1995. In 1998, he successfully ran for the office of governor of Minnesota (as a third-party candidate, the first such occurrence in modern political history), serving from January 1999 to January 2003.
In late 2003, Ventura hosted a show on MSNBC called Jesse Ventura's America. He returned to broadcasting in 2009 with Conspiracy Theory with Jesse Ventura.
His life resembles that of Mike Haggar.
Jesse Ventura provides examples of the following tropes:
- Ain't No Rule says a wrestler can't be governor.
- Appropriated Appellation: As governor of Minnesota, he handed out media badges labeled "Media Jackal". These quickly became a hot commodity.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: Okay, so he was a wrestler before becoming a governor, but still.
- His role as ref during the 1999 Summerslam main event.
- Badass: Certainly as far as governors go. Look at any of his interviews. Especially the ones by Fox.
- Catch Phrase/Verbal Tic: "I tell ya what, Gorilla..."
- Conspiracy Theorist: Not quite as far out as most with this, as Cenk Uygur noted.
- Cool Old Guy
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: The bleach-blond locks, wild facial hair and colorful outfits he wore as a wrestler (and later as a commentator) were clearly influenced by "Superstar" Billy Graham. As a commentator, Ventura would lampshade this by claiming Graham stole HIS look.
- Expansion Pack Past: Navy SEAL (technically, UDT, or Underwater Demolition Team, which merged with the SEALs after he left), bodyguard for the Stones, member of the outlaw motorcycle gang "The Mongols"...
- Finishing Move: The Overhead Gutwrench Backbreaker Rack.
- Gorgeous George: Less camp than most examples, but Ventura's wrestling attire included tie-dyed tights, feathered boas and lots of rhinestones.
- With one of those rhinestones in the cleft of his chin.
- Keep Circulating the Tapes: Many WWE matches with Ventura on commentary have either had Ventura's commentary cut or simply never been released, due to royalty issues. Some have survived this, simply because cutting his commentary would ruin them.
- Let's See You Do Better: His motivation for running for mayor.
- Retired Badass
- Sitcom Arch Nemesis: Garrison Keillor.
- Ventura also hates Hulk Hogan with a passion.
- Warrior Poet: Ventura was known for dressing like a Beatnik in his wrestling days.
- What Could Have Been: Ventura was in line for the AWA Championship, but was Demoted to Extra when Hogan jumped ship from the WWWF.
- He was set to feud with Hogan for the WWF Championship, but was forced to retire due to blood clots in his lungs.