Today, in “Ruthless predators that society still, for some reason, tolerates and venerates” news: Mike Tyson’s going to be on Shark Week this year.
Discovery’s annual effort to turn itself into a meme for moms has attempted a great number of gimmicks over the years, and this is certainly one of them; the Hangover star, former heavyweight champion, and convicted rapist will serve as the public, heavily tattooed face of this year’s Shark Week, which will run from August 9 to August 16. The event will kick off on the 9th with Tyson Vs. Jaws: Rumble On The Reef, a special that purports to be about Mike Tyson facing off against a great white shark, because “purporting to be shit” is kind of Discovery’s whole thing these days.
What is almost certainly not going to happen, obviously, is Mike Tyson getting into a pool and trying to beat up a shark, because that would be insane, and dumb, and barbaric, and we only a little bit kind of want to see it. (It’s also worth remembering that we’re talking here about Discovery, a channel that once aired a “special” about a man being willingly eaten by an anaconda that did not, in fact, feature any footage of a man being eaten by an anaconda.) Instead, it’ll probably be more like that time Olympic champion Michael Phelps “raced” a shark by swimming in an entirely separate body of water, which also sucked. And look: It’s not fair to tease our worst impulses like this, Discovery, and then not deliver; you can’t promise a bloody gladiator fight, then show all the combatants just slapping each other with wet pool noodles. (Not that we actually want to see Mike Tyson fight a shark.) (We kind of a little bit want to see Mike Tyson fight a shark.)
Anyway, the promo clip ends with a reference to that time Tyson bit off a pretty sizable chunk of another man’s ear, so that’s nice and classy, too. (Did you know Tyson and Evander Holyfield are friends now? It seems like it would be kind of difficult to be friends with someone who knows what your own ear cartilage tastes like, but such are the infinite mysteries of the human heart.)