12 Righteous Facts About Mr. T, Who Likely Pities You
If ever a man deserved a compilation of random facts for no reason at all, it’s Mr. T. However, while this list may initially feel random, back in May there was a Mr. T death hoax viciously making its way around the interwebs. And I don’t know about you, but I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to the man who taught me to hate sleeves. But I was ready to read a bunch of obituaries about his fascinating life. So consider these not so much random Mr. T facts, but more of a pre-obituary obituary. Just in case.
12 Righteous Facts About Mr. T
1. He Loves Gold
Laurence Tero Tureaud and his 11 older siblings grew up single-mothered on the mean streets of Chicago. After leaving the Army — we’ll get back to that in a sec — Laurence worked as a bouncer at a club where he began to transform himself into Mr. T, partially by adorning himself with all the gold chains left behind in fights at said club. If you wanted your gold, all you had to do was go back to the club and ask the bouncer who just thumped you for it. At a 2010 weigh in, his approximately 6.25 lbs of dangling booty was appraised at $123,480.
2. He Hates Trees
Mr. T served in the Military Police Corps branch of the U.S. Army. Young T was once punished by his platoon sergeant, who ordered T to go chop some trees. Since Sarge didn’t specify how many trees, Mister just kept cutting. By the time a superior officer stopped such verdant destruction three and a half hours later, Mr. T had chopped down 70 trees. I don’t know about you, but I’m good for about one tree an hour when I’m really hating on Greenpeace; so yeah, that’s pretty impressive on the Trees Per Hour (TPH) front.
3. No, Seriously, He Really Hates Trees
By 1987, Mr. T had moved on up to Chicago’s Lake Forest suburb, aka “Tree City, U.S.A.” as recognized by the National Arbor Day Foundation. But apparently all those trees weren’t pitying T’s allergies. So he chopped down more than a hundred of them, which caused quite the hullabaloo around the old, stodgy ‘burb, and prompted an ordinance prohibiting such “outrageous destruction.” Rumor has it he dumped some or all of that lumber in a marble pool and covered it with dirt — much like he’d do to me if he found me writing rumors about him.
4. Don’t Call It a Mohawk, Fool!
It was also while bouncing at the club that Mr. T came up with his signature look, which is not a Mohawk at all, but rather a Mandinka warrior hairstyle inspired by a ‘do he spotted in a National Geographic while taking a break from stomping patrons. See what kind of great things come from hanging out at dens of iniquity?
5. Actually, Maybe Just Don’t Talk About the Hair at All
After Rocky III made him famous, Mr. T told People a different reason behind the haircut: “This way, white folks can’t say we all look the same.” Makes you wonder how dumb the white folks were who said that to Mr. T.
6. Good Things Come From Throwing Little People
In 1980, T wound up on NBC’s “Games People Play,” which is where people turned for stupid videos before the internet. It was here, while playing catch with a 120-pound stuntman during a bouncer competition, that Sylvester Stallone discovered his toughest foe yet: Clubber Lang. Apparently Stallone likes bad TV.
7. Mr. T Is God
After Rocky III and DC Cab, T’s star was beginning to really soar, as did his magnificent ego. And being a God-fearing man with an inflated ego, of course he came up with his own Commandments. “Mr. T’s Commandments” flip-flop between T throwing bad guys off and through stuff, preaching/rapping/singing teetotaling commandments, and leading a fresh line dance while wearing cutoff overalls.
8. OK, Not Quite God, But Close
As a bouncer, T cemented his tough rep and rubbed elbows with celebs, a combo that logically led to work as a bodyguard. Steve McQueen, Muhammad Ali and Michael Jackson all hired him, perhaps because his business card read “Next to God, there is no better protector than I.”
9. He’s Huge in Argentina
According to two very ardent admirers of Mr. T, and the collectibles site he inspired, an unlikely high percentage of impressive Mr. T memorabilia made its way to Argentina, where they call The A-Team either Los Magnificos or El Equipo A.
10. Mr. T Don’t Take Seconds
Mr. T was offered a cameo on the unnecessary film reboot of The A-Team, but told Wendy Williams in both the first person and third, that Mr. T don’t take seconds. He was wearing American Flag Zubas at the time, obviously.
11. Mr. T Was There When Wrestling Took Over the World
During the biggest night in pro wrestling history, and therefore the biggest night in recorded history, Mr. T teamed up with Hulk Hogan to get down with “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorf and Rowdy Roddy Piper in the evening’s life-changing main event. When T and Hulk finally emerged victorious, for many of us, time began to fall into one of two categories: before Wrestlemania and after Wrestlemania.
12. He Convinced Nancy Reagan Santa Claus Is Black
“I was one of the wildest Santa Clauses they ever had,” Mr. T said, reflecting on his time spent playing jolly old Saint Nick at Christmas parties during the Reagan administration. He and the first lady had grown close through the years after she asked him to aid in her aniti-drug program “Just Say No.” Perhaps a little too close.