Gobbledy Gooker – WWF’s Memorable Thanksgiving Fail

Not only was Survivor Series 1990 the pay-per-view the world got its first glimpse of the Undertaker, but it was also the night of an iconic fail – the Gobbledy Gooker!

A crowd shot from Survivor Series 1990 where the Gobbledy Gooker and the Undertaker debuted. This crowd has no idea what fun is in store for them!
A crowd shot from Survivor Series 1990 where the Gobbledy Gooker and the Undertaker debuted. This crowd has no idea what fun is in store for them!

“What was in the egg?”

In the latter part of 1990, the then-WWF was heavily hyping an unhatched egg on television broadcasts leading up to the Survivor Series 1990 pay-per-view. Curiosity was building and, funny enough, this became the most anticipated part of the evening. What was in the egg?

“Things are really heating up,” Mean Gene Okerlund hyped up to the crowd.

As the fans waited in anticipation, Mean Gene continued his buildup. “You know when it’s so hot so long, that means that the incubation is all over and that means all of us are looking forward to seeing this giant egg. Wherever this egg comes from, that had to hurt!”

Okerlund’s comedy hour continued. “Oh, this cracks me up! I can begin to see it cracking now. Everybody has speculated as to what might be in the egg. Is it a dinosaur? Is it a rabbit? Balloons? Is it the Playmate of the Month?”

The crowd roared with excitement, if only for a moment.

The world soon found out that it wasn’t a Playmate. No, it was none other than the Gobbledy Gooker, one of WWE’s worst failed gimmicks of all time.

The moment the “bird” emerged from the egg, apathetic boos emanated from the crowd. It wasn’t the sort of boo that could cause a landslide but more of a, “Did you seriously try to insult our intelligence by thinking this would entertain us?” – if that thought could make a sound.

Mean Gene went on to interview the Gobbledy Gooker, but by this point, the crowd had lost interest.

Hector Guerrero Speaks out about His Role as The Gobbledy Gooker

The Gobbledy Gooker debuts at Survivor Series 1990. 'That was (not) awesome!' (clap clap clapclapclap)
The Gobbledy Gooker debuts at Survivor Series 1990. “That was (not) awesome!” (clap clap clapclapclap)

Hector Guerrero, brother of Eddie and the man who portrayed the Thanksgiving character back in 1990, is very passionate about the portrayal. In an interview with Bill Apter for 1Wrestling.com, he delivered a serious Gobbledy Gooker message for the fans.

“It’s not that I’m brown-nosing to anybody,” Guerrero made clear, “so for all you critics out there, I’m not brown-nosing to anyone, even Vince McMahon. And Vince McMahon, this isn’t to you.”

“The Gobbledy Gooker was a good thing and the author of that idea deserves to be left alone.

“That was meant for the kids – not for the media, not for the adults that booed it, jeered it, and made it what was by saying it was one of the worst gimmicks ever.

“You know what?” Guerrero continues, “that wasn’t meant for you critics out there. It was for the children, and if you can remember that, I think you’ll take back every word that you’ve said. I feel pretty strong about that.

There’s a reason behind this message. Hector Guerrero worked as a PE teacher at Mintz Elementary School in Brandon, Florida (home of “The Brandon Bull” Paul Orndorff) from 2002 to 2009, so playing a role for the kids was something he took to heart.

“I teach children, I work with children, and you guys need to understand that it was not meant for you. It was meant for the children.

“I’m very passionate about this because people have made a mockery of it, they have used it as a nail against Vince McMahon, and that’s not right. It should have never been done that way.

“It was a good idea, it was the right idea but maybe at the wrong place and the wrong time. I believe that it should have been done in Orlando- the big land of fantasy for the kids because that’s where it all is. It needs to be clarified and be put down in writing in history that the idea of the Gobbledy Gooker was not a wrong idea, it was a good idea.”

Hector may be one of the few to hold this opinion, but we appreciate why he would feel this way.

Thanksgiving is just around the corner (at the time of this writing). Let us be thankful for the entertainment that brings us all together and for campy moments like this one where we can all recoil together in unison.

Relive all the greatness (and cringe-worthiness) of the unveiling of the Gobbledy Gooker at Survivor Series 1990:

Speaking of gimmicks that didn’t work out, be sure not to miss these recommended stories:

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JP Zarka
JP Zarka is a teacher, singer/songwriter, producer, former co-host of The Genius Cast with Lanny Poffo podcast, and editor-in-chief of ProWrestlingStories.com. Originally from Chicago, he has called London home for the past ten years. He can be reached on Twitter @jpzarka or @pws_official.