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From TV to wrestling, Chris Jericho is the king of the comeback

From TV to wrestling, Chris Jericho is the king of the comeback
From CBC - December 7, 2017

Chris Jericho has made a career out of surprising comebacks.

Take, for example, his return to U.S.-based World Wrestling Entertainment in 2007 after a years-long absence: preceded by weeks of cryptic promotional videos challenging fans to "crack the code," he arrived to a thunderous applause, wearing a ludicrously ostentatious sequined silver vest.

His return to filming a showmay be slightly less raucous than that night, but it's no less exciting, especially for Jericho himself.

The second season of But I am Chris Jericho!, a six-episode comedy series streaming onCBC.ca, comes nearly five years after he shot the first season. Originally produced in 2013 by Insight Productions, itdebuted on CBC last year.

"I got this call about a year ago that CBC was interested in doing a second season. I was super, like, blown away and excited, but also, what a surprise," Jericho told CBC News.

"It was one of those things that I thought was never going to happen again, so when it did, it was a real blessing and a bonus."

Despite the show's long hiatus, it was not hard getting back into the characterafter all, it's an exaggerated version of Jericho himself, not entirely unlike his personas in the wrestling ring.

In the first season, Jericho found himself on the outs of the wrestling business and struggling to find his footing in the film and television industry. In the second season, he's a few ladder rungs higher, having landed a supporting gig on a third-tier sci-fi show called Star Crusaders.

This role has Jericho taking himself just a little too seriously, and comedy naturally ensues from thinking he's too big of a star to deal with the indignities that befall him.

The heart of the story isinformed by Jericho's own experience trying to kickstart his acting career.

"[I] would go to these auditions, where there was you know, 15guys who looked just like me and were saying one line for you know, National Lampoon's Beer Fest," he says.

"But I am like, 'But I am Chris Jericho! I have a fan base! I have some notoriety! And this is what I have been reduced to?'"

Jericho says he's never crossed the line to become the egomaniac his on-screen character can be. To exclaim, "Do you know who I am?" in earnest is, he says, "the worst thing you can say."

Performer and wrestler

An old pro wrestling adage is that the best way to grab anaudience's attention is to simply play an exaggerated version of yourselfyour own self with the volume turned up.

If anything, Jericho (real name Chris Irvine, son of former NHL player Ted Irvine) has had to work hard to keep track of all the versions of himself he plays across all mediathe struggling actor in But I am Chris Jericho!, his persona in pro wrestling, which oscillates from plucky hero to maniacal villain on a quarterly basis; and even, he slyly admits, the media-friendly persona he fashions when doing interviews.

Dream match in Japan

@njpwglobal

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