Mike Tyson, Comedian

Single-Minded: The former boxer continues a career revival by delivering punch lines, not punches.

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Remember when Mike Tyson was a cannibal? A rapist? Ha-ha. Me neither.

Call it the comeback of comebacks or maybe collective amnesia brought on by gut busting. Because somehow the infamous boxer with the nickname "the Baddest Man on the Planet" is now a really, really funny guy. The kind of guy you might invite to a house party, not hide your kids from (well, maybe not).

Recently I rewatched Charlie Sheen's roast, and Tyson's turn at the mic was, in a word, inspired. Seriously. Just listen with your inner ear and you'll get it. It's like scary good.

Then, last week, someone sent me the Hall of Famer's interpretation of Herman Cain with the subject line, "WOW." I nearly choked on my Activia when I watched as Tyson's notoriously tied tongue somehow loosens up enough for a Southern accent.

"I'm gonna wear a flag pin the size of a fat baby's head. CAIN!"

In less than two minutes, Tyson knocked me out. He wasn't playing the washed-up weirdo; he was actually acting. And he was actually good. Then something hit me -- and no, it wasn't Mike Tyson (too soon?). Why was I laughing so hard? Was that tantamount to being a rape apologist? Is it OK to find this overweight former heavyweight hilarious?

A smart friend of mine pointed out that "part of working toward a criminal justice system that is not irrevocably broken is believing that it works, that people can turn their lives around and begin contributing to society."

I get that. I do. But as a consumer, validating stuff with every click, dollar or minute I spend on something, I like to know what I'm voting "yes" on. So I did some research on the guy America seems to only vaguely recall being the bogeyman of boxing.

Facing his 39th birthday on June 30, after serving a prison sentence for rape and after pitfalls that have included declaring bankruptcy, biting off a portion of Evander Holyfield's ear, and marrying and divorcing twice, Tyson is trying to resurrect his career -- again.

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