One Clown Who I Forgot… until today!

By Ira Seidenstein

December 23, 2020

In Pittsburgh we had a great tradition for TV wrestling called Studio Wrestling. I’m on a Pittsburgher fb network and today someone posted a photo of our greatest referee who was essentially a clown. We all adored him. Izzy Moidel. His schtick was to be a ‘blind’ referee, that means he would always miss seeing when the ‘bad guy characters’ would do something illegal to the favoured wrestlers. Izzy also would get caught up tangled with the wrestlers. He also would get harassed verbally by the ‘audience clown’ a mature aged woman named “Rosie”. Sometimes she would clobber Izzy or a wrestler with her umbrella.

“But the guy responsible for keeping order in the ring and making sure the rules were followed was a guy named Izzy Moidel. Izzy lived in Squirrel Hill and was a former amateur boxer. He certainly had the face and ears of a former boxer. They claimed he once fought Rocky Marciano. Then they said the reason no one had a record of the alleged fight was that it was an exhibition onboard a ship during the war when they were both in the service. Or something like that.
Izzy played the role of the blind ref. He would always be distracted by something, often in tag team matches, when he would chastise one good guy,” while the two villains were choking or beating the hell out of the other good guy. He never saw the bad guy hit the good guy with the roll of nickels that were “hidden” in his trunks. And when the fans would point out to Izzy that he missed something, he’d engage in conversation with the fans, turning his back on the action. Then, invariably, the bad guys did something even worse. Poor Izzy. If there was a Lingerie Wrestling League, they would have fired him.
But Izzy was an indispensable part of the Studio Wrestling show, which – at its peak – had more than 200,000 viewers. He was great entertainment, and a key part of the story line. He was sincere as a Boy Scout, but blind as a bat. He was totally out of his league. He was pure entertainment.”

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Ira Seidenstein