How 'The Hangover' movies helped redeem Mike Tyson

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On Tuesday, Judge Catherine D. Perry of Federal District Court in St. Louis issued a ruling that offered a huge sigh of relief for Warner Brothers Entertainment and the legions of moviegoers waiting to catch laughs over another tale of a wild drunken night and its subsequent repercussions.

Judge Perry rejected the request of Mike Tyson’s tattoo artist, S. Victor Whitmill, who sought to halt the today’s release of Hangover Part II on the grounds that the movie violates his copyright due to a central character in the movie using a face tattoo he created for Tyson.

The irony of this debacle is that Tyson’s cameo in the sequel will likely be as memorable as it is minuscule — just like in the original Hangover movie.

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Still, Tyson’s role — no matter what they size — in the franchise is a testament to his newfound life as a budding comedic actor. It is a PR feat almost as impressive as those attained in his former day job.

After an embarrassing end to a legendary boxing career, by 2005 Tyson was admittedly miserable. Speaking with USA Today, the Brooklyn native revealed, “I’ll never be happy. I believe I’ll die alone.” After further lamenting about being a “sad, pathetic case,” Tyson also added, “I just want to escape. I’m really embarrassed with myself and my life.”

The most interesting comment about this infamous interview was Tyson’s assertion that, “They would give (the late) Jeffrey Dahmer a second chance before they gave me another one.”

He had reason to feel like he had reached his nadir and that he may never find redemption with a public that had long grown tired of his antics.

Not only was it well known that he beat his ex-wife, actress Robin Givens, the “baddest man on the planet” was also convicted of raping beauty contestant Desiree Washington (a charge Tyson still denies), and in the later years of his boxing career bit the ear of Evander Holyfield and called Lennox Lewis a “fa**ot” at a press conference.

On top of that, he blew threw $300 million after revealing himself to be both a drug and sex addict. Even his physique suffered to the point where he looked like his workout buddies were Sherman Klump and Dan Conner.

No one felt sorry for him, especially after repeated drug-related arrests. If Tyson wanted a second chance, he was going to have to work for it. So he did. Tyson gave hints of being more self-aware in the 2008 documentary, Tyson. The film featured Tyson recanting his life while going through rehab.Following the outpouring of praise for the film, Tyson started to do a publicity blitz and further boosted his image via a cameo in The Hangover. For Tyson, it was an opportunity to introduce him to an audience that knew him by name only and show that he was more than just that bird-loving weirdo ready to bite you in the midst of a temper tantrum.

However, old habits die hard, so when Tyson said, “I was doing that [The Hangover] to supply my drug habit,” many wondered if he would ever get it right. Following the accidental death of his four-year-old daughter, Exodus, Tyson was forced to wake up. As a result, he embraced sobriety and life as a family man as discussed in emotional interviews with Oprah and Ellen DeGeneres.

Soon after came appearances on shows like Brothers, The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien, Saturday Night Live, and even WWE Raw that showed off his personality and comedic chops. He further illustrated his ability to draw laughs in the hilarious viral video featuring Mike reenacting Bobby Brown’s “Every Little Step” video and the funny “Oscar Talk with Mike Tyson and Leonard Maltin.”

And starting today Tyson will be likely inundated with praise on for his part in Hangover II similar to that given by the film’s star, Bradley Cooper, who said, “He’s very funny, yeah, and he’s actually very good in this second film too.”

In only a few years Mike Tyson has gone from someone long pegged as a “monster” to a self-deprecating vegan with an Animal Planet reality show chronicling his love of birds. Not to mention, a surprisingly funny actor with a much better reputation than he’s ever enjoyed throughout his life in the public eye.

If there’s anyone who should be happy about the judge’s decision to release The Hangover Part II as planned, it’s the guy at the center of the suit.