Think of some divisive figures. Historical or present day, it doesn’t matter. Who comes to mind?
But let’s bring it a little closer to home.
I have heard about Prince Mongo for years. I see worn and tattered political posters and bumper stickers – remanence of a simpler time when an alien from the planet Zambodia could fulfill his political aspirations and rally a city.
But now, I’m a bit at a loss.
Who was this iconic Memphis figure? What is the story behind the legend, and is there hope for a second coming?
First, let’s take stock of what we know.
Prince Mongo, the 333 year old Ambassador from the planet Zambodia = Robert Hodges, the family rich entrepreneur with a taste for the eccentric.
Owning homes in Fort Lauderdale, Virginia Beach and Memphis, Robert Hodges is a difficult man to understand. Some see him as a business genius that got lost in a story of his own design, others think he is a man suffering from dementia and in need of clinical help.
Not to leave anyone out, there are many that believe he is, in fact, a 333 year old diplomat from another planet that is trying to improve relations with the human race.
Putting aside the hype, a little bit of research shows that he is a humanitarian and cares deeply about helping others (Warning..turn down your volume and excuse the horrendous VHS audio):
In Memphis, Robert Hodges owned two popular nightclubs: The Castle and the Prince Mongo’s Planet. In 1992, he was riddled with lawsuits over the drunk-driving deaths of two teenagers that were said to have been served beer in his establishment.
His persona as Prince Mongo became famous in his 91′ race for Memphis Mayor. In an election where the incumbent only won by 121 votes, Prince Mongo picked up an impressive 2,923. His no BS mentality and attitude struck a real cord with Memphians and has created a cult like following that has endured for decades.
Some see his antics as an embarrassment to the city. In 2015, the popular History Channel show ‘American Pickers’ showcased the Memphis icon in a less than flattering way:
But this only belittles a multi-layered individual that certainly has a strong opinion on how to improve a community he holds dear. Case in point, an open debate where Prince Mongo addresses hot button topics such as economics, corruption, and local city institutions like the public library:
I think we can all agree our current political environment needs a good cleaning up. I’m not saying I would personally support a Prince Mongo candidacy in 2020, but I would support him being in the conversation.
Look where we are right now and tell me this would be any worse.
At least Prince Mongo is a figure that understands the plight of the working class and has no qualms with mocking the absurdity of this carefully crafted system we call U.S politics. I for one would love to see this man…at the ripe age of 70 or 333, stand up on a CNN stage and tell the American people what he really thinks.
If this article gets shared a few dozen times, maybe he’ll commandeer Elon’s space Tesla, drive down from Zambodia, and teach us a thing or two.
As always, if you found this article interesting, boring, or mediocre, please share it. Any thoughts you have on a Prince Mongo 2020 run, feel free to leave them in the comments.
Until next time: