(as our friends in the UK are well aware, the former Baddest Man On The Planet is not unfamiliar with the smell of the sawdust)

Of Mike Tyson’s upcoming 5-night residency at Las Vegas’ MGM Grand Hollywood Theatre, the Washington Post’s Norman Chad writes that Iron Mike “doing a variety show might seem as likely as Henry Kissinger doing a rodeo.” And as you might expect, Chad’s just getting warmed up.

Despite career boxing earnings exceeding $300 million, Tyson declared bankruptcy in 2003. Coming soon to Caesars Palace: “Allen Iverson: DISPUTED TRUTH – Live on Stage”; naturally, Iverson will hold no rehearsals.

If nothing, the specter of disaster — sort of like watching the Daytona 500 to see if there is going to be a sensational jet-fuel fire — looms with any Mike Tyson moment.

At the height of his boxing days, Tyson was a fearsome figure to behold; it was next-to-impossible to pass by a TV screen, see Tyson in the ring and not stop to watch.

For my money — well, to be honest, I’ll be looking for a comp — I believe Tyson will surprise us in his latest incarnation. Expect the unexpected.

Maybe Robin Givens will show up, like Lilith on “Frasier.”

I’m not nearly as cynical as The Slouch — having paid nearly three figures to see Dice Clay in Vegas, I’m sure it can get much, much worse. And if Mike Tyson is a legit drawing card in 2012 for something other than beating people up, wait ’til I unveil Mitch “Blood” Green’s Traveling Poetry Slam Revue.