HBO should be thankful for Artie Lange’s explosion last night on the debut of Joe Buck Live. Here’s how most reviews would have sounded if Lange hadn’t been on the show:
- Favre was boring. He basically confirmed all the news that’s already been out there. Buck’s questions were good, but for a purported comedy show, it opened like a segment that would have appeared on a FOX pre-game show.
- The David Wright segment, while slightly different (camera angle, restaurant, walking the streets), finally tackled the ‘sports celebrity’ angle. The questions were solid again, and Wright’s a good guy, but we’re 30 minutes in and there hasn’t been a laugh. Needed more groupies.
- Ocho Cinco and Michael Irvin, two guys who you’d expect to mouth off, didn’t. Buck’s approach was too rigid.
- The Costas/Selig telescope moments were painfully unfunny.
So basically, you’re looking at a ‘D+’ grade – a comedy show that wasn’t funny, and an obviously nervous host who was stiff and rigid.
Then Lange showed up. His opening joke, “TMZ is your favorite website? What’s your 2nd, suckingcock.com?” was terrific and hilarious, but Buck was clearly not expecting it, and as was the case all night, he didn’t take it well.
[Question: Why, if you're discussing the dreaded intersection of sports and celebrity, do you pick these three comedians? Rudd was friends with Buck, so that's obvious. Was he hoping for a Stern bump out of Lange?]
At this point, Lange did hijack the show – but it wasn’t a bad thing. Too many gratuitous F-bombs? Maybe. But it’s HBO. And as Lange said this morning on Stern: “‘[HBO's] Ross Greenburg said to me before the show, ‘if Paul and Jason get boring, you go nuts.’”
“Romo rhymes with homo,” angledust, and Jessica simpson looking like Chris Farley certainly qualify. Where Buck ran into problems was that poorly attempted segway after Lange said “fuck [Romo], fuck the Cowboys.”
Buck was running for his life and Lange grabbed him by the collar. “Good segue. You’re a regular Bob Costas.” From there, it became a back and forth between Lange and Buck, and there’s no way an elite comedian is going to lose that battle to a sportscaster.
AL: I want to be working construction next week.
JB: You’re on your way
AL: Hahahaha, so are you
JB: Is this [story] going to take awhile?
AL: Yeah, sorry to ruin your great show
JB: I appreciate the apology, because you have
Then came the smoking debacle – all the while, mind you, the SNL kid and Rudd were laughing – and Buck had lost his show. The afterparty online was even worse:
[Lange attempts smoking trick]
JB: I think [the cigarette's] in chin No. 4
AL: 4? The number show you won’t get to.
AL: You’re out of your league Buck, stick to play-by-play.
Here’s where it gets interesting: On Stern this morning, Lange said that Buck hugged him afterward and said, thanks; he claimed Rudd said it was the ‘greatest thing of all-time.’ He also claims that prior to the show, Buck said, ‘let me have it.’
He did. Isn’t the move for Buck to show some cajones and invite Lange back?
video via Ramblings of the Unmotivated