I skipped Joe Buck’s alleged comedy debut on HBO last night, and I’m not even gonna use “Weeds” or the College World Series as an excuse. I’m not sure what the opposite of “Must See TV” is, but any program that features Buck, Brett Favre and Artie Lange doing anything other than being chased by mountain lions is not something I would watch by choice. It does appear, however, that I missed the boat on what the New York Times’ Richard Sandomir describes as a “hijacking”
The bookend to the show was a panel show featuring Lange, the actor Paul Rudd, and Jason Sudeikis of œSaturday Night Live. The latter two need not have shown up for this as was Lange staging a hostile takeover. His scatological, homophobic, insult act was delivered with a sort of blithe and gleeful explosiveness that threw Buck a bit. This 10-minute trap on the stage at the Equitable Center™s auditorium in Midtown Manhattan was unlike any live TV Buck had ever practiced with Tim McCarver or Troy Aikman.
As Lange was popping off, Buck said, œI was thinking, ˜How much longer do we have in the segment?™ I thought that spending time on a treadmill felt long, but that was eight or nine minutes turned into an eternity. But it™s cable. You can get away with it.
When Lange left the stage after the segment (which continued for 10 more agonizing minutes on the Internet at hbo.com), Buck said that Lange told him, œ ˜Was I good? Was that great?™ That™s his M.O. That™s what he believed he was brought here to do. He™s a guest, and it™s live TV. Short of hitting a trap door, what are you going to do?
Michael Irvin, in the audience after being part of a segment with Bengals receiver Chad Johnson following the Favre interview, could only laugh at the spectacle.
œIt™s refreshing to see white-on-white crime, he said.
It’s curious that HBO have asked YouTube to remove dozens of clips from last night’s telecast. Either the Time-Warner property no longer believes in the ability of YouTube to generate buzz for a new project, or they’re thoroughly embarrassed by what happened.
(UPDATE : Francesca : “this was the worst show I’ve ever seen” Yes, and Mike is including Bruce Beck as a substitute host for his own program)