It’s been a video going viral the last few days- an ESPN-produced parody of a “30 for 30″ documentary about controversial NFL star Richard Sherman, in which comedian Frank Caliendo, acting under the auspices of ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown, does impressions of various ESPN personalities talking about Sherman.
Now, I’ve never been much of a Caliendo fan, never having enjoyed his work on the Fox pre-game show, on ESPN, or on his own TBS show Frank TV, the commercials for which reached “His father is the district attorney“-level saturation during one year of the baseball playoffs. Nevertheless, I’ve been assured by sports blog after sports blog, that even if you don’t like Caliendo, this one is funny.
Then I watched it:
No, it’s not funny. And it’s not funny for several reasons.
First, it’s the usual Caliendo problem: He’s very good at doing impressions and voices, but not very good at doing anything funny with them. Sure, he can do the Ron Jaworski and Mike Ditka and Jon Gruden voices- then what?
Second, it doesn’t look anything like a “30 for 30“- the style and music are way off, aside from the voiceover at the beginning and end. The “Space Jam” “30 for 30″ parody Yahoo did a few months ago got all of that stuff exactly right.
Third, the writing is cringe-inducing. Why is the idea of Richard Sherman running for president funny? Just to toss in Caliendo’s generally weak Clinton and Bush impressions?
And finally, the bit isn’t even really about Richard Sherman. There are so many places to go with the Sherman story- and this tack is one of the most toothless. A lot of media members really did say embarrassing, mockery-worthy things about Sherman- why base a comedy bit around what a bunch of ESPN talking heads have to say about it?
I knew there was a reason I stopped watching all of the NFL pre-game shows.