4 reasons why the Frank Caliendo Richard Sherman “30 for 30″ parody isn’t funny

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Frank Caliendo as Jon Gruden 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.

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  • Tom Grossman

    If you don’t think this video is funny, you have no sense of humor. Funny imitations are not supposed to be serious, appropriate, have a point, or anything else. They are about someone looking, sounding and acting just like another (usually well-known) person.

    That was the funniest work I have ever seen. He looked, sounded and acted like every character he portrayed. That was the point of the video!. The script isn’t supposed to be about anything. Nor is the video supposed to look like an actual show. It is entertainment, you idiot. Are you dense? You owe Caliendo a public apology.

    You either don’t know sports, don’t like people, have no sense of humor, no appreciation of talent, or all of the above. If nothing else, appreciate the brilliance of what Caliendo is doing: Making you think he is these other people. Get it?

    Tom Grossman

  • Mike

    Wow. You are a miserable person. What an awful articlr

  • Eamon Collier

    I’m willing to bet you are not known by your family or friends as being funny or having a good sense of humor. It’s possible your favorite TV show is on C-Span. Just the fact you spent the time to dissect a comedy sketch by one of the best impersonators we have seen in years is telling. Maybe next you can write an article on why Cinnabon is not delicious. And this ariticle was boring. Thanks for your opinion. Try not to get fired.

  • Eric S

    I thought the video was great to be quite honest. It was funny and the impersonations were spot on. I honestly don’t get the criticism. Who cares if it doesn’t have a point. Who cares if it isn’t exactly how the 30 for 30s are. Absolutely ridiculous criticism.

  • Terry Stevens

    I couldn’t agree more. Caliendo is one of the most talentless hacks to come to the comedy scene in the history of the world.

  • Matt

    Wow Tom Grossman you really got emotional about caliendo there! Haha what Justin Bieber is to little girls Frank Caliendo is to you. i didn’t know he had fanboys but I guess I was wrong. Your little emotional outburst was far funnier than anything from frank in the past 10 years.

  • amigda

    I see this is an old article, but it was one of the first hits when I searched “Frank Caliendo is not funny.” The guy is not funny. His impressions are not even that good. I see him and I change the channel immediately. Espn is have really become the masters of suck.