Sports Show with Norm Macdonald is a sports comedy series which aired on Tuesdays at 10:30 p.m. ET on Comedy Central from April 12, 2011 to June 7, 2011. The show lampooned the world of sports using Web videos and field segments. Comedian and former Saturday Night Live "Weekend Update" anchor Norm Macdonald hosted the show. As host of Sports Show, Macdonald is described as a "gleeful, equal-opportunity offender who is back in his element making snarky asides at the absurd excesses of the sports biz," according to TVGuide's Matt Roush.
The show premiered on April 12, 2011, on the American cable network Comedy Central, and on April 13, 2011, on the Canadian cable television channel The Comedy Network. Comedy Central ordered nine episodes of the show, all taped on Monday nights in front of a live studio audience; however, Macdonald "wanted to (broadcast) live." In June 2011, it was announced that Comedy Central would not be renewing the show for a second season, reportedly due to relatively low ratings, even though Sports Show steadily averaged one million viewers per episode.
Episodes of the Sports Show feature Macdonald in a role reminiscent of his time as Saturday Night Live's Weekend Update news anchor, but now covering topical and controversial sports-related stories with his signature smirk and absurdist dry spin, according to Washington Times' Craig Sanger. The show's segments consist of topical sports humor, wacky field segments, and long form comedic rants.
Weekly recurring segments
- Headlines: Features the familiar feel of Macdonald spouting off quick, topical one-liners behind a news desk in front of a video monitor, riffing on current sports events.
- Wide World of Sports Show: Macdonald riffs on sports related video clips from across the world.
- Wait, what?: Features an outrageous sports related clip of the week, with Macdonald stopping the clip at particularly outrageous spots by exclaiming "Wait, what?" For example, during the May 3, 2011 episode, Macdonald features a video-clip of lawyer Gloria Allred's press conference discussing an incident with Atlanta Braves Pitching Coach Roger McDowell. Ms. Allred alleged McDowell simulated gay sex using a baseball bat and his hand in front of her client and his two 9-year-old girls. She demanded that McDowell apologize for traumatizing the young girls; however, Ms. Allred then grabbed a baseball bat and, with the aid of the hand of the young girls' father, proceeded to reenact the simulated gay sex in front of the young girls, over and over again. Macdonald is baffled and interrupts this video clip in horror many times by exclaiming, "Wait, what?"
- What the H: Features a free-form rant focusing on and reacting to one particular topic from recent sports news, ending with Macdonald proclaiming "What the H!" For example, during the May 17, 2011 episode, Macdonald discusses Michael Jordan's new Hitler-like mustache in his recent Hanes' commercial. Macdonald rants that the commercial's director, upon seeing Jordan's new mustache, must have exclaimed, "'Good lord! His upper lip is sporting the most universally recognized symbol of evil ever known to man!' What the H!"
- Garbage Time: The last large segment of the show, where Macdonald starts a count-down clock and proceeds to do a "lightning round" of non sequitur jokes, random thoughts and trash talk.
Recurring (but infrequent) segments
- Breaking News from the Future: While discussing a current sports topic, Macdonald is interrupted by his future self (dressed in a futuristic metallic outfit) reporting on future developments of the current topic. For example, during the May 17, 2011 episode, Macdonald was reporting on the LA Lakers losing the NBA playoffs to the Mavericks. While reporting on Maverick's coach Rick Carlisle's comments, about Phil Jackson's retirement, that "Phil Jackson will get tired of smoking Peyote and return to coaching," Macdonald is suddenly interrupted by "Breaking News from the Future." The future Macdonald then reports that, "Phil Jackson has not gotten tired of smoking Peyote and has not returned to coaching."
- Nephew Kyle: Macdonald's "nephew" (played by actor Kyle Mooney) reports badly from the field.
- Oh, Google!: Macdonald points out Google's "did you mean" suggestions for various sports searches, then ends the segment by exclaiming, "Oh, Google!" For example, during the May 17, 2011 episode, Macdonald did a Google search for "WNBA statistics" and Google returned with "did you mean: NBA statistics." However, the next day, Google corrected this and no longer returns with the suggestion "did you mean: NBA" when doing "WNBA" searches.
- Which fan had the better night?: Two clips are shown of two fans at sporting events, then Macdonald asks, "Which fan had the better night?" It is obvious which fan he is going to pick as having had the better night.
- You just got Pau'd!: Norm walks around Los Angeles with Pau Gasol impersonator Michael Fanter, asking random individuals if they know who he is. If they reply, "Pau Gasol", Norm says, "Really, then you just got Pau'd! This is...wait, what was your name again? Michael Fanter."
Blake Like Me sketch
: Host of Comedy Central's Sports Show with Norm Macdonald
During the premiere episode, Los Angeles Clippers players DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin were featured in a sketch called "Blake Like Me." The sketch also featured Macdonald, who hired a makeup artist to disguise him as Blake Griffin so he could go undercover in the NBA. Macdonald's undercover-Griffin then joins his teammate Jordan on the practice court, and Macdonald's voice is dubbed-in for the undercover-Griffin. Jordan can't understand why his teammate is playing so poorly (i.e. airballs, awkward moments and even a sky-hook), until the real Blake Griffin enters the practice court and the undercover-Griffin runs away when confronted.
Macdonald sometimes uses running gags during the show.
- Medical Correspondent Burgess Meredith: After discussing a sports topic involving a leg injury, Macdonald says, "We now go to Medical Correspondent Burgess Meredith," then turns to an image of the late Burgess Meredith and asks him for a diagnosis. The image is a short clip of Meredith, from the movie Rocky, sternly admonishing Rocky not to have sex because "women weaken legs." For example, during the May 17, 2011 episode, Macdonald asks Meredith what could be causing pain in Tiger Woods' left leg. Meredith's diagnosis: "Women weaken legs."
- Sad Bill Cosby: After discussing a sports topic, Macdonald says, "We now go to Legal Correspondent Sad Bill Cosby," then turns to an image of Bill Cosby and asks him yes-or-no questions. The image is a short clip of Cosby shaking his head "no" with a disgruntled look on his face during a previous appearance on Larry King Live.
- Sad Jack Nicholson: After discussing a sports topic, Macdonald says, "We now go to NBA Correspondent Sad Jack Nicholson," then turns to an image of Jack Nicholson and asks him yes-or-no questions. The image is a short clip of Nicholson shaking his head "no" with a disgruntled look on his face.
- The 4-12-2011 premiere of Sports Show with Norm Macdonald drew 1.011 million viewers, 0.6/2 adults 18-49.
- The 5-3-2011 episode (4th episode) drew 0.980 million viewers, 0.5/1 adults 18-49, 0.7/1 HH, 1.0/3 M18-34.
- The 5-24-2011 episode (7th episode) drew 1.007 million viewers, 0.5/1 adults 18-49, 0.7/1 HH.
- The 6-7-2011 episode (9th episode) drew 0.944 million viewers, 0.5/1 adults 18-49, 0.7/1 HH, 1.0/3 M18-34
- ^ a b "''Comedy Central'' 2-9-2011 first press release reports: "scripted series picked up for 9 episodes" and "placed a 9-episode order for the show"". Comedycentral.com. 2011-02-09. Retrieved 2011-11-15.
- ^ a b "Sports Show With Norman Macdonald: Cast & Details". TVGuide.com. Retrieved 2011-05-05.
- ^ Roush, Matt (2011-04-15). "Matt's TV Week in Review". TVGuide.com. Retrieved 2011-05-05.
- ^ Fraser, Garnet (2011-04-14). "Norm Macdonald, standup guy". thestar.com. Toronto Star. Retrieved 2011-05-05.
- ^ Norm Macdonald Returns To Series TV As Comedy Central Greenlights "Sports Show With Norm Macdonald" Comedy Central 2-9-2011 first press release reports: "scripted series picked up for 9 episodes" and "placed a 9-episode order for the show"
- ^ a b "About the Show". ComedyCentral.com. Comedy Partners. Retrieved 2011-05-05.
- ^ a b Gorman, Bill (2011-03-01). "'Norm Macdonald: Me Doing Stand-Up' Debuts Saturday, March 12". TV by the Numbers. Zap2it. Retrieved 2011-05-05.
- ^ "''USA Today'' "Macdonald's show may be departure from norm" by Michael Hiestand 4-11-2011". Usatoday.com. 2011-04-11. Retrieved 2011-11-15.
- ^ Weisman, Jon (2011-06-20). "''Variety'' "Buzzer sounds on 'Norm Macdonald,' 'SportsDome'" by Jon Weisman 6-20-2011". Variety.com. Retrieved 2011-11-15.
- ^ TV by the Numbers by Bill Gorman 4-13-2011 -Sports Show 1st episode drew 1.011 million viewers, 0.6/2 adults 18-49
- ^ TV by the numbers by Bill Gorman 6-8-2011 -Sports Show last episode drew 0.944 million viewers, 0.5/1 adults 18-49
- ^ a b c d Sanger, Craig (2011-04-18). "Norm Macdonald nails 'Sports Show'". The Washington Times. Retrieved 2011-05-05.
- ^ Report of 5-17-2011 episode of Sports Show with Norm Macdonald featuring "Wide World of Sports Show" segment
- ^ a b Wait, what?' Norm's Sly Sports Jokes Were Winners by Ken Tucker, premiere review for Entertainment Weekly
- ^ a b Louie Aronowitz. "TheCelebrityCafe "Sports Show with Norm Macdonald" 5-24-2011 episode review by Louie Aronowitz with video clips of "Oh, Google!", "Wait, what?", "What the H"".
- ^ "''Comedy Central'' "Wait What? - Gloria Allred Press Conference Antics" -video clip from 5-3-2011 episode of 'Sports Show with Norm Macdonald'". Comedycentral.com. Retrieved 2011-11-15.
- ^ Fox News "Gloria Allred Simulates Sex With Baseball Bat During Press Conference In Front Of Children" 4-28-2011 Archived May 1, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
- ^ "''TMZ'' 4-27-2011". Tmz.com. 2011-04-27. Retrieved 2011-11-15.
- ^ Report of 5-17-2011 episode featuring "What the H" segment with Michael Jordan's Hitler-like mustache.
- ^ "''Comedy Central'' video of 'What the H' segment featuring Michael Jordan's Hitler-like mustache". Comedycentral.com. Retrieved 2011-11-15.
- ^ Forbes "'Sports Show with Norm Macdonald' Premiere: The 3 Funniest Moments" w/video of 'What the H' featuring Michael Jordan's Hitler-like moustache
- ^ Report of 5-17-2011 episode featuring "Breaking News from the Future" segment
- ^ "Washburn University's ''Washburn Review'' by Sam Sayler 2-9-2011 about actor Kyle Mooney and his 'Good Neighbor' acting troupe". Washburnreview.org. 2011-02-09. Retrieved 2011-11-15.
- ^ 4-19-2011 episode of Sports Show with Norm Macdonald featuring 'Nephew Kyle' segment
- ^ Report of 5-17-2011 episode of Sports Show with Norm Macdonald featuring "Nephew Kyle"
- ^ "video clip of 'Oh, Google!' segment". Comedy Central. Retrieved 2011-11-15.
- ^ -video clip of 'Oh, Google!' segment
- ^ TheCelebrityCafe "Sports Show with Norm Macdonald" 5-24-2011 episode review by Louie Aronowitz with video clips of "Oh, Google!", "Wait What?", "What the H"
- ^ 5-24-2011 episode - Norm Macdonald mentions that the next day after the 5-17-2011 episode, Google corrected this problem and no longer returns with the suggestion "did you mean: NBA" when doing "WNBA" searches.
- ^ Floyd, Brian (2011-04-13). "''SB Nation'' review of 'Blake Like Me' sketch by Brian Floyd w/video of 'Blake Like Me' sketch 4-13-2011". Sbnation.com. Retrieved 2011-11-15.
- ^ USA Today "Blake Griffin and Norm Macdonald: Separated at birth" by Reid Cherner w/video of 'Blake Like Me' sketch.
- ^ by Tom Conroy, premiere review
- ^ Report of 5/17/2011 episode featuring "Medical Correspondent Burgess Meredith" running gag
- ^ "mentions 'Sad Bill Cosby' running gag". Sportsshow.comedycentral.com. Retrieved 2011-11-15.
- ^ "''TV by the Numbers'' by Bill Gorman 4-13-2011". Tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com. 2011-04-13. Retrieved 2011-11-15.
- ^ "''TV by the Numbers'' by Robert Seidman 5-4-2011". Tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com. 2011-05-04. Retrieved 2011-11-15.
- ^ "''TV by the Numbers'' by Bill Gorman 5-25-2011". Tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com. Retrieved 2011-11-15.
- ^ Tuesday Cable Ratings: 'Deadliest Catch' Tops Night; 'White Collar,' 'Covert Affairs' Return Down, Plus 'Tosh.0,' '16 & Pregnant' & More TV by the numbers by Bill Gorman 6-8-2011