Flash Sports Tonight is indeed, as its subhead advertises, “Sport Comedy on Steroids.” The question: is imitation or, in this case hostile skewering, the best way to entertain fratacular sports fans? And does it matter?
Flash Sports starts by taking ESPN’s blocky fonts (and pastiches some of their classic sportscasting schtick), adding a little South Park, and creating an aesthetic that’s a mix of Daria with a touch old school Homestar Runner.
Created by, Paahcs “Doc” Ymerej (the reverse of ‘Jeremy Schaap,’ the ESPN reporter), Flash Sports offers such tidy send-ups as ‘Jewcenter’ (with coverage limited to Shaun Green) and promos like ‘There Can Be Only One (Fun),’ in which anchor Jock Jarrelson and field reporter Vinny are shown with split-screen faces, simultaneously espousing their hackneyed devotion to their profession.
Another notable is the a half-minute screed from Tiki Barber – as a sort of effete Red Coat – proposing a new monument, ‘Mount Could Have Rushed More,’ which, of course, would include him:
Flash Sports has a hefty amount of ESPN insider culture, more in terms of sports fanaticism than that of the testosterone-driven sort. There’s a postmodern mix of visuals, from actual sports footage, to stills with text inserts, to the cartooned set that the hosts and reporters call home.
During their on-air banter, there’s some amusement to be found in reporter Vinny Tressellini’s unending dissing of Dudley Do-Right-like host, Jock Jarrelson (Tressellini sounds a lot like Colin Quinn with a choose-your-Italian-American-cliché accent). But more than anything the show oddly has a wistfulness, if not subtle bitterness, about it. While the barrage of satires are lighthearted pokes, underneath there’s something of a “ah, you’re all a bunch of cranks!” mentality.
Roving reporter Anita Balzac, as the lone female presence and with her freshly referenced Sarah Palin-esque dulcet tones, does a lovely job of lightening the load.
As to whether or not the ESPN imitation and hostile skewering works, I’d say yes, but I think that depends on the sports fan. Find out if irreverent, inside-the-lines sports humor is for you at FlashSportsTonight.com.