Heavy’s Burly Sports Show seems like the perfect sports series for the web. It’s hosted on Heavy.com, one of the biggest names in original online video that targets that coveted young male demo nicely, it’s been around for over a year, it’s distributed by CBSSports.com, and it’s hosted by the semi-famous Nick Stevens, a New York-based comedian who made it a long way on ESPN’s Dream Job.
Every week, Stevens presents a five-minute wrap-up of the week’s sports news (recent topics include Brett Favre, the Olympics and Brett Favre) complete with graphics, sound effects, and mini-skits.
There’s a section called “GenuInterview” in which Stevens does fake interviews with sports stars giving answers meant for other, more serious interviewers (Stevens asks Michael Phelps how he does with the ladies. Phelps answers, “I need to work on my stroke.”) and the show has fake sponsorships like Steve Smith’s Punch-Out video game.
It’s watchable, clever, and witty, but something’s a little off.
The Burly Sports Show could use a little restraint. A story on an NFL tailgating rule has Stevens drinking a beer and slurring in front of a parking lot green-screen. An item about the death of baseball announcer Skip Caray has the host wearing a wig and babbling about hot dogs in an impersonation of Will Ferrell impersonating Skip’s dad Harry. And, of course, there’s the obligatory breast joke whenever Stevens can work it in, which can induce winces when he forces it, which is often.
Burly forgets that it’s not that hard to make sports funny. Many athletes have a sense of humor (check out any Shaq interview as a prime example), and at the end of the day, it’s just a game. This is part of the reason why Pardon the Interreuption works so well.
Mike Wilbon and Tony Kornheiser let the stories speak for themselves and just throw off a quip every now and then. The laughs come when a stone-faced Carson Palmer walks in on a Chad Johnson interview and puts his teammate in a choke-hold and when Johnson says he can swim faster than Michael Phelps. No added commentary necessary.
Still, it’s important to remember that Burly Sports, is, as its initials point out, just some “B.S.” to catch when you have a few extra minutes. It could be tigthened up a bit, but iobviously has a nice home at heavy and found a good niche in the fickle world of web comedy.