As long as there have been sports, there have been hecklers. By definition, heckling is interrupting with derisive comments or abuse. You know what I’m talking about— these salty lots can be found at any sporting event ripping on the referee, the opposing team, or even the opposing team’s family members. With Heckle U, CBS has taken this aspect of sports and created a hilarious new web series that follows the rise and fall of two ‘pro’ hecklers.
Starring comedians Owen Benjamin as Chance Stevens and Kirk Fox as Darrell Downing, the show traces the two hecklers on their path to glory. The first episode show’s their humble (and hilarious) beginnings as hecklers. I won’t say how they got their start, but I will offer this tidbit, it involves purple nurples. The show is presented like a documentary with different interviews with personalities including Heckler historians, newscasters, and athletes all connected to the heckler duo supreme.
Proctor & Gamble came on board as the show’s main sponsor, meaning before each episode we’re treated to a little Head and Shoulders time. I guess the theory is that the audience for this show (sports fans) don’t have the best hair maintenance habits and feel they can really drive home their product. The products are conveniently worked into the episode, but writers John Behlman and Jeff Lambert do an ample job of making it funny rather than forced. Case in point, during a training montage (yes there are montages, and yes they are set to fresh 80’s synth scores) one heckler is actually heckled himself while in the shower, when using, you guessed it, Head & Shoulders.
Currently on its fifth episode (above) out of nine, the series does a great continuing the story of the hecklers. According to news releases and media for the site, comedian Tom Arnold appears on the show as the local bartender, but so far he’s been absent from the episodes. CBS’s website, which hosts the show also has a contest loosely related to heckling. According to Benjamin, heckling is about letting your mind wander and the heckle come (very Jedi-esque). Viewers can submit videos of their mind wandering for the chance to win a TV or a trip to Vegas.
The show succeeds on many levels, arguably due to the series’ high productions values and talented cast. Benjamin’s work in previous web series Gaytown and Owen Benjamin Presents means he’s no stranger to the short-form. Producer Lindsay Campbell, formerly of WallStrip and now Streamy-nominated MobLogic, also deserves credit for the polish of the series. Whether it is making the game footage look dated or even the simple flames and sound effects, the whole package works well. Five more episodes of Heckle U are due out weekly through May.