Thursday, July 19, 2007

The Morning After on TSE - 7.19.2007

Live from New York, it's LeBron James.

That's what they should probably say to kick off the season premier of NBC's once brilliant, now aging sketch comedy show, Saturday Night Live. LeBron James will host the premier later in the year. I've been a fan of SNL since I can remember but it has certainly become a shell of it's former self in the last five or six years, bringing in awful stage acts (cough, Ashlee Simpson, cough) and mediocre hosts (COUGH Dane Cook COUGH).

The funniest episode of last season, however, was hosted by the loveable Peyton Manning's The slack-jawed goody-two-shoes Superbowl champion Manning made fun of everything from the NFL (the United Way sketch is easily the funniest thing from SNL in the last two years) to himself (the Tom Brady joke during the monologue). The bar, while not terribly high (Tom Brady's performance a few years ago and the Jordan SNL in 1991 weren't too great, if memory serves) was raised by Manning and the question is: can LeBron clear it?

Of course he can.

There are two sides to LeBron and both are undeniably good. We've all seen what he can do on the hardwood; his season opener two years ago when he drained 4-4 threes to open his year was pretty impressive and who can forget game five of the Eastern Conference Finals? But LeBron has all that talent on the other side of the spectrum as well.

One of the funniest series of commercials I've seen in a long time were the Nike ads for "The LeBrons", hawking the Cleveland superstar's new kicks. There's LeBron playing basketball against a mini-him, a cool-him and an old-him, each with different personalities, voices and everything. Creative, funny and interesting - three things SNL has lacked for the last few years.

We also know that LeBron can be quick on his feet, and not just on the court. While I didn't exactly watch the ESPYs this year, most viewers gave James winning reviews for his performance. He can dance, sing and perform before a live studio audience and outshine Jimmy Kimmel (is that a complement?). And anyone who can break-dance in Hammer pants in a sketch called "My LeBrongative" a la Bobby Brown should be able to handle the SNL stage with ease.

So which sports figure will end up having the best SNL Appearance? Like I said, I wasn't too big on Brady's or Jordan's (hell, The Rock's was better by comparison) and Manning's was pretty good. But I think LeBron's will be the ruler to which all other sports people are measured. He's proven he's just too good, on the court and off, not to have a good show.

So I applaud NBC's decision to go after a talent like LeBron James to host the flagship show of the current 4th place network - the odds say it'll probably be better than Bionic Woman.

1 comment:

Joe Table Blew It said...

As good as Manning's performance was, the best sports host of SNL was Joe Montana, simply for his line, "If anyone needs me, I'll be upstairs masterbating" fantastic.