by Micah Hart
You may have noticed it’s the offseason, which means we have plenty of time to sit around and think about many of the things that make it fun to be an NBA fan. Here at All Ball, we’ll be passing the time until the start of the season with a new series, the Fave Five. Each week will count down a list of the five best, or worst … somethings. We’ll try to get creative with it. Plus we’re taking requests! If you have a suggestion for a Fave Five post, give us a shout and you may see it appear in this space over the next several weeks.
You may not know this about me, but if you have read enough posts on All Ball you’ve probably seen enough links to surmise that I am a big fan of Saturday Night Live.
And with the start of the new season just around the corner, it got me to thinking: When will the next NBA player get a chance to host of the show?
Historically speaking, SNL invites a “sports figure” on average about once a year (this includes broadcasters, professional wrestlers, etc). Last year our own Charles Barkley became the first athlete to host for the third time, but overall basketball representation on the show has been sparse. Aside from the Chuckster, only Michael Jordan and LeBron James have ever hosted. Clearly, Lorne Michaels does not think much of the NBA’s collective comedic talents. But is that deserved, this allegation I’m making up on the spot?
It seems to me in this day and age there are more NBA players being funny than ever, and it’s just a matter of time before someone else gets a crack at being not ready for primetime.
But who? In this week’s Fave Five, we rank the top candidates to take to the stage in Studio 8H:
5. Roy Hibbert
The bonafides: A rising star on the NBA’s comedy scene, Hibbert has aligned himself with some very funny people in his burgeoning career. He’s guested on Parks and Recreation (the funniest show on TV for my money), hung out at Roscoe’s Chicken N Waffles with comedian Chelsea Peretti, and topped it off with Ben Schwartz‘s hilarious audition video for Hibbert’s cheering section. He seems pretty comfortable on camera — here he is from last year’s playoffs on Jimmy Kimmel:
Has he been featured on Funny or Die or Taiwanese animation? Not yet, but given who he hangs out with, it can’t be too long.
4. Kevin Love
The bonafides: Love isn’t afraid to look silly, which will come in handy on a show where often times (especially among the athletes) you are put in ridiculous costumes. He can also go dramatic, if the role calls for it. And he commits, like he did here after his infamous botched handshake with Wesley Johnson:
Plus, with Andy Samberg having left the show, someone’s gotta make the digital shorts.
Has he been featured on Funny or Die or Taiwanese animation? Yup! Love made a video last offseason for Funny or Die with Tyson Chandler and Shawn Marion, mistaking the lockout for a lock-in.
3. Metta World Peace
The bonafides: For starters, the guy had his own comedy tour last summer, and performed his own standup as well. He’s also not afraid to be silly. He has some dance experience, which could come in handy; a little song and dance number is a go-to monologue move for many SNL hosts. And he’s used to delivering lines on camera:
Perhaps the biggest feather in his cap, however, is his upcoming turn as an “overtly sexual vampire elder” in the TV show Real Vampire Housewives, which is a better premise than 75 percent of SNL skits already.
Has he been featured on Funny or Die or Taiwanese animation? You know it. MWP got the NMA treatment after elbowing James Harden in the noggin last season.
2. Steve Nash
The bonafides: Where to start. The guy puts out several humorous videos a year, some scripted, others improvised. Of late he has taken it upon himself to parody pretty much every movie that’s ever been released. He can also be counted on for the commercial parodies, another SNL staple. Here he is hawking some Vitamin Water from a few years back:
Pretty funny to hear him crack on the Lakers, but in 2008 who’d have ever thought he’d wear the purple and gold?
Hosts are often joined by other famous people in cameo roles, so don’t be surprised if Baron Davis shows up in a sketch as his stepbrother:
Has he been featured on Funny or Die or Taiwanese animation? Sadly no. But Nash is so prolific he might have his own comedy channel soon enough.
1. Blake Griffin
The bonafides: In his short, meteoric rise to fame, Griffin already has been a part of a wealth of humorous videos, from starting a ping pong career, to auditioning to be in a video game, to swapping bodies with Norm McDonald:
Has he been featured on Funny or Die or Taiwanese animation? Featured? My man worked at FoD, taking an unpaid internship there last summer. He even got to write and direct his own short, Flight of the Griffin, and starred with Jeff Goldblum in a hilarious Kia spot:
In an interview in Rainn Wilson‘s van, Griffin admitted that if he weren’t a basketball player he’d want to be doing comedy. Based on his canon of work so far, I’d say he’s well on his way to a career in both. It’s time for Must See BG to join Must See TV.
Your move, Lorne.