Now that he's retired from the NBA, Shaquille O'Neal can finally move on to his true life's work: making America laugh. From his perch on TNT's "Inside the NBA," Shaq has delighted audiences with his loud catchphrases and half-baked pranks. It's enough to make you wonder why he doesn't already have his own TBS sitcom. Very funny!
However, Shaq knows how to build his own comedy brand, and he's not content just to toss out barbs on a basketball show once or twice a week. This summer, he's branched out, acting in the much-anticipated Adam Sandler sequel "Grown Ups 2." Now, news has broken that he has a very original series in the works for cable network TruTV. From Lacey Rose for The Hollywood Reporter (via SLAM):
TruTV has greenlighted Upload with Shaquille O'Neal, a series centered on the former basketball star scouring the Internet in search of the funniest online videos to comment on as well as creating his own viral videos and parodies. He will be joined on-screen by host Gary Owen (Think Life a Man) and Godfrey (The Mr. Men Show).
The project, which has been granted a 10-episode order at the Turner-owned cable networ best known for such series asHardcore Pawn and Operation Repo, hails from tru and FishBowl Worldwide Media, founded by industry veterans Vin Di Bona and Bruce Gersh. FishBowl's Di Bona, Gersh,Susan Levison and Beth Greenwald, along with Tosh.0's Mike Gibbons and Shaq Entertainment's Perry Rogers, Colin Smeeton and Mike Parris will serve as executive producers.
"Shaquille O'Neal has such a great personality, and he really has a lot of fun with the format and the material in this new truTV series," said truTV EVP and COO Marc Juris. "This show is going to be a great fit with truTV's comedic shows like Impractical Jokers and the upcoming Killer Karaoke."
I have no idea what "Killer Karoke" is, but if it's a "CSI"-type show about a bouncer at a particularly bloody midtown Manhattan karaoke bar then I am totally on board and will add it to my DVR series recordings forthwith.
The THR report begins by comparing "Upload" to the Comedy Central series "Tosh.0," but even that description doesn't quite explain just how many variations on this format already exist. It started with E!'s "The Soup," which then spun off into various incarnations, including the Internet-focused "Web Soup." "Tosh.0" followed that, and in recent years pretty much every network with the hope of being funny has some show where people make fun of videos, because those series are extremely cheap to produce. All they really have to do is pay the talent and writers, because the quality of their jokes ends up differentiating the show from all others like it.
So, if you think Shaquille O'Neal is a barrel of laughs, then you should probably watch "Upload" whenever it premieres. I will probably avoid it, and continue to derive my basketball-themed guffaws from NBA TV personality Rick Kamla.