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Cuba Gooding Jr. is one of the NHL’s most beloved celebrity fans, in that he shows up for everything and still has a modicum of fame. But a little bit of Cuba goes a long way – see also “Maguire, Jerry” – as hockey fans discovered during the NHL Awards in Las Vegas on Tuesday night.
Gooding, Jr.’s unbridled enthusiasm morphed into bizarre comedy and then into subtle (but bleep-worthy) homophobia with Mark Messier on stage, as he handed out three different awards.
Buckle up for seven minutes in heaven, as Cuba:
- Attempts to get a bored, dead crowd hyped.
- Gets creepily animated by shouting out his words like he has Tourette’s.
- Gets Pierre McGuire close-talking squirmy with Andrew Ference.
- Hits on Andrew Ference’s wife, who we assume was somewhere in the building.
- Refers to a young man who beat cancer as a Boston Bruins “flan.”
- Kicks a box off the stage.
- Makes a joke about the NHL not being able to afford wide-lens cameras.
- Asks Mark Messier and Adam Graves to make a reverse Oreo with him – “Double Stuffed.” (What the what?)
- Tells Mark Messier to unhand his posterior. Twice. Only he doesn’t say posterior.
Here we go:
Not since “Boat Trip” have we witnessed something as misguided, ill-concieved and completely addictive featuring Cuba Gooding, Jr.
This would be the most awkward thing in NHL Awards Las Vegas history ... but, no, it's still this.
With due respect to George Stroumboulopoulos, we begin the “CUBA 4 NHL AWARDS HOST” campaign in earnest …