After welcoming NBA players Amar'e Stoudemire, Baron Davis and Danny Granger to her FOX sitcom last year, hilarious person/Indispensable Twitter Must-Follow/"funniest basketball groupie ever" (Granger's words, not mine) Mindy Kaling will go back to the roundball well in the second season of "The Mindy Project" when she crosses paths with Kris Humphries, noted fan favorite and "psyched-to-be-in-Beantown" new power forward for the Boston Celtics.
From TV Guide's Kate Stanhope:
Humphries, 28, will play himself, and joins previously announced guest stars James Franco and "Happy Endings"' Adam Pally.
This will mark Humphries' first scripted series gig, and one of his first TV appearances since his time on "Keeping Up with the Kardashians" and its spin-off, "Kourtney & Kim Take New York," when he was with [Kim] Kardashian.
It's true that Humphries hasn't done much (beyond playing basketball, I mean) on the small screen since his high-profile divorce from Kim Kardashian, but he did make a couple of brief forays into scripted comedy last year, playing caricatures of himself in a pair of Funny or Die sketches and Foot Locker commercials. Those bits traded on the popular perception — fueled by the reality TV and tabloid hate generated by the drama surrounding his relationship with Kardashian — that Humphries is kind of a dopey tool, and they did so pretty effectively.
There are on-court reasons that some fans might not love Humphries — Celtics fans, for example, might not regard him too fondly after his role in an on-court skirmish with Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo last November (and his subsequent "tetanus shot" tweet), which should make their "getting to know you" phase with the power forward pretty interesting. But generally, the kind of animosity that's led to him getting lustily booed (even in his own building) has come from a combination of tabloid fatigue, being alternately funny and jerky about his divorce, and some allegedly less-than-stellar off-court decision-making. Not being especially good at basketball last year didn't help matters, but all the other stuff had, and has, way more to do with why people don't much care for him.
That's why I'm hoping Humphries plays against type in his "Mindy Project" guest spot. Stoudemire, Davis and Granger got to last season, chatting warmly with Mindy about their favorite romantic comedies, workout music playlists and pashminas in a charming fashion; it'd be neat to see Humphries get a similar chance to do something other than standard "jock bro" jokes, even if they're jokes at his own expense.
If he can pull it off, it could help rehabilitate his image a little bit and help us see a side of him that isn't either actually being a jerk or sending up his jerky persona. If he can do that while continuing to attack the glass and getting his shooting percentage back where it was when he was a Most Improved Player candidate two years ago, we might actually start talking about Humphries in a positive light again.
... OK, well, maybe not "positive," but maybe "less negative," at least. That'd be a start, right?
Hat-tip to Vulture.