Caliendo joins ESPN

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If ESPN didn’t plan it this way, it should have.

After ESPN boosted Rob Riggle’s sports cred by having him host the ESPYs, FOX hired Riggle to supplant Frank Caliendo as the host of the comic-relief-and-picks segment on the FOX pregame show.  But Riggle, frankly, has been largely unfunny in the role.

So now that ESPN propped up Riggle to the point where FOX hired him and fired Caliendo, ESPN has made a beeline for Caliendo.

Caliendo has announced on Twitter that, this week, he’ll begin appearing live in the studio for Sunday NFL Countdown.  According to SportsBusiness Daily, Caliendo usually will appear via taped segments, like he did with FOX.

It’s safe to say that Caliendo will from time to time be doing some of his impressions.  From John Madden to Robert DeNiro to Jim Rome to Charles Barkley, Caliendo is great at what he does.

The real question is whether Caliendo has been working on a Chris Berman.  If not, they can always bring in Dan Patrick for that one.  And he can tag it with a little Lou Holtz.

41 responses to “Caliendo joins ESPN

  1. ESPN’s game plan has never been to be funny. With the hiring of Caliendo, they’re continuing years of success with that game plan.

  2. When he was making his unneccessary rounds with the ESPN shows last month it was obvious he was going to be hired there.

    Still makes zero sense. Pre game shows with 10 people in a studio are not enjoyable to watch.

    ESPN and NFL Network should take note: It is not fun to listen to everyone talking at once about whatever topics. Three to four people in the studio is enough.

  3. Anyone who watches any studio pre-game show needs to get out more. I honestly couldn’t tell you the current lineup of any of the studio shows.

    The only reason I ever used to watch them was for pre-game injury updates. Now there are so many better and more instantly updated places to get that info that I don’t need to be bothered by any of those over hyped gas bag laughing deliriously at their own horrible jokes.

    I’m getting annoyed just thinking about it.

  4. ESPN could get better using addition by subtraction rather than hiring this tired hack. Get rid of Berman and Stuart Scott- they both make watching football painful.

  5. while I like Caliendo’s impressions, I find those skits to be horribly forced on the pregame show. And who even cares about the picks they make on the games.

    At first the stick some of the ESPN guys had was unique and funny (Stuwart Scott with the “cool as the other side of the pillow”) because it happened occasionally. Now everyone has their own stupid catch phrase and frankly its annoying and repetitive.

    If I hear Scott say “Clear eyes, full hearts, cant lose” one more time during a highlight I might puke. And i liked Friday Night Lights

  6. Who in their right mind watches Riggle just bomb on the ESPYs and say “I’ve got to have him on my show”? I like Caliendo much better, and would have rather have him stay on Fox instead of Riggle (and fir that matter, instead of Strahan).

  7. Both = unfunny

    But if I had a gun pointed at my head forced to choose one, I’d take Frank.

    Riggle for me always swung the meter to the ‘die’ side in Funny or Die’s skits rater. Totally unfunny, and a bit role actor at best.

  8. Rob Riggle is not funny. Fox didnt upgrade this position by hiring this guy. Frank Caliendo is funnier than Riggle, but again if ESPN thinks Caliendo is going to help Countdown their wrong.

  9. In 1985, Berman was hilarious. By 1990, he wasn’t funny anymore. By 2000, he was over-the-top annoying. Today, the mere mention of his name sends most of us to the Great White Throne to upchuck.

    In 2000, Caliendo was hilarious. By 2005, he wasn’t funny anymore. Today, he is over-the-top annoying.

    I only watch ESPN channels when they have live games I want to watch (and if Mouth-berger is announcing, I keep the TV muted), and for the minute and a half of “C’mon, Man!” Haven’t watched SportsCenter or any other original programming (other than live games) in years.

  10. Caliendo really killed it with the imitations — funny guy.

    And yeah, Riggle certainly hasn’t gotten off to a great start. Nothing funny has come out of his bits all season.

  11. Riggle can be funny in very specific spots. He was pretty good in The Hangover. Of course, it was hard NOT to be funny in that movie.

    I’ve never seen him on the Fox pre-game show, but he seems horribly miscast as off-the-cuff standup comedian guy.

  12. NO SHOCK HERE! This from a network who has Skip Brainless, Stephen (mush mouth) Smith, the missing stooge Chris Berman, The Greasy One Mel Kiper Jr. and the many overhypers they shove out there to spew thier brand of garbage. I have to watch the monday night games on mute so I don’t have to listen to Gruden getting off on air. He must be fun to work with…….

  13. Maybe we could ask ESPN to do us a favor while they’re hiring and just fire Berman. Let Caliendo imitate Berman all show then they only have to pay one clown.

  14. It will be the perfect time to watch NFL Matchup show which i have to dvr since its on at 330am here in LA.
    cant understand how a great football show can be buried and the drivel of pre game shows expand

  15. Finally a reason to watch one of those inane pregame shows. Those things are generally a waste of time. People paid to talk with an outsized ego thinking they have something important to say when they don’t. OK, I’m off my soapbox. See you on Sunday Frank.

  16. This news makes me sad.

    I watch the ESPN countdown show every week because it’s a no-nonsense straight football show hosted by no-nonsense straight football guys.

    Fox’s show and to a lesser degree NFL Network’s show are just a bunch of clowns having fun being on TV. And CBS is just a bunch of geeks.

    The last thing I want when I’m trying to watch football is lame comedy, which is why I change the channel every week when it’s time for The Mayne Event

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