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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.

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41 Responses to “Caliendo joins ESPN”
  1. nflofficeadmin says: Oct 11, 2012 9:11 AM

    Why employ Caliendo with anything related to football? I don’t see the natural fit..

  2. scoops1 says: Oct 11, 2012 9:16 AM

    Someone needs to eave a skunk in front of his face cause he stinks

  3. anthonytx says: Oct 11, 2012 9:17 AM

    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.

  4. schmitty2 says: Oct 11, 2012 9:22 AM

    ESPN has officially hit rock bottom

  5. savocabol1 says: Oct 11, 2012 9:23 AM

    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.

  6. donstylo says: Oct 11, 2012 9:24 AM

    In Rob Riggle’s defense, Frank Caliendo, frankly, is largely unfunny as well.

  7. beastmode5150 says: Oct 11, 2012 9:29 AM

    I want to know how anyone thinks either of then are funny in the least bit. They are both horribly unfunny.

  8. sicklife1 says: Oct 11, 2012 9:29 AM

    This guy is horrible…he’ll fit right in with Chris Berman & Stuart Scott as the most annoying crew in sports today.

  9. baned0n says: Oct 11, 2012 9:30 AM

    Caliendo is terrible. I thought Riggle’s “third Ryan brother” this past week was pretty funny.

  10. kevo126 says: Oct 11, 2012 9:31 AM

    He might be good at impressions but I never thought he was funny. I would rather see more of Kenny mayne if they wanted some comedy.

  11. realitypolice says: Oct 11, 2012 9:31 AM

    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.

  12. finsfrenzy says: Oct 11, 2012 9:34 AM

    He’s not funny and his act is tired……

  13. chuckyv1134 says: Oct 11, 2012 9:35 AM

    Caliendo is hilarious but I just don’t see where impressions and football go hand and hand? Guess we’ll see.

  14. shawon0meter says: Oct 11, 2012 9:38 AM

    George Bush and John Madden impressions! How relevant and funny!

  15. cfmaguire9 says: Oct 11, 2012 9:38 AM

    People still watch ESPN?

  16. deathmonkey41 says: Oct 11, 2012 9:42 AM

    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.

  17. homelanddefense says: Oct 11, 2012 9:43 AM

    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

  18. chet72 says: Oct 11, 2012 9:50 AM

    Listening to Caliendo on KFAN in Minneapolis right now. Does an awesome Berman, Gruden, and Parcells. Hilarious.

  19. abninf says: Oct 11, 2012 9:51 AM

    Never heard his name until this article.

  20. bluenoser23 says: Oct 11, 2012 10:21 AM

    LOVE IT! Frank C. is hilarious! ESPN just became “must see” TV.

  21. axltcu says: Oct 11, 2012 10:22 AM

    Riggle’s stuff on Fox is pretty weak but overall he is way funnier than Caliendo.

  22. nagidac says: Oct 11, 2012 10:25 AM

    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).

  23. yssupasigninnamnotyep says: Oct 11, 2012 10:27 AM

    Fine with me…I never watch ESPN anyway.

  24. 303bengalguy says: Oct 11, 2012 10:48 AM

    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.

  25. footballace says: Oct 11, 2012 10:53 AM

    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.

  26. jgedgar70 says: Oct 11, 2012 10:55 AM

    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.

  27. ialwayswantedtobeabanker says: Oct 11, 2012 11:03 AM

    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.

  28. realitypolice says: Oct 11, 2012 11:08 AM

    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.

  29. greymares says: Oct 11, 2012 11:13 AM

    I don’t need Riggle to be funny, I have Strahan to laugh at.

  30. donmega72 says: Oct 11, 2012 11:39 AM

    He fits in with the rest of the jokers like Keyshawn and Chris Carter. I wonder if he’ll partake in that tired bit “C’mon Man?”

  31. riverace19 says: Oct 11, 2012 11:42 AM

    Is this really an article about NFL pregame shows? Is there nothing else to talk about??!?!?!

  32. sportsmeccabi says: Oct 11, 2012 11:59 AM

    What do you call a comedian who isn’t funny?
    Frank Caliendo.

  33. newkirk850 says: Oct 11, 2012 12:08 PM

    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…….

  34. hawkforlife says: Oct 11, 2012 12:20 PM

    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.

  35. moredm says: Oct 11, 2012 12:25 PM

    Hahahaha I would love to hear that conversation between dan and the mothership.

  36. xsorethumbx says: Oct 11, 2012 12:33 PM

    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

  37. pilot2011 says: Oct 11, 2012 12:59 PM

    hahaaa that Lou Holtz story from Dan Patrick is awesome

  38. orangebluedonkey says: Oct 11, 2012 1:20 PM

    You guys don’t know anything if you think Caliendo isn’t funny

  39. Rams76h says: Oct 11, 2012 1:24 PM

    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.

  40. contrarianjon says: Oct 11, 2012 1:25 PM

    Hey Zeus Christo, I guess I am in the proud minority

  41. leapinglannypoffo says: Oct 11, 2012 8:32 PM

    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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