Fred Gaudelli tried to salvage Dennis Miller on MNF

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With Peter King on vacation through the middle of next month, a slew of guests will be handling the duties for King’s weekly column, Football Morning in America. The process gets started this week with a thorough, comprehensive, and entertaining look behind the scenes of Sunday Night Football from umpteen-time Emmy winner Fred Gaudelli, the show’s Executive Producer.

The 7,795-word item contains plenty of intriguing nuggets and tidbits, and here’s one that stands out: Gaudelli’s first year producing Monday Night Football coincided with Dennis Miller’s last of two years on the broadcast. And Gaudelli had a couple of ideas for Miller that, if heeded, may have extended his stay.

Gaudelli suggested a halftime element with Miller conducting a Weekend Update-style review of Sunday NFL games, and maybe perhaps Saturday college football.

“It would have given halftime a must-see element, not to mention win the critics’ praise for Dennis,” Gaudelli writes. “When we met before the season I tried to convince him to do it, but he told me: ‘Maybe next year.'”

And of course there wasn’t one.

Gaudelli also explained that he would have had Miller skip production meetings on Sunday, watching football instead.

“As Dennis got to meet the players and coaches he found out that 98 percent were great guys who were expending everything they had to try and win a game,” Gaudelli writes. “The effects of that were twofold. His comedic sabre became dulled, as he was reticent to joke about someone he had just met and come to like. And it made him want to talk X’s and O’s, which the audience wasn’t ever going to buy.”

The audience ultimately didn’t buy Miller. Gaudelli’s advice, if Miller had accepted it, possibly would have caused the audience to rent Miller a bit longer.

19 responses to “Fred Gaudelli tried to salvage Dennis Miller on MNF

  1. I don’t want to get off on a rant, but… I really enjoyed Dennis Miller on MNF. The Annotated Dennis Miller companion articles on ESPN were also awesome.

  2. It was absurd to put Miller on the air in the first place. Who thought a comedian could have a successful run as a football announcer? Add to that Miller’s insistence he could be a serious football analyst, and you end up with what happened.

  3. MNF announcers have never reached the bar set by Cosell, Dandy Don, & Frank. In fact, none of them can even see the bar from where they are.

  4. I have no idea why no one who produces MNF can figure this out! Miller was an unmitigated disaster! I’ve never met a person who could watch a broadcast with him with the sound up! Now they can’t figure out this thing with McFarland and that whole disaster!

    Rex Ryan would be perfect; but they abandoned that because his only opportunity was being paired with the monotone Beth Mowins! No one wants to listen to Beth Mowins alone OR with anyone else!

    How hard can this be?! Do a survey of FOOTBALL fans and you’ll find your answer!

  5. Miller was never more than a mediocre talent. Then, to make matters worse, he flipped to the dark side and became buddy-buddy with the likes of Bill O’Reilly.

  6. Dennis Miller’s humor skews toward the cerebral which is the opposite demographic of the Monday Night Football audience. It was never going to work but was fun while it lasted.

  7. It’s funny to think all of you bashing away at Miller wish you had 1/1000th of his wealth. Does it ever get boring to cat call from the sidelines with the legions of other losers?

  8. “Dennis Miller’s humor skews toward the cerebral which is the opposite demographic of the Monday Night Football audience. It was never going to work but was fun while it lasted.”

    There was nothing “cerebral” about it! It was a self-centered, off-topic indulgence meant for him and his close circle of friends! Plenty of intelligent people couldn’t stand that act! It was a disaster; plain and simple, and it demonstrated how blatantly unqualified the producers of that show were and are!

  9. Miller is a “cerebral” reactionary, which is too say, not particularly funny and like a mud puddle,not particularly deep,but ,very, very murky…. His conceit only makes things worse. As for his wealth, I think the air is out of the balloon on the idea that rich means you are smart or even good at what you do.

  10. Dennis Miller thinks he’s smarter than he is unfortunately. That being said, I didn’t mind him that much. No worse than anyone they have had since…

  11. Miller wasn’t right for the MNF job..

    That being said, Love the comments here calling Miller conceited and how his humor is not cerebral or funny. Not surprising judging by 90% of the content posted on this page by people. You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him smarter.

    “We mock what we don’t understand”

  12. richndc says:
    June 3, 2019 at 9:00 am
    It’s funny to think all of you bashing away at Miller wish you had 1/1000th of his wealth.


    Why is it funny to think people would want to be wealthier than they are? I’m not sure why there is a connection in your mind between “bashing” Miller and wanting more money.

  13. Well I can honestly say compared to last years Witt-Tess-Boog disaster, Dennis Miller was John Madden.

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