Comedy Central (Fridays, 9:30 P.M. ET)
Like The Simpsons, Sports Monster is basically filler that got spun off into a series. The spoof of television’s ubiquitous sports wrap-up shows began as sketches seen between programs on the Comedy Channel.
The setup is perfect. The studio hosts are Nick Bakay, appropriately smug as the glib anchor, Joe Bolster, a name-dropping former National League MVP, and Jon Hayman, as a dyspeptic journeyman catcher.
They deliver chewing-tobacco-in-cheek news items, such as announcing that the New York Giants have appointed Leo Buscaglia to replace coach Bill Parcells. But athletics is just a jumping-off point. The show aims to be nothing short of SCTV permeated with the smell of Ben-Gay.
While some skits are funny—for instance, the exhumed “lost” footage from Bolster’s disastrous screen test for the lead in Raging Bull—on the whole, the writing tends to be thin.
That’s why this is a good week to check out the show, with its best bits collected for “The First Annual Sports Monster All-Star Hall-of-Fame All-American Super Special.”
Be sure to catch the segment where Bob Costas joins the trio for a smorgasbord of sportscasting clichés. It sounds like the guys on Monday Night Football in midseason form.