Every Friday from now through Sept. 4, Paul Mecurio will be wading into the murky waters of sport and satirizing it weekly online for HBO in his new series, Got No Game. Today's premiere sends Mecurio to Las Vegas for a behind-the-scenes look at boxing, talking to cutmen, famed ring announcer Michael Buffer, and ringside commentator Jim Lampley. Future episodes will include a look at football referees, and a spoof about an "Interracial Summit on Athletics" in which the races divvy up the sports. If it sounds a little bit like The Daily Show gone athletic, well, there's good reason for that. I talked to Mecurio today about his new series. But first, let's roll a clip!
How'd you pitch HBO on doing sports comedy online? "I had done a sports comedy show, almost like a presentation pilot that they had seen a while ago," he said. In talking to Ross Greenburg, president of HBO Sports, Mecurio said "he liked what I did" and helped make it happen.
There's a nine-year-old boy in the audience, and that throws our host off until he realizes the boy is the son of Paul Mecurio, who has returned for his second set of the day. Mecurio is back to work the crowd, and a young Indian man beats him to the punch by identifying himself as "convenience store Indian, not casino Indian." Mecurio wants to give the guy a piece of his mind about Dell Support and asks his son to look away while he flips him the bird. It's all OK, though. The guy gets his picture taken with Mecurio and continues to rib himself. "It's interesting to me that you have no sense of self-worth!" Mecurio exclaims. Looks like it's going to be quite a night.
The voice of Rachel Feinstein's mother still would be haunting me, if not for Paul Mecurio, who in his first 10 minutes onstage has proceeded to yell at most of the remaining audience members and even at me. He thought I was the Guinness World Records rep. When he found out what I was doing, he barked: "Why aren't you at your computer when I'm onstage?!" Hold on. Looking up the appropriate cliche. Wait. Here it is. Be careful what you wish for. Yes. That's the one. "F#%& you!" he points at me. "Blog about me!" Done, and done.
Mercurio flips out his Flip video camera and turns it on the audience for several minutes. It's not stand-up. It's more like a 21st century Lenny Bruce vanity project. For whatever that is worth.