Nothing could have pushed Joe Buck’s exclusive interview with Brett Favre out of the headlines or TV reviews from the premiere episode of Joe Buck Live on HBO Sports Monday night, barring something like a guest coming on the show and launching a vitriolic barrage of insults at the host, smoking on stage, and launching a cringeworthy amount of homophobic and crude sex jokes on live TV.
Which is exactly what happened when The Howard Stern Show’s Artie Lange sat down with Buck, SNL’s Jason Sudekis, and actor Paul Rudd for what was intended to be a discussion on the intersection of sports and celebrity. Things went sour from the outset when Lange asked Buck if his favorite web site was…something that definitely can’t be printed here.
Buck, new to the talk show game, was noticeably agitated but did his best to be good-humored, trading barbs with Lange about how if he really wanted to get in a fight with a guest, he would do it with an A-lister. Buck joked that it would be his last show ever.
HBO Sports President Ross Greenburg told USA Today after the show that Lange’s shtick “bordered on bad taste” and was “mean-spirited.” Lange shot back at Greenburg on Howard Stern this morning, saying Greenburg told him to “go nuts” if the segment got boring.
Buck joked with the audience at the Equitable Center auditorium in Manhattan before the show that, since his program will only air four times a year, if it stunk he would have a long time to think about it. While Lange’s antics certainly grabbed headlines, one can be sure this isn’t the kind of opening night Buck bargained for.
Oh yeah, Brett Favre also indicated if his shoulder feels good (he had surgery two and a half weeks ago) he will strongly consider playing for the Minnesota Vikings this coming season. He was on the show too.