So back in the day of the Great Simmons/LeBetard Experiment, I observed Dan LeBetard playing the straight man and liked what I saw. So when I found out he was getting a show, I thought it could be pretty good, assuming we'd get Straight Man Dan and not Goofy Dan.
As it turns out...the show is different than I expected.
On its face, it's kind of what you'd expect. It's LeBatard musing about the day's stories. But it also carries a distinctive...Hispanic flavor to it. I never expected the show to play up LeBetard's heritage in such an overt manner, but Latin flavor is everywhere, from the show's logo, to his thickly-accented father as a sidekick, to the show's backdrop of a distinctly Cuban household. Honestly, I like it. It's totally different than any other sports show that I've ever seen and it's shown me a whole new side of LeBetard that I didn't know existed - not just Dan LeBetard as a sports personality, but also Dan LeBetard as a father's son.
Don't get me wrong, it's not all roses. Far from it. The quick edits are JARRING! They hit you out of nowhere and are just ugly to see on television. There have been some hiccups with certain segments where edits were needed. That laugh that LeBetard and Strahan shared over an ex-wife joke went on WAAAAAY too long, for example.
But overall, I'm pleasantly surprised by this show. I ultimately expect it to last about as long as Stephen A. Smith's show, but it'll be a nice ride while it lasts.
Originally posted by It's False On its face, it's kind of what you'd expect. It's LeBatard musing about the day's stories. But it also carries a distinctive...Hispanic flavor to it. I never expected the show to play up LeBetard's heritage in such an overt manner, but Latin flavor is everywhere, from the show's logo, to his thickly-accented father as a sidekick, to the show's backdrop of a distinctly Cuban household.
I know nothing about him other than he is based out of Miami and by his last name, I always figured he had French ancestry. Go figure.
-- 2006 Time magazine Person of the Year -- -- July 2009 Ordained Reverend --
I'm with It's False, the edits are really distracting and you can really tell unlike the other opinion shows on ESPN (PTI,ATH,Rome is Burning,and Sportsnation)that it isn't live and up to the moment. I know the others probably aren't live either but they *feel* that way and it makes a bit of a difference, IMO.
That said, I like it. LeBetard seems be enjoying it well, especially the bits with his father. And the 'questionable' kitchen does add a nice change of pace from the big, mostly digitalized sets I see on the other shows. The only thing I wonder about is if they're putting too many opinion based shows on the ESPN networks. Between this and the ones you have on in the morning (Mike & Mike, the Herd, Van Pelt, etc.), I think you could make a new channel based on those shows alone.
I have to DVR it and add it to the block of ATH and PTI, I watch when I get home. I have to sorta agree on the opinion shows, but we also have to realize a good chunk of their shows are also going out on the radio as well. People expect opinion shows on the radio and ESPN is buying into that. Now whether that is right or not is another question. I will say I don't think Mike & Mike is as opinionated as say PTI or ATH. Those guys seem to tow the company line of pointing things out without throwing an athlete under the bus.
(edited by lotjx on 14.9.11 0753) The Wee Baby Sheamus.
Twitter: @realjoecarfley its a bit more toned down there. A bit.
Originally posted by supersalvadoran Between this and the ones you have on in the morning (Mike & Mike, the Herd, Van Pelt, etc.), I think you could make a new channel based on those shows alone.
This is kind of my problem with the show. I watch PTI faithfully, and it's already pretty apparent that this show is going to talk about mostly the same topics as PTI. It's not their fault, the big sports stories of the days aren't really going to change in an hour, but I don't really need that many takes on the same subjects. ESPN clearly fills different with how many of the same sort of shows they've got in, but it begins to feel like Headline News back in the day, you're just watching the same 28 minute loop over and over.
The editing cuts make it feel like it's cheaply produced web video. If Dan LeBetard is Highly Questionable just appeared in eight minute segments on YouTube, it would've felt more at home and probably become an instant-meme.
There are a parts that are endearing, and Papi LeBetard is the breakout star of 2011. I am concerned about how that middle segment is going to do when Dan runs out of friends to interview (though today with Barkley should be great), but those interviews have been good so far.
I am giving it a week, because they asked so nicely, but I'm not sure I'm going to last much more than that. If the Highly Questionable show replaced PTI when 2 (or sometimes 1) of the regular hosts weren't on, I'd be delighted to see it as change of pace. But I don't really need another half hour on a daily basis.
1. Dan's show is produced by the PTI guys (Erik Rydholm, Matt Kelleher, et al).
2. Dan has always said he is only doing this show because he gets to work with his family. His brother (aka Lebo) is an accomplished artist in South Florida and designed all the stuff for the show.
3. I wonder how soon people will start complaining about Gonzo being some sort of stereotype and Dan is exploiting him, Karl Pilkington style.
4. I've heard people ask if the show is "too hispanic" for a mainstream sports audience. I'd say the bigger "danger" is that Dan's opinions are too contrarian for your typical joe sixpack ESPN watcher.