As the Orlando Magic and now Joe Buck can tell you, overtime can be a cruel mistress. The debut of HBO’s “Joe Buck Live” on Monday was notable for two reasons: The painful, knuckle-biting inexperience of the host, and spectacular warehouse fire of an appearance by MADtv alum and Howard Stern sidekick Artie Lange. Much of the damage was done during the regular show, as we discussed in Speed Read this morning. But Lange really hit his stride in the Overtime segment afterward on HBO.COM.
What you witnessed there was a man’s career imploding, and I’m not talking about Lange’s. While Buck tentatively stepped through the bulk of the show with fair to middling results — he’s a good interviewer, and not at all unfunny — his weakness in this format immediately became apparent as soon as Lange was allowed to talk. The talk radio bad boy was crude and obnoxious even by cable standards, especially in the Overtime segment. He ripped gays, made jokes about ejaculation; stuff that would make John Rocker blush. After attempting to spar with him a bit, Buck gave up; taking on the appearance of a Keystone Cop trying to arrest a bear.