Thursday, February 21, 2013

'Upload With Shaquille O'Neal'

I don't follow sports at all, but I find Shaquille O'Neal kind of fascinating because he's clearly so desperate to be an entertainer. While he was in the NBA, he took time out to star in terrible movies (Steel, Kazaam), record terrible albums (Shaq Diesel, Shaq Fu) and host terrible reality shows (Shaq's Big Challenge, Shaq Vs.). Now that he's retired from basketball, he's able to devote all of his time to pursuing his misguided goal of becoming America's most beloved seven-foot-tall TV personality.

The latest chapter in this ongoing effort is Upload With Shaquille O'Neal, a Tru TV show that's basically Shaq hosting America's Funniest Home Videos. Although the format is similar to Tosh.0 or MTV's Ridiculousness in that it features videos culled from the internet, the videos themselves are the exact same kind of thing you'd see on AFV, primarily focused on people falling down and/or hurting themselves comedically. It's no surprise, since AFV executive producer Vin di Bona is also behind Upload, and the format, with its family-friendly humor, "clip of the week" and slick announcer (I swear it's the same guy), is basically a copy of AFV.

As for Shaq himself, he's propped up by comedians Godfrey and Gary Owen as co-hosts, so he mostly sits there and laughs at the clips, and occasionally reads some corny jokes. He also stars in some lame sketches in between videos, which are about as clever as, well, Bob Saget's voiceovers on AFV. This is the kind of show you could watch with your entire family without worrying that anyone will be offended (or more than mildly entertained), and like AFV, it could run for years without anyone noticing. Wearing a sweater vest and delivering puns, Shaq has successfully transformed himself into Bob Saget circa 1992, and you get the impression he couldn't be happier about it.

Premieres tonight at 10:30 on Tru TV.

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