Last night, on The Laugh Hour with Joe Buck: Artie Lange firebombing the set, Brett Favre cursing, Ochocinco and Michael Irvin, and "Amy Sedaris' brother" in a Braylon Edwards moment. The media dissects Joe Buck:
• Mike Francesa, WFAN: This was the worst show I had ever seen until Artie Lange showed up. And then it became, you know, a different kind of show, and one I'm not condoning here because I'm not condoning him coming in there and just firebombing the entire festivities, which is what he did, but what would you expect? You invited Artie Lange here, what would you expect? You got what you expected. I don't know what you expected to get from him, sitting there.... Then I gotta sit through Ochocinco and Michael Irvin, who I wouldn't watch, if they wanted to show up in my living room, I wouldn't let them in. I mean, Ochocinco? Give me a break. How can you actually take a guy seriously who actually changes his name to Ochocinco?... I'm not familiar with the other guy, I guess he's a comic, I'm not familiar with him. Is that Amy Sedaris his sister, brother or something, are they related? I know who she is, I don't know who he is.
• Richard Deitsch, SI.com: On Tuesday's Stern show, Lange claimed that Greenburg told him if Rudd and Sudeikis were boring, he should "go nuts." He then called Greenburg a series of unpublishable names.
Buck said he had not met Lange prior to a quick meeting in the green room ("Don't suck," Buck said to his guests prior to heading on stage for the start of the show.) "We didn't book him to be crude or walk and cross some line," Buck said. "We booked him because he's a funny guy and somebody who loves sports. It's up to any guest on a live show to take it where they want to take it. He decided to take it where he took it."
• Josh Levin, Slate: Despite the ceaseless wretchedness of Joe Buck Live, the show's namesake did win my sympathy in the end. During the final segment-a comedy panel featuring Paul Rudd, Artie Lange, and Jason Sudeikis-Lange commenced to roast Buck, slowly and painfully, over an open flame. (You can watch the even cruder, online-only aftershow here.) While a skilled pro might have out-taunted a guest who accused him of surfing the Web site "suckingcock dot com," Buck's rejoinders-"I just pulled a hamstring looking for a segue"-made him come off like a scared first-grader talking back to a bully. Buck wasn't David Letterman taming Joaquin Phoenix; he was Magic Johnson on The Magic Hour getting taunted by Howard Stern (incidentally, Lange's boss). "Sorry to ruin your fuckin' great show," Lange said before the credits rolled. "I appreciate the apology, because you have," Buck said, pretending to be joking.
•Danny Groner, Huffington Post: You'll notice how little Buck tries to diffuse the situation once it erupts. He's akin to a passer by who spots a raging fire and rather than try to extinguish it, or to alert the authorities to the fire, he glorifies it as a fiasco worth admiration. In that way, Buck shirks his responsibility as the host in charge of keeping order and fair play. He applauds what's taking place on the stage before him, keenly aware that this video will generate buzz for him in the days, weeks and even months to come.
• Richard Sandomir, New York Times: The bookend to the show was a panel show featuring Lange, the actor Paul Rudd, and Jason Sudeikis of "Saturday Night Live." The latter two need not have shown up for this as was Lange staging a hostile takeover. His scatological, homophobic, insult act was delivered with a sort of blithe and gleeful explosiveness that threw Buck a bit. This 10-minute trap on the stage at the Equitable Center's auditorium in Midtown Manhattan was unlike any live TV Buck had ever practiced with Tim McCarver or Troy Aikman.... Lange's shtick, which will be dissected with Stern on Tuesday morning, will be compared - for the attention it has created - to last year's confrontation over blogging on "Costas Now" between the writer Buzz Bissinger and Will Leitch, then of Deadspin. Bissinger kept erupting, creating a fascinating tableau of righteous anger. But the Lange incident - which benefited from the artistic freedom that HBO provides - was not about any particular issue; it was about Lange's decision that the stage was his to seize. Buck said: "It's an unfortunate thing that happened. But it's live. If it were taped, nobody would have seen it."
• Ty Hildenbrandt, SI.com: Dan's right, this was the best possible thing that could've happened to Joe Buck Live. You know, it's supposed to show the whole other side of Joe Buck that we had not previously known. The witty and charming side that laughs with Randy Moss' end-zone celebrations, not the side that scoffs at them. So this was perfect, and it had the shock value of Russell Brand hosting the MTV Video Music Awards. Mark this down as the first and last time that Joe Buck Live will be considered "water-cooler discussion."
But tell us how you really think, everyone!