In the vast post-mortem of "Joe Buck Live," there's been an uptick of interest in Buck's previous comedy-interview effort — those slightly encouraging Bud TV interview specials from 2007.
It's amazing that it was just two years ago, when Fox was supposed to the lucky recipient of the more unbuttoned Joe Buck, that Emeritus questioned if he was "quite limber enough to pull off a late-night gig." Well, now we know. Of course, if your opinion of Joe Buck pre-Lange jiz-chesting was not favorable, you were probably just as annoyed with Buck's casual, let's-drink-tallboys-in-the-back-of-a-taxi efforts for Bud TV. And, yes, I might have accidentally smoked PCP-laced weed out of a gravity bong this morning, but I don't think these interview segements were actually that bad.
Buck's performance to the live studio audience that night off-camera was telling: he was nervous. He openly solicited (begged even) the audience to give him a huge round of applause once the cameras started rolling. Sure, he was pandering but he did (truthfully) hint that it might be the part of the show where the audience was on his side. I'm sure he thought he would be able to pep up the Favre interview with some of his bone-dryness but it's a proven fact that the only way to make Brett Favre amusing is to have him tackled on the couch by a headphone-wearing mongoloid.
It's also inaccurate to say those in attendance were mortified by what took place on stage. There were plenty of laughs both at Buck's expense and those rooting for him to fight back against the fat bully in the work boots. He succeeded a couple of times, but failed spectacularly waaaay too much. He was, as Lange glibly stated, completely out of his league.
Whatever incarnation of "Joe Buck Live" we get three months from now, you get the sense that Buck's vision is more similar to that dopey show shot in the back of the taxi then the out-of-control disaster from Tuesday night. But his best move right now might be to return to smug self-deprecation, cede a little control and then never, ever apologize for what happens when it's over.