Last we checked in on Page 2's Lynn Hoppes, he was breathlessly name-dropping third-tier celebrities, en route to this whole thing. (Of note: ESPN has since pulled the offending Hoppes video from its YouTube account. Did Brock Lesnar's attorneys complain?) Hoppes is ESPN's expert in the macho-tinged puff piece, and he's now delivered another one for us. He sat down with Seth Meyers of SNL before Meyers hosts tonight's ESPYs.
SETH MEYERS SET TO SKEWER SPORTS WORLD
No, he really won't. Meyers represents the Morning Joe-ification of SNL: he's chummy and venom-less, a sketch comedian turned stand-up whose most enduring bit, "Really?," is playful rather than mordant. In that bit, he chides his already-humiliated targets with rhetorical questions that float away rather than sting. Accordingly, he pisses no one off but Donald Trump, which is the satire equivalent of being mentioned in a P. Diddy diss track.
This is, of course, a wise career move: Meyers, 37 and about to start his eleventh SNL season, has fashioned himself into an affable lifer. Or, really, the opposite of fellow ESPYs host and Weekend Update anchor Norm MacDonald, who's funnier and riskier. Case in point: Meyers was invited back to host the ESPYs. The overzealous suits over there will do absolutely anything to protect their relationships with athletes and leagues, and if Meyers said nothing that tweaked, say, Les Miles, and got him disinvited, he screwed up.
With crisp writing and pinpoint delivery, Meyers took several shots at Tiger Woods and his relationships as well as the Kardashians and their involvement in sports. Mostly, he took shots at LeBron James and his "Decision."
"Did it really need to be an hour?" Meyers said. "Somebody time me. Miami. How long did that take? A second."
With that, ESPN showed that it can see levity in itself even at its own awards show.
Aside from this joke being a sort of oblique, banal reference to ESPN's greatest ethical lapse (which was also an extended middle finger to Cleveland), there's Hoppes' explanatory line. What silly self-serving hooey. Also, "levity?" You doth protest too much, Mr. Hoppes, and you should know best.