Comedy Central has decided to give the axe to Sports Show with Norm Macdonald and Onion SportsDome. Comedy Central surprised many by introducing two separate shows that focused on the comedy of sports after ignoring this area for so long. And let's face it; we know as well as anyone that sports are a gigantic never-ending resource of ridiculous figures/shows who take themselves wayyy too seriously. Comedy Central even stuck our best people on it, Norm Macdonald was back in familiar territory behind the desk updating us on the news in sports and SportsDome was a spot-on parody of SportsCenter being run by America's Finest News Source, The Onion. Both shows were among my favorites on my DVR, and the decision to cancel them after one short season each was a disappointment.
I was very hopeful that SportsDome would be given another season to find its legs. Sure, its bits certainly didn't hit all the time, but when they worked, they were fantastic. I thought SportsDome nailed the small nuances that make SportsCenter insane and what it is, but struggled when they decided to mock more current material that came off as somewhat dated by the time it aired. Plus, for no real rhyme or reason, the show was extremely dark, which I think threw a lot of people off. Recurring dark bits such as, "who would you kill?" and "the Toad" were ideas I enjoyed, but I definitely can see why they did not click with a wide audience. Still, I felt they got so much of the show right, and I really wanted another season to see if they could iron out some of their misses. Plus, after reading the ESPN book, there really is no other group of people that need to have their ego checked as much as so many at ESPN these days.
The Norm Macdonald show was exactly what I think all of us thought it would be. It was Norm and his unique, dry, and sarcastic tone making fun of sports for 30 minutes. Personally, Dirty Work (one of the first DVD"s I ever bought) and his time doing Weekend Update on SNL are things I always found to be fantastic, so I was eagerly looking forward to his show. Still, I was completely surprised that Comedy Central gave him his own show because, let's face it, Norm's a polarizing comedian. Plus, he's been around for a long time and he's awesomely stubborn and his audience is firmly established. Many just do not appreciate his schtick. Also, Norm hasn't been commercially successful in a long time, but he has a small, dedicated fanbase that will always support whatever he is doing. Unfortunately, small and dedicated audiences are not things that result in renewals in a bottom line business. While I'm upset with the cancellation, I think most fans of Norm realize this certainly won't be the last time we will be hearing from him.
With two misses, this certainly looks like the end of sports satire on the small screen for the time being. Let's just hope this doesn't mean Comedy Central takes us down that dark path once again and replaces these shows with Mind of Mencia and Jeff Dunham clones.