It’s been a good 14 years since Joe Buck tried his hand at an HBO Show. The famed broadcaster stepped into Bob Costas’ shoes, as Joe Buck Live replace Costas Now, which ended when the latter left for MLB Network in 2009. It lasted just three shows.
Joe Buck Live tried to show the irreverent side of Buck, but it was nothing short of an utter disaster.
And Buck sort of alluded to that during ESPN’s Monday Night Football broadcast of the Baltimore Ravens-Washington Commanders preseason game.
Buck and Aikman got into a discussion about the HBO Original Series Hard Knocks, produced by HBO and NFL Films. Aikman seemingly called out narrator Liev Schreiber for arriving at the New York Jets practice facility in Florham Park, New Jersey during the first episode of this season’s series.
Buck saw that as a window of opportunity to make fun of himself, and Aikman couldn’t contain his laughter.
“I had a show once at HBO… didn’t really end all that well,” Buck quipped.
"Hard Knocks has been so fun to watch."- Joe Buck
"Pretty cocky (of Liev Schreiber) coming in on a helicopter, huh?"- Troy Aikman
"I had a show once at HBO… didn't really end all that well."- Buck (as Aikman laughs hard) pic.twitter.com/IEFbkuaRcZ
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) August 22, 2023
The first guests to appear on the show included several former athletes and celebrities, but no one made more of a lasting impact than comedian Artie Lange. So needless to say, the show started off with a star-studded cast. The episode drew attention though, not because of Buck, but more so because of Lange going off the rails with some controversial behavior.
Lange’s behavior was erratic at best, but he made some gross comments, including referring to Jessica Simpson, who was dating Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo at the time, as a “fat chick” and comparing her to Chris Farley. He also kept poking fun at Buck and coincidentally told him that he wouldn’t make four episodes. As we know, the show lasted just three.
HBO Sports President Ross Greenburg said that Lange’s comments were “mean-spirited” and “bordered on bad taste.” Lange, however, claimed on The Howard Stern Show, where he was a contributor/sidekick from 2001-09, that Greenburg had instructed him to “go wild” if the other guests, Paul Rudd and Jason Sudeikis, became boring. Lange was subsequently forbidden from appearing on future HBO Sports programs, although he did appear in a pre-recorded segment for the second episode of Joe Buck Live.
Maybe Joe Buck Live would fare better in 2023, with Buck more comfortable with his place in the world as a broadcaster, and obviously without Artie Lange. Though, it’s clear that he’s in a place in his career where he can look back on his failed show, reflect and laugh.