Stephen A. Smith

Just as John Stamos struggled to separate himself from Uncle Jesse, there’s going to be an adjustment period before anyone can take Stephen A. Smith screaming about politics on his podcast seriously.

While the audience might need time to adjust, Smith decided to jump right in, with the First Take host using the second episode of his Know Mercy podcast to address accusations of sexual assault against Donald Trump, Bill Clinton’s escapades, the Mar-a-Lago raid and its impact on future elections, Merrick Garland, abortion, and much more.

We’ve grown accustomed to hearing Smith’s showmanship and passionate rants about the Knicks or his brash hot takes about Kyrie Irving. But listening to Smith give political takes while ranting about the Clintons as if they’re the Knicks or Yankees will take some getting used to. Smith’s impression of Bill Clinton, however, I will never get used to.

The First Take host opened the second episode of his new podcast by going down a list of politicians and celebrities who have abused or been accused of abusing women, which is why Clinton’s name was mentioned in connection to Monica Lewinsky. Smith introduced the topic in the episode titled “Ladies, we need to hear you!” by briefly rehashing the Boston Celtics-Ime Udoka scandal.

“Over the last few days, I made some news,” Smith acknowledged. “Because the Boston Celtics of the National Basketball Association found their franchise, specifically via their head coach, embroiled in some controversy.”

That controversy had Smith wanting to repeat the need for women to have a prominent voice. “No matter which way we slice it, we need to hear women,” Smith said. “We need to make sure the ladies know, we know we need to hear y’all.”

Interestingly, during the more than hour-long podcast episode, Smith never referenced one of the most prominent headlines he made after the Udoka story broke, where he shut down his female colleague Malika Andrews for interrupting him “on my show,First Take. Even if he doesn’t believe an apology was warranted, glossing over that interaction while preaching the need to “hear women” was odd.

But the early mention of Udoka was the most sporty aspect of Smith’s podcast episode No. 2. Unlike Mike Francesa, who has touted, but failed to deliver on making politics more of a focus in his recent digital shows, Smith has already made true on his promise to launch a non-sports podcast.

Smith’s desire to see his brand grow into something that transcends ESPN is apparent. And while it might be strange for his usual audience to hear him yelling about politics, Smith doesn’t appear to have any inclination of easing into the venture.

[Know Mercy]

About Brandon Contes

Brandon Contes is a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He previously helped carve the sports vertical for Mediaite and spent more than three years with Barrett Sports Media. Send tips/comments/complaints to