Ernie Johnson convinces Shaq to spill cookie toppings. Photo Credit: Inside the NBA, TNT Ernie Johnson convinces Shaq to spill cookie toppings. (Photo Credit: Inside the NBA, TNT)

You never know what’s going to happen on TNT’s Inside The NBA, especially late at night. The cast there wrapped up Monday night’s edition at around 1:20 a.m. Eastern Tuesday with a bit of Warner Bros. Discovery corporate synergy. That saw panelists Kenny Smith, Charles Barkley, and Shaquille O’Neal decorating Christmas cookies in the style of Food Network’s Christmas Cookie Challenge and host Ernie Johnson acting as emcee.

But that led to a particularly funny moment of Shaq being Shaq. It saw O’Neal putting decorations in the middle of his icing tree outline without any icing to make them stick, despite Johnson attempting to warn him of the perils there. And that then saw Johnson convincing O’Neal to hold up the finished cookie for the camera, spilling decorations everywhere. Here’s the setup:

And the payoff:

“But here’s the problem. If you hold that thing straight up and down, you’re going to lose a lot. Hold it straight up and down in front of the camera. Yeah, see? That’s what happens if you don’t put that stuff there to stick it onto. And now you’ve just got the outline of a tree.”

There were plenty of other funny moments in this contest too, including Barkley running out of time and getting roasted for his “Charlie Brown Christmas tree” and Smith defending his lower layer of pretzel sticks with “We’re in the forest.” But Johnson talking O’Neal into tilting his cookie and spilling all of its decorations was a perfect highlight, especially after O’Neal ignored his during-the-contest warnings.

The Inside The NBA cast probably isn’t taking the Christmas Cookie Challenge cast’s jobs any time soon, but this was a good illustration of how that group and their well-established chemistry can be entertaining doing almost anything. And it adds to a long list there, including farting, discussing “accidents with the soap,” and even taking out a Christmas tree during a race to the big board. We’ll see what they come up with next.

[Awful Announcing on Twitter, H/T to CJ Fogler on Twitter]


About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.