Posted: Friday November 10, 2006 10:37AM; Updated: Friday November 10, 2006 11:19AM
Sports Casting Call: Saturady Night Live
Here's the eighth edition of our monthly feature in which we pair characters from a TV show with sports figures. This month we cast Saturday Night Live.
Chase was SNL's first breakout star. One magazine called him the "funniest man in America." He left SNL after one season and quickly scored with films such as Foul Play and Caddyshack, but his path to superstardom faltered with the likes of Modern Problems. Gooden burst onto the MLB scene as the NL Rookie of the Year in '84 and Cy Young in '85, but drug addiction derailed his path to Cooperstown.
Murray was always an SNL standout but was somewhat overshadowed by the likes of John Belushi. Yet it's Murray who's logged the most successful film career, of any SNL vet. Wade was the fifth pick of the 2004 draft and was overshadowed that first season by LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony, but he's the one with a ring and an NBA Finals MVP trophy.
Murphy rocketed to SNL stardom at age 19 fresh out of high school and soon took Hollywood by storm with films including 48 Hours and Trading Places. Among his signature SNL impressions was Stevie Wonder. Even blind men could see King James' talent as he stormed the NBA fresh out of high school in 2003. Let's just hope LeBron doesn't record a cover of Party All The Time.
Piscopo carried SNL with Murphy in the early '80s and the two appeared in many memorable skits, such as the Ebony/Ivory duet between Frank Sinatra (Piscopo) and Murphy as Wonder. Still, Piscopo was always viewed as second banana and struggled post-SNL. That should be a lesson to Wayne, who chafes as second banana to fellow WR Marvin Harrison. He should be careful what he wishes for.
Hammond is a longtime pro (he's the oldest cast member ever and holds the SNL record for consecutive seasons at 11 and counting) whose hallmark is versatility. A dead-ringer for everyone from Bill Clinton to Sean Connery. "Uncle Cliffy," the only player drafted in the '80s still active, is a versatile forward who can defend all three frontcourt positions as well as hit 3-pointers.
Rock joined SNL in 1990 at Murphy's recommendation but didn't fill the latter's shoes. Rock left after being sparingly used for three seasons to score great success as a stand-up. McGrady skipped college to join the Raptors and cousin (by marriage) Vince Carter but couldn't escape Carter's shadow during three seasons in Toronto. Along the way he's become a six-time All-Star and two-time scoring champ.
Carvey was magnificent in his seven-year SNL stint, creating such characters as the Church Lady and Garth while memorably mimicking everyone from George H.W. Bush to Johnny Carson. He's mostly faded away ever since, in part because of a botched heart surgery. Davis was brilliant in his seven years as a Bronco, including a 2,000-yard season and a Super Bowl title, but knee injuries ended hs career far too soon.
Father Guido Sarducci
Don Novello (the one who dons Father Guido's robes) might be a one-trick pony, but that doesn't make it any easier to stop laughing. Father Guido hold the SNL record for appearances by a recurring character with 31 over 17 years. Rivera essentially throws only one pitch (cut fastball) but that hasn't made him any easier to hit. If Yanks manager Joe Torre had his way, Rivera would set an appearances record too.
Martin was such a contributor to SNL's success (including a record 14 guest-hosting appearances) that it's easy to forget that he was never actually a regular cast member. Johnson was such a key member of the Bad Boy Pistons that it's easy to forget that he wasn't a regular starter but rather came off the bench.
Sanz seems to think he's hysterical judging by the way he cracked up during all his sketches. Alas, few viewers shared his opinion and he was canned. "Psycho" Lyons likes to think he's a cut-up, but his on-air joke about having his wallet swiped by Spanish-speaking Lou Piniella certainly didn't tickle the funny bone of Fox executives -- he was fired