All of a sudden my DVR is going nuts taping shows. There’s Jon Stewart (as I’ve already mentioned), Boston Legal, Commander In Chief¹, Call For Help (wearing out its welcome), ARLI$$ and ESPN’s poker coverage.
A few nights ago, I decided what makes ESPN’s coverage so good. First, it’s edited masterfully. No one is going to convince me the voice overs are done while the poker is being played – but that doesn’t diminish the show. More than anything, I really find Norman Chad funny.
Chad is a newspaper guy (I’m easily impressed by people who write well) first, and reading some of his columns, I ‘hear’ the same voice I hear on the poker broadcasts. I also saw his name on a very funny ARLI$$ episode.
What makes him good on poker is his ability to elevate the absurd to comedic proportions. Anything that anyone does on that broadcast is subject to his scrutiny and wit.
Other poker broadcasts, like the WPT on the Travel Channel, just don’t compare.
¹ – I just started recording this last night, but I enjoyed the first one… not because of Gena Davis, but because of the deliciously mean Donald Sutherland.