On Saturday night, the new svelte version of NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley handled hosting duties on "Saturday Night Live." Somehow, it was his third time headlining "SNL" and Chuck riffed on his recent weight loss, the NBA's labor problems, his gambling, and Michael Jordan's recent engagement. And that was just in the opening monologue.
Hoops fans know that Chuck is funny. At least, he's sports funny. Shortly into the monologue, though, it became clear that the SNL writers didn't trust Barkley's comedic chops when it came to writing his lines. How could we tell? Because Barkley wouldn't have incorrectly referred to the recent NBA "lockout" as a "strike."
There is a tremendous difference between a strike and a lockout -- one that the players were clear to point out as the public relations battle was waged in the media as the negotiations took place behind closed doors. In this instance, the owners of the NBA teams locked the players out of their jobs. In a strike, it would have been the players refusing to participate until a new deal was made. Considering that Barkley was one of the more outspoken -- and frequently articulate -- commentators during the lockout, it's surprising that he didn't catch the mistake and have it amended. Perhaps NBC has determined that "strike" generates more laughs than "lockout."
WATCH ABOVE FOR BARKLEY'S MONOLOGUE
Thanks to the wonders of cross promotion, Barkley provided some unintentional comedy during his appearance on NBC's studio show during the NFL Wild Card doubleheader. For some reason former Patriots player and current NBC analyst Rodney Harrison seemed to have a strong dislike of Sir Charles. To borrow a multi-purpose adjective from one of Barkley's funnier sketches on the show, the Barkley-Harrison situation was "awkward."