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Joining the growing roster of online video destinations is The Kicker, a new platform for sports comedy from Above Average Productions, the digital arm of Lorne Michaels’ Broadway Video.
Saturday Night Live co-head writer Bryan Tucker is behind The Kicker, which will feature daily sports news and comedy videos from top comedians and athletes. “After years writing sketches for professional athletes on Saturday Night Live, I’ve learned how to work together to make them funny,” said Tucker, who will serve as The Kicker’s editor-in-chief in addition to his SNL duties. “We’re all working toward one goal — to entertain the sports fan.”
The Kicker has already collaborated with SNL veterans Kenan Thompson and Andy Samberg, comedians JB Smoove and “Weird Al” Yankovic and athletes Jamaal Charles, Odell Beckham Jr. and Eric Decker. Videos will be shared on the Kicker website as well as YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other social channels.
One of the Kicker’s regular video series is #MyTeamDream, which will feature celebrities and athletes discussing the best thing that could happen to their favorite professional sports team. Wyclef Jean, Samberg, Perez Hilton, Judd Nelson and Smoove are featured in the first video. Another video, called Leon Home Depot, tells the story of a college athlete who sells his last name to make some extra cash.
In addition, The Kicker has partnered with Lenovo and Vox Media on a video series called Fantasy Online College. Written by Tucker, the series features Smoove as the dean of a fantasy sports college and NFL players including Matt Forte, Demaryius Thomas, DeMarco Murray and Decker as professors. The Kicker general manager Grant Jones said branded content will be a regular part of the new platform.
“The Kicker provides brands with a unique way to create a an authentic dialogue with passionate sports fans, using customized programming and relevant, high-quality comedy content,” said Jones, who was previously with Conde Nast Entertainment and The Onion. “We will be building an audience that is young and digitally savvy, attracting hardcore and more casual sports fans.”
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