There are many things that you might expect NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal to put his name to, founding and appearing on his own YouTube comedy channel might not seem the obvious choice but that’s exactly what he has done.
Produced by Codeblack Entertainment and launched in October 2012 The Comedy Shaq offers a wide range of “urban themed comedy” from sketches to original web series to some helpings of all out crazy with reality TV spoof Real Preachers Wives.
This isn’t actually that much of an unexpected move for the multitalented entrepreneur, he’s been producing the All Star Comedy Jam since 2009 and humour was always a part of his on court persona.
“To me, laughing and being humorous relieves stress, I just like to make people laugh. A lot of entertainers and celebrities are getting smart. They’re trying to create their own space and put their own type of information out.”
Despite having plenty of content (over 130 videos) and new things in development, there is a slightly disjointed feel to the channel and just like all comedy, some stuff works and other bits fall flat. The Five Minute Funnies series contains exclusive stand-up segments from well known comics Eddie Griffin, Mark Curry, Kevin Hart, Sinbad and Tommy Davidson, these have already proved popular but nothing on the channel has yet to experience mass success.
I’m still not entirely sure what to make of occasional series Shaq Puppet MC, which has Shaq rapping with a puppet version of himself, on paper that might sound funny but the end results are less than hilarious, as one YouTube commenter put it -
The latest scripted series recently debuted and shows promising signs, Riding Dirty with Officer Turner stars Gabrielle Union (Bad Boys 2) as a quirky and somewhat unbalanced traffic police officer who takes her job just a little too seriously but prefers a good time over following the rules.
The second episode has just been released and it’s shaping up to be a more broad comedy than the previous scripted series Clean Ops: The Chronicles of V, the ongoing hitman based serial might look slick but its confused narrative will likely put many people off.
Shaq is keen to provide a platform for other up and coming comedians and takes pitches and submissions from the public. Currently there’s around 75000 subscribers and 4.1 million views across all the videos, whilst this is still a reasonable success I was surprised the channel didn’t have a wider following – compare this number to Issa Rae’s 14.6m views and it’s clear people aren’t exactly flocking to the Comedy Shaq.