Shaquille O’Neal. You may know him best as a very tall guy who played basketball a lot back in the day. What you may not know is that he has been pretty heavily involved in a variety of web series over the years and has his own channel on YouTube, back when courting celebrity channels was the future YouTube saw for its own growth (a policy since sidelined). We’ve covered these in detail before, but now he’s back with a new show: Talking Shop.
Information is a little scarce so far, but a trailer became available on Friday, October 4th. It can be summarised thus: ‘funny real people be funny and real!’
You know how when you go to get your hair cut by some hair-cutting professional person (because although you begrudge paying money for this simple act you know full well that you wouldn’t trust yourself to attempt it any more than you’d try to run into the cockpit of a nose-diving commercial jet and yell over your shoulder, ‘Don’t worry folks, I got this!’) and eventually there comes ‘the conversation’? It swings between awkward silence whilst you allow the man to swish sharp implements around your brain container, and idle moments of small talk so excruciating that the silence feels more appealing – until it’s silent again.
Maybe I’m projecting my inability to function inside the real world on to you good folk.
The point I am getting to is that there are a great many places where people gather on a habitual basis and often these people can be quite the wit in a ‘real’ way that a stand up comedian is never going to match. Shaq clearly thinks so, because that’s the premise of Talking Shop.
The show is set in Headmasters Barber Shop, Atlanta, and the trailer shows the place full of apparent regulars who shoot the breeze about everything under the sun, and add good thigh slapping dose of joviality into the air, whilst waiting for the follicle landscaper to go about his work. The show looks set to feature on the Comedy Shaq channel.
The trailer currently available doesn’t really indicate how much Shaq himself will be on camera or whether the concept will stand the test of multiple episodes. With such a minimal concept the show will clearly live or die by the quality and general appeal of the everyday joking about of the man and women off the street. Let’s see if it’s a slam-dunk or an unwanted dribble for the Shaq.
No, I’m not proud of the closing sentence.