Funniest People in Sports
There actually aren't all that many funny people in sports. Not that everyone in the sports world is a painfully humorless bore—although there are plenty of those too (I'm looking at you, Nick Saban). The environment itself just doesn't naturally lend itself to comedy.
The intensely competitive nature of the sports themselves means that most athletes don't consider anything within the context of the game funny; which is understandable. Many of them are literally putting their lives on the line just by walking onto the field of play—obviously something worth taking seriously.
And then there's the largely humorless sports media. There are a few exceptions, but overall the sports media serves as a national wet blanket for fans and players alike. Honestly though, that's just a reflection of how serious fans are about their sport—they are intense and they want the media to be intense too…and always agree with them.
But as you know, there are exceptions to almost every rule. The world of professional sports might be an uber-competitive hotbed of anger and raw masculinity, but clowns and comedians slip through the cracks every now and again.
Here are 20 of the most legitimately funny people in sports.
20. Stevie Johnson
You either love Bills receiver Stevie Johnson or you hate Bills receiver Stevie Johnson—there aren't many folks with lukewarm feelings on the kid. I'm of the mind that if you hate him, you are probably not a lot of fun as a human being.
Johnson is probably best known for the touchdown celebration in which he mocked Plaxico Burress' infamous leg shooting incident, but usually his humor is far less controversial.
He's always gracious and funny on Twitter and the YouTube videos of Johnson doing ridiculous things like jumping out of a closet to scare his family are just too silly not to laugh at. Stevie knows how to laugh at life and wonders why everyone is always so serious.
19. Michelle Beadle
ESPN's Michelle Beadle is pretty much the anti-Erin Andrews, and she wouldn't have it any other way. That's no disrespect to Andrews—she's stunning, talented and she legit knows her sports—but she's a bit of a Barbie and Beadle is more of a brawler.
Beadle holds her own against the acid-tongue of Colin Cowherd as co-host of SportsNation and she's more than willing to play the clown with the uptight Cowherd. Beadle can kick it with the boys because she seems like one of the guys.
18. Dallas Braden
If frat boy humor is your thing, then A's pitcher Dallas Braden is your man. Personally, I prefer a slightly more subtle brand of humor, but there's no denying the large market that exists out there for poop jokes and masturbation humor.
Braden's Twitter account is an ode to frat boy humor—a few recent tweets:
@dallasbraden209: Colostomy lady has turned this N2 show & tell. I'm 2 clicks away frm poppin' that poop sack & going chimpanzee on this woman. #dontgiveas**t
@dallasbraden209: @BrettAnderson49 sorry, I had 2. That was just a HUGE setter! 1-0 good guys! Heard u got a JERGENS endorsement, is that 4 the forearm rehab?
@dallasbraden209: Just had a train horn installed N my truck. Sorry 4 cutting u off but I cant hear you over the sound of me not caring. And yes I am #1 thanx
**Honorable mention to Patriots tight end Rob "Yo Soy Fiesta" Gronkowski in the frat-boy-funny category.
17. Aaron Rodgers
So…until recently, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers didn't strike me as particularly funny. I think he tends to take things a little too seriously, but dude is a quarterback and the ultimate competitor—so that probably just comes with the territory.
As it turns out, Rodgers actually has a pretty good sense of humor! I just learned of his photobombing habit recently, but apparently Rodgers has been popping up in the background of his teammates' photographs since 2006.
Some of his photobombs are more creative than others, but he does it enough that there's an entire website devoted to this practice.
16. Pat Barry
There aren't too many tough guys that can laugh at themselves. For some reason violent, hand-to-hand combat just doesn't lend itself to hilarity. I guess that's why the comic stylings of professional ass-kicker Pat Barry are such a treat.
Barry is always entertaining in interviews and nothing is really out of bounds—gas station hot dogs, streaking in his tighty whities and crazy times on the bus.
Plus, he's not afraid to bust a move and be the butt of the joke, as evidenced by this video.
15. Derek Holland
If the whole baseball thing doesn't work out for Rangers pitcher Derek Holland, he definitely has a future in comedy. Holland will do almost anything for a laugh and is known for his "wacky" T-shirts, his spot-on Harry Caray impression and talking about boogers on Twitter.
Then there's this video. In February 2012, Holland stopped by a local Dallas television station and decided to try his hand at meteorology and being a TV weather-jockey. Dude knocked it out of the park—something that he's probably not used to as a pitcher.
14. Chris Cooley
Redskins tight end Chris Cooley is what my dad would call a "troublemaker." Cooley finds humor in the simple things in life—elaborate prank phone calls, breaking things, making fun of Cleveland and busting out his white boy dance moves in his underwear.
Cooley saves some of his best stuff for a couple of guys who play for the division rival Cowboys. You can check out his and former Skins quarterback Colt Brennan's impressions of the Cowboys' Tony Romo and Jason Witten—not exactly spot-on impressions, but they definitely capture their essence.
And in October 2011, Cooley attracted some attention after publicly mocking Romo for "choking" and expressing his desire to fight the quarterback in a cage match.
13. Dwight Howard
Magic superstar Dwight Howard isn't just the preeminent big man in the NBA, he's also one of the league's preeminent funny men. Howard's Charles Barkley impression is a riot and his Stan Van Gundy impression is an even bigger riot.
Howard has quietly zinged Shaq by appearing as Superman in a SportsCenter commercial, famously teased LeBron James about his receding hairline and teamed up with the legendary Magic Johnson to goof on failed NFL quarterback Derek Anderson.
And then there's his affinity for prank calls…just watch the video.
12. Quinton "Rampage" Jackson
The world of MMA isn't really known for its comedy—beating people bloody is entertaining, but not super funny. Quinton "Rampage" Jackson is a very welcome exception to that rule.
Rampage can make pretty much anything entertaining—a post-fight interview, menacing reporters, dry humping a tiger, playing himself in a video game, or engaging in some good old fashioned mockery (see video).
11. Chris Kluwe
Vikings punter Chris Kluwe is what most jocks might refer to as a "nerd." Kluwe's Twitter ID is @ChrisWarcraft, which should give you a pretty good idea of his interests outside football. Homeboy is into video games, British comedy and sci-fi everything. Plus he's a punter!
But Kluwe defies conventional wisdom about both nerds and kicking professionals. He's not afraid to speak his mind about NFL matters and when someone tells him to sit down and shut up because he's a kicker, Kluwe has got the biting wit and excessive sarcasm to kick back (hehe) even harder.
And then there's his hilarious response to an NFL memo regarding players faking injuries to halt the momentum of the opposing team. Kluwe's self-deprecating/aware whiteboard memo was a pitch perfect comment on the absurdity of the situation.
10. Logan Morrison
The Marlins' Logan Morrison stumbled into some accidental comedy when he was attacked by a praying mantis on national television in July, 2011. An incident like this would have embarrassed a lesser man, but Morrison saw an opportunity and a month later he officially struck back at the ill-tempered insect.
Morrison also happens to have one of the funniest Twitter accounts in sports:
To know me is to Tweet with me! Miami Marlins LF. Twittaholic. All around good guy (with just a pinch of dangerous sexuality)!
His tweets are routinely hilarious, but it doesn't even matter, he had me at dangerous sexuality...
9. Blake Griffin
It's a well known fact that Clippers superstar Blake Griffin has the ability to kill a grown man with a monster dunk straight to his face. A lesser known fact is that Griffin can also kill you with comedy.
Okay…I might be playing it a little fast and loose with the use of the word "fact," but whatever.
Honestly, I had absolutely no idea Griffin had a funny bone in his body until his "summer internship" at funnyorDIE during the NBA lockout. You wouldn't think that someone being instructed on how to use a phone and carrying giant sandwiches would be that funny…but it is.
8. Bob Uecker
Bob Uecker has done it all, and he's done it well. He's been a ball player, a broadcaster, an actor, and a comedian. The 77-year-old Uecker is still doing radio broadcasting for the Brewers, but he's best known for playing Harry Doyle in the Major League movies.
But that's not his only memorable role. In the 80's Uecker starred in the sitcom Mr. Belvedere and a series of popular Miller Lite commercials. And his WWE guest appearances were so epic that he earned a place in the WWE Hall of Fame.
I didn't even know the WWE had a HOF!
7. Shaquille O'Neal
Retired NBA superstar Shaquille O'Neal has a built-in comedic advantage—his absurdly large size. As you can see in the photo, being comically oversized is funny all on its own.
But that's not the only thing he brings to the table. Shaq is a natural showman, knows how to deliver a dis, he does impressions, he recognizes that animals are comedy gold and he's not afraid to dress up like a woman to get some cheap laughs.
Dude is an American hero.
6. The Rock
Listen…I think we can all agree that the The Rock has made some questionable choices in his movie career. I'm not sure if he has a strict "garbage only" policy when it comes to movie scripts, but it certainly seems like it.
The heaping pile of cinematic crap aside, The Rock is actually really funny and has the natural comic timing that can't be taught. You have to be a showman to be a superstar in the WWE, and The Rock is one of the best ever.
5. Brian Wilson
There's no getting around that more than half the population of the country seems to hate Giants pitcher Brian Wilson. Whatever though—sometimes what's funny isn't popular and often times what's popular isn't funny.
Wilson's spandex tuxedo at the 2011 ESPY's was classic, his SportsCenter "Fear the Beard" commercial was hilarious and this funnyorDIE video for MLB2k11 is goofy as hell. This guy is flat-out hysterical.
4. Kevin Love
The NBA is stacked with supercool, supersuave, superstars—Dwyane Wade, Kobe Bryant, and Chris Paul types. If you're a big dopey looking white guy that can ball, it really helps to have a sense of humor.
Timberwolves star Kevin Love definitely has that. Love knows he's big and awkward and isn't afraid to have a little fun with it at his own expense.
Watch him reflect on an "awkward handshake moment" and you'll see what I'm talking about.
3. Kenny Mayne
This is probably going to be a controversial choice because I know people run hot and cold on ESPN's Kenny Mayne. Obviously I run hot on the guy and think he's absolutely hilarious, but I understand he's not everyone's cup of tea.
Mayne is known for his sarcasm and deadpan delivery—this funnyorDIE video is the perfect example. Mayne investigates the newest beef in the music and NFL worlds between Justin Bieber and Tom Brady. Tom Brady also shows some comedy chops by keeping a straight face while insisting he's the world's biggest ZZ Top fan.
But Mayne doesn't need big name guest stars—he can carry the show all on his own. Check out his Sopranos spoof for SportsCenter, his YouTube response to a "slight" by comedian Jerry Seinfeld and his faux blooper reel with SportsCenter co-host Scott Van Pelt.
2. Peyton Manning
There wasn't anything funny about how the Peyton Manning drama played out with the Colts—except for the circus that was created when Tim Tebow was shipped off to the Jets.
But outside the drama of the NFL, Manning is seriously hilarious. His commercials for MasterCard and hosting gig on Saturday Night Live speak for themselves.
1. Charles Barkley
Retired (NBA) rockstar Charles Barkley is effortlessly entertaining. Throughout his career as both a player and broadcaster, Sir Charles has been a one-man sound byte machine. He says hilarious things when he knows he's on camera and he says even more hilarious things when he doesn't know he's on camera.
Barkley has hosted Saturday Night Live twice—his impersonations of Alicia Keys and Inside the NBA co-host Shaquille O'Neal were particularly memorable. Barkley is fearless and willing to take aim at just about anybody, including himself.
There is simply no one in sports more consistently funny and quotable than Sir Charles. BlackSportsOnline put together a list of his 50 funniest—here are a few of the best:
"I know why his name is DMX. Because his real name is Earl. Imagine if his name was Earl the rapper."
"I can be bought. If they paid me enough, I'd work for the Klan."
[Barkley on Turner Sports office having a betting pool on his weight] "That is starting to hurt my feelings. I don't mind skinny people making fun of me, we all do that, but I don't want fat people making fun of me."
[While watching someone in Australia put $1 million worth of rubies on a table:] "Damn, must not be any black folks in Australia. You can't just leave $1 million worth of jewelry lying around the 'hood."
[On Jerry Krause still being able to keep his job as GM of the Chicago Bulls:] "Jerry Krause must have pictures of his boss's wife having sex with a monkey."