The 100 Funniest SportsCenter Commercials
Photo by Tavarua
ESPN's "This is SportsCenter" commercials are more entertaining than many of the shows on TV. Athletes, mascots and anchors appear in these often hilarious spots.
Sports fanatics and casual fans alike can appreciate these well-crafted gems.
This is a topic that's been covered here before, but one that I felt needed to be updated and expanded.
From the ones you've never seen to the ones you call your favorites, here are the 100 best and most hilarious ESPN SportsCenter commercials.
There are way more than 100 great SportsCenter commercials.
There are also countless others that I know I've seen but for the life of me couldn't find quality clips for, such as the ones with the Western Kentucky mascot and the Stanford tree next to the recycling bin.
Line of the Ad: "Knock it off."
David Carradine of Kung Fu fame tries to help the SportsCenter team prepare for the possibility of getting attacked by athletes. Mic-swinging and using a down marker as a weapon are covered in the self-defense course.
Some excellent physical humor, Carradine's calming voice and a bizarre concept help us start our list off with a bang.
99. Linda Cohn
The ESPN break room is way too cluttered. The cabinets are filled with all kinds of golden objects.
Linda Cohn is having a difficult time trying to find something to put her flowers in.
This would have benefited from being a touch longer. Had she pulled three or four more things out of that cupboard, this would have ranked much higher.
98. Gaylord Perry
Line of the Ad: "Aw, Gaylord!"
Gaylord Perry, famous for allegedly using Vaseline to aid his pitches, wreaks havoc on the office.
Not as many fans will remember the Hall of Pitcher now as when this first aired, but the joke is easy to get without knowing who he is. Not as clever as some of the others higher up, but a good visual gag.
97. Carmelo Anthony
Does Carmelo have a secret identity? Does it play defense? Is he taking the role of Team USA’s captain too seriously?
This is more of a jab at the anchors' dorkiness while Carmelo plays the straight man. His other SportsCenter commercial is far superior and appears much higher on the list.
96. LaDainian Tomlinson
Line of the Ad: "None of these are mine."
LaDainian Tomlinson, wearing the best uniform in football, has a little trouble sorting the mail due to his dark visor.
Tomlinson also appeared in another SportsCenter commercial where he plays a Mattel Classic Football game, but that one falls flat. This one is far funnier.
95. Brett Favre
The SportsCenter anchors have to devise a system to figure out when Brett Favre is retired or unretired. It can get rather confusing.
Though I may catch some heat for ranking this so low, I think it loses a lot of its humor, as it is not as timely as it used to be. Plenty of fans are overloaded with Favre-related anything.
There are more timeless and more hilarious ads to come.
94. Michael Buffer
Line of the Ad: "The Titan of the Keyboard!"
The most famous voice in announcing brings his talents to Bristol. With some dated music and blinding stage lights, SportsCenter announcers get the introductions they deserve.
Ending with Buffer turning off the music and going back to his newspaper is a nice touch.
93. Sweet Science
Everybody in the office pesters boxing expert Charley Steiner. A mascot gets a taste of the sweet science.
The anchors' goofy antics are made funnier by Steiner's stiff and serious demeanor.
Had this been about a sport that more people cared about, it would have been placed higher.
92. Rich Beem
Mildly famous golfer Rich Beem protects the PGA Championship on his way to the ESPN offices.
Some subtle humor throughout, but the surprise ending takes this to a whole new level.
Golfing success allows for luxuries for sure. Check out his sweet ride.
91. Candace Parker
Line of the Ad: "At least they’ll have nice calves."
WNBA star Candace Parker's dunking ability has inspired the boys around the office. With a little mail-ordered assistance, they’re hoping they can be playing above the rim as well.
All the anchors wearing giant white shoes hopping around clumsily is beautifully goofy. A one-note song of a commercial, but it is a very good note.
90. Drew Rosenhaus (Negotiations)
Line of the Ad: "Dude is money."
The SportsCenter guys and one of the most infamously harsh negotiating agents take a lunch break at the cafeteria. But Drew Rosenhaus isn't going to pay market price.
There are two commercials featuring Rosenhaus, and this one is far inferior. It is funny conceptually, and Rosenhaus' performance is good, but knowing how great the other is takes this first one down a few notches.
89. Straight out of High School
SportsCenter has drafted a kid straight out of high school. He may have the tools to succeed, but does he have the necessary maturity?
Bob Levy makes everything seem more legit.
Though it's funny, they missed a golden opportunity to make one of the best commercials ever. Varying the jokes and expanding on his gaffes could have made this even better.
88. Landon Donovan
Soccer star Landon Donovan just wants to make a copy. The frustrating tortuous machine refuses to operate correctly. He gets understandably frustrated and receives a familiar punishment.
I wonder how many non-soccer watchers have the joke go over their head.
His reaction could have been a bit more dramatic, but I suppose he's much calmer in the office than out on the field.
87. David Wright
The SportsCenter guys and David Wright want to go out tonight. Under no circumstances must the creepy mascot guy hear about it. He will ruin everything!
They have to resort to baseball-style mouth-covering conversation.
Insanely perfect usage of the Wake Forest mascot, an excellent Scott Van Pelt acting performance and an inside joke that anybody can get all add up to awesome.
86. Pat Summitt
Kenny Mayne goes on a roll with Pat Summitt puns.
Everybody's grandpa will crack up at all the silly word jokes. If you can stand a bit of corniness, then you’ll highly enjoy this one.
Watching Mayne embarrass himself is a delight.
85. Usain Bolt
Usain Bolt is fast. You know the people behind the SportsCenter ads were thinking of numerous ways to use that fact in a commercial.
While this isn't the best possible usage of the idea, it's still worth a mighty chuckle.
Is this a Gatorade product placement situation, or did they just strive for accuracy?
84. Mary Lou Retton
Line of the Ad: "It’s a body thing."
Gymnast Mary Lou Retton is trying to bring her overwhelming charm to SportsCenter. Staged happiness can get pretty annoying pretty quickly.
Retton gives a fabulous performance that begs for her to be in more of these. She turns adorable into cloying quite easily.
83. Arnold Palmer
Line of the Ad: "That was awesome."
We get to see why they named the Arnold Palmer after Arnold Palmer.
The humor is as subtle as it can get, but it's done very well. Having the caddie follow him after he makes his drink is a nice touch.
Scott Van Pelt and Stuart Scott make excellent astounded faces.
Line of the Ad: "Like Dan doesn’t step on everyone's lines."
A behind-the-scenes peek at the tension between SportsCenter anchors after they've finished a show. The Georgia Bulldog looks on awkwardly as Dan Patrick gives us some dark insight into his life.
The concept is better than the execution, but it's definitely still a winner.
81. Studio Rivalries
Line of the Ad: "Watch it, bureau boy."
The field reporters and the anchors don’t get along. In fact, they have a bitter rivalry that causes behind-the-scenes tension.
Sal Paolantonio makes a rare appearance. A few choice insults are thrown about.
Throw in a hilarious West Side Story Jets vs. Sharks reference at the end, and you have yourself a winner.
80. Dwight Howard
A fire started in the break room, and Superman came to save the day. Clark Kent/Dwight Howard comes by to check on Hannah Storm afterwards.
Whether or not you believe that Shaquille O'Neal is the rightful owner of the Superman moniker, you have to be impressed by Howard's performance.
The knowing look on his face as he slides his glasses up his nose is perfect.
79. Stephen King
Most of the time, SportsCenter anchors write their own material. That is, of course, unless they bring in a ghostwriter.
Red Sox fan and bestselling author Stephen King gets a little carried away.
At the end, John Anderson tells him not to include any characters with telekinetic powers. At this point, King has only typed two or three words yet has to toss the paper.
You've got to wonder how he started that one.
78. SportsCenter Fantasy Camp
Line of the Ad: "It’s a myth."
SportsCenter opens a fantasy camp for fans. Regular folks get to hold the boom mic, read the scores and generally screw everything up.
The Scott Van Pelt doppelganger at the end is equally creepy and funny.
A multifaceted joke features a man without pants, Jay Harris making a classic annoyed face and the aforementioned Van Pelt lookalike stealing the show.
77. Rain Delay
Line of the Ad: "I just bought myself a digital camera."
Pull out the tarp and grab some bubble gum; there’s a rain delay in the SportsCenter studio.
You can't go wrong by throwing in a random mascot.
This is especially funny to baseball fans, who will catch all the accurate rain delay moments.
Line of the Ad: "It’s much better than what you got on."
Charley Steiner explains that some of the athletes go too far in trying to get more highlights on the air. Some of them are willing to do some major bribing.
Juwan Howard and Cherokee Parks make brief, quality appearances. Roy Jones, however, steals the show with a goofy, fast-talking performance.
75. Gheorghe Muresan
Chris Rock as Lil' Penny and seven-footer Gheorge Muresan provide a flashback to the '90s.
It may take a few viewings to decipher every joke Lil’ Penny is squeaking out. But most of the humor comes from Muresan's attempt at joking at the end.
Not as crisp and clear as some of the other commercials, but fans of funny voices, puppets and weird-looking dudes will love this one.
74. Paul Konerko
White Sox slugger Paul Konerko muses on the weirdness of certain sports-related phenomena.
His wonderings aren't all that deep, but both he and Tim Hudson give quality understated performances.
The goofy visual of various mascots and Scott Van Pelt prancing around the maypole is worth a few giggles on its own.
73. Alexi Lalas
A friendly game of foosball between American soccer players and SportsCenter anchors turns awkward when Kenny Mayne scores a goal and goes on an extended celebration.
I wonder how many takes it took before he went into that slide that perfectly.
This is from when Alexi Lalas had a beautiful beard and Kenny Mayne was on TV more often.
72. Tiger Woods
Stuart Scott and Tiger Woods see each other in the hallway and make lunch plans. His gallery follows behind and clogs up the office.
An abundance of Tiger Woods sex scandal jokes are waiting to be made here.
Minimal lines and a singular joke still manage a humorous offering here.
71. Running of the Brats
Line of the Ad: "Is it fun? No."
In the tradition of Pamplona’s running of the bulls, SportsCenter has its own tradition.
This commercial stars one of the best sports mascots, the Milwaukee Brewers' Brats.
Hard to lose when you use mascots, especially when the mascots are as goofy-looking as the Brats.
A few questions do arise, though. What happens if they catch you? Why are there people running behind the Brats?
70. Perfect Show
Dan Patrick is in the midst of the rare perfect show. Can he make it and join Charley Steiner and Bob Levy in SportsCenter history?
All he has to do is close it out.
Stuart Scott, Kenny Mayne and Dan Patrick all perform their roles perfectly. How funny is Mayne hiding in his jacket? Patrick's stunned face is stellar as well.
69. Milwaukee Brewers Brats
Line of the Ad: "That’s sick."
The Brats break from being the Milwaukee Brewers mascot to have lunch. Stuart Scott lends them a hand seeing as they don't speak.
Who knew cannibalism could be so funny?
This is the second SportsCenter commercial appearance for the Brats and the clear winner of the two.
68. Anchor Cam
You have to give it to SportsCenter for always willing to try new things, even if they are abject failures.
The anchor cam seems like a bad idea and in fact is a very bad idea.
While I don't think they reached the potential of this ad idea, it still gets enough laughs to land in the Top 75.
67. Sweeps Week
SportsCenter admits that during Sweeps Week, they're willing to try anything to get ratings—as long as it falls in the boundaries of good taste and journalistic integrity, of course.
A number of attention-grabbing ideas fill the ad. Some of these range from ridiculous (Rebecca Lobo in a death match) to not bad (blond twins reading the scores), and all are pretty entertaining.
That giant dancing microphone looks pretty darn fun.
Pittsburgh's favorite penguin, Iceburgh, wants the SportsCenter office to be cooler. N.J. Devil has a much hotter preferred temperature.
Nobody heeds the "Do Not Touch" sign.
The quietest commercial on this list and one of the most subtle still provides at the very least a healthy chuckle.
65. LeBron James
Scott Van Pelt has clearly swiped LeBron James' chair.
Why the much larger LeBron doesn’t just snatch his gaudy throne back is baffling. It's probably the same reason he lies down in the playoffs.
For playing such a great chair-stealing weasel, Van Pelt gets top grades.
64. Oregon Duck
The Oregon mascot pines for the simple life, the quiet pond, the beauty of nature and very little chance of carpal tunnel.
Placing his office right in front of the lake is kind of cruel.
This is a perfect conveyance of how most of us feel every day—except that we probably make fewer mistakes when typing than someone with mitts that size.
The commercial features one of the best dramatic sighs in the history of television.
63. Shaquille O'Neal
A (big) cat is stuck in the tree. ESPN security guard the Big Diesel comes to the rescue.
I'm curious if VitaminWater paid to have its product shoved into the ad.
My favorite moment that may get missed the first time is when John Buccigross pats Shaq on the back and Shaq just stares him down.
62. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Line of the Ad: "Are you sure you have to do all this for a screen saver?"
John Anderson needed some help with his computer. He enlisted the help of Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Dale takes it upon himself to go above and beyond and make some unneeded improvements.
This is the second time John Anderson has asked him for help with less than satisfactory results.
61. Josh Hamilton
Mr. Met is peeved with Josh Hamilton of the Texas Rangers. Apparently Hamilton has been beating up Mr. Met's cousins with a baseball bat.
The baseball-headed mascot is already upset that his team stinks way too often. He doesn't need much to set him off.
I like how Hamilton looks ready to throw down if need be.
Line of the Ad: "Who's beautiful? You're beautiful."
The anchors spruce themselves up now that SportsCenter airs in high definition.
While most of the jokes are okay, Jay Harris' performance at the end is stellar. His smooth delivery highlights a great commercial.
59. Andy Roddick
Andy Roddick wants to know why people are not calling him by his nickname. Unfortunately, he shares the nickname with one of the most famous baseball players in the world.
Roddick performs better here than he does at most tennis tournaments.
Stuart Scott strikes a perfect "See!" face at the end. Mike Greenberg's talents are not used on this one, as he just sits there.
58. Ben Roethlisberger
Line of the Ad: "You think he knows it's just a drill?"
The ESPN offices are having a fire drill. Scott Van Pelt and Stuart Scott wait outside until they can go back in. The Steelers' Big Ben is taking things a little too seriously.
Putting Ragnar the Viking in the background is a nice touch.
57. Kobe Bryant and Keyshawn Johnson
Line of the Ad: "Cruddy went out with Ward Cleaver."
The SportsCenter guys give two rookies tips on having the right attitude in their respective sports. Looking back, it seems that both Keyshawn and Kobe took these lessons to heart.
Stuart Scott kills it in all three, spazzing out beautifully.
56. N.J. Devil
Jay Harris hops on the ESPN elevator. The N.J. Devil is already on it. Harris has second thoughts once he sees where the mischievous mascot is going.
The second and better New Jersey Devil SportsCenter commercial makes full use of the devil joke.
Seeing Harris squirt out of that elevator with that look on his face is priceless.
55. Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen (Boston 3 Party)
The Boston Celtics' Big Three try to come up with a nickname for themselves. It needs to be original, clever and specific to Boston. Going to Scott Van Pelt was a great idea.
Seeing these big fellas doing the Three Amigos dance is pretty dang funny on its own. Throw in some silly puns, and we have ourselves a choice commercial.
54. Wayne Gretzky
Line of the Ad: "They didn’t call him the very good one."
Hockey legend Wayne Gretzky tries to whip the SportsCenter anchors into shape. He wants them to hustle more and makes sure all the details are executed perfectly.
All S's must be crisp.
Steve Levy's straight-faced narration really elevates the humor here.
53. Steve Smith
Steve Smith is fast. Kenny Mayne is struggling to find the right word to describe the Carolina wideout's speed.
Not a lot of witty lines here—just one fine joke.
Unanswered question No. 1: "Doesn’t Kenny Mayne have spell check on his computer?"
Unanswered question No. 2: "Why is Steve Smith just hanging out by the door?"
52. Ray Allen, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett
Line of the Ad: "Embarrassing."
The Big Three from the Celtics get teased about their matching outfits.
The other commercial with these guys lets them show off their comic skills, but here Jay Harris and Steve Levy team up again to deliver another gem.
The fun they're having on-set is infectious.
51. Jimmie Johnson
NASCAR superstar Jimmie Johnson is not happy with the SportsCenter parking lot. He embarks on a plan to make it far more palatable for his driving style.
Starting with Johnson out of frame and having only the sound of his work first gets your curiosity going.
They don't try to ruin the joke by explaining it or throwing in some corny line. A minimalist approach to comedy works wonderfully.
50. Larry Fitzgerald
While walking with Jay Harris, Cardinals wide receiver, Larry Fitzgerald casually catches anything and everything that comes his way. The best hands in the NFL are put to the test.
Note to Harris: Your hair looks fine. Stop worrying.
Nicely paced, as the items Larry has to catch get more and more difficult as he goes on. Found myself listening to Harris' story the first time around, which is not terribly exciting. Of course, it's just background for the visual humor.
49. Adrian Peterson and Viking Assistant
Line of the Ad: "He'll be with you when he's with you."
Vikings star Adrian Peterson has a lot on his plate. That's why SportsCenter hired Ragnar the Viking as his assistant.
He can help All Day pick out a gift for his mother and decide between vanity license plates.
Putting the glasses on the Viking is a perfect, subtle addition. Stellar performance by Ragnar.
48. David Ortiz Handshakes
Big Papi is a nice guy. John Buccigross brings his family to the studios, and Ortiz takes time to meet and greet with that trademark smile.
I understand Mr. Buccigross not expecting the wet handshake, but why does Mary Buccigross not do like her daughter and pull away?
Ortiz is charming as always despite the spittle-soaked hands.
47. The Closer
All anchors strive to have a complete show. Kenny Mayne is running out of gas. He's going to have to get pulled.
SportsCenter is forced to bring in a closer. Luckily they have Trevor Hoffman in the bullpen.
Excellent funny faces from Dan Patrick.
46. Hip Hip Jorge
Jorge Posada walks down the ESPN hallways. Everyone he passes decides to deliver an impromptu cheer.
Someone should suggest to management that they put a few hangings on the wall. It looks like a hospital.
Posada's annoyed face is decent, but most of the humor of this ad comes from the goofy premise.
Line of the Ad: "When’s the last time your hair actually moved, like 1977?"
This one answers the age-old question of what the anchors say to each other when the show's done and the music goes on.
It's amazing how well they can keep smiling while insulting each other.
Though it features two pairs of anchors, Keith Olbermann and Dan Patrick steal the show.
44. Josh Hamilton
Jay Harris has been in a typing slump lately. He's enlisted the help of Texas Rangers slugger Josh Hamilton.
He sees results in his typing speed right away.
Harris seems so serious and focused and delivers his silly line supremely straight-faced.
43. Brian Wilson
Jay Harris and Josh Elliott don't understand why hitters find San Francisco Giants closer Brian Wilson's intimidation face so effective. After all, it's just a beard.
He decides to show them the full power of the beard.
This is definitely the most special effects used in any SportsCenter commercial. Having the anchors' ties windblown is a nice touch.
42. Chad Ochocinco
Line of the Ad: "Sizzling bacon action!”
Mr. Ochocinco needs help coming up new touchdown dances. The SportsCenter guys throw in their ideas.
I can definitely see him trying to pull that last one off—but probably not now that he's with New England.
Insert your favorite Chad Ochocinco past his prime joke here.
41. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
John Anderson needs directions. Luckily, the always helpful Dale Earnhardt Jr. is nearby.
Dale goes to the trouble of not only giving him detailed directions, but also drawing an all-too-familiar map.
Anderson's shuffling and annoyance is spot-on. His defeated look is mighty convincing.
40. Shaun White
Line of the Ad: "It was loud."
Somebody is skateboarding in the ESPN stairwell. It couldn't be snowboarding champion Shaun White, could it?
He is carrying a skateboard and wearing a helmet, but he says it he didn’t do it. He heard the noise too.
The awkward stare-down is milked for maximum comedy. Vince Doria is not in nearly enough of these commercials.
39. Gordie Howe
Line of the Ad: "In the old days, we had respect for...some."
NHL Hall of Famer Gordie Howe shows Keith Olbermann a thing or two about the way hockey used to be played.
Is it funnier to see an old man beat up on a guy or to see Olbermann unable to stop cracking up the whole time?
When ESPN expanded by adding ESPN Deportes, an expansion draft was held to determine who the new network would take.
The lucky draw was John Anderson.
This ad has a funny concept, but what solidifies it as one of the best is Anderson's goofy, confused face at the end. It is one of the best one-word performances ever.
37. Warm-Up Suits
SportsCenter commercials allow the viewer behind-the-scenes access. Take, for instance, seeing Stuart Scott and Scott Van Pelt tear off their warm-up suits before they go on-air.
What a treat to see Stuart get psyched up, see the two of them do an exploding fist bump and hear that Velcro tear.
Unfortunately, the quality of the video is low. Regardless, it had to be included, as it is certainly one of the cleverest ads SportsCenter has done.
36. Evander Holyfield
Line of the Ad: "Charley, come on out and get your whupping."
When you write something negative about an athlete, you may have to deal with them retaliating.
Evander Holyfield takes offense to an anchor's comments.
The Georgia Tech mascot gets pushed around and makes an odd chew toy sound.
Holyfield also did a commercial where he ran a kids center, but this is far better, powered by some funny lines.
35. Maria Sharapova
Stuart Scott tries a classic prank on Maria Sharapova, but she's a bit too smart to fall for it.
Both actors have some surprisingly convincing acting. Scott's fake laughing is equally funny and annoying.
Also comes in a Roger Federer edition.
34. Lance Armstrong
Line of the Ad: "Can I get you an energy bar?"
Dan Patrick is working late at the SportsCenter office when the lights go out. What, did Lance Armstrong stop cycling? Come on!
As prickly a personality as Armstrong is, I'm surprised he’s so submissive here.
A totally unexpected ending cements this ad as one of the best.
33. Manny Ramirez
Line of the Ad: "What does that even mean?"
The enigma that is Manny Ramirez is reading the paper, but you never know what he'll do, so Jay Harris and Steve Levy watch and find out.
It cracks me up every time I see those guys laughing at the end. This is incredibly funny, especially considering that most of the ad is spent with the viewer watching and waiting for something to happen.
The unexpected payoff is so satisfying.
32. Tim Lincecum
Line of the Ad: "Franchise, that's arrogant."
San Francisco ace Tim Lincecum is far better at pitching strikes than recording a message for his voice mail. How should he refer to himself? How about big-time Timmy Jim?
The pitcher with the greatest (worst?) hair in baseball has good comic timing. Not sure why Lincecum has so many DVDs on his desk, though.
Also, is the box of Chocolate Sugar Bombs cereal on his desk a reference to Calvin and Hobbes? If so, well done.
31. Albert Pujols
Line of the Ad: "Why didn't you eliminate them, Albert?"
Albert Pujols has earned the nickname "The Machine" by being so consistent. A couple of the anchors rib him about the name.
He is not amused.
The Terminator-style point of view makes this so much funnier. And how awesome is it that the copier is a less cool version of Kit?
30. Carmelo Anthony (Headband)
Line of the Ad: "Mispronounced Yassukovich."
Scott Van Belt borrowed Carmelo Anthony's headband for a tough SportsCenter show.
When Carmelo throws away the headband and the pencil he used to push it off his desk, he glances up to make sure Van Pelt isn't watching. Say what you want about him, but Carmelo cares about people's feelings.
Line of the Ad: "Unhand me, rapscallion."
Scott Van Pelt's reporting has been fantastic lately. His vocabulary has been nothing less than resplendent. As the authorities try to discover if he is using performance enhancers, will their inquisition prove fruitless?
A bold move making fun of steroids and PEDs pays off. Van Pelt impresses once again.
28. Matt Ryan
Josh Elliott has forgotten the network password. Luckily, Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan is passing by.
Wait, was that "trips right, flip empty, scat, 2-22" or "trips right, flip empty, scat, 3-22?"
Elliott's exasperated posture halfway into the password might not get noticed on the first viewing, but it really adds a subtle comedic punch.
27. Drew Brees
Line of the Ad: "The gate is narrow!"
A traffic jam has developed at the entrance of the ESPN offices. A Mardi Gras float, a narrow gate and Drew Brees all share some of the blame.
How much does Miami wish it had signed him and had him do some Miami-themed commercials before winning a Super Bowl?
26. Tony Romo
If Tony Romo continues to falter in big games, he can at least take comfort in the fact that he'd be great as a secretary in the SportsCenter office.
He uses his quarterback wristband to do basic administrative tasks to our delight.
25. Michael Phelps
Line of the Ad: "What is it with the computers here?"
Michael Phelps can't seem to find a computer that works in the office. Technology can be so frustrating.
Phelps' frustrated face is priceless. Also enjoyable was Stuart Scott’s physical humor at the end.
Line of the Ad: "If you would like to see Teddy, the rollerskating cockatoo, dunk a basketball..."
User-generated content is what's hot, so SportsCenter is rolling with that trend and having viewers vote on who reads the highlights or dunks a basketball.
Jay Harris' line is funny on its own, but the ending visual with no music or narration is perfect. Where does one get a rollerskating cockatoo?
23. David Ortiz and Jorge Posada
Jorge Posada's cap grabs the attention of David Ortiz. It apparently looks like it just came out of the box.
"You gotta break this thing in," Ortiz says.
Beautiful use of mascots, the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry and Big Papi's charisma.
22. Alex Ovechkin
Line of the Ad: "Just late-night filings."
Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals is rummaging through files in the SportsCenter office. He couldn't be doing something dastardly, could he?
Ha, ha, ha. Of course not.
Ovechkin is brilliant. His face goes from smiling to sinister in an instant. He's done other commercials as well and has great comic timing. Plus, I think most of us dig the accent.
Line of the Ad: "Friggin' Texas."
Dan Patrick and Rich Eisen have just wrapped up another edition of SportsCenter and now await their scores from the judges.
Patrick is not pleased.
What's great about this is they don't explain at the beginning that the anchors get scored like gymnasts, but the ad just rolls right ahead with it, popping up state flags and numerical scores.
20. Spinal Tap
Line of the Ad: "Let’s all go bloody curling.”
You may have wondered where the SportsCenter theme song came from, but not many of us would have guessed that David St. Hubbins of Spinal Tap was responsible.
Luckily for us, the catchy, memorable tune sprang forth from his forehead at some point. A nice touch that Hubbins doesn't know what it's called when "the bloke goes across the line."
This is the best performance of someone not involved in sports on this list.
19. Big Buddies
Line of the Ad: "What are you doing shooting?"
A predecessor to Peyton Manning's classic United Way SNL skit, the SportsCenter anchors try to give back by playing some B-ball with kids.
Their parents signed a permission slip, so they should stop crying.
Stuart Scott has a tour-de-force performance. Not only does he have some of the best lines of the ad, he also has a hilarious rejection on a kid going to the rim.
Wrestlers believe they aren't getting enough respect from SportsCenter, and they go about getting it the only way they know how—knocking heads around.
The Undertaker, Shawn Michaels, Kevin Nash and others invade the ESPN offices. King Kong Bundy gives the best performance of his career.
Dan Patrick's frightened rambling at the end is the icing on the cake.
17. Georges St. Pierre
John Anderson wants to borrow some sticky notes. All he has to do is step into UFC champ Georges St. Pierre’s cubicle/cage.
Go ahead, just step right in.
The visual of the cage cubicle and St. Pierre's subtle turn into a defensive stance are perfectly done.
16. Derek Jeter
Someone has used Derek Jeter's razor, but no one will own up to it. While a great shortstop, Jeter is a terrible detective.
I like that the Philly Fanatic has a bit of a gangsta walk. He (it?) needs to be in more of these commercials.
15. Dwyane Wade
Line of the Ad: "You think we can add a couple more defenders with CGI?"
D-Wade works on one of his highlights with a frustrated editor.
T-Mobile must have been watching this one, seen Wade's natural presence on camera and seen dollar signs.
14. LeBron James, the Chosen One
LeBron has as much as trouble with the SportsCenter copy machine as he does with fourth quarters. A single line captures many people’s opinion of King James.
Some of these commercials become dated, but this one is even more timely than when it was first made. LeBron is certainly willing to make fun of himself.
13. George Mikan
Line of the Ad: "A real highlight in my estimation is a nice chest pass."
Laker legend and NBA Hall of Famer George Mikan stops by the offices to give his input on the show.
This was released during a stretch of similar commercials featuring an old star hassling the crew with his crotchetiness. Mikan's lines were great, and his performance is top-notch.
12. Old-Timers' Day
Line of the Ad: "Take that hat off, it's rude."
SportsCenter gives an "Old-Timers' Day" promotion a try.
Anything that pulls off a Honus Wagner joke gets extra points with me. Though lacking the star power of some of the other ads, this one is so overflowing with jokes that it begs to be watched several times in a row.
11. Jason Heyward
Line of the Ad: "Then more and more wood is cut into really thin slices with a super sharp blade."
The Braves' rising star Jason Heyward discusses with the guys how a bat is made. The Stanford mascot is not pleased.
The Stanford tree has its best performance, while Heyward's steady, serious delivery makes this one a winner.
10. International Editions
Line of the Ad: "Kenny Mayneski."
Before the creation of ESPN Deportes, the anchors apparently had to slip on some ponchos and speak Spanish poorly.
Though the overall joke here is kind of silly, its oddness and unexpectedness make it work. How often do you get to see Kenny Mayne clogging?
9. Steve Austin
Stone Cold Steve Austin has trouble staying focused while studying. He gets an assist from anchor Dan Patrick.
What could Stone Cold possibly be studying for? We'll never know.
It was a brilliant choice to select the Texas Rattlesnake for this commercial at the height of wrestling's popularity. I also give props to whoever taught Patrick to swing a chair. He looked pretty good delivering that chair shot.
8. Richard Simmons
Line of the Ad: Everything out of Richard Simmons' mouth.
The SportsCenter team hires a conditioning coach. Pass around the Sports Almanac, lift an imaginary phone for a few reps and you’ll be in great shape before you know it.
Simmons hasn't been culturally relevant in a while, but having this ad float around the Internet will keep him in our minds. His over-the-top energy makes for an incredibly funny commercial.
7. The Mannings
Peyton and Eli Manning apparently will always be children. They get each other's goat as they take a tour of the ESPN offices.
Was this perhaps the first wet willy shown on ESPN?
Peyton has shown time and time again that he can make a great commercial. In this commercial, Eli showcases his comedy skills as well. Their powers combine to earn a top-seven spot.
Line of the Ad: "Follow me to freedom."
What happens when SportsCenter runs a Y2K compliance test? Madness of varying hilarity ensues. Mark McGwire, the UConn Husky and Charley Steiner make appearances.
This spot is good enough to be No. 1. The only reason it's not is because the further we get away from the year 2000, the less funny Y2K jokes get. Regardless of the year, though, this is surely one of the best SportsCenter ads ever.
Line of the Ad: "I am the most popular player in all the land."
A behind-the-scenes look at how the SportsCenter anchors come up with the catchphrases they use on the air.
Seeing Ken Griffey Jr. and his gorgeous swing before his body fell apart on him puts a lump in my throat.
Kenny Mayne kills it here, goofiness and pinpoint delivery powering him through another classic performance.
4. Floyd Mayweather
Mayweather has set up a punching bag in a SportsCenter conference room. He's taped a photo of anchor Brian Kenny's face to the bag. Awkwardness begins to swell in the room.
Perhaps less funny to folks who took issue with how his fight with Victor Ortiz ended, the commercial is still undeniably hilarious.
Superb performances by both Money Mayweather and Brian Kenny.
3. Steve Irwin
Line of the Ad: "How many baseballers are doing that?"
The late Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin makes an appearance in the ESPN offices.
The iconic accent, the surprise (?) ending and the exuberance of the physical humor all combine for a classic "This is SportsCenter" spot.
Well done, Mr. Irwin. You are missed.
2. Jimmy Rollins
Line of the Ad: "It’s not good."
Scott Van Pelt is going through a slump and enlists the help of Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins. What's he doing wrong behind the desk?
Mr. Van Pelt is no stranger to being on the best of these commercials and exhibits crisp comic timing once again.
1. Scott Boras
Line of the Ad: "Shaz Bagl."
Agent Scott Boras' reputation for being an aggressive negotiator gets mined for comic gold. Apparently anchor Scott Van Pelt wants a number of perks in his new contract, including a sandwich named after him in the cafeteria.
"It will be called the Scott Van Melt."
In the confines of a 30-second commercial, a plethora of jokes are tucked in. Both Van Pelt and Boras deliver perfect performances.