Athletes being athletes on SNL 40

Forty years into his tenure as the boss of Saturday Night Live, Lorne Michaels continues to churn out a show that fans love for a few years, only to declare its impending death when a key cast member or two moves on to other projects. It’s in these troughs where Michaels always pulls out an SNL-inspired movie, an exciting new cast member, or an SNL 40-type special just in time, breathing new life into his middle-aged baby. Anything the man backs seems to succeed on some level regardless of where public SNL attitude rests at that time, so there’s no reason to think that the latest venture of his Broadway Video production company—a website dedicated to sports and comedy—won’t follow suit.

Variety reports that The Kicker is a site featuring “unique takes on daily sports news and humorous video content, along with top athletes and celebrities.” It launched today through Above Average, the digital arm of Michaels’ Broadway Video production company, and is headed by Bryan Tucker, co-head writer of SNL. Apparently the service includes Andy Samberg, Weird Al Yankovic, Kenan Thompson, J.B. Smoove, and Wyclef Jean as contributors so far, a nonrandom quintet of stars that surely gets together all the time just to catch up on the latest gossip like old friends.

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Already live on the site are a sampling of short Onion-esque articles and videos poking fun at various professional athletes and sports personalities. Should any doubt creep into your head about the quality of content and potential success of the venture, just remember Michaels recently partnered with Sohu.com Inc. to develop a Chinese SNL. If he believes he can make a funny product in a communist country, a satirical sports site should be easy.