NBA stars Blake Griffin and Chris Paul on their new Jordan Brand sketch comedy campaign
We all know that Blake Griffin and Chris Paul can combine to score points. But how good are they at scoring laughs together? The Los Angeles Clippers teammates’ assortment of individual commercials for Kia and State Farm — as well as this sketch from the ESPYs — show some promise. Their comedic skills will be put to the next test tonight, though, when they team up for BGCP3 TV in HD, a two-part sketch comedy “special” that airs on Adult Swim tonight at 12:12 a.m. ET. (The second five-minute episode can be seen next Thursday night.)
There are, of course, cautionary tales about NBA players hoping to make a splash in late-night TV. (See, or don’t see: The Magic Hour.) But at least these two guys with good hands are in good hands. Chappelle Show co-creator Neal Brennan co-wrote and co-created Jordan Brand’s “sketch comedy-inspired campaign,” which airs during commercial time—meaning that this is not Adult Swim programming; it is an unconventional way to promote their Nike shoe line. “I love basketball and I grew up with Michael Jordan,” Brennan tells EW, “so it’s like, ‘Would you mind shooting sketches and then putting the Jordan logo on the end of it?’ I’m like ‘Yeaaah, I’m happy to do that. Thank you.’ It’s cool.’” The vibe of BGCP3 TV in HD is Chappelle’s Show meets a bit of Eric Andre Show and hopefully the spirit of Jackass,” says Brennan, “even though no one’s getting hit in the nuts.”
The Clippers All-Stars were, however, subjected to working with children, a marching band, a horse, and a giant pig. “When I saw the script, I thought it was hilarious,” says Paul. “Obviously we’re together a whole lot, especially during the season and we always talk about each other’s commercials, so it’s cool that we’re actually both a part of the same brand. It came together naturally.” Adds Griffin: “It just seemed light and fun. You see a lot of athletes doing the shoe commercials—very serious, very ‘sports marketing’—but this is just a chance to relax and have fun and talk how we talk off the court.”
What kinds of rigorous comedy training did they go through? “We both watched Chappelle’s Show, a lot,” says Griffin, who, by the way, is friends with Brennan. (Brennan offers high praise for his pal: “He’s not a funny athlete—he’s an athletic comedian. He would, for real, be doing stand-up if he wasn’t a basketball player…. I knew Blake was going to be funny, but Chris is too.”) And when Griffin and Paul aren’t sinking baskets together, they’re landing punchlines in the locker room and on the team plane. But “unless they’re going to make a Kia with State Farm logos, we don’t really get a chance to do that together [on TV],” notes Paul. So, what’s next for the daring duo after this sketch experiment? Big-screen buddy comedy, perhaps? “Let’s just win a championship,” says Paul, “and then we can talk about it.” In the meantime, watch a trailer for BGCP3 TV in HD below.