After launching his website “The Ringer” this month, the influential Simmons debuted his weekly HBO television talk show Any Given Wednesday last night (June 22) at 10 p.m. EST. It included a little bit of everything, expecting to cover pop-culture topics in sports, technology, arts and entertainment. This type of show hasn’t really been seen before. The main feature is the two sit-downs Simmons has with different celebrities. The premiere featured conversations with NBA great Charles Barkley and actor Ben Affleck. The show will feature two new guests every week. Season one will contain 20 episodes.
Simmons graced the big screen at the start, staring deep into the teleprompter as he relayed his opinions on the NBA Finals. Revealing he even has LeBron in his top 3 players of all-time after his performance. Other skits included making fun of how Under Armour markets their biggest athlete, Steph Curry to fill up the rest of the half hour. Bill even gave them some tips on what commercials could work in the future, which was funny.
The first conversation, a sit down with the Chuckster, Charles Barkley. The conversation revolved around LeBron’s rank on the Mount Rushmore in the NBA. The Hall of Famer wouldn’t budge off his top 5 saying “My Top 5 never gon’ change.” (Michael Jordan, Oscar Roberston, Bill Russell, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Wilt Chamberlain). He has LeBron in the top 10 though, at around 8 or 9 with Magic, Bird, Jerry West and Elgin Baylor, but behind Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan for now. Chuck did pay some respect to LeBron, saying “It’s probably been the greatest career ever.” Classic Barkley.
Watch a clip from the conversation below.
Next, Bill spoke to actor, Ben Affleck. The Bostonian did not hold back as the conversation quickly turned to the saga known as “deflategate,” as Batman came to the defense of his friend, Tom Brady. Affleck was fired up, getting red in the face dropping 16 F-bombs throughout the conversation. It was pretty entertaining seeing an actor getting worked up like a diehard fan. He went after the league, calling it “the ultimate bullsh*t f**king outrage in sports.” Ben was so on edge there was speculation he was slurring words because he was drunk, which Simmons put to rest on Twitter this morning (June 23).
BTW – we taped AGW in the late-AM, Ben got fired up about DeflateGate during the convo, that’s it.
— Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons) June 23, 2016
Take a look at the tomato faced actor’s rant below.
Any Given Wednesday faced mixed reviews from critics after its debut episode.
#AnyGivenWednesday opens strong, proving it already has the one thing it needs to survive https://t.co/d5DEaCP5OK pic.twitter.com/mlwH8VIcXC
— IndieWire (@IndieWire) June 23, 2016
I was hoping for so much more from the new Bill Simmons show on HBO. https://t.co/32uMjxQXva
— evan grossman (@evan9rossman) June 23, 2016
Be sure to tune in next Wednesday (June 29) at 10 p.m. EST to check out the second episode of Any Given Wednesday to decide for yourself. The guests are yet to be announced.
Check out the whole first episode below if you missed out.
Great Job Bill!