Bad Shows That Lasted Longer Than Barstool Van Talk

After just one episode, ESPN cancelled Barstool Van Talk, thus ending a controversial and short run in which Barstool Sports and ESPN collaborated to try to capitalize on the success and popularity of the acclaimed Pardon My Take podcast.
Barstool Van Talk‘s short run brought up the question: Which awful shows lasted longer?
Friend of The Open Man, @theryanwalsh asked the question on Twitter and we talked about them in a lengthy back and forth via Twitter DM.
This is a transcript of that conversation.


Walsh: This is a free-flowing conversation that may touch on mature subjects. it’s important the people know that.
Walsh: I think people are obviously familiar with the Cavemen commercials. It was a Geico ad campaign that was really good initially
Ruttig: This is definitely a show that made sense at the time to try to cash in on everyone liking or tolerating the commercials.
Walsh: 100%.
Walsh: But when they made the show it was like they didn’t involve the people who made the commercials.
Ruttig:  It tanked badly because nobody wants to watch the premise of a GEICO ad for 30 minutes
Walsh: It is commonly considered one of the worst TV shows of all time and was by far the most popular response to this question.
Ruttig: It is at least famous for sucking, but at the same time didn’t really suck memorably enough to get cult status.
Walsh: Cavemen was on ABC, which does not get enough credit for shit programming.
Ruttig: ABC has never been good. Even in the ’90s it was famous for being popular because it was more wholesome than NBC.
Walsh: They gave Tim Allen, a felon and convicted cocaine trafficker, a metric fuck-ton of money
Ruttig: Conservative icon Tim Allen moved Jay-Z levels of cocaine. People forget this.


Walsh: Cop Rock is an older show, are you familiar with it?
Ruttig: I only know Cop Rock because of CNN’s The Nineties. It is that show that is a musical NYPD Blue, which sounds like something you could only enjoy while stoned
Walsh: They should bring it back for 2017
Ruttig: We don’t like cops in 2017, Ryan.
Walsh: In the current cultural context it would be … interesting.
Ruttig: I don’t think you can sing about cops murdering unarmed people. Not very campy.
Walsh: I love to watch racial profiling set to music. SHOW TUNES.


Ruttig: Let’s make this clear: Friends is actually bad.
Walsh: Friends isnt that bad, there are lots of worse shows. it was not good enough to be as popular as it was.
Walsh: Friends, of course, detailed the dating lives of six white friends who lived in the West Village.
Ruttig: You will date at least one girl who insists that Friends is good and that relationship will be hell for you.
Walsh: Or guy.
Ruttig: If you see a Central Perk mug in a date’s cupboards, leave that relationship as soon as possible.
Walsh: What kind of drugs was Matthew Perry doing again?
Ruttig: I don’t know, but can we just say Joey is the original Young Sheldon and move on?

Walsh: Joey was the worst Friend.
Walsh: Chandler // Rachel // Monica // Phoebe // being mauled by wolves // Ross and Joey.
Ruttig: How u doin’ Walsh? How u doin’.

Walsh: I’m doing well now that Barstool Van Talk is gone. I like to see Dave Portnoy fail at things.
Ruttig: Speaking of insufferable Boston sports media moguls…


Walsh: Nice segue.
Ruttig: I have done this before, Walsh.
Walsh: Which I am embarrassed to admit I had to check to make sure it wasn’t spelled “segway”
Ruttig: Any Given Wednesday is the first of two Bill Simmons shows that appear on our list. It is incredible that Simmons refuses to go back to writing, which people really enjoyed.
Walsh: Or just podcasting full-time. I like to bag on Simmons but he’s good at that too.
Ruttig: Simmons is good despite being a dated gimmick.
Walsh: He has good ideas.
Ruttig: It is hard to appeal to young people as a sportswriter or podcast guy as you get older, which is why his show failed.
Walsh: Also, it’s hard to shift your podcast audience to TV. people consume podcasts on their own time which is the appeal of podcasting.
Ruttig: Wednesday is also a terrible time slot for a sports TV show.
Walsh: the name was terrible! Any Given Wednesday? You’re a writer with a team of writers and the best you can do is a gimmick of some cheesy cliche?
Ruttig: It is like that movie Bill Simmons referenced all the time on Page 2! Bill Simmons had to have a movie reference in the name of his TV show.
Walsh: I have one more point on AGW and it’s that Jimmy Donofrio made a hilarious cut of Simmons interview with Aaron Rodgers. I would like to embed it for the people:

Walsh: it shows why AGW was not especially good.


Ruttig: I feel Joe Buck Live would have done better in 2017. People are starting to warm up to Joe Buck.
Walsh: The people who hate Joe Buck HAAAATE Joe Buck.
Ruttig: His TV show – however – was not a translation of his talent in play-by-play.
Walsh: HBO decided to give Joe Buck a talk show. It went about as well as could be expected. 
Ruttig: HBO then immediately attempted the same thing with Bill Simmons.
Ruttig: Talk shows on HBO don’t go well unless they involve Bill Maher.
Walsh: You’ve seen the Artie Lange interview, right?
Ruttig: I think everyone has seen the Artie Lange interview, Walsh. It will also be linked because we are competent at creating content unless HBO has copyrighted it off of YouTube.

Walsh: If not, they should donate to The Open Man Patreon and then go watch it. 
(Editor’s Note: Subscribe to The Open Man Patreon, regardless.) 

Ruttig: I wonder how long the producer who booked Artie Lange lasted
Walsh: They’re the head of ABC probably. In entertainment you fail up.
Ruttig: Artie Lange also once said he would cut off both of his thumbs if Derek Jeter could win another World Series. True story.
Walsh: Bill Burr should be getting more of those bookings.
Ruttig: Perhaps Bill Burr will get HBO’s 27th attempt at a weekly sports talk show.


Ruttig: Stump The Schwab was actually good. This should not be on the list.
Walsh: I enjoyed Stump the Schwab, but a lot of people mentioned it. Another show that people mentioned was SC6 but that’s just Sports Center. I think the important thing to note is that people are generally stupid.
Ruttig: I am not a fan of SC6, but I can imagine the people who answered with SC6 are probably ray-cess. Definitely voted for Donald Trump at the very least.
Walsh: I think they were Barstool fans.
Ruttig: When ESPN does layoffs, they should do it via a Stump The Schwab elimination tournament. That would drive up ratings.
Walsh: Stump the Schwab was a trivia show that pitted contestants against ESPN’s head researcher whose nickname was just “the” and then his last name. ESPN should hire Clay Travis just to fire him. They are the best at firing people.
Ruttig: KKKlay TraviSS had an awful College Gameday show at FS1 that sadly was not mentioned because nobody cared.
Ruttig: An honorable mention also goes out to Playmakers, which the NFL allowed to exist on ESPN for awhile and longer than Barstool Van Talk.
Walsh: A dude broke his neck on Playmakers. that show was woke as hell
Ruttig: Playmakers was a good show. Which is why it is not on this list.


Ruttig: Jalen Rose is still on ESPN, right?
Walsh: He is, he’s on NBA Countdown and has a daily talk show that Bill Simmons created. The worst thing Bill Simmons did was think Jalen Rose was good on TV.
Ruttig: Jalen Rose loves to talk about how he robbed NBA teams of several tens of millions of dollars by not really trying. Zach Lowe was on this show, who did great NBA content for Grantland, this show was far better than Any Given Wednesday.
Walsh: Zach Lowe is not bad but he is overrated and also blocked me on twitter dot com for saying he had a bad opinion about football  (Full disclosure, no one actually mentioned this; I added it).
Ruttig: Walshy has a feud with the Grantland Basketball Hour.
Walsh: Bill Simmons is terrible on TV. He should get a sitcom on ABC where he’s the dad and has a hot wife and precocious children. He can call it “Everyone Hates Bill Simmons” and to be honest, I might actually watch that.

Ruttig: This sounds like a good show but I am pretty sure they wasted this premise on Jay Mohr one time.

(EDITOR’s NOTE: It was called “Gary Unmarried”)


Ruttig: Jalen Rose also gets his time slot back from Barstool Van Talk on ESPN2.
Walsh: this isnt the first one off Barstool TV show, didn’t they do a show on Comedy Central?
Ruttig: the comedy central show lasted more than one episode.
Walsh: I guess what I’m trying to ask is will something they do ever last more than one episode?
Ruttig: Barstool will definitely do something again that lasts more than one episode, probably on FS1. Big Cat and PFT will also end up back at ESPN one day.
Walsh: Could they go to FS1 after burning that bridge with Clay Travis?
Ruttig: You forget Clay tells everyone how he doesn’t work for FS1.
Walsh: I’m less confident in Barstool’s lasting sustainability. Their personalities are just … not good.
Ruttig: They did just get 88,000 people to watch a show at 1:00 AM live. Someone else is going to give them a chance considering FS1 gives Whitlock and The Big Lead Jason millions of dollars to get substantially lower ratings during the afternoon.
Walsh: But those brands aren’t as toxic. Like, when I think of Jason Whitlock i think “fat doofus,” which is not appealing to me but also not horribly offensive. I think if Barstool wants to expand, it’s going to have to split from Portnoy at some point.
Ruttig: There is no distancing yourself from the Barstool name that one segment of the audience will always think is offensive, Portnoy or not.
Walsh: He’s established a culture that’s not conducive to corporate America.
Ruttig: Big brands do advertise with Barstool already. They are offensive, but they do garner an audience and have advertiser relationships.
Walsh: I’ve been pretty open about my dislike for Barstool and for Dave Portnoy — who got cucked by a Soul Cycle instructor due to his sniveling impotence — for the readers.
Ruttig: At the end of the day, Barstool will produce another show somewhere and this cycle will continue.
Walsh: But not a cycle like the Soul Cycle where Dave Portnoy’s girlfriend had sex with another man. THESE ARE MY READERS