No one insists on brand synergy quite like large entertainment corporations, and that can lead to some very strange crossover content.
On Sunday, Animal Planet hosted the 19th annual Puppy Bowl, and with TNT now part of Warner Bros. Discovery, that meant they got the Inside the NBA crew to do a spot for it. For some reason, they chose to have them breakdown Puppy Bowl XIX as a serious sports competition, doing a straight-faced look at Team Fluff and Team Ruff — while Ernie Johnson tried to squeeze as many dog puns into 90 seconds as possible.
The problem with this plan is, despite being pre-taped, they couldn’t get all the way through it without Shaq laughing at how absurd it was, as he couldn’t help but start snickering as Charles Barkley discussed Team Fluff’s size, as they have a great dane puppy named Velma.
What are your game-day predictions?
The @NBAonTNT crew with @Shaq, Charles Barkley, @TurnerSportEJ, and @thejetontnt deliver their predictions as #PuppyBowl starts on @AnimalPlanet, @Discovery, and @TBSNetwork. Stream it on @HBOMax, and @discoveryplus. pic.twitter.com/836uFNOexn
— Animal Planet (@AnimalPlanet) February 12, 2023
To Shaq’s credit, he held it together long enough to do his read and for them to get through the promo, but I do wonder how many takes this took to get through because this was clearly the best one they had and Shaq was still laughing in it. I have to imagine there are dozens on the cutting room floor where Shaq couldn’t hold it together.