Above you see "The Best of Frank Caliendo" on FOX NFL Sunday in 2007. It includes Jay Leno and Dr. Phil impersonations, Def Leopard karaoke, Pamela Anderson jokes, and more Jay Leno impersonations. Because the only thing that could possibly be worse than actual Jay Leno jokes is Frank Caliendo impersonating Jay Leno and telling Jay Leno jokes.
AND NOW HE'S GONE.
Yes, we've known Caliendo wouldn't be back for a while, but now it's officially official. Really. There's a replacement and everything. From USA Today:
Fox will formally announce Monday that JohnMadden and JackNicholson— or at least comedian FrankCaliendo's repeated impersonations of them — will be leaving its top-rated NFL pregame show. Taking Caliendo's place: Rob Riggle.
"Nothing against Frank, we love Frank," says Fox producer Chris Pizzi. "But it's been nine years. We wanted something fresh. Rob is on the edge of becoming a huge star. We want to help him. And that helps our show too. Now, everybody just knows him as the guy in that movie."
Caliendo's impressions were pretty funny for the first year or so, but then they just kept popping up EVERYWHERE. Commercials, viral videos from family members, TV shows, and for some reason, Fox's NFL pregame show for the past decade. It's low-hanging fruit to hate on Caliendo, but still: Nothing makes me want to commit homicide quite like a bad Frank Caliendo segment. Mostly because I can't watch him without thinking about the millions of Americans who think it's all SO FUNNY.
I don't know if Rob Riggle will be that hilarious, but it's probably not his fault if he isn't. Network execs are so uptight and "standards" conscious that only the most obvious, least offensive material would be acceptable from anyone, so it pretty much guarantees we'll all roll our eyes regardless of who's telling the jokes. So, uh, good luck Rob Riggle!
He won't impersonate Dr. Phil or Jay Leno, so he's already a success.