Whether it’s talking about cheerleaders at a Los Angeles Clippers game or the beauty of an actress on a movie he just watched, Bill Simmons has made it an objective over the years to fit as much heterosexuality into his products as he can. But, the next episode of Simmons’ HBO show, Any Given Wednesday, put all of that in the past as the lifelong Boston fan hosts…a sausage party.
In a statement released to media on Wednesday, HBO announced the following for the August 10 episode of the ESPN refugee’s program.
“ANY GIVEN WEDNESDAY WITH BILL SIMMONS, a weekly talk show hosted by one of the most influential figures in contemporary sports media, continues its 20-show season WEDNESDAY, AUG. 10 (10:00-10:30 p.m. ET/PT), followed by other new episodes subsequent Wednesdays at the same time, exclusively on HBO. Guests include actor Seth Rogen, former NFL running back Ricky Williams and journalist Rembert Browne…. Among the highlights from tonight’s show: Seth Rogen discusses making his latest movie Sausage Party, Ricky Williams and Rembert Browne discuss drugs in the NFL, Rogen and Williams discuss marijuana in a special ‘Weed Round’ and Bill addresses Personal Seat Licenses.”‘
Ricky Williams talking about weed? Yes, please!
HBO has also released a clip from the episode, specifically the “weed talk” between Williams and Rogen, on the show’s official YouTube channel.
After landing Caitlyn Jenner on the show last week in preparation for the start of the 2016 Rio Olympics, the decision by HBO and Simmons to feature Rogen on Any Given Wednesday is a brilliant tactic that should be able to bring in more of the “movie going but not religious sports fans” demographic. Having Rogen — who is at his best uncensored and unfiltered — getting to talk about a movie that features his wife, Lauren Miller, as a talking tampon should make for plenty of laughs on a show that has often tried to force them.
Sausage Party, which stars Rogen, Kristen Wiig, Jonah Hill, James Franco, and Paul Rudd among others, officially premieres on August 10 and tells the story of supermarket food — namely hot dogs and sausages — going on a journey to figure out why they exist and why the human race enjoys eating them. As with most Rogen films, the movie is rated R.
Unlike other Rogen movies, though, Sausage Party has done extremely well early on with reviewers as Rotten Tomatoes currently has the film at an 88 percent rating. Peter Travers of Rolling Stone gave the film a 3/4 score and said the following:
“Sausage Party shows us how we are what we eat, drink and buy into. All the products in Rogen’s market — the animation is killer — talk four-letter s–t but still believe in being purchased and taken to the Great Beyond, a grand illusion the film quickly shatters in scenes of carnage to rival Saving Private Ryan.”
As with other celebrities who have appeared on podcasts and shows with Simmons to promote a product, look for the interview to contain puff pieces, actual analysis from Rogen, and a large number of expletives issued from both. The odds of Simmons asking Rogen which matters more with a sausage, size or girth, currently stand at 2:1.
Williams, the 1998 Heisman Trophy winner for the Texas Longhorns, was drafted fifth overall by the New Orleans Saints in the 1999 NFL Draft but is much more known for his two stints with the Miami Dolphins (2002-05; 07-10). During his years with the Dolphins, Williams rushed for 6,435 yards and even was named a first-team All-Pro in 2002 after leading the league in rushing with 1,853 yards, the only time in his career he’d rush for over 1,400 yards in a season. Williams also played with the Baltimore Ravens in 2011, partnering with Ray Rice to provide a ground’n’pound offense that nearly put the Birds in the Super Bowl.
Despite a drug-test-fueled retirement in 2004 and a season-long suspension in 2006 due to another failed drug test, Williams remained a loved figure by Dolphin fans, especially after his 2007 return. In 2015, Williams was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame for his efforts with the Longhorns.
Rogen, who first rose to prominence on the failed NBC show Freaks and Geeks, is a two-time American Comedy Award winner who has starred in hits like The 40 Year Old Virgin, Knocked Up, Pineapple Express, Neighbors, and This Is The End. Most notably, Rogen and James Franco starred in 2014’s The Interview, which was pulled from theaters due to terrorist threats from both North Korea and the hacker group Guardians of Peace just days before its planned Christmas Day release. In addition to his work with Sausage Party, Rogen is serving as both a producer and writer on AMC’s Preacher.
A previous writer for Simmons’ Grantland website, Browne currently writes for New York Magazine and covered both the Republican and Democratic National Conventions this summer. With the two ex-Grantland writers appearing on an uncensored platform, expect a jab at ESPN here or there as the two converse about drugs.
Other HBO playdates for the show will include August 11 (10:30 a.m., 1:15 a.m.), 12 (1:50 p.m., 12:25 a.m.) and 14 (11:30 a.m.) while HBO2 playdates are currently scheduled for Aug. 10 (11:00 p.m.), 11 (2:00 p.m.) 13 (11:00 a.m.), 15 (1:45 a.m.) and 16 (11:30 p.m).
[Photo by Larry French/Getty Images]