If Rob Riggle had his way at ESPN, you’d see him rubbing elbows with anchors Chris Fowler or Rece Davis on Saturdays.
“I would love to work at ESPN, on College GameDay. I think they have so much fun, and I’m a huge college sports fan,” said Riggle, an actor/comedian, and Kansas University grad who grew up in the backyard of the former NCAA headquarters in Overland Park, Kan.
“I’ll go anywhere. I love the show and love college athletics. Whatever you need.”
The challenge for Riggle will be finding some spare time to lend College GameDay his insights. He’s an in-demand character actor who seemingly has the Midas touch with movies.
With roles in The Hangover and The Other Guys, Riggle is currently the voice of the vile Mr. O’Hare in Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax, the animated film that grossed an estimated $70 million this past weekend.
He visited ESPN on Monday to promote 21 Jump Street, the big-screen remake of the former TV series. The movie premieres March 16.
In 21 Jump Street, Riggle portrays a high school gym teacher who encounters a pair of undercover cops posing as students.
“He’s your typical gym teacher-slash-track coach with a little extra spice on him,” Riggle said of the character. “A little more obnoxious than your average guy.”
Riggle visited First Take — see his views on Peyton Manning in the video above — and SportsNation, among other ESPN platforms. This marked his first visit to Bristol.
But the longtime Marine’s affection for — and connection to — ESPN is well-established.
“I have so little time for TV, but I love SportsCenter. I sit down, I watch the cycle, and once it starts to repeat I watch ESPN2,” Riggle said, chuckling.
A year ago, Riggle portrayed ESPN NFL analyst and radio host Mark Schlereth in a CBS sitcom pilot based on Schlereth’s life.
CBS did not pick up Home Game for its schedule, but Riggle made fast friends with the Schlereth family.
“I’ve done pilots before, but this was a good one. We had a great cast, a good story,” Riggle said. “All the elements were there.”
What quirks of Schlereth did Riggle pick up to enhance his portrayal?
“The ‘Stink,’ let’s be honest,” Riggle said, without going into detail.
If you’re a rabid fan of the Seattle Seahawks and Kansas City Chiefs, you probably have seen Riggle’s face and heard his voice. He’s featured on in-stadium video promos for each team, shouting encouragement.
Riggle is a friend of Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, and the comedian is a diehard Chiefs fan.
On Wednesday, Riggle is scheduled to throw out the opening pitch for a spring training game for his beloved Kansas City Royals and then treat the team to a screening of 21 Jump Street.
“I’m a sports fan and loyal to my teams, and wherever I think I can, I try to adopt teams,” said Riggle, who lives in Los Angeles.
“I’m in the process of adopting the Dodgers. I can’t go Angels, though, because they play the Royals. ”