Patrons at a Buffalo, N.Y.-area Tim Hortons recently discovered why the Buffalo Bills’ Stevie Johnson is a receiver – because he’s not so hot at giving (things like “Timbits” or tea).
Johnson went undercover as drive-thru window server “Drew Mcelvein” for a piece on yesterday’s Sunday NFL Countdown. Asking customers if they wanted cheese on items that clearly didn’t need cheese, quoting absurd prices, or telling patron’s that Canada’s largest fast food service had no coffee, Johnson left many Buffalonians, well, buffaloed.
“People were confused at first on how their order was being taken, and when some got around to the drive-thru window, they were not fond of the price quoted,” said associate producer Terrell Bouza. “Others still just wanted their orders, but Stevie would continue to joke with them — before finally revealing who he was. Overall, the reactions (captured on three hidden cameras) were really funny and people seemed to enjoy the interaction.”
Johnson a.k.a. Mcelvein first appeared in a Countdown-produced piece two seasons ago as a faux Toyota sales and leasing consultant. When Stevie’s marketing team reached out to coordinating producer Greg Jewell this time, the assignment went to Bouza, who devised gags for his drive-thru server.
“Along with my ideas, he did some improvisation depending on how customers were reacting, and his improv was really good and added to the piece,” Bouza said. “He was all-in when he showed up, took direction well, was extremely easy to work with, and has a very warm and inviting personality which helped sell the jokes really well.”
One scene viewers won’t see occurred when a fan of America’s Team walked into Canada’s largest quick service restaurant chain. The good-natured exchange between Buffalo’s wide receiver and the Cowboys’ fan wasn’t captured because the cameras were focused on the drive-thru window.
“We wanted to produce a fun piece that showed the kind of person Stevie Johnson is — a guy who loves to have fun and make people laugh,” Bouza said. “We expected to get a rise out of local Buffalo residents, and since many are regulars, they wouldn’t be expecting a star Bills wide receiver to take and hand them their orders, let alone joke around with them.
“As a producer on a unique piece like this you have no idea how your ‘talent’ will perform,” he said. “Or how people will respond to him, and all I had control over was the position of my cameras and microphones, and getting the Tim Hortons staff on board.”
By Dan Quinn
Bill Hofheimer and Kristen Hudak contributed to this post.
Some of what you might have missed over the weekend and what’s coming up from ESPN:
1. The BCS National Championship between No. 1 Florida State and No. 2 Auburn airs on ESPN on Monday, Jan. 6, 2014 at 8:30 p.m. ET.
— ESPN CollegeFootball (@ESPNCFB) December 9, 2013
2. Lisa Salters interviews Tony Romo for a conversation airing on Monday Night Countdown (6:30 p.m. ET, ESPN) leading into Cowboys-Bears on Monday Night Football (8:25 p.m.).
3. The Vitales met The Osmonds and it was awesome.
— Dick Vitale (@DickieV) December 7, 2013
4. Saturday’s thrilling MLS Cup on ESPN was also a very chilly MLS Cup.
— Tara Chozet (@TaraESPN) December 7, 2013
— Bryce Robinson (@busterbryce) December 8, 2013
5. When you work with a legend in this day and age, you tweet about it.
Getting to spend another Friday night with the legendary Hubie Brown. Calling Celtics/Nuggets right… http://t.co/KiorlSowsM
— Ryan Ruocco (@RyanRuocco) December 7, 2013
6. The Anchorman and the Broncos’ man.
— Erin Easter (@ErinEaster) December 7, 2013
7. Jay Crawford, SportsCenter anchor playing the role of Jay Crawford, proud papa.
— Jay Crawford (@jaycrawfordespn) December 7, 2013
8. And still a whole slew of bowl games to come.
— Rece Davis (@ESPN_ReceDavis) December 8, 2013
9. Another superb feature from Outside the Lines.
— Jesse Cassard (@JesseCassard) December 8, 2013
10. Reporter Quint Kessenich snapped a few shots of Toomer’s Corner, the morning after Auburn secured a spot in the BCS title game.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) December 8, 2013
11. Weather was a factor all over the sports world this weekend – none more humorously so than with Jayson Stark and Jerry Crasnick trying to get to MLB’s Winter Meetings in Orlando.
— Kevin Goldstein (@Kevin_Goldstein) December 8, 2013
— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) December 9, 2013