For the first time in nearly a decade, Kenny Mayne will host SportsCenter from ESPN’s Connecticut studios tonight, the first step in some recent changes announced for the network’s signature news and information franchise.
Mayne, who in recent years has contributed to SportsCenter as a fill-in anchor on the 1 a.m. ET edition from Los Angeles as well as a feature reporter, will now anchor from Bristol on a regular basis. Since he joined ESPN in 1994, Mayne has been one of the network’s most popular figures, known for his offbeat style, dry humor, and unique sayings
Mayne’s return to Bristol is welcomed by his longtime friend John Anderson, who will co-anchor tonight’s 11 p.m. ET SportsCenter with him as well as Tuesday night’s program at 10:30 p.m.
“I have considerable experience with Kenny and I’m better for it,” said Anderson. “One, because he’s just great, and I love him.
“The other part is you learn a really valuable lesson about is that there’s nothing worse on television than a really, really funny guy, and someone who thinks they’re funny trying to keep up with him,” he said. “And so literally, every once in a while there might be something I can contribute but it’s like being in a heavyweight fight: If you decide you’re going to try and throw haymakers with him, you’re just going to lose and you’re going to look dumb doing it.”
Mayne last anchored SportsCenter from Bristol on a regular basis in 2008. Anderson said co-hosting many programs with Mayne taught him to do something he otherwise would never do.
“He’s the only anchor I know where I try to read his stuff beforehand,” he said. “Because otherwise there’s a chance I might not be able to function and do my job. If it just comes and hits me out of right field on the temple, then I’m no good, I’m just laughing – I’m just one more guy in the audience who’s just enjoying Kenny instead of doing my job.
“It still doesn’t prepare you for everything but at least it gives you some footing to begin with.”