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Off Channel: Van Pelt on Apple TV+ and Connelly on Showtime

ESPN personalities appear in pop culture frequently; here's the most recent examples

Life imitating art. Art imitating life. Whatever it is, and whatever the subsequent guest appearance on SVP from DC was, Scott Van Pelt’s star turn as himself in Apple TV+’s critically-acclaimed “Ted Lasso” (starring Jason Sudeikis) is a momentary shock to the viewer’s system.

“It’s always funny how people react to seeing something like that they aren’t expecting,” said Van Pelt, in between getting moved into his new DC-area spaces. “People were fired up about seeing me in the project. Jason’s character is hilarious and the entire premise really resonates with people.”

Chris Connelly on the music documentary he’s itching to see made and be interviewed for?:

“I once interviewed the guy who did “Come On, Eileen,”, Kevin Rowland of Dexys Midnight Runners; after the piece ran, he came up to me at a Saturday Night Live after-party. “I thought your feature was s—,” he told me. IT WAS A Q&A! So yeah, I’m totally bookable for that doc..

ESPN’s Chris Connelly also finds himself in a recent, popular offering. The former Rolling Stone contributor and MTV stalwart, Connelly is interviewed in Showtime’s “The Go-Gos.”

“I wrote a story about the Go-Go’s in 1984 for Rolling Stone,” Connelly said. “And while I don’t recommend re-reading your own work from 35-plus years ago, the experience remains a very happy memory for me.” 

Van Pelt said he and his SC production team did a couple of versions of his “breaking news” read regarding Sudeikis’s character.

“We let them chose whatever they wanted,” he said. “The most fun part of the process was the phone conversations with Jason, who is a fantastic guy and a huge sports fan. It was cool to be asked to contribute.”

Connelly’s Hollywood and musical ties make him a frequent target for film-makers who know they’ll get terrific anecdotes and insight.

“I am grateful for the long and generous memories of people who were watching back then, and who hope that I remember things they’d like to hear more about,” he said. “I guess you could say the affection people have for the music and movies of that era is sometimes extended to me.

“That said, the ethos of MTV was best explained, from the host position at the 1999 Video Music Awards, by Chris Rock: ‘Here today — gone later today.’ So. . .”

And just like the sports he now more frequently finds himself covering, there is even a Hall of Fame debate that rages around the Go-Gos.

“People who mention my participation in the film tend to comment on the last two words of my final soundbite,” Connelly said. “(It) is a plea that the Go-Go’s be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame; those last two words are: ‘C’mon. C’mon!’ So maybe I’ve finally found my catchphrase?”

Andy Hall contributed to this post

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