Tuesday, February 12, 2008

"Humpy Show" Lets Drivers Actually Talk


The idea of getting Humpy Wheeler involved in anything on TV that had to do with conversation was a good one. The fact that he could get one current and one past NASCAR driver to sit down and "just talk" is very special.

The one thing that has gone away from fans over the years is the ability to hear NASCAR personalities when they are not involved in "corporate speak." This is especially true of the younger generation of drivers who have literally been raised with as much education about public relations as they have about racing.

It would take a special person, and a special purpose, to snap these drivers out of the sponsor mode and return them to being just plain old folk. Perhaps, the best perscription would be to mix-in an older driver who does not have to toe the company line. Then, let Wheeler ask questions that put both generations on-the-spot.

Kurt Busch tried his best to look and sound mature, but that certainly was tough in the company of Buddy Baker. What Busch did well, however, was talk like a driver who had been through some rough times and was simply not going to take it any more.

Taped before the Daytona practice crash, Busch's words certainly seemed prophetic when he talked about when to stay calm after an incident, and when to retaliate. Hearing Buddy Baker agree, and then add-in his own personal views was very interesting. These two might have a bit more in common then most fans thought.

While this pilot episode was shot very tight and resulted in very large heads appearing on very large HD screens across the country, the production on a whole was solid. Simply letting the three men talk, filling-in the references with "B-roll" (footage) and using individual comments really told the tale.

In this world of electronic graphics, special effects, and seventy cameras at a NASCAR race this change of pace was nice. There were no sponsor duties to fulfill, no beverage to drink, no sunglasses to wear, and no new product to sell. Just some conversation and questions from a man with a right to ask them.

Since this program did not involve a lot of production issues, I think it would be important to get your opinion of this pilot episode of The Humpy Show. What did you like, what did you not like, and would you want to see more driver pairings like this presented in a one hour format?

Please leave us your comments on the program by clicking the COMMENTS button below and then following the simple instructions. The rules for posting are on the right side of the main page. There is nothing to join, and we do not want your email address. We just want your opinion of The Humpy Show.

33 comments:

Anonymous said...

I posted on the previous entry about The Humpy Show before this entry was posted. As I said before, This show reminded me of why I fell in love with NASCAR! I hope that this is going to be a weekly show. This is one that I will never miss. Even if it's a driver that I hate it will be worth sitting through. I couldn't stop laughing through most it. And to NASCAR, heed Humpy's words: "You don't want it to go over the edge, you don't want it to turn into a free for all, but you don't want to stifle all the emotion. That's what we're selling. People are buying tickets for drama, drama is rivalry, drama is wheel to wheel racing, and black marks on the side of the car and all that stuff. That's what it's all about. Without that you got nuthin'".

w17scott said...

Mr. Editor -
Good production values ...always a treat to have old-timers like Humpy and Buddy regale us with their stories ...True, Kurt wasn't in Buddy's league but nice touch having current star paired with a true player in NASCAR's past ...ironic indeed that Kurt was involved in a 'punch' incident prior to premiere episode of the show ...interesting though that you would show Ashley Force with Humpy in your pre-show comments ...l...wondered at first if I would find hour interesting (va. 20 mins), but seemed to flow well and worthwhile view ...look forward to future pairings

Anonymous said...

If this whole concept of more Nascar programming means more stuff like this then I can't wait to see what they roll out next. This show was a hard core fan's dream. Classic stories, classic footage and classic personalities. It was informative and entertaining at the same time. I just wish I could have pulled up a chair and a mason jar of shine with 'em. I could have listened for hours.

TexasRaceLady said...

Having had the privilege of sitting and talking with Buddy on several occasions, this show was a delight. Buddy was the perfect choice for the first show --- he has a million stories.

I even warmed up to Kurt --- for a while. LOL

And the potted meat and vienna sausages was a hoot! Good ole Southern staples.

SophiaZ123 said...

I posted on the other thread, I LOVED this show. Need more of this and the young clueless fans (that have no respect for the history) need to hear the old stories.

I could've done without the Humpy cam and just stuck with more talking but that's just a minor thing.

On my old fashioned 4:3 tv things looked FINE!

:-)

SPEED needs more quality shows like this one instead of the dreck of the last couple of years.

GREAT IDEA this show. I am so over the 'young guns'. I want to see the real deals that did it back in the day you had to really earn your way in.

Please make this a regular deal.

Karen said...

I thought this show was very clever and laughed the whole way through it. Almost watched it again, but it's getting late. The stories these veterans could tell us ... I loved it. Tasted white lightning before and it almost took my breath away. Was waiting for Kurt's reaction to it but he took it like a man.

JD, are there more to come on a weekly or an every-now-and-then basis? No wonder Humpy is so successful. A+ show.

Daly Planet Editor said...

karen, this was the pilot. That means if there is good viewer response, more get done.

JD

wickedj said...

i missed the show because i forgot it was on but whenever Humpy gets near a TV camera you know its going to be, to steal a worn out TV line, Must See TV

SallyB said...

This is what we need more of! Seeing one of the 'old' drivers with one of the 'new' ones was a perfect setup. Nice to see someone ready to acknowlege the tradition of racing and the drivers that helped make it so popular. Hupmy is the perfect middle man, and I hope they make this a staple of their coverage.

David said...

Loved the show. Hated the big yellow graphic over portions of their faces from time to time. On Screen graphic need not take away from the show.

WD said...

Great format.
Just a reminder that, despite their different background, different eras and in spite of NASCAR's continuous changes to accomodate the Corporate interest, Drivers are Racer's and that is why we love it.
The fact that Humpy was going to do the show, I was prepared for a fun and informative show, and was not dissapointed.
This will be a Must see show in my household if it continues.

And the "little taste of the mason jar squeezin's" really brought it back to the past.

IMABIGDAWG said...

I echo the sentiments of many here that having the old times up there is great. The more we all can learn (not just the new fans) about the sport we love, the better the sport will be.

I thought the pace was dragging a bit at times and I also thought Kurt looked a bit lost at times...but he is who he is.

I also thought the finishing toast was a neat touch. All in all it was yet another great show from SPEED.

IMA

Tripp said...

This was cool. As I commented on the other column, it's a good mix of the "now" and the "then". Buddy and Humpy told better stories than Kurt, but they have much more experience to draw from so it's to be expected. Plus, they are two of the best story tellers around.

Leave it to Humpy to stir the pot and find a new way to promote the sport. What an entertaining way it is. Let's hope that there are many more installments of "The Humpy Show"

Anonymous said...

What a great show! Very enjoyable...

I hate Kurt Busch and I still loved this show!

chase said...

What a thrill! I haven't felt this good watching a NASCAR SPEED program in a very long time (anything featuring AB notwithstanding). Humpy was fantastic - his demeanor, his questions, and his just plain letting the two guys talk was such a treat. Humpy has the right outlook and this is an excellent vehicle for drivers to be simply that: drivers with their own individual personalities and thoughts and ideas - scripted stuff is NOT good, especially in any sport. Emotions, feelings and thoughts run high and should be allowed to without restraint! You're good to go in my book Humpy! Thanks John - what a terrific show.

piggie zee said...

I really like the format---time to talk, tell stories. And the pairing of legend/young gun I think makes it work. I don't know how well it would work with someone in their first couple of years, but a younger driver and a retired driver is wonderful. It's especially nice to stay away from predictable: for example, if you're going to have Tony Stewart on, the legend to pair him with is NOT Foyt, it's been done too much.

Looking forward to seeing what's next!

Speedcouch said...

I thought this show was probably the best NASCAR program since Beyond the Wheel was cancelled! I certainly hope SPEED picks it up full-time. Much better than more silly panel shows like Trading Paint or Trackside.

Excellent to hear Humpy lead the discussions between Baker and Busch. Both seemed relaxed and geniune and made for enjoyable TV. SPEED needs more of this instead of all these shows featuring obnoxious fans trying to get on TV.

GinaV24 said...

I have to admit that when I saw Kurt Busch I almost turned it off. I decided though to see what was going on and I enjoyed the show although it was an effort for me to sit through Kurt's stuff. Sorry, folks, i just don't like the guy. I did like the show and hope to see more of this kind of programming. It's the kind of things that keep NASCAR fans interested and Humpy is a great promoter -- I swear he channels PT Barnum some days.

Zippy said...

Loved the show and made a point to watch it last night even if Kurt Busch was on it (can't stand him, but love Buddy!). It's what us old-time race fans have been wanting... more of the heart and soul of the sport than this Hollywood crap the networks have been giving us.

Hope SPEED makes it a regular in their lineup 'cause if they do I'll be watching every week!

Boyd said...

Great show. Loved the contrast between retired and newer driver. The interesting thing that no one else has brought up is that both are current/former employees of Penske Racing. I've heard Buddy talking about working with Ryan Newman and others on Sirius radio. Do you think the familiarity with each other helped the chemistry on the show?

Anonymous said...

I'm not a Kurt Busch fan but I enjoyed listening to him last night. Buddy and Humpy are always entertaining. I enjoyed the format of the show and am glad it was an hour long...30 minutes just wouldn't be long enough for an entertaining show like this. I can't wait for the next episode.

Anonymous said...

That show was WONDERFUL!

I'm a fan of Kurt's and only marginally familiar with Buddy Baker (via one book chapter and other fan's stories), and it was great to get to see a favorite of mine and a guy who, by the end of the show, had convinced me that if I'd watched Nascar then I might have enjoyed rooting for him.

I can't wait to see more of these shows so I can see more of drivers I know and learn more about drivers I never saw race.

Anonymous said...

Simply a treat.
I watched it "live" last night, and the replay again today. Simply a wonderful show that I hope continues for years.

I'm not sure about the text/music roll in to each story, seems like they could have done without it. The Humpy cam gave it that behind the scenes feel, but don't think it was needed. Very minor things, not that distracting, but could have gave us another minute of a great story.

Anonymous said...

Loved this show! Hope it continues. NASCAR needs more shows like this. Laughed alot through this show. Wonder who will be on the next show?

Anonymous said...

The show was great, especially the "past and present" mix. We'll watch all you can bring.

yankeegranny said...

FANTASTIC. There is nothing to be said. Can't wait for the next one.

Anonymous said...

LOVED IT!!!! I am a huge fan of Humpy Wheeler and have been for years....I guess I am a Humpy groupie! The show was funny and interesting. I waited on Kurt to show something when he drank the shine but good for him for holding his own...I think Buddy and Humpy were waiting on him...Certainly hope they keep it on...

Anonymous said...

YES! FINALLY, something on SPEED that isn't slick and aimed for the "Fast & Furious" crowd! GIVE ME MORE!!

Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed the show. Great concept, something old (sorry Buddy), something new(er) and all pulled together by Humpy. Given Humpy's past, I knew this would be an improvment on most of the Speed Network fare (read that Pinks - what a total waste of time), and I was not dissapointed. Many of us have been waiting for a format that allows the drivers to get out from under the 'corporate image' and be more themselves. The Humpy Show allows this to happen. I will be anxiously waiting for more 'Humpy'.

Newracefan said...

I loved this show so much I stopped multitasking so I could give it my full attention. Speed please make this a regular event. The mix of then and now or the more things change the more they stay the same really works.

Anonymous said...

I, too, had second thoughts when I saw Kurt's face but figured ... oh, what the heck. Loved Kurt's story about Dale Sr. handing out his version of "pay back" when Kurt spun out Jr. Hilarious! Obviously Kurt has a short memory.

How about Tony Stewart as the next guest with Humpy and Buddy? Tony will lay it out in a forthright manner and forget the "P-C" version. Can't wait for that show!

My only complaint ... the show needs to be an hour long. And a whole lot more of them.

Seek said...

I'm with everyone else. Excellent show! Humpy knows how to draw people's personalities out, and I like the PG-17 feel of things...what with the blatant references to the f-word and drinking moonshine on camera!

Classic exchange:

Busch: Bottom line, I finished 112 laps down.

Humpy: How many "F"s was that?

HA!

This show will be a staple in my living room if they choose to make more episodes.

Anonymous said...

Awesome Awesome Awesome show. I want more! I loved the whole idea of a veteran and a current driver. Speed, make it a staple on the network!