Wednesday, January 14, 2009

"Mr. Excitement" Returns To SPEED

The Wednesday edition of SPEED's Preseason Thunder served as the program to return the combo of Jimmy Spencer, Kenny Wallace and John Roberts to the airwaves for 2009.

Love them or hate them, "Johnny TV, Mr. Excitement and the Herminator" play to packed houses every racing weekend across the nation. The two-hour RaceDay franchise continues to be the defining program for the presentation of NASCAR on SPEED.

This was the first time in the new SPEED studios for Spencer and Wallace, who are not used to being contained in a studio setting. Their segment started with a typically lame RaceDay skit about Wallace being late to the taping. This might have worked in the two hour RaceDay format, but it wasted valuable time in this short thirty minute show.

"They didn't have nothing in the last ten races," said Spencer talking about Gibbs Racing. His notion is that JGR will be the story of the new season after their spectacular collapse in The Chase in 2008. Spencer in the studio is certainly a sight to see, but in all fairness he was not given enough time to address the various NASCAR topics in the news.

Wallace had a bit of a struggle putting his thoughts into words and often spoke in phrases. He praised Chad Knaus while suggesting Jimmie Johnson may repeat as champion because Knaus keeps a tight leash on the crew and maintains an "edgy" atmosphere.

SPEED cut even more time out of the duo's appearance by publicizing the ticket contest for the Daytona 500 where fans pick either Spencer or Wallace to sit with. In the current economic climate, it should be interesting to see how this "superstretch" promotion works out.

It was Bob Dillner who started the show with a report on Mark Martin's new situation with Hendrick Motorsports. Martin is not the best interview and repeated what fans have heard from him for many years. Dillner did update the other NASCAR news and has been a solid part of the show this week as the lone reporter.

Greg Biffle had the next segment alone with Roberts and it really could have used the spice of Spencer and Wallace. Biffle answered all the politically correct questions and plugged several of his personal charity promotions, but that is not the environment in which Roberts thrives.

Ray Dunlap will be the reporter on Thursday and fans will hear the first real TV update on the health of the Camping World Truck Series heading into Daytona. Roberts will also return to host the program. Since SPEED is the TV network of the truck series, lots of eyes will be on exactly what Dunlap has to say.

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Anonymous said...

'Mr. Excitement' returns to SPEED

Our loss.

All he does is shoot off his mouth and then contradict what he said first when the situation changes.

I absolutely loved it when he bashed Junior's sister Kelley on the air and then had to apologize several hours later.

Why SPEEED thinks this guy has any value as a TV talent is completely beyond me.

Anonymous said...

@anon 7:59--I think that's 'zactly why they have him. Someone has to get the fans riled up and that's what he does. Those who don't like him get riled up and that's what gets the buzz on the message boards going.

I don't think that RaceDay & VL would be the same without Jimmy. I think he adds a bit of edge to the shows that make them fun :)

I think that both Herman and Jimmy speak from the fans POV, but Jimmy is more harsh and forward in his comments. Herman says things that us fans think/post on the boards but is more PC about it. But there are times where he does make us back up that DVR/TiVo. And Jimmy doesn't know how to censor his thoughts. He says what's on his mind.

And Johnny TV tries to keep order :). And get his 2 cents in here and there.

I love the gang and I don't think that RD & VL would be the same without them.

Anonymous said...

I agree.

Anonymous said...

Love him or hate him?

I vote "hate him."

Vicky D said...

I would prefer Speed to replace Jimmy & Kenny, I'm happy with John. What Anon posted at 7:59 is what I think too that they both contradict themselves a lot. I don't normally watch this program.

Tom said...

I love controversey, and I don't even mind un-PC comments.....but Spencer (who I was a huge fan of years ago) is just plain ignorant. When he speaks his opinion rarely even feels like any thought is invoved in it. I make it a point not to watchy him, so sorry to Speed, but until the toupe goes away, any show with him gets a pass.

Inverness, FL

majorshouse said...

I am not a huge Spencer fan and have never been one, but he brings excitement and controversy and is not controlled by anyone and that is why I choose to listen to him. I think the fact that he is not PC is a breath of fresh air.

Anonymous said...

I think its all just to fluffy.

what the sport needs now, and what fans want to see, now is hard reporting about the state of the sport-without having to pass through the NASCAR propaganda filter.

We fear that SPEED/NASCAR are joined at the hip, so no chance of real journalism there. We are very tired of the "ha! ha! ha! television coverage

Anonymous said...

I can do without both Jimmy and Kenny. Their halting speech (probably because the producers are constantly in their ear), is just grating. Kenny who is Number Two when it comes to the self promotion machine. You can guess who Number One is...
The same old, tired routine, of the "Herminater", constantly hyping himself. And when he knows he is losing the audience, he ALWAYS inserts, "You know what Dale Earnhardt Senior told me one time...", just to make sure he keeps a "fan-base".
I used to like Jimmy Spencer for his candidness, yet NASCAR keeps a tight leash on him, as when he said that Brian France has no idea how to run the sport. Then two weeks later, Brian is a guest on Raceday, and Jmmy applauds him for the changes he has done to the Sport.
No thanks, three hours of Raceday is about two and a half hours too long.

Anonymous said...

I get defensive when non-Nascar people look down on Nascar racing and its fans. Spencer and Wallace do nothing to prove those critics wrong.Often, they are embarrassing to watch and to listen to. Gutsy Spencer waited until the morning of the Homestead race to call Junior's season a "failure". My only hope is that someday they refer to Rick Hendrick without adding an 's' to the end of his name!

Anonymous said...

Spencer brings nothing of value to the SPEED coverage.

His comments are frequently ill-informed and poorly reasoned.

In fact, his whole shtick comes across as being based on saying the most inflammatory things possible, whether they make sense or not, which is why he so often has to backtrack when he's proven wrong.

Just because you believe he's "not controlled by anyone" doesn't make his opinions worthwhile. And if you think SPEED lets anyone say anything they want, just ask Mr. Dunlap how that works.

Or, you could ask Mr. Excitement himself--after he shot off his mouth about Jr's sister, six hours later, there was Mr. "No One Tells Me What to Say," with his tail between his legs, apologizing on the air.

He's as "controlled" as anyone lse on SPEED.

Anonymous said...

This is another example of TV executives being ostriches.

Anonymous said...

There are so many better people who SPEED could hire than Spencer. What he deems controversial rarely is, He never comments on the real controversial issues as he is a NASCAR yes man, just like his partner Kenny W.

Anonymous said...

Jimmie Spencer is a throwback to the old school, "I'm not a racist just because I love to display my Confederate flag" fan base. The same fans who say that NASCAR should throw out all them "ferrin" cars.

As Anon 7:59 PM mentioned, I thought "what a dinosaur" when Spencer criticized Kelley Earnhardt for wanting to share her father and brother's fame because she chose to use the "Earnhardt" name. Someone ought to grab him by the shoulders and shake him. Wake up, it's 2009, not 1939.

Don't take away his job. He's funnier than Herman.

Anonymous said...

Time to replace JS and KW. This
show needs some intelligence.

Anonymous said...

I liked Spencer on the track in late models. But behind the mic he is just an empty vessel. It doesn't help that when paired with Wallace the two act like Beavis & Butthead.

I think the guys at SPEED keep Wallace/Spencer around because when they set up for a live show, the crowds cheer for them. What they don't realize is that you could put a monkey on that stage and the crowds would cheer for it if they thought they might be on TV cheering.

Come to think of it, they did have a monkey on the show last season... and the crowd cheered like mad. Enough said.

Anonymous said...

I hope that this show isn't an indicator that Hermie Sadler is out...? He is their best, after John Roberts.

Lisa Hogan said...

I enjoy John, Jimmy, and Kenny.

Anonymous said...

It is good to see that almost everyone agrees with me, for once.

Anonymous said...

I've been watching SPEED's "Preseason Thunder" all this week. In my opinion, the show kinda sucks. Ya' gotta crank the volume way, way up to be able to hear, and it looks like the Hosts and Guests had their makeup piled on with a trowel. On top of that, I haven't heard one newsworthy item as of yet. I like John Roberts. I can put up with Kenny Wallace. And I can take or leave Jimmy Spencer. I can also get along very well with out watching this baloney.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 7:13PM,

I completely lost it tonight with the McReynolds segment, the movie preview and the Dunlap interview.

There will be a column up for your comments about this situation shortly.

What a bad mistake to turn this one NASCAR TV program that is actually on the air to fluff.


Anonymous said...

I love Spencer and Wallace. Sure, Spencer has said some things that I may not have really cared for but he's a RACE FAN and that's what matters most to me. He and Kenny love the sport and they love the old drivers.

Sophia said...

this show is powder puff for sure.

I even forgot to turn it on and when I DID, John was interviewing some guy about a movie. What is this, entertainment tonight wannabe?

If they don't have real news, just put this show off a couple of weeks.

Oh, and somebody mentioned make up.
Well as a camera person (amateur) SOMEBODY needs to adjust the cameras on this show and the contrast and lighting or something.

The whites of the eyes on everybody appear to be 'glowing white' and their iris color exagerrated. Perhaps the way some people like excess color on digital cams and use VIVID color as opposed to other settings, somebody needs to tone DOWN the cameras.

Also way too many lights reflecting in EVERYBODY's eyes.

Not a fan of this over priced, overly busy, too many scenes in background moving set.

SHEESH. The things tv stations spend money on BOGGLES the mind.

I SHUDDER to think how they will ruin TWIN some more for us. :(

Just give me a solid studio, NEUTRAL background, oh, and TURN DOWN THE $^#&$^#&B music over video segments while the hosts are TALKING.

I will not be tuning into this show again. WHAT a disappointment.

If we could get F1 races online, TWIN, WT, and IRL races, we would dump DIGITAL.

I don't even have HD tv but the intensity of the lighting and grotesque eye appearances on EVERYBODY, is most disappointing.

Last season the guys all looked great on my tv. This year kind of scarey and it's not the does not make the whites of your eyes look like they are painted with White-out. :(

Oh, and often on the taped bits the lip sync is way off.


Cold & Cranky Sophia ;-0

Anonymous said...

"Often, they are embarrassing to watch and to listen to."

This is why I don't watch these morons anymore!

Anonymous said...

"Love them or hate them, "Johnny TV, Mr. Excitement and the Herminator" play to packed houses every racing weekend across the nation."

Of course they have large crowds; their stage is right next to the track, right before a race that seats 100,000 people!

Move their stage across the street and let's see how big the crowd is???

Anonymous said...

Spencer has said some things that I may not have really cared for but he's a RACE FAN and that's what matters most to me.
I know lots of race fans that aren't idiots who contradict themeselves and can think before they open their mouths.

Any of them would be better than Spencer.