The FOX NFL Sunday crew won’t have to face impersonations of themselves this fall.
FOX announced during halftime of Sunday’s 49ers-Broncos game that Rob Riggle will take Frank Caliendo’s place on the network’s weekly pre-game show, beginning with the first Sunday of the NFL regular season on Sept. 9.
Caliendo already told his fans via Twitter back on Aug. 2 that he wouldn’t be returning, writing: “To all my fans who’ve ben asking-I wont be back atFOX this season.I love those guys,but its time 4 my next venture #WillLetUKnowMoreWhenICan”
On Sunday night, meanwhile, Riggle wrote to his Twitter followers: “So excited to join the FOX NFL Sunday Show!!! I have no idea what we’re gonna do, but we’re gonna fun… I know that!”
Riggle hosted the ESPY Awards in July, and previously appeared in a series of fantasy football videos for ESPN.com in 2010. Here is a video he made for this summer’s ESPYs showing how he defeated his celebrity buddies, including several of his fellow Upright Citizen Brigade comedians, in fantasy football. Oh, and Tom Brady is in this. Roll it.
“Nothing against Frank, we love Frank,” FOX producer Chris Pizzi told USA Today. “But it’s been nine years. We wanted something fresh. Rob is on the edge of becoming a huge star. We want to help him. And that helps our show too. Now, everybody just knows him as the guy in that movie.”
For his part, Riggle told the newspaper that he certainly isn’t known for his celebrity impersonations: “I truly don’t know why they picked me.”
Riggle, 42, is both a military veteran (U.S. Marines), and a comedy veteran, trained at the UCB and rising up through the ranks to positions on the casts of Saturday Night Live and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. His film credits include 21 Jump Street, The Other Guys and The Hangover.
Riggle now joins Terry Bradshaw, Curt Menefee, Howie Long, Jimmy Johnson, Michael Strahan, and Jay Glazer on the pregame show where he’ll both star in comedy segments as well as compete with the panel in predicting each week’s winners on the field.