Friday
Jan252013

Shaq Takes Center Stage In truTV Reality Comedy, 'Upload with Shaquille O'Neal'

By Barry Janoff

January 25, 2013: Shaquille O'Neal is no stranger to being in the spotlight.

He played for 19 seasons in the NBA, retiring in 2011 with four league championships and 15 All-Star Game appearances.

He has appeared in movies including Blue Chips, Steel and Kazaam. And he has hosted such reality TV shows as Shaquille (ESPN), Shaq's Big Challenge (ABC) and Shaq Vs. (ABC). Since retiring, he has been part of the on-air crew with the NBA on TNT's Inside the NBA.

Now comes O'Neal's latest venture: Upload with Shaquille O'Neal, which premieres on truTV Feb. 21.

The show's premise is Mystery Science Theater 3000 meets social media. O'Neal and two friends, comedians Gary Owen and Godfrey, "will scour the Internet looking for the funniest online videos and comment on them," according to the network.

In one segment, a young woman tries out some cheerleading moves in her bedroom. "Being a great cheerleader takes high energy, determination and brains," O'Neal offers. "This chick's got two out of three."

As the video rolls, we see the girl busting some moves, including hitting herself in the head with her knee, which immediately drops her to the floor. And gets O'Neal and his comrades busting out with laughter.

They will also make their own viral videos, pull pranks and create parodies of current pop culture stories, said truTV, a division of Time Warner's Turner Broadcasting.

In one segment, O'Neal hits the streets of Orlando offering an autographed basketball to anyone who can name five movies in which he has appeared.

"You've been in five movies?" replies one bewildered guy. "Actually, I've been in 13, but who's counting," Shaq replies.

Another person answers, "The Jeffersons," but Shaq quickly responds that he was not in that TV show.

One kid finally names five movies — Kazaam, Blue Chips, Steel, Scary Movie 4 and The Wash — and gets the prize and a big "Wow!" from O'Neal. But it turns out O'Neal was punked in the segment: A member of the crew was standing behind Shaq with a sign that listed the movies for the kid to read.

"You've been in five movies?" replies one bewildered guy. "Actually, I've been in 13, but who's counting," Shaq replies.

truTV has ordered ten episodes of Upload with Shaquille O'Neal. (See a preview here.)

O'Neal's four NBA championships included three with the Los Angeles Lakers (2000-02), where he was named NBA Finals MVP for all three championships, and one with the Miami Heat (2006). He began his pro career with the Orlando Magic and also played for the Phoenix Suns, Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics.

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