Junesploitation 2022: BASEketball (1998)

June 24: Junesploitation’s topic of the day — as suggested by F This Movie— is lethal 90s comedy! We’re excited to tackle a different genre every day, so check back and see what’s next.

David Zucker made Airplane!Top Secret and The Naked Gun movies so we should really be forever forgiving everything he does, but he’s a pretty great person by all accounts, serving as a staunch environmentalist and ah, never mind, he made some Republican political ads and a video in which he attacked President Barack Obama for the Iran nuclear deal within a prescription drug ad. At least he wrote 11 updated verses to the song “The Ballad of Davy Crockett,” right?

He also made this, based on a game that he’d been playing forever that makes no sense — the players in the movie are the actual original players of the Zucker-driveway game, asked by the director to be in the movie — and that doesn’t matter because just like any of the Zucker movies, we’re here to see non-stop jokes, as well as Joe “Coop” Cooper and Doug Remer (Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the creators of South Park, who agreed to do BASEkeyball thinking that the cartoon would be canceled by the time filming was due to happen) act like idiots.

I think I cast this movie, as it features Ernest Borgnine as league money mark Ted Denslow, Robert Vaughn as the bad guy, Jenny McCarthy as his mistress (and Denslow’s widow) and Bob Costas, Al Michaels, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Dale Earnhardt, Reggie Jackson, Tim McCarver, Pat O’Brien, Dan Patrick and Robert Stack — appearing on Unsolved Mysteries — as themselves.

They made t-shirts of this movie! How did that happen?

Confession: Beyond loving this movie no matter how silly or outright dumb it gets, my brother and I grew up with hardly any other kids around us, so we’d invent games just like BASEketball. One was Street Tennis and whenever I watch this, I laugh because I remember just how complicated our rules were and we were the only two people who would ever play this game.

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