Feb 7, 2016 | Insights

We’re still a few hours away from kickoff, which means even more precious hours until halftime.

This year’s spectacle will feature the most popular band that no one seems to admit liking, the simpler man’s Radiohead, the vastly less charismatic U2… Of course we speak of the former Mr. Gwyneth Paltrow and what we guess are his bandmates, Coldplay. A band it’s nearly impossible to put in the same paragraph as the word “spectacle.”

Somehow, with Coldplay the featured act, an appearance is still planned by our queen, Miss Beyoncé. The most important person in the world.

We give the boys of C-play their due for having the guts to be upstaged in what we’re certain will be an unspeakably astounding fashion.

QUICK, name three people in this picture. Also, ex-spouses don’t count.

Anyway, we ran hashtag reports for both pop titans — as, in truth, BOTH are among the biggest acts in current popular music (Coldplay do sell out stadiums, even if you’ve never met someone who’s gone to one of their concerts) — to see if maybe we’re wrong, and it is Chris Martin who is our king, and not — as we’ve believed all this time — Jay-Z.

But those perhaps surprising insights will be coming in the postmortem, as we pick through the Super Bowl 50 ruins, and dazzle you with insights and perspectives you’d not even considered, in the coming days.

TODAY let’s dig into what we can. Pre-game stuff. COLOR. Fun stuff, and stuff you won’t find elsewhere.

Aspen is the site of an annual comedy festival — sort of a Sundance for the funny business — and that’s close enough to Denver for us. So, let’s see who these Broncos fans find funny. Without peeking, we’re betting it’s Joy Behar and Rita Rudner. Let’s see if we’re right?

#ComedianMultiple1Kenny Mayne14.932Frank Caliendo11.583Jay Leno7.034Larry The Cable Guy6.865Bill Engvall5.236Tim Allen5.217Jerry Seinfeld5.028Joe Rogan4.469Ron White4.4210Chris Rock4.1711Adam Carolla4.1412Johnny Knoxville4.1313Howie Mandel3.8814Kelly Dwyer3.6915Norm Macdonald3.53

We could not have been more wrong.

My goodness, what a sporty group of funnymen (and woman). All open sports fans, and many whose fame and/or acts revolve explicitly around sports in part or in whole. Kelly Dwyer is a sports writer, Joe Rogan a respected MMA ring announcer, etc.

Chris Rock I suppose seems the least sporty, but he’s of course a high profile, outspoken, and proud Knicks fan.

We know not from Larry the Cable guy’s act, and won’t assume it incorporates NASCAR material. But if YOU were to suggest as much, you’d get no argument from us.

All in all Broncos fans, you’ve confirmed again, that even when seeking other entertainment your minds are on the game. And Frank Caliendo’s John Madden may be played to death, but it is legitimately eerie.


But what of your southern rivals. When they want to unwind with a chuckle, to whom do they turn?

Kenny Mayne has demonstrated beyond doubt that when sports is your schtick — at least if you’re anything even vaguely resembling entertaining — sports fans will favor you in larger numbers. He is the king of both teams’ lists. A fact we suspect he himself might find pretty damned entertaining.

This guy? He’s a big deal with sports guys. Guys who like sports? They think he’s a dag nabbed riot. Even funnier than Bill Engvall and Chris Rock combined.

Broncos fans are 15 times more likely to be fans of the ESPN personality than the average social media user, and Panthers fans are a whopping 17 times more likely

Who else brings levity and jocularity to the Panthers’ devoted?

#ComedianMultiple1Kenny Mayne17.352Frank Caliendo12.653Aaron Ward9.324Kelly Dwyer6.55Larry The Cable Guy6.286Ron White5.67Gary Owen4.888Bill Engvall4.529Jay Leno4.5110Eddie Griffin4.4211Damon Wayans4.312Chris Rock4.2513Jerry Seinfeld4.2114David Chappelle3.9215Katt Williams3.23

Otherwise, apart from the top three, for whom sports comedy is a massive — and at times even exclusive — part of their bread and butter, the remainder of the list carries some of the same “Blue Collar” names found favorable among the Broncos’ faithful. Notably, however, a number of the nation’s most prominent black comedians — conspicuously absent from the Broncos list, barring Rock, who may simply be the biggest comedian in America — find their way into the list as well; speaking no doubt to the demographic realities of the regions in question.

Notable absences of which the the snooty coasts of our great land may want to take note include Louis C.K. and Amy Schumer. Just saying.

Louis C.K. can sell out four nights at Madison Square Garden, but can he pull off a similar feat in Charlotte? (Maybe actually, but not among Panthers fans at least.)