Our Spring magazine is finally here! Click here to view and read our new articles!

False 9: comedy sketches about football

Welcome back to a relatively new and relatively dull series that some people are calling ‘a glorified making of lists’, but us folks at The Yorker are calling False 9. Why False 9? Because calling it a Top 10 would be too mainstream? Pretty much. Each False 9 will make some observations that are in no way striking, and will be a list comprising of either eight or ten items, depending on how deep our False 9 wants to go. Strap yourselves in for a ride of irregularly-posted articles. Today, I’m going to copy and paste some Youtube links and call it journalism. Today, we’re going to play with a False 9.

1: David Mitchell gets excited about football

Let’s kick off with what is surely the Godfather of all football-related sketches, David Mitchell capturing the ultimate banality of football in a manner that you can’t refuse to laugh at. Mitchell apes a particularly excitable Sky Sports presenter in reminding us of the incessant nature of televised football, as well as tapping into the insatiable passion of football fans. Of course, at the moment there is in fact a distinct lack of football; what we wouldn’t give for a chance tomorrow to see the giants of Charlton take on the titans of Ipswich. Every kick of it mattering to someone presumably.

2: Mitchell and Webb tackle the intricacies of footballing partisanship

I don’t see anything wrong with football fans using ‘we’ to refer to their team; it’s easier, and it taps into the sense of collective unity that sport can provide. That doesn’t mean that David Mitchell’s David-Mitchell-esque outrage in this sketch at Robert Webb’s gloating is any less amusing.

3: Des Lynam versus a rogue teleprinter


Rory Bremner, a man of many voices, becomes Des Lynam delivering the scores on Grandstand. Jeff Stelling never has to deal with problems like this.

4: Hugh Laurie would still make a better coach than John Carver

Hugh Laurie plays a woefully inept footballing man, although watching the lessons in diving one can’t help but feel that Arjen Robben was a big Fry & Laurie fan.

5: Ted Lasso would still make a better manager than John Carver

An American take on sucking at knowing about football, Jason Sudeikis returns as the gloriously useless Ted Lasso. In a prior video, Lasso had an unsuccessful spell as manager of Tottenham Hotspur; here, he struggles to grasp the world of football punditry and the meaning of the word ‘relegation’.

6: The Simpsons does soccer

This is not a comedy sketch, so feel free to go right ahead and sue me if that bothers you. Kent Brockman seems to be possessed by the dreary spirit of Mark Lawrenson in comparison to the excitable commentator on his left. Also, please don’t sue me.

7: James Corden is actually funny here

James Corden takes his Smithy character from Gavin & Stacey to meet the England football team, with surprisingly tolerable results. This video also includes terrifying reminders of David James being England number one, of failure to qualify for Euro 2008, and of Shaun Wright-Phillips. The heartfelt plea for Frank Lampard to learn how to play alongside Steven Gerrard is particularly devastating; if only someone had listened to Smithy. When he starts to recite that classic England song, ‘World in Motion’, the players look genuinely inspired. It’s difficult to imagine Roy Hodgson employing such a technique.

8: Managerial duo a little too in sync


For some reason the website disagrees with me and won’t let me embed the video, but click on the link to find a very funny video of an over-eager assistant coach.