Why Are Pro Fighters So Humorless?

Give Jimmy Kimmel some credit. He isn’t good looking. He isn’t terribly smart. Aside from being mildly amusing, he doesn’t have any obvious talent. And yet, here he is, the host of his own late-night talk show, and he doesn’t shy away from the hard questions when Kimbo Slice drops by for a chat.

What’s most interesting about this video might be the fact that Slice seems to be completely devoid of a sense of humor about himself. He can’t roll with any of Kimmel’s jokes at his expense, he takes far too seriously a comparison between himself and Mr. T and Jeffrey from “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”, and he generally sucks all the life out of the room in this interview.

Why is it that this is so typical for MMA fighters? Why can’t Slice at least come up with something clever when Kimmel asks him if he’s ever been romantically involved with another man? Instead, he takes the question as if it is an affront to his manhood, as if Kimmel is really trying to get him to talk openly about his sexuality.

Here’s my theory, which I’ve come upon after many not-so-fun interviews with MMA fighters: possessing the innate ability to get in a ring and fight for money cancels out the gene for detecting irony and sarcasm.

It’s kind of like how certain diseases are actually the result of immunity to other diseases.  You know, like the relationship between sickle-cell anemia and malaria resistance? Pro fighters have been given a gift. They don’t share the normal man’s fear of (or at least aversion to) getting punched in the face, but they also aren’t big on self-deprecating humor.

It’s a tradeoff, sure, and probably an unavoidable one. It’s just a shame that it makes them no fun on late-night talk shows. Kimbo Slice, of all people, is supposed to be Mr. Personality. That’s why he’s only 2-0 and still making appearances on network TV. Personality is probably what Elite XC promised the producers from the Jimmy Kimmel show, who were most likely dismayed and concerned for their host during these uncomfortable few minutes.

For his sake, I sure hope Kimbo turns out to be the legitimate fighter that Elite XC says he is. He certainly doesn’t have a future in non-violence-related entertainment, except perhaps as the most terrifying straight man ever.

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6 Comments

Filed under Kimbo Slice, MMA, Sports

6 responses to “Why Are Pro Fighters So Humorless?

  1. Smithee

    Maybe there’s more of a cause and effect relationship: not having a sense of humor gets you into enough fights that after a while, if you also have any athletic ability, you start getting good at it.

  2. coachfowlkes

    Nice work on Humorless, great comment about genes and sarcasm.

  3. First of all, Kimbo would the greatest straight man of all time. Of all time.

    Second, Chuck Liddell was a good sport and even seemed mostly alive and human-like during his interview with Conan o’Brien.

    Third, when looking at Kimbo’s non-vilent future, you obviously didn’t examine the possibility of a remake of I’m Gonna Git You Sucka. Seriously, Ben, You KNOW they’d be calling him in a heartbeat.

  4. I think you over-reacted a little. I thought he came off as fairly personable and completely able to roll with the punches.

    He’s a street fighter/mma fighter. He didn’t get pissed or act like an ass at any of the questions, he’s just not an entertainer.

  5. btw, no pun intended on that “roll with the punches” comment.

  6. The Fighting Life

    Man, I can’t say I wouldn’t love to see Kimbo in an ‘I’m Gonna Git You Sucka’ remake. That would be an instant classic.

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