By now, you might be aware that James Duthie and Roberto Luongo are friends. If you aren't, I highly recommend Ian Walker's piece this morning on their TSN intermission segments. In it, Walker breaks the big shocker that talented writer Duthie--and not famous non-writer Luongo--wrote the poems in the most recent bit. Walker also reminds Canucks fans that the newly-viral masterpiece is actually just one of many collaborations on which the two have worked. By my count, there have been four.
The Luongo/Duthie friendship is excellent because it combines Duthie's gifts as a writer with Roberto Luongo's refreshing sense of humour and willingness to self-deprecate. Most of the comedy is original Duthie stuff, but what makes it special is that it's often full of hilarious personal jabs at Luongo's image, and risky topics that would offend any athlete who took himself a little more seriously. After the jump, PITB documents their four entertaining collaborations.
1. The Duthie/Luongo partnership began with the short film, The Backup. It poked fun at the relationship between Roberto and his Florida Panthers' backup, with elaborate dream sequences and some decent acting from both goalies:
2. Duthie and Luongo came together a year later for a follow-up segment combined with a sit-down interview. The hilarious and oddly personal segment took place early in the 2007-08 season, and it's a must-watch for Canucks fans, with shots of former Canucks Brendan Morrison, Matt Cooke, and Markus Naslund, as well as a string of invasive questions on topics ranging from bathroom breaks to lovemaking. No other interviewer could get away with asking Bobby Lou this stuff:
3. In the offseason, James Duthie released a book, The Day I Almost Killed Two Gretzkys, with a foreword written by Roberto Luongo. Here, Ian Walker details how Luongo--not gifted as a writer--collaborated with Duthie to make sure it was writerly. For those of you who haven't read the foreword, you can actually read it on Amazon.com's sneak peek inside the book. Here is an excerpt:
The first time I met James Duthie, he had me run over by a zamboni.I was playing in Florida with the Panthers and James and his TSN crew came down to do a story on the relationship between my backup goalie, James McLennan, and me.It sounded like your typical feel-good story. I figured he'd probably ask me the same kind of fluffy questions we always get with features like that. You know, "How do you and Jamie help each other improve? Do you hang out together off the ice? Is it like a brotherly relationship? Everyone loves those warm-and-fuzzy hockey stories.Now, I knew James from TV, but I didn't know him personally at all. So he strolls into our dressing room that day and says, "Nice to meet you, Roberto. Here is my idea for this story. We'll shoot all these funny scenes of Jamie acting like he's your slave--tying your skates, buying you groceries, spoon-feeding you dinner--but secretly hell be fantasizing about murdering you so that he gets to play more. And at the end, we'll do a dream sequence where he runs you over with a zamboni and crushes you.[...] The point of all this is that Duthie is demented. He is a sick, twisted individual. And I like that.
4. Duthie and Luongo's most recent collaboration was the poetry piece that aired last Friday.
We need more partnerships like this in sports, in which entertaining comedy writers come together with athletes willing to participate in jinks of the highest order. Which is why I would like to take this moment to, again, remind Tanner Glass that we at PITB remain woefully unscrabbled. Where you at, TG15?