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Bill Walton infuriates Jayhawk Nation, is still a comedic genius

January 25, 2022

Ever notice how there aren't really "comic duos" anymore, at least in the traditional sense? From Abbott & Costello to Nichols & May, the American comedy tradition is rich with these partnerships, but at some point it just sort of stopped...with one exception. The last remaining two-man act in the world of comedy, and also coincidentally the best, is still going harder than ever. That duo? Dave Pasch and Bill Walton.

It's impossible to express how funny these two have been, for so long, as ESPN's Pac-12 announcing team, and the best I can do is just say it's a delightful real-life version of the Best in Show commentators, complete with the ultimate wild card (Walton) and an increasingly embittered straight man (Pasch). At any given moment, Walton is prone to comparing Shaq to Aristotle, or going off on a tangent about his favorite trees, all while Pasch has to entertain this stream of nonsense and still try to call a basketball game that Walton couldn't care less about. It's comedy perfection, and on any given night, you'll have a dozen ridiculous exchanges like this one:

The highlight of last night's game, though, came in a discussion about the proper name for the University of Kansas. (It will not surprise long-time Walton stans to know that the game in question was Arizona St. - USC, i.e., Kansas was not involved in any way). In the first half, Walton relentlessly called the school "Kansas University," which Jayhawk Nation detests, and which is wrong despite the fact that the shorthand version for the team is "KU" in order to avoid confusion with Kentucky. Early in the second half, Pasch decided it was time to correct the record. What followed was the latest masterpiece from the timeless pair:

The semantics, the bickering, the sense that Pasch is going to take a long pull from his favorite bottle of liquor after the game...it's so good. And it's capped off by Pasch's unintentionally hilarious, "we already talked about this in the first half." Believe it or not, that clip also cuts off a classic Walton rejoinder, because of course he had to have the last word:

"That’s like me spelling my name ‘B-I-L-L’ and you calling me Zeke."

Pure genius. Remarkably, there was another instant classic Monday night, when Walton confused Pasch for Dan Shulman. Bonus content:

Wait, there's MORE?

Wait, there's even MORE?

Finally, I don't even know if this one is true, but I'm choosing to believe it:

All of that from one game! I know the "name a more iconic duo" meme is played out, but...seriously, name a more iconic duo! I hope they reign for a thousand years. And even when it's over, we'll always have Pasch's deeply uncomfortable expression as Walton removes his shirt in front of him:

Bless you, boys.