When Chicago Blackhawks owner Rocky Wirtz decided the Sports Nutz videos were "controversial" enough to justify firing Comcast Sports Net reporter Susannah Collins, it brought a lot of attention to the Sports Nutz series. Most SN videos had previously only been viewed on YouTube 4-5,000 times. Today, you'll find a few videos that have been watched 60-90,000 times. The YouTube Channel, featuring 18 videos in total, has now been viewed close to half a million times!
The extensive media coverage of the so-called "racy" sketch comedy videos led to a much bigger interest in them. However, we didn't hear much about "the other" woman in them: Samantha Raddock.
Did you know she made a guest appearance on the Fox hit comedy That 70s Show?
So let's meet Samantha Raddock, and see if a Sports Nutz reunion is in the works.
CSMW: So how did you get involved with Sports Nutz? Tell us about your experience doing it, what were some of your favorite videos/moments in the series?
SAMANTHA RADDOCK: I was asked to be part of Sports Nutz by its creator James Chairman, who was a friend of a friend. I jumped in immediately, as it was a wonderful group of people that were involved - a very small bunch of super-talented, witty, and creative types. And we formed a bond instantly. I had the time of my life working on the series. It was very much my humor - a little raunchy, a little sexy, a little politically incorrect - and it gave me an opportunity to play what I thought was a great comedic character.
It is so difficult for me to pick my favorite episode, as I really do love them all for different reasons. However, I do think as the show went on, and the entire team got more comfortable with what we were doing, that our confidence was conveyed in the final product.
A few of my favorites are:
Episode 7 - Summer Reading - This was a brilliant idea by our creators, to simply read from a book written by a sports player. You couldn't make this stuff up - it was all there on the pages, and it was hilarious.
Episode 8 - BCS Preview - I loved this one because it was our first shoot "on location." It was great to be in a different environment.
Episode 10 - Jets Pep Rally - This particular episode really brought out the fun of the NUTZ. It was our very first episode doing mostly interviews with people we met there. It was educational for me to learn how to make it work on the fly, and I also think it provided such a great energy to the show.
CSMW: You seemed to play the role of the outrageous one, complementing Susannah's "straight man" routine....
SAMANTHA RADDOCK: I was certainly the more "outrageous" half of the duo. As far as characters go, I think that one needs to cover both ends of the spectrum to make a show like that work, and the wonderful writing certainly informed that. (This idea of the straight man/funny man exists everywhere in all forms of media.) Still, in my opinion, it was rare for women to get to play those types of roles when it involved the sports world, as it is such a male-dominated medium.
Sports Nutz gave Susannah and I an outlet to convey a knowledge of sports as well as show off our acting chops. We both had theater training, and I believe it served us well.
CSMW: Tell us about your career background and what you're doing today?
SAMANTHA RADDOCK: I received a BFA in Theatre Performance from the University of Michigan. I had the best of both worlds - I got theater training from a conservatory-based program that existed within this huge sports school. I went on to act in NY as well as LA, in theater, film, and TV. (Credits available online.) When we stopped filming Sports Nutz, I decided to enter the business world, and I now work in marketing.
CSMW: What were your thoughts and feelings when the news broke and renewed attention was brought to Sports Nutz?
SAMANTHA RADDOCK: I was somewhat shocked. Frankly, I don't believe Susannah deserved to get fired, especially if her firing was, in fact, due to her past work on Sports Nutz. She has a theater background, and she was acting in those episodes. I know that we covered controversial topics sometimes, but I will tell you that I didn't personally agree with everything my character said, nor did I identify with her as if my character was somehow, the same as I.
It was an acting job, and I am quite certain that it was the same for Susannah. It was purposefully written as tongue-in-cheek, and that is what made it so fun.
As far as all the attention that was brought to Sports Nutz, I am glad to see that it is gaining some traction again. It has inadvertently reached a larger audience due to the recent events, and I think it's great for people that haven't seen it to be able to watch the series.
CSMW: Do you think Sports Nutz will come back? Do you want to do it again?
SAMANTHA RADDOCK: Various people have asked me if Sports Nutz will be resurrected now that it's "back in circulation" on the internet. I'm not sure how this will play out. It is ultimately up to the creator of the show to decide. Personally, I would be thrilled to get Sports Nutz up and running again, as it was nothing but great fun for me.
For more Samantha Raddock career information, consult her IMDB page.
Exclusive with Sports Nutz co-host Sam Raddock
Exclusive with Sports Nutz co-host Susannah Collins
Exclusive with Sports Nutz creator Jimmy Chairman
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