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IFC, Azaria Team Up for Big League Comedy

A funny thing happened when Hank Azaria met with IFC.

The network agreed to air Brockmire, a comedy based on a character Azaria created for Funny or Die. “They said ‘yes,’ which we really appreciated,” recalled Azaria during a screening and panel discussion in New York Wednesday night. How many said no? “A lot,” he said.

Azaria’s character, Jim Brockmire, is a generic baseball announcer who melts down after finding his wife Lucy in the company of several men after a ballgame. He describes that scene in vivid detail during the next day’s broadcast, even explaining for younger viewers the ins and outs of a strap-on.

While the sportscaster is blackballed and exiled, “Brutal Brockmire” becomes an internet meme and everyone understands what happens when a guy gets “Lucied.”

Brockmire is lured back to the U.S. and baseball by the owner of the Morristown Frackers, played by Amanda Peet.

Asked why she was attracted to playing the alcoholic owner of a minor league baseball team, Peete responded “you’re not a 45 year old woman in Hollywood.”

Also she said she’s worshipped Azaria from afar. In fact, “I want to Lucy him,” she added.

Azaria said there was a possibility that he and Brockmire could wind up in the broadcast booth for a Mets game this spring.

“I think I know the Mets well enough to talk about them as Brockmire,” Azaria said.

Brockmire premieres on IFC on April 5.