TV theme songs, children’s books, Speedo comedy, air filter replacement, Spinal Tap, forbidden words starting with “c”…
The newest edition of Hank’s Home Game has it all.
This week Hank Azaria hosts another group of poker buddies for a second installment of Hank’s Home Game, and once again the number of laughs rivals the total bets, bluffs, and bad beats.
Most who played last month’s inaugural Hank’s Home Game wanted to return. But with only one free seat available, Hank’s son drew names from a hat and Jon Hamm was the lucky player earning a return trip.
Hank and Jon are joined by four new players this time around, with all once more playing for their favorite charities. Here’s the six-handed game’s full line-up, along with each player’s charity:
In the show the group plays a two-hour cash game, with the final rankings determined by how big a profit or loss players realize during that period. Here’s how the $50,000 prize pool gets divided:
- 1st: $20,000
- 2nd: $12,000
- 3rd: $8,000
- 4th: $5,000
- 5th: $3,000
- 6th: $2,000
As noted, though, there are more reasons to watch than to see who finished first.
Always the conscientious host, you’ll see early on how Hank comes armed with a list of conversation starters, a.k.a. “Nerdy Prompt Questions.” To be honest, though, his guests provide plenty of topics of their own. Questions they explore include:
- Who is the best living magician?
- Who is the best living cinematographer?
- Who is the best movie villain of all time?
- What is the best musical performance in a film?
- What is the best American band ever?
- Has anyone read any poker books?
There are “yes” responses to the last one, including one player confirming having read Doyle Brunson‘s no-limit hold’em chapter in Super/System.
Hank’s guests have a great time, particularly when the subject of guest hosting Saturday Night Live arises. In fact, all five of them — Jason, Jack, Amy, Jon, and JK — have hosted SNL at least once, and all agree it was equal parts thrilling and terrifying.
Jon compares it to a frightening carnival ride. “This is a rollercoaster,” he says he finally realized. “My job is just not to fall off!”
The SNL stories become increasingly animated. Then the host chimes in.
“Yeah, I feel bad for you guys, that’s a tough experience,” says the empathetic emcee.
“I’ve never been asked to host,” he adds with a grin. “You guys want to talk about other shows that I haven’t been on?”
And what about the poker? It’s engaging as a subplot for a good while, although in truth the table talk provides the primary narrative hook. But the endgame adds some drama to the story, too, as the short stacks try desperately to improve their finishing places.
Some of the biggest belly laughs come near the end as well. That’s also where you’ll hear Jack musically explain the facts of life, the facts of life.
Take a look: