Fans of playing pickleball already know how exciting one of the hottest sports in America is, but the rest of the world is finding out, thanks to the new pickleball special that has recently aired on CBS. Pickled CBS, where celebrity teams compete on the court, is slightly reminiscent of the now retro “Battle of the Network Stars.” With a touch of humor, some friendly competition, and host Stephen Colbert, Pickled shows us just how fun a friendly game of pickleball can be.
What is Pickled on CBS?
The sports comedy special, Pickled is a special entertainment event featuring the insanely popular sport of pickleball, eight celebrity teams, and of course, the one and only Stephen Colbert as the host.
Pickled on CBS featured eight teams, featuring celebrities such as Emma Watson and Sugar Ray Leonard, who showed up to play pickleball, have fun, and benefit Comic Relief US, which helps families living in poverty break the cycle.
Pickleball is a sport that has had a meteoric rise in the United States during the past several years, with courts popping up all across the country and many people finding themselves becoming obsessed with having a pickleball paddle in their hands.
If you love celebrities and love watching them play pickleball even more, then the sports comedy special pickled is something you have to see. Plus, you get the chance to support Comic Relief US in the process.
About Comic Relief US
When the idea to produce Pickled was born, the intention was to take the interesting sport of pickleball, some amazing celebrity friends, and use the opportunity to not only encourage more people to join in on playing pickleball but also to raise money for an important charity. Pickled was a charity pickleball tournament to raise money for the non-profit Comic Relief US.
Comic Relief US utilizes the power of comedy to address the never-funny issue of poverty. They work to break the ties of generational poverty by bringing awareness to the issues of poverty and representing the voices that are seldom heard.
Steven Colbert’s wife, Evie Colbert, is a member of the Comic Relief US Leader’s Lab, which is a group of forward-thinking and innovative individuals that spark the organization’s growth.
Evie Colbert is involved in several other charity and non-profit organizations, along with co-owning Evie and Stephen Colbert’s Spartina Productions, for which she is the vice president.
There were eight celebrity teams that made their way onto the Pickled bracket, with two teams facing off at a time to see who was eliminated and who stayed to play on for the coveted Colbert Cup trophy. Who was in this all-star lineup?
The cast was initially fifteen pickleballing celebrities plus one mystery player. The mystery player ended up being Will Ferrell, who supplied more than his fair share of laughs and shenanigans on the pickleball court.
These were the eight teams that went to battle on the pickleball court.
Party ‘Til You Cuke
Tig Notaro & Will Ferrel
When Harry Net Rally
Dierks Bentley & Phil Keoghan
The Volley Ranchers
Sugar Ray Leonard & actress Emma Watson
Daniel Dae Luis
Luis Guzman & Daniel Dae Kim
Singer Kelly Rowland & Emmy winner Murray Bartlett
Jimmie Allen & Max Greenfield
Take This Lob and Shove It
Jaime Camil and Aisha Tyler
The Paddle Snakes
June Diane Raphael and Paul Scheer
Any true pickleball tournament has to have announcers, and Pickled was graced with there of the best. Taking on the task of announcing was John Michael Higgins of Pitch Perfect fame (among many other credentials), sports broadcaster and journalist Cari Champion, and seasoned commentator Bill Raftery.
Stephen Colbert Hosting
What’s better than watching your favorite celebrity players go head to head in a pickleball battle to raise money? How about if Stephen Colbert hosts the two-hour special and adds his humorous spin to every element?
The amazing Stephen Colbert starts by sharing the story of how pickleball was born, which has something to do with tennis and badminton, inviting ping pong into their relationship.
Colbert leads us through the charity pickleball tournament for the non-profit Comic Relief in a way that only he can.
Colbert also steps up to the mic to perform the National Anthem with none other than Kenny Logins.
Pickled on CBS is produced by Stephen Colbert’s Spartina, CBS Studios, and Funny or Die.
When to Watch
Pickled is currently a one-time event, but with the combination of pickleball’s popularity and the fun that was had on the court, our money says there will be another Pickled celebrity match in the future.
We won’t supply any spoilers on who the winning team was, but you can watch it anytime on CBS, Roku, and Paramount+.