Mike Hall returns for Comedy Wars

Friday, April 29, 2005 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 11:13 a.m. CDT, Sunday, July 20, 2008

MU’s Comedy Wars audience was treated to a special performance by comedian Tim Schwartzman on Wednesday night.

Introduced as an exchange student from Comedy Battles at another Missouri college, Schwartzman said he was at Memorial Union to check out MU’s weekly improv event.

Strangely, he looked an awful lot like Mike Hall, a regular at Comedy Wars until he graduated in May and began working with ESPN following his success on the reality show “Dream Job.”

As Comedy Wars continued, whispers started to circulate among the audience.

“Mike Hall’s here,” one woman said.

Turns out, she was right. Hall had road tripped into Columbia just hours before the show, on a break from the new ESPNU network he anchors. He plans to be in Columbia through the weekend.

“You get away from Columbia, and you want to come back,” Hall said after his performance.

After graduation, Hall moved to Connecticut to anchor ESPN’s “SportsCenter” and the 24-hour sports news network, ESPNews. He’s now with the new network, which is devoted to college sports, in Charlotte, N.C.

He’s been working seven days a week for the last eight weeks covering basketball, football and hockey, among other sports, he said.

Hall’s introduction as Tim Schwartzman was a joke that the Comedy Wars crew rigged up.

“Not everyone saw ‘Dream Job’ — and anyway, it’s last year’s news,” Hall said, explaining why he wasn’t introduced as himself. “I don’t expect anybody to know who I am.”

Hall may not expect it, but it was clear that many people did know who the sports anchor was. At 23, he has done many things he never expected to do.

He tried out for “Dream Job” after a friend pushed him, won a year-long contract that included the opportunity to film a “five continents in five days” special and is the signature anchor for the new TV network.

All of his experiences can’t change the fact that he’s a recent college graduate in his early 20s.

“I’m still at the point where I think ‘poop’ is a funny word, and I want to talk about it,” Hall said. “But adults want to have adult conversations.”

Hall — who was seen around campus Thursday — has recently extended his contract with the network. When it expires, he will be the ripe age of 25.

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