Reimer: If Gronk is going to make it in Hollywood, it's time to drop the '69' jokes and find new material

Alex Reimer
January 30, 2019 - 12:42 pm

Whenever we speculate about Rob Gronkowski retiring from football to pursue a career in acting and entertainment, it's important to keep this truth in mind: his sense of humor is absolutely moronic. 

Gronk set off a mini-controversy at Opening Night in Atlanta this week, responding to a question about his playing future with an original “69” joke, and singling out a female reporter in the crowd.

“You guys know my favorite number,” Gronkowski said when asked about the chances of Super Bowl LIII being his farewell game. “You know what I’m talking about. She knows what number I’m talking about. Ask her. That’s the answer.”

The sophomoric line drew the ire of WFAN host Maggie Gray, who said the quip was unprofessional and inappropriate. "That one is a crossing the line,” she said, per WFAN. “I think there has been a pass that's been given to Rob Gronkowski for a really long time. I think part of the pass that he gets comes with the fact he is doing this and really doesn't have anything in his past or in his private life that would indicate he actually has an issue. It just seems like an act.”

It’s apparent Gronkowski didn’t have any ill-intent when he pointed to the random female reporter. This is not an example of rampant misogyny or sexism. It’s Gronk being stupid, and pointing to a woman when he makes a reference to “69ing,” because he presumably likes to do that with them. 

In Gronk’s world, that is hilarious. He would be a hit at middle school lunch tables. 

The problem is, full-grown adults are the people with the buying power in this world, and they will be the ones who decide whether Gronk makes it as a slap-comedy and action star, or if he fizzles out. Gronkowski’s uninspiring history on stage and the big screen indicates the latter is probably what will happen. 

Last year, Gronk released a standup special titled, “Unsportsmanlike Comedy with Rob Gronkowski.” The Showtime production garners a 2.7-star review on IMDb, with one commenter saying the only reason to watch Gronk’s part is if you “like watching people bomb miserably.”

Gronk also tried his hand at standup during David Ortiz’s roast in June 2017. The tight end told racist and anti-semitic jokes, and as a result, the special was pulled from NESN. It never aired.

There's plenty of time for Gronkowski to redeem himself, of course. He scored a role in an upcoming Mel Gibson action movie, “Boss Level.” He's also worked as the executive producer of a reality TV show, "MVP, which is the sports version of "Shark Tank." Those kinds of projects should only help Gronk further familiarize himself with the entertainment industry. He's working with an acting coach as well, Sports Illustrated reports

That's good, because it seems like Gronk needs lots of help figuring out how the process works. He did not shine in the low-budget 2015 murder mystery, “You Can’t Have It," where at least one of his co-stars was not impressed with his work or effort level.

“Well, I mean, considering he was probably the only person that we had to tape re-take after re-take for his one line, so I don’t know," actor Joanna Krupa told TMZ, per SI. I think he was too busy focusing on the hot girls on set.”

Due to Gronk's star power and chummy relationship with Mark Wahlberg, it’s likely he will be given plenty of chances to work on his acting and comedic chops once he walks away from football. But so far, outside of a beer-chugging cameo in the “Entourage” movie, they’ve been as well received as his most recent “69” joke. 

The ceiling for an actor who specializes in frat bro cameos is not very high.