Comedian Stephen Colbert will host a charity pickleball tournament

LOS ANGELES — The pickleball craze is getting the Stephen Colbert treatment, with charity the winner.

Stephen Colbert will host “Pickled”, a pickleball tournament in which celebrities will compete. The two-hour special airs at 9 p.m. Nov. 17 on CBS and streams live and on demand on Paramount+. Jae C. Hong/Associated Press, file

Colbert will host CBS’ “Pickled,” described as a sports comedy special centered around a celebrity pickleball tournament. Among the players: Dierks Bentley, Will Ferrell, Emma Watson, Daniel Dae Kim, Max Greenfield, Luis Guzman, Sugar Ray Leonard, Tig Notaro and Kelly Rowland.

Colbert and Kenny Loggins will join a national anthem duo for the two-hour special, which airs at 9 p.m. Nov. 17 on CBS. It will be broadcast live and on demand on Paramount+.

“If you love pickleball and you love celebrities and you love helping people, you’re going to love watching these celebrities help people by playing pickleball,” Colbert said in a statement Wednesday. The host of CBS’s “The Late Show” will award the Colbert Cup.

The teams will compete for the benefit of the nonprofit organization Comic Relief US, with viewers invited to contribute to programs that “address the shattering impact of homelessness, uprooting and lack of safety. often experienced by children and families living in poverty,” the group said.

Cari Champion, John Michael Higgins and Bill Raftery will be among the announcers providing color commentary. Other players include Jaime Camil, Phil Keoghan, June Diane Raphael, Paul Scheer, Aisha Tyler, Jimmie Allen and Murray Bartlett.

The special is from Colbert’s production company Spartina, independent studio Funny Or Die and CBS Studios. Funny or Die CEO Mike Farah said the goal was to support Comic Relief US and “add more pickleball stories to everyone’s News Feed.”

Pickleball, played with paddles on an indoor or outdoor court, has exploded in popularity in recent years. Groups that promote the sport include USA Pickleball, the International Pickleball Federation, and the World Pickleball Federation.


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