Former NBA superstar Shaquille O'Neal will team up with The Hangover actor Ken Jeong for TBS's unscripted comedy series pilot Unqualified. O'Neal currently serves as an in-studio analyst for TNT's Inside the NBA, where his antics have become fodder for many a meme and social media posting. Jeong meanwhile continues to rack up roles as a comedic supporting actor, with his latest turn coming in the smash hit Crazy Rich Asians.
Of course, O'Neal himself has some experience as an entertainer beyond being a dominating center in the NBA and a hammy television personality/pitchman. With his larger-than-life personality, to go with his imposing physical size, O'Neal was a natural to make the jump to movies, which he indeed did in the 1990s. After a supporting role in the serious drama Blue Chips, O'Neal played a genie in the silly family movie Kazaam, then went full action-star in the movie Steel. His acting career never really took off however, and now his early vehicles are mostly remembered for their camp value.
For his latest comedy project, O'Neal will team up with Jeong on the unscripted TBS series Unqualified, which has been given a pilot order by the network. As the title indicates, the premise of the series involves the two stars taking on various odd jobs for which they are technically not qualified, with hilarity likely to ensue. The synopsis reads as follows:
Summoned to their temporary employment by unsuspecting people via a digital portal, Unqualified (wt) will follow the antics of Shaq and Ken as they try their hands at jobs that have always intrigued them, along with a few they’d rather avoid. Sometimes Shaq and Ken will have no clue what they’re walking into.
O'Neal and Jeong may sound like a strange pairing but in fact TBS is touting their chemistry as a big selling point after the duo made a big impression together on the network's rap battle series Drop the Mic. The new series will see the two stars "utilizing their wide range of talent and hustle" as they perform jobs like mall security guard, substitute kindergarten teacher, train conductor and party clown.
Of course, before he became a comedic actor, Jeong held down a very real job as an actual doctor (a fact that played into his role in the now-canceled sitcom Dr. Ken). Jeong first made an impression on audiences with his wild performance in the comedy smash The Hangover, then went on to play the sometimes-heel Chang on NBC's Community. In addition to the wacky-sounding Unqualified, Jeong has also lined up a role in Charlie Day's directorial debut El Tonto, which also stars Kate Beckinsale, Jason Sudeikis, Dean Norris and Adrien Brody. Unqualified does not yet have a premiere date.