In “The Comebacks,” a spoof of inspirational sports movies, David Koechner plays a hapless football coach who, at the urging of a colleague played by Carl Weathers, decides to take one last stab at the job. Her goes to Heartland State University in Plainfolk, Texas, and—you guessed it—assembles a team of misfits who fight their way to the Toilet Bowl, where they face the Lone Star State Unbeatables. Along the way, every cliché of the uplifting sports picture is parodied.
“I just thought it was such a funny script,” Carl Weathers, who plays Coach Wiseman, the guy who encourages Koechner’s Coach Fields not to end his career, recalled in a recent Dallas interview. “I actually wound up laughing out loud, and for me that’s always a great indication.
“The things I laugh at, I think, are funny just because they’re funny—they’re not at the expense of anyone. A lot of comedies, I find, are mean-spirited, because they poke fun at things and people who can’t respond. But this, we just have a good time with all the sports—real events, the movies and even some imaginary kinds of sporting events. It all gets, in a way, kind of silly. We get a chance just to laugh. All the events—real, imaginary and in the movies—we twist and turn. Some of the athletes came, and that makes it even funnier, because they don’t take it that seriously.
“There’s fun in all that stuff. You have to look at it with a sense of humor. So we chew it up, spit it out, and then step on it, trample on it, and ask you to take a look at it and examine it. And it comes out, hopefully, at the end as a good time.”
It was certainly fun to shoot, Weathers remembered. “It really was, because David is such a madman—a really funny guy. He’ll do just about anything for a laugh. But he’s not a mean-spirited guy. If it’s something that makes him look goofy, he’ll do it. He loves doing that. And I wound up just laughing at the guy so much.
“To do a movie where you have that kind of fun—you just jump into the sandbox with them and try to keep up.”
Weathers is probably best known, of course, for his role as Apollo Creed in the “Rocky” movies with Sylvester Stallone. But he admitted that he’d never boxed himself: his sport was football. “It’s much more appealing being an actor playing a boxer than a boxer,” he said. “I get all the credit for being great, and I don’t have to be great at all.”
Weathers added that it was a bonus to have an action figure based on him on toy store shelves. “The nice thing about it, honestly, is that all of my friends who have kids get action figures,” he said. “That’s the best thing about it, to make those kids happy.”