game on

Photo Credit: Sonja Flemming/CBS.

By Nate Millado

As team captain on CBS' sports-comedy hybrid Game On!, Super Bowl champ Rob Gronkowski isn't afraid to poke fun at himself—especially for a laugh. Each week, Gronk and tennis legend Venus Williams—along with their "ride-or-die" teammates, comedians Bobby Lee and Ian Karmel—compete in over-the-top athletic challenges. Hilarity ensues! Check out this highlight reel of Gronk in action.

Stream Season 1 of Game On! on CBS All Access.

That Time Gronk Had A Baby

Gronk experiences simulated labor pains with the help of a birthing simulator attached to his abdomen

Gronk gets a dose of labor pain with the help of a birthing simulator.

Monty Brinton/CBS.

After Rob Gronkowski confidently brags that he could absolutely handle the pain of childbirth—as the audience loudly jeers—Game On! host Keegan-Michael Key calls his bluff. Key challenges Gronk to get into a birthing simulator that mimics labor pains by zapping electrical impulses to electrodes attached to his abdomen. Gronk proves he isn't a big baby after all, and ultimately earns the point. But Key definitely made him work for it!

That Time Gronk Did Ribbon Gymnastics

If you think football players can't be graceful, then you haven't seen Gronkowski slip into a unitard and dance with a ribbon! Gronk takes the floor in front of a panel of judges and performs a too-good-to-be-real routine set to Foreigner's "I Want to Know What Love Is." Perfect 10s across the board, if you ask us!

That Time Gronk Horsed Around

Gronk and the Game On regulars race plush mechanical horses around the set

Venus Williams, Ian Karmel, Rob Gronkowski, Bobby Lee, and Keegan-Michael Key compete in a mechanical horse race.

Monty Brinton/CBS.

For this silly challenge, Gronk & Co. had to hop on mechanical thoroughbreds and lap a racetrack twice by "pumping and thrusting" their ponies. "Can we say that on broadcast?" Key quipped. Gronk was way ahead of his nearest competition, Venus—until his "horse" stalled right before the finish line. Slow and steady wins the race?

That Time Gronk Was A Life-Size Foosball Goalie

Gronk is strapped into a giant foosball game to serve as goalie

Gronk plays goalie in a life-size game of foosball.

Sonja Flemming/CBS.

Team captains Venus and Gronk try a new sport: life-size human foosball. After being strapped in as the paddles, the two are controlled by their teammates as they attempt to score goals on each other. It's worth watching just to see Gronk spin around like a "whirling dervish," as Key described him.

That Time Gronk Double Dutched

"If human beings were meant to jump, then why does gravity exist?" asked Gronkowski's teammate Bobby Lee. Still, Gronk and Bobby bust out their Matrix moves during a Double Dutch battle with Venus and Ian, and wow the professional jump ropers. Team Gronk wins the point!

SEE MORE: Gronk's Winning Music Playlist

Stream Season 1 of Game On! on CBS All Access.

Photo Credit: Monty Brinton/CBS.

Game On! is now streaming on CBS All Access.

Don't miss Super Bowl LV on February 7th at 6pm ET/3pm PT on CBS and CBS All Access! Also stream free on and the CBS Sports App—and check out pre-game coverage on CBS Sports HQ!

Flo Rida

Musician Flo Rida performs on stage.

Photo Credit: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images.

"Flo's music has a summer vibe that makes me want to grab my flip flops and hit the beach for some fun in the sun."

LISTEN UP: Play Music From Artist Flo Rida On

"Hustlin'"by Rick Ross

Musical artist Rick Boss performing

Photo Credit: Sebastien Bozon/AFP via Getty Images.

"This song reminds me of the work ethic that has powered my career and keeps me fired up to smash my workouts."

LISTEN UP: Play Music From Artist Rick Ross On

"House Party" by Sam Hunt

Musician Sam Hunt sings into a microphone as he performs onstage at the 2019 Stagecoach Festival.

Photo Credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images.

"It brings good memories of the celebrations with my brothers and teammates after life and sports victories."

LISTEN UP: Play Music From Sam Hunt On

DJ Carnage

Musician Carnage performs at the Electric Daisy Carnival.

Photo Credit: Steven Lawton/Getty Images.

"His beats and verses keep my head bobbin' and loving every minute of a summer road trip."

LISTEN UP: Play Music From Carnage On

All Diplo

Musician Diplo performs onstage at the Jingle Ball in 2016.

Photo Credit: Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic.

"His music gets me fired up and activates my BEAST MODE before the big football games."

LISTEN UP: Play Music From Diplo On

"Ice Ice Baby" by Vanilla Ice

Musician Vanilla Ice performs on stage in his heyday in the 90's.

Photo Credit: Mick Hutson/Getty Images.

"After performing this song on The Masked Singer, I'm definitely guilty to jamming out and singing to it when I'm alone driving."

LISTEN UP: Play Music From Vanilla Ice On

"Sunday Best"by Surfaces

Musicians of the band Surfaces smile and wear pastel clothing in front of a simple pastel circular backdrop.

Photo Credit: Stefan Kohli.

"It has an upbeat message, especially during these times. It always puts me in a good mood."

LISTEN UP: Play Music From Surfaces On

"Good Vibrations" by Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch

Musician Mark Wahlberg stand shirtless in his iconic bad boy pose from the 'Good Cibrations' -era 90's.

Photo Credit: Tim Roney/Getty Images.

"This song goes down as one of the all-time greats! I've always loved it and appreciate Mark as a friend."

LISTEN UP: Play Music From Marky Mark And The Funky Bunch On

Originally published in Watch Magazine, July-August 2020.

Game On! is now streaming on CBS All Access.

Don't miss Super Bowl LV on February 7th at 6pm ET/3pm PT on CBS and CBS All Access! Also stream free on and the CBS Sports App—and check out pre-game coverage on CBS Sports HQ!

Photo Credit: Monty Brinton/CBS.

By Marc Berman

Emmy and Peabody Award-winner Keegan-Michael Key has yet another cool entertainment gig to add to his impressive resume: hosting the new sports competition series GAME ON! on CBS.

Debuting on Wednesday, May 27, GAME ON! from Fulwell 73 executive producers Ben Winston and James Corden (The Late Late Show with James Corden) features two teams of three, captained by tennis champion and entrepreneur Venus Williams and Super Bowl champion Rob Gronkowski, alongside comedians Bobby Lee and Ian Karmel and various sports stars, comedians, and celebrities. They compete against each other in over-the-top physical challenges, absurd trivia, and epic field competitions.

GAME ON! \u200bcast members Ian Karmel, Venus Williams, Keegan-Michael Key, Rob Gronkowski, and Bobby Lee.

GAME ON! cast members Ian Karmel, Venus Williams, Keegan-Michael Key, Rob Gronkowski, and Bobby Lee.

Photo Credit: Monty Brinton/CBS.

"This is a format that kind of exists in its own category," said Keegan-Michael Key. "The show is super fun, it is super exciting, and anybody can watch. The timing is really fortuitous because in this absence of sports right now we have this show that is all about fun and competition that will hopefully fill that void."

Watch spoke to Keegan-Michael Key about his new show, his multiple roles in the entertainment industry, and the one job in particular that he may have pursued before the acting bug bit.

GAME ON! premieres on Wednesday, May 27 at 8/7c on CBS and streams on CBS All Access.

Watch is all about television's hottest shows. Tell us more about your new show GAME ON! on CBS.

This show has everything—from aerial combat and monster truck rallies to members of our team kicking field goals at football games in front of 30,000 people—and everything in between. It is epic in scope and still so fun because there are other elements like people matching wits with each other and trying to answer trivia questions. It runs the gamut and it is just so relatable.

Rob Gronkowski, Ronda Rousey, Bobby Lee, Keegan-Michael Key, Demi Lovato, Ian Karmel, and Venus Williams participating in a football challenge.

In GAME ON!, Rob Gronkowski, Ronda Rousey, Bobby Lee, Keegan-Michael Key, Demi Lovato, Ian Karmel, and Venus Williams tackle a sports challenge.

Photo Credit: Sonja Flemming/CBS.

GAME ON! Is described as a series that celebrates the entertainment of sports. Are you a big sports fan? Do you participate in any sports?

I am a huge sports fan and whenever I have an opportunity to participate, I do. I am the guy that will watch anything…cricket, jai alai…anything! If someone is competing or there is an obstacle or a challenge someone is trying to overcome, I will watch it. I was one of those kids who left the house at 10 a.m. in the summertime and was out all day. Football, baseball, soccer…everything I could play I played, and I had an absolute blast.

I think there is something about the human condition that we thrive on competition. It helps sharpen our entire being, and I think it is essential to our existence.

Ian Karmel and Keegan-Michael Key in football uniforms

Comedian Ian Karmel and host Keegan-Michael Key participate in a variety of outrageous challenges on the series premiere of GAME ON! on CBS.

Photo Credit: Michael Yarish/CBS.

Did you always want to become a performer?

Actually, when I was coming into my formative years, I wanted to be a veterinarian. I have always loved animals and wanted to make a career out of that. And then someone told me there was math involved, so I said, well, maybe I can be an actor!

I was always fascinated by the entertainment industry, but probably by the time I was 13 I knew I wanted to do some kind of performance. Television was always so magical to me, and once I had a sense that I could do it, and people were supportive, I threw myself in 100%.

Keegan-Michael Key on the set of reality series GAME ON!

GAME ON! host Keegan-Michael Key.

Photo Credit: Sonja Flemming/CBS.

Who's your biggest inspiration?

I have two people that got to me early on, and that was Eddie Murphy and Peter Sellers. In a way, they are kind of the same person. They are actors who excel at comedy, but what makes the comedy work is that they're actors first. I know that Eddie Murphy was a standup comedian first, but his talent is so vast it is hard to encompass, and I felt the same way about Peter Sellers. I saw his movies when I was a kid—The Pink Panther series, Being There, and all the early stuff he did on British radio and on The Goon Show—and I became a huge fan.

The comedy was there for both Eddie Murphy and Peter Sellers, but it was the depth and the emotion and the stillness that really inspires. And what an experience it was for me to work on Eddie Murphy's film Dolemite Is My Name. I really learned to stretch as an actor.

Venus Williams, Ian Karmel, Rob Gronkowski, and Bobby Lee ride toy horses

Venus Williams, Ian Karmel, Rob Gronkowski, Bobby Lee, and Keegan-Michael Key in the debut episode of GAME ON! on CBS.

Photo Credit: Monty Brinton/CBS.

You wear multiple "hats": actor, writer, producer, and game show host. Do you have a preference for one over the other?

Actually, my preference is to simply be in the entertainment industry because I enjoy it so much. What I really thrive on is being given the opportunity, and the blessing, to be able to do so many different types of things in the industry on camera.

In a way, this is all role playing, so right now I am playing the role of host, or the manager and ring leader, on GAME ON! And other times I am a serious thespian, or I am acting as the court jester. It's about being able to transform your essence for whatever it is you are doing. My preference is to live in those spaces fully.

Portrait of Keegan-Michael Key leaning against a chair.

Photo Credit: Cliff Lipson/CBS.

When not filming GAME ON! or when sheltering-in-place as we all are now, what do you like to do? Do you have a hidden talent, passion project, or creative pursuit that your fans may not know about you?

When I was younger the one thing that I wanted to do other than be a veterinarian was to be a football player. But now, as an adult, I would have to say singing. I am a singer, which I enjoy very much, and right now I have two projects coming out hopefully by the end of the year where I sing in. And the other thing, as my career continues to change, is I always wanted to be in a spy movie or a movie where you can use martial arts.

When you enjoy what you do, it's your hobby. But I also try to take any influence that I might have and be a role model to others.

What's on your music playlist right now?

I am an enormous Jimi Hendrix fan, and I listen to lot of music from 1968 to 1973. That's kind of my playlist, and there are obscure people I would mention like an artist from my hometown named Rodriguez. I also like the group Parliament with George Clinton, and Motown. Motown is really uplifting right now.

Keegan-Michael Key hosts Game On!

Keegan-Michael Key hosts GAME ON!, CBS' hilarious and unpredictable new reality TV show.

Photo Credit: Sonja Flemming/CBS.

What is your all-time favorite television series? What TV shows are you currently binge-watching or catching up on?

I have two favorites. The one show I just never missed when I was a kid was Happy Days, which sparked my imagination. I could see in my memory when Fonzie had his showdown with Mork from Ork. It was just like the greatest thing I ever saw! And then my adult show is Breaking Bad. I don't think I have ever seen anything better than this show. The complete essence of plot and character is absolutely perfection.

Since I have been working a lot recently, particularly now making videos for kids who are being deprived their graduation ceremonies, that's where I have been spending my time. Not a lot of binging on TV shows at the moment for me.

Keegan-Michael Key in the cockpit of a fighter jet.

In new reality show GAME ON!, Keegan-Michael Key hosts an air combat challenge.

Photo Credit: Michael Yarish/CBS.

What advice would you give someone entering the entertainment business today?

I would tell each person to remember that you are enough. If you are going to create a unique presence it is going to rely on you simply being you. There is room for you, and your specialness.

At the end of the day, no matter what happens in this business, and how you might get tossed and turned, you should always remember that you are enough.

GAME ON! premieres on Wednesday, May 27 at 8/7c on CBS and streams on CBS All Access.


By viewing our video content you are accepting the terms of our Video Services Policy.
© 2019 CBS Interactive. All rights reserved.