You couldn’t be Mike Francesa. This is fine, to be clear, and you should be glad about it. It’s hard to imagine who besides Mike Francesa would really even want to be Mike Francesa, just given that his job is extemporizing about sports on the radio for six hours a day despite not really liking sports anymore and also how his brain is. But that’s just it: no one else could do it. To be Mike Francesa, to inhabit his specific grandiosity and towering impatience and thermonuclear self-confidence, one must always have been Mike Francesa. Francesa is very good in Uncut Gems in a small acting role, but he’s effective for the same reason that those unsettling baldish brothers who keep popping up to harass Adam Sandler are—he’s been refining his craft as a very specific type of strange person for many years. In his stupendously pissy high-handedness, Francesa is a masterpiece of his own making. It is in every way a life’s work.

That work is not the sort of thing that any person, let alone one as proud as Mike Francesa, would want to see undone by the brassy and undeniable brap of a fart captured on tape. This is where our story begins.

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