Pickleball and pop-culture

Pickleball and pop-culture

We’ve seen pickleball on ESPN and CBS. It’s streaming to your phone and it’s been on just about every sports channel on the dial.

And while we know pickleball is the fastest-growing sport in the country, you might not know pickleball is infiltrating a world beyond sports.

Seriously. It’s everywhere.

From “The Simpsons” to “The Bachelor,” commercials and billboards, pickleball is becoming as mainstream as the third-shot drive. 

Serve it up!

Gerry Turner was out evaluating pickleball talent, because you just know when it comes to choosing a life partner, he or she better know something about a non-volley zone violation. Turner, the star of this season's “The Bachelor,” is an avid player, so of course, pickleball was featured on a recent episode where the “winning” team got to spend some alone time with Gerry.

OK, fine, “The Bachelor” is silly. Yes. But it’s on primetime TV for a reason - people watch - and with that comes pickleball exposure, even if it’s in a goofy format. The winners of the pickleball “match” on the show also got the benefit of being featured in a photo shoot for “IN Pickleball” magazine.

Here’s a bit of a teaser for the episode in case you need more pickleball in your life. 

Where else has pickleball been?
  • A 2020 episode of “The Goldbergs,” where Adam tries to join the varsity pickleball team. OK, the action isn’t very authentic, but it’s still a decent laugh and it will definitely make you feel better about your game. 

  • The “Today” show anchors tried out pickleball. It went about how you think it would go and it’s a mix between informative and cringy, with the basics of the game explained inaccurately and people making horrible pickleball puns. If you want to watch Al Roker serve, this clip is for you.

  • In a commercial for Copper Fit, a compression sleeve, former NFL stars Jerry Rice and Brett Favre are playing pickleball. Here’s a clip

  • If you aren’t “Keeping up with the Kardashians” are you really even living your life? Well, there’s apparently a 2020 episode where Kim, Khloe, and Kourtney all play. Want to read more about them playing? Seems kinda weird, but here you go.

  • There’s a pickleball joke in the most recent episode of “The Simpsons.” It’s a pretty tired joke, not all that clever, but nonetheless, pickleball is featured, even showing a shot of a court. Here’s a recap of the episode

  • The Melons, a cartoon family, which does public service announcements about concussions and concussion awareness, also featured pickleball.

  • Even with the recent death of former “Friends” star Matthew Perry, pickleball got a mention. Check it out here. Apparently, Perry enjoyed playing and found the game to be helpful in dealing with his recovery issues.