Whether you’re an avid fan of the Green Bay Packers or have dreams of being courtside at a Celtics game, ESPN’s “First Take” has the commentary you need to stay up to date with all trending sports news.
You can stream all the episodes of “First Take” on the ESPN app from any device and ESPN.com.
Live episodes of the show air Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. until noon EST. However, you can catch repeat episodes on ESPN2 every day at noon EST and on ESPN News from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. EST. Past episodes of the show are also uploaded on ESPN’s YouTube channel.
Let’s get into other interesting facts about ESPN’s “First Take.”
What Does “First Take” Talk About?
“First Take” is a debate show where the host, Molly Qerim Rose, is joined by commentator Stephen A. Smith and other A-list guests and analysts. They give expert opinions on the latest issues and trending topics from different popular sports.
“First Take” also does “roadshow” broadcasts for special events like college football playoffs, NBA Finals, and the Super Bowl directly from the cities the events are in.
Where Is ESPN’s “First Take” Show Filmed?
“First Take” aired from Studio E (ESPN’s headquarters in Bristol, Connecticut) for the first 11 years of the show before relocating to its updated New York City studio in 2018.
About the “First Take” Hosts and Moderators
The “First Take” show has featured a number of hosts and analysts since it began. In recent years, Stephen A. Smith, Max Kellerman, and Molly Qerim have been the most prominent hosts of this passionate debate show.
About Molly Qerim
Molly Qerim Rose is an award-winning American television personality and the current host of “First Take.” Previously, she was the host of shows like “NFL Fantasy Live,” “NFL AM,” and the NFL network’s morning show, “Good Morning Football.”
Molly began her career as a newscaster and journalist for CBS Sports Network. She covered notable events like college football, NCAA tournaments, National Singing Day, and the U.S. Open while she was with CBS.
Molly won an Emmy Award in 2008 for her contributions to ESPN’s “Fantasy Football Now.” She is often described as one of America’s most popular female sportscasters and sports anchors.
Molly married retired NBA basketball player Jalen Rose in 2018. The couple was married until 2021 when Rose announced that they decided to part ways.
About Stephen A. Smith
Stephen Anthony Smith is a sports journalist and radio host who has been a regular commentator on ESPN’s ”First Take” since 2012.
Before joining ESPN, Smith worked as a sports writer with the Winston-Salem Journal and the Greensboro News and Record. He later worked with the New York Daily News and the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Smith joined ESPN in 2003 and became a regular face on many ESPN shows, such as “NBA Shootaround” (now “NBA Countdown”), “ESPNEWS,” ESPN’s “SportsCenter,” “Pardon the Interruption,” “Jim Rome Is Burning,” and “First Take.” He began co-hosting “First Take” with Skip Bayless in 2012 and has been a regular on the show to date. Bayless left the show in 2016 and joined Shannon Sharpe on FOX Sports’ “Skip and Shannon: Undisputed.”
Smith started a podcast show, “The Stephen A. Smith Show,” on SiriusXM’s Mad Dog Radio. The show later moved to ESPN’s SiriusXM channel in 2017 and expanded across ESPN radio stations in 2018. The show’s finale took place in January 2020.
In 2007, Smith made his first acting appearance in “General Hospital,” an ABC soap opera. He appeared in the Chris Rock romantic comedy “I Think I Love My Wife” in the same year. In 2016, he was featured in “General Hospital” again and appeared as himself in “Almost Christmas.”
About Max Kellerman
American television personality and boxing commentator Max Kellerman is the host of a variety of radio and TV shows on ESPN, like “Max on Boxing,” “This Just In With Max Kellerman” (since September 2021), and as a co-host on ESPN’s national morning show ”Keyshawn, JWill and Max” (since September 2021). Prior to that, Kellerman was a commentator on “First Take” for five years (from 2016 to 2021) after replacing Skip Bayless in 2016.
Max made his acting debut in the movie “Rocky Balboa” in 2006 as a broadcast commentator during the fight between Rocky and Mason “The Line” Dixon. He then made a second appearance in the movie “Creed” in 2015. He was also featured in the short film “The Wedding Bout,” as well as on the show “Real Husbands of Hollywood.”
Max is married to Erin Manning, and together they have three daughters: Mira, Esther, and Sam.
Why Did Max Kellerman Leave “First Take”?
The news of Max Kellerman’s departure as co-host of “First Take” was followed by rumors suggesting that Max Kellerman and Stephen A. Smith may have had a fallout that led to the former’s exit. The rumors were not too far from the truth.
In an interview with radio personality Chris “Mad Dog” Russo, Stephen A. Smith revealed that he was instrumental in Max Kellerman’s exit from the show. However, he stated that the move was nothing personal but had everything to do with the need for the show to take a new direction based on audience feedback.
Stephen A. Smith said, “We had been together for five years. I’ve been doing this for 10 years. I got a feeling as to when something is going a bit stale and the audience doesn’t seem to gravitate to us in the fashion that they used to.”
Either Max Kellerman or Stephen A. Smith had to leave, and it had to be Kellerman since Smith was the face of the show.
Notable “First Take” Guests and Analysts
The show has entertained NBA, NFL, MLB, and college football analysts, to name a few.
Some of the top guests to have appeared on the show include:
After a successful basketball career, the former American professional basketball player has been highlighted on a couple of ESPN shows, including “First Take.” Having played at the peak of the game alongside players like LeBron James, Perkins brings fresh perspectives to the show (especially when the NBA is up for discussion).
Keyshawn had a successful career as an American football player. Now an NFL analyst, the former New York Jets star has been featured several times on “First Take.”
Cowboy legend Michael Irvin made his debut appearance on the show in September 2021 — shortly after the exit of Kellerman. The episode was heated as Irvin and Smith got into a Michael Jordan vs. Tom Brady debate. Fans of the show loved how Irvin stood up to Smith’s challenge.
Former Denver Broncos player Tim Tebow (Florida alum) made his first appearance on the show at about the same time as Michael Irvin — shortly after Kellerman’s departure. Tim has been a regular feature on the show since then.
Former basketball player and NBA analyst Jay Williams is a regular contributor on the “First Take” show.
Former New Jersey Nets and Memphis Grizzlies shooting guard Vince Carter made his first appearance on the show in 2018 and has been a regular to date.
ESPN analyst and former Pittsburgh Steelers safety (LSU alum) has made a few appearances on the “First Take” show.
Former Cleveland Browns safety Louis Riddick made his first appearance on “First Take” in 2018. The American football broadcaster also appears on ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” as an analyst alongside Steve Levy.
Former Golden State Warriors player Tim Legler has made several appearances on the show, frequently alongside Kendrick Perkins.
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(images courtesy of ESPN)