Stephen A Smith Picks His Johto Starter Pokemon

Stephen A Smith has chosen his Johto Starter Pokemon, but not for the reason you'd think.

You'll never look at Cyndaquil the same way after watching this hilarious Stephen A Smith clip. On Monday's episode of the Stephen A Smith Show, the ESPN host was asked to pick his Johto Starter Pokemon, continuing a trend that started earlier this year. In the clip (shown below), Smith picks Cyndaquil as his Starter Pokemon, but admits that the reason was because Cyndaquil's back flame reminded him of White Castle, or more accurately how White Castle reacts in his digestive track. The result is a clip where if you started watching a minute in, you'd never realize that Smith was talking about Pokemon at all. 

Smith has discovered newfound relevance in discussing various bits of Internet and nerd culture on the show, answering questions about everything from Dragon Ball Z to Pokemon to the X-Men and even arbitrating fights between King of the Hill and Family Guy. Many of Smith's clips have gone viral, often thanks to Smith's blunt talk and commentary and his frankly hilarious egregious mispronunciations of things like Vegeta and Charmander. 

Of course, Smith's continued commentary on the Pokemon franchise is another way that Pokemon continues to become a foundational part of mainstream culture. While the game has ebbed and surged at various times, the 25-year old franchise has now become a part of everyday life, even for those not obsessed with Pokemon. Just in the NBA, the Chicago Bulls used a "Who's That Pokemon" format to announce their regular season schedule, while NBA stars Jarrett Allen and Tobias Harris are well-known fans. 

It seems like it's only a matter of time before Smith comments on Pokemon Legends: Z-A, the newest Pokemon game coming out in early 2025. Details about the new Pokemon game are scarce, but we know that it will be set in Lumiose City (although we don't know if it will be set in the past, present, or future of the Pokemon franchise) and will feature the return of the popular Mega Evolution gimmick first seen in Pokemon X and Y. If the game continues the trend from Pokemon Legends: Arceus, we should also see several older Starter Pokemon appear in the new game as well.