Comedian Frank Caliendo Impersonates Jon Gruden at Raiders Training Camp

When the NFL announced that the Oakland Raiders would be the subject of the latest season of HBO's Hard Knocks, the news was met with trepidation and anger by those in the Bay Area. However, in the deserts of Arizona, there was one man that was genuinely fired up about the news – Frank Caliendo. The comedian that spent years of his life working with Terry Bradshaw and the cast of Fox NFL Sunday was known for his impression of Jon Gruden, and having the head coach featured on premium cable would give him more opportunities to test his skills.

Despite Hard Knocks only having two episodes air so far this season, Caliendo has taken every opportunity to break out his Gruden impression.

He did an entire segment of the Dan Patrick Show as the Raiders head coach, but that was only the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Caliendo also showed up to training camp in full Gruden regalia, which was captured by the NFL Films cameras.

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Tonight on #HardKnocks...Gruden brings in a guest close to his own heart. ⁣ @FrankCaliendo

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"Jon Gruden, University of Dayton," Caliendo said to a laughing crowd. "I do this s— for free. Knock on wood if you're with me."

The knock on wood joke is a reference to the first episode of Hard Knocks and a comment made by Gruden. Fortunately for Caliendo, the man known as Chucky got the joke. He was shown by the cameras laughing during the comedian's routine.


When the Raiders head coach first opened the season, he did so by explaining that his goals for the upcoming season. Being competitive was a top priority for the head coach, and he wanted to make sure that the rest of the team was with him. In order to find out, Gruden told his team to knock on wood if they were with him.

Unfortunately, this clip on Instagram is only the teaser for Caliendo's appearance on the show. As he explained in a previous post on social media, Caliendo also attempted to sing in a manner similar to rookie wide receiver Hunter Renfrow. Whether he did so was not revealed in the brief clip. However, NFL Films and HBO did show Caliendo butchering backup quarterback Mike Glennon's name while saying that he loved him.