Golf Channel's "Feherty" Reviewed As "Must See" Program With Broad Appeal
Golf Channel's "Feherty," a "half-interview, half-improv gabfest," has emerged as the net's "only must-see original programming," according to a cover story by Franz Lidz of GOLF WORLD. Host David Feherty has become golf's "first crossover TV star." The show's guests have "ranged" from golfer Annika Sorenstam to actor Samuel L. Jackson, from Golf HOFer Billy Casper to former President Bill Clinton. Feherty is "lavish and inexhaustible." He "cascades opinions on any subject, from belly putters to belly lox, punctuating his effusions with goofy faces, strange sounds and grand, intense gestures." Feherty's appeal is "so broad" that CBS even asked him to "audition as Andy Rooney's replacement on '60 Minutes.'" But for all the "mugging and slapstick, his interviews can be as languidly brilliant as his tournament commentary." Feherty is "affectionate, but not infatuated; admiring, but not adoring." Since his "very first TV commentating gig" for CBS at the '96 Sprint Int'l, he has "separated himself from the pack by gently ridiculing convention and pomposity." ESPN's Bob Knight asked to be a guest on the show "after watching an episode in which the host shot questions" at Basketball HOFer Bill Russell. Knight "laughed so hard that he wanted to be part of the fun." He said, "David puts you at ease. He's not mean-spirited, and he won't throw you under the bus." Feherty said he would love to interview Tiger Woods on his show, but "only when he's ready." The guest he "most covets is the person he most fears: Bill Murray." To Feherty, Murray is "one of the game's most important figures," because his Carl Spackler character in the movie "Caddyshack" made the game "cool." Feherty acknowledges that Murray is a "nightmare interview," but he wants him on the show "precisely because he's a nightmare interview" (GOLF WORLD, 2/18 issue).
TALK SOUP: GOLFWEEK's Martin Kaufmann noted Golf Channel last week relaunched "Morning Drive" with some cast additions and "a new, vastly improved studio." Kaufmann: "When the men of 'The View' -- er, 'Morning Drive' -- are seated in their comfy chairs, it would be nice to think they're just four buddies swapping stories and opinions. But it often seems so scripted." The show is "so structured that it sometimes feels as though they're speaking their lines." A little more spontaneity "would be nice." While there is a "big cast, there's no compelling voice who will make viewers put down the morning paper to listen." Still, the "de facto star is the voluble Gary Williams, who seems to be likable, diligent and well-prepared" (GOLFWEEK.com, 2/12).