In the two years since "Feherty" debuted, the half-interview, half-improv gabfest has emerged as Golf Channel's only must-see original programming and its host has become the game's first crossover TV star. Other guests on what David Feherty calls his "televised nervous breakdown" have ranged from Annika Sorenstam to Samuel L. Jackson, from Billy Casper to Bill Clinton, who claims to be Feherty's biggest fan. "You must have a lot of spare time on your hands," Feherty told the 42nd president. "You clearly left the cupboard bare in media advisors if you're doing this show."
As a talker, 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. So broad is his appeal that CBS even asked him to audition as Andy Rooney's replacement on "60 Minutes." The fact that Feherty didn't make the cut may have had less to do with his Q score, a celebrity popularity rating system, than his mordant choice of material. In one bit he offered three situations in which it's permissible to laugh at a funeral: "One was that you didn't like the deceased," he recalls. "Two, if the pallbearers drop the casket." He can't remember the third.
The joy of Feherty is that he's a free spirit. In a sport known for its humorless straight-arrows, he's madcap and relentlessly mischievous. There's a primitive, unreconstructed schoolboy in him, who likes jokes about farts and testicles and the rude bits of female anatomy. And, as the British comedian John Cleese once said of a fellow funnyman, he can tear it off by the yard.