A synopsis of the “Adult Swim Golf Classic” doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. To wit:
Comic actors Adam Scott, of “Parks & Recreation” fame, and Jon Daly, cosplay as professional golfers Adam Scott and John Daly, respectively, in a nine-hole match set in 1966 and played at Trump National Golf Club Los Angeles.
The play on the players’ names of course makes sense, but pro golfer Adam Scott wasn’t alive in 1966 and John Daly was, well, barely alive. He turns 50 in May. And Trump National L.A. definitely didn’t exist in 1966.
And yet, “Adult Swim Golf Classic” is really funny on multiple levels.
There’s the slapstick — pardon the pun — part. Adam Scott, who looks a little like the 2013 Masters champion, and Jon Daly, who bleached his hair blonde to somewhat resemble John Daly’s glorious mullet, didn’t B.S. the golf part. They actually hit all the shots for the nine-hole exhibition. And they’re beyond horrible at golf. They played like two guys who had never played the game.
For some reason, it was legitimately funny to what a somewhat fast-forwarded version of two guys who are worse than 36-handicaps try to play the demanding Trump National course, when this was shot last November, from the championship tees. The terror of matching hideous golfers with a long course comes to a head on the final hole after Scott and Daly come to a gentlemen’s agreement that this shoot will never end if they try to play the 450-yard finisher from the elevated back tee.
Then there’s the satire, which can be easily lost amid the strangeness of the premise and execution. The “Adult Swim Golf Classic” makes merciless fun of the glory days of “Shell’s Wonderful World of Golf.” It kicks off with the blatant cigarette advertising, a relic of a bygone, blissfully ignorant era.
It carries through to the long setup of the 30-minute special, which is going to be completely lost on the folks who typically watch Adult Swim shows. There are the glamour shots of the two players, the build of their credentials to a non-golf audience and the inherent display of pre-match friendliness to remind the audience that this is a gentlemen’s game.
Then there’s the on-course play-by-play team of Golf Channel’s Gary Williams, who capably delivers stone-faced funny lines while needling the preposterous nature of this whole thing, and golf instructor and legend Eddie Merrins, who offers some genuine analysis of the truly terrifying golf Scott and Daly display.
The actors Scott and Daly try to act in a way vaguely reminiscent of the pro golfers who share their names, with Daly wearing the 1960s equivalent of the two-time major winner’s Loudmouth Golf clothing. Daly also smokes, frequently, at one point throws a club into a water hazard (and wades into the water to retrieve it) and delivers lines with a mild southern drawl. Scott, donning a white mock turtleneck, seemed to channel the Aussie’s good looks and fashion sense and teleported it back a half-century. There’s really no effort at the accent, though.
But what got me most is the incessant handshaking. In the 30-minute show, it felt like the two actors averaged a handshake per minute, and the frequency of them increased as the match gets closer to a conclusion. And, if Scott and Daly picked up nothing else on golf, they realized golfers handshake all the damn time. It is the universal greeting. It’s the way a match ends. It’s how to say goodbye. It’s the safest way for two golfers to celebrate and be on the same page of how they’re going to touch — high five and fist bumps be damned.
Here’s an example. The other day, my wife and I went to a bar for an afternoon sip ‘n’ bite. We talked to this guy at the bar the whole time, and it was great. Afterward, we walked out to go home and our new friend was on the phone. What did I do to say goodbye? Reached out my hand. What the hell.
And that was before I watched the “Adult Swim Golf Classic.”
Is it kinda stupid? Yeah. Does it make a whole lot of sense? Not at all. But it works, and I couldn’t stop laughing.