Feherty brings love of golf, life to Kirby
David Feherty relies on his wit and charm as he tells golf stories and much more during his live show.
“It’s me, a microphone, a spotlight and a desk with a chicken on it for some reason,” he said.
The former professional golfer and sports analyst is bringing his show, “Feherty Off Tour — Wandering Around On His Own,” tonight at 8 p.m. to the F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts in Wilkes-Barre.
The Irish-born golfer turned professional in 1976, playing in Europe and on the PGA Tour in the United States. In 1997, Feherty retired to become a golf analyst and, since 2011, has host- ed the primetime talk show “Feherty” on the Golf Channel.
Feherty was nominated for a 2014 Emmy Award for his work as an outstanding sports personality as studio host. Feherty said he really appreciates his audience, and enjoys meeting fans. It’s a part of his life he never imagined would come about.
“I never thought that would happen,” Feherty said. “If people had said to me 20-30 years ago, I’d be in broadcasting, I would’ve said ‘You’re out of your mind.’ If people had said, ‘You’re going to have your own show,’ I’d have said, ‘You’re out of my mind as well.’”
Feherty’s promoter, Brad Jones, first suggested a live stand-up type show after hearing Feherty at a speaking engagement. Feherty’s concern that people wouldn’t want to hear his golf stories dissipated after they realized he talked about more than that anyway.
“It’s been a tremendous experience for me,” he said. “It’s about life, and my life and other people’s lives, and it’s largely anecdotal as well.”
Feherty said another reason he wanted to do the “Off the Tour” live show was to share stories told to him by greats like Ken Venturi, Arnold Palmer or Lee Trevino, before they’re lost.
“These are men who are getting older — we’ve already lost Kenny Venturi. I don’t want these stories to die. They’re funny,” he said. “They remind us of a time when sport wasn’t so important.”
When it comes to his televised talk show, Feherty said he likes to create a rappaport with guests, not an atmosphere where he attacks them. Feherty has interviewed golf-loving personalities like former President Bill Clinton, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, five-time NBA MVP Bill Russell, and actors Samuel L. Jackson and Don Cheadle.
“I have guests. They’re not victims,” he said. “I like to show people a different side of my guests, perhaps one they’re not familiar with because of public perception.”
However, Feherty warned that his live show is entirely different, and not politically correct.
“There’s no interview. I’m interviewing myself,” he said.
While he’s done plenty of live television, he said it’s different when a theater of fans are right there in front of you, listening to every word.
“It’s kind of terrifying for me,” Feherty said. “People are generally very kind to me. I get a lot of comments, because I do commentary a little differently — I can’t take sports seriously, I really can’t. It’s a pastime. That’s all it is.”
David Feherty will perform tonight at the F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts.