Fe­herty brings love of golf, life to Kirby

The Citizens' Voice - - Jump Start! - kgay­[email protected]­i­zensvoice.com, 570-821-2118 By Kristen Gay­dos Staff Writer

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.”

SPE­CIAL TO THE CIT­I­ZENS’ VOICE

David Fe­herty will per­form tonight at the F.M. Kirby Cen­ter for the Per­form­ing Arts.

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