Don't let the fist pumps fool you. Golf isn’t a drama. It’s a dark comedy . . . well, at least according to stand-up comedian and self-professed golf addict Rory Scovel.
“There’s so much comedy in golf, which is why looking back you see people like Bob Hope, Bill Murray and so many other celebrities,” says Scovel, who first entered American living rooms in 2011 with an appearance on “Conan” before going on to record a comedy album with Jack White, open for the likes of Nick Swardson, and host a Netflix special.
But it’s not the visors that make him laugh. It’s deeper than that. “A lot of comedy comes from tough situations, and what I like about the game of golf is that it doesn’t ever let up. The entire sport is about letting go and not holding onto stuff. A lot of jokes are designed to help cure people of that same weight.”
Scovel, 39, played a bit of golf growing up in South Carolina. But he didn’t get serious about it until five years ago, when a high school buddy asked him to sneak in a quick round. “I don’t know what happened during that round, but I got bit by the bug, and I’ve been completely addicted since,” he says.
Scovel, who carries a 15-handicap, isn’t joking. He watches the PGA Tour every week (he thinks Jason Dufner would be the best at stand-up) and is on a quest to beat his low round of 80. Next on his list, he says, is to start checking off some of the world’s landmark courses.
He manages all of this while maintaining a family (he has a wife and daughter) and career, including his upcoming Comedy Central series, “Robbie,” which he co-wrote and stars in.
“Thankfully I have a wife who’s probably grateful that this is my obsession and not something else that could kill me,” he says. “People say there are worse addictions, and they’re always referring to drugs, but this one might be just as expensive.”