As comedian Louis Anderson said about the book, COMICS OPEN, "Golf and comedians, always good for a laugh." The producers of this new show are veteran Hollywood comedy filmmakers who produced and directed such hits as Columbia Pictures, "Hardbodies"
The producers have already shot their first season with veteran comedian Paul Rodriguez. He plays a golf course owner who has turned his clubhouse into a comedy club so he can be the emcee. To complete his bliss, he imports a knock-out Russian mail-order bride to be his golf partner and soulmate. The world he has created is unlike any golf situation seen before. Think of Fawlty Towers meets Caddyshack with a little Benny Hill thrown in.
Producer Dalton and Director Madden had trouble finding a golf course that would let them build a cemetery next to a fairway, with an open grave that Paul Rodriguez could chip a shot from. They shot a few scenes at The World Golf Village, home of the Golf Hall of Fame. "Very nice people, " Madden insists, "But it was like trying to shoot 'Hogan's Heroes' at the Pentagon..." So, when they wanted to run an army tank across a fairway, the response was not always enthusiastic, to say the least. But at a small course named River Bend Golf Links just outside Jacksonville, Florida, they found the home they were dreaming of. This is an ex-US Navy golf course recently taken over by 2 local businessmen, Stephen Joost and Scott Gladysz. They like having the filmmakers there and aren't offended when they flip a car over and have nuns crawl out while giving advice on golf swings. And they are delighted when Paul Rodriguez delivers a monologue in their clubhouse prior to filming a segment for the series. Likewise, the City of Green Cove Springs and Clay County have chipped in with police cruisers and an EMS unit from the fire department to help fill out scenes in the show. To producer Dalton, "This is like the good old days in Hollywood, when everyone wanted to make a movie and we all pitched in. It wasn't just about money, it was about having a blast making movies!" Director Madden adds, "We have college interns working next to union old-timers, and Hollywood veterans acting with local improv comics. You'd be surprised how generous the pros are in spending time with the newbies. It gives the production a good vibe."
The episodes that have been previewed to the press and the golf community have received rave reviews. The show was just picked up by ClickOnGolf.TV which is based in England. "This was a great endorsement for us," cites Madden. "The nay-sayers told us that US comedy doesn't work overseas. But we knew that slapstick always works because it's physical humor, not just verbal." And he adds,"I got my film degree in the UK and so I do know a thing or two about what the Brits find funny." They also noted that initial YouTube statistics showed that Hispanics and Russians were tuning in to preview screenings, which makes sense given the backgrounds of the 2 stars, Paul Rodriguez and Maria Zyrianova.
The initial objective of the producers is to cultivate as large an audience for the show as possible, by making the episodes as hilarious as possible. We have backers who understand that audience equals value. "We are not going to spend our time chasing sponsors and advertisers now, because once we have an audience, they will find us," states Dalton. "Golf has hundreds of jokes that have been told over the years. We will mine those, and mix in a few new ones," says Madden. "I don't think that well will ever run dry..."