A Chat with Jon Daly About John Daly and Adam Scott and Adam Scott

daly_golf_classicWhen Adult Swim Golf Classic airs tonight at 11:30pm, comedy pros Jon Daly and Adam Scott finally take on the roles they were born to play: pro golfers John Daly and Adam Scott. For Daly, the special’s been a long time coming — he’s even gone so far as to create the website JonDalyIsJohnDaly.com complete with an extensive photo collection — and while he might not be that great of a golfer, he couldn’t possibly be worse, which makes him the perfect comedian to channel the other Daly’s daring wardrobe choices, Arkansas drawl, and love for the game. Ahead of the special’s debut tonight, I spoke with the comedian Daly about his longtime fascination with the golfer Daly, how it evolved into the Adult Swim show, and what it’s like trying to win your Google search results back from a sports legend.

Hey Jon! How’s life been?

How’s life been? Life’s been great! I just was on vacation with my wife in Hawaii and that was lovely, and yeah, I’m doing some new projects, I’m doing a pilot…so yeah, I’ve been great. [laughs]

Sometimes I just like to know, right at the top, if people are feeling good.

Totally! Yeah, I’m generally 51% good.

Before I ask about the special, I want to ask you first about the website you created a while back: JonDalyIsJohnDaly.com.

Well, I’ve been a fan of John Daly the golfer since I was eleven years old and he came out on the PGA Tour, and he won the British Open and the PGA Championship and was just kind of, you know, this badass working-class golfer from Arkansas. He was this real Paul Bunyan figure to me. He couldn’t care about golf rules, he has an alcoholic drink named after him — which is an Arnold Palmer with a shot of vodka in it — he wore loud clothing and generally didn’t care about the etiquette of golf in any way and still succeeded on his own terms. So I just thought he was interesting, and the fact that he was the first famous person to have my name. Tyne Daly was almost there, but Cagney & Lacey was never my thing. So it was just John Daly.

So yeah, he had my name, and the purpose of JonDalyIsJohnDaly.com is to take over my Google search, because a few years ago if you’d search his name then he would come up, and if you searched my name, his Google search would basically encompass mine. So in order to take back my own Google search I made JonDalyIsJohnDaly.com, which is kind of a menu for just disseminating those pictures on the internet. So now if you google “Jon Daly” it’s pictures of him mixed in with pictures of me as him. [laughs] So yeah, that was kind of it. It was just like “Let’s take back my Google search. How can I do this?”

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How’d the Adult Swim special come together? When did you decide to turn that idea into something bigger?

Well, I had the idea of doing another thing with John Daly, and I did this movie The Secret Life of Walter Mitty with Ben Stiller, and Adam Scott was in it. So I was working with Adam Scott and we were talking about this, and I had the idea and I pitched it to him, and he said he had similar problems. And then I realized that not only was there a John Daly but there was an Adam Scott — this handsome, new, young, Australian, good-looking golfer that was a champion who just won the Masters two years ago and is just continuing to win a lot — and so he’s this young champion…and then versus this legend John Daly, this Paul Bunyan mythological figure versus a young hot hotshot? I was just like “We gotta do this!”

You mentioned earlier you’ve liked John Daly since you were a kid. Were you a big golf fan, or just a big John Daly fan?

I liked golf, but I wasn’t playing it. I played team sports like hockey, but I’d never really played golf. My dad was obsessed with golf and I would watch golf with him on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. It was constantly on — I was constantly taking naps, fully asleep to the whispery, weird sounds of golf. So I would say I’ve been obsessed with the aesthetic of televised golf moreso than the actual game of golf, which I am absolutely terrible at, as you’ll see in the special.

What was production like? How long did it take to shoot?

It was two days — one day of just us playing golf competitively against each other and trying to win. What you see is really us trying to beat each other. So there was one day of shooting that and then another full day of pickups and just trying to capture the beauty of Trump National.

As Adult Swim specials go, I found it very relaxing to watch. Definitely a soothing experience.

Oh, yeah! This special is extremely relaxing. [laughs]

And it’s so polite too. I mean, there are a few times the guys get a little angry, but it always ends with a cordial handshake.

Well there’s gamesmanship and then there’s sportsmanship. Gamesmanship is definitely important, but sportsmanship is important too — you gotta realize that your opponent is the person who’s giving you an opportunity to compete, so you gotta respect that. You’ve gotta have sportsmanship, and golf is a very sportsman-like game. It’s very polite.

Have you had any communication with John Daly?

I have had no communication yet, up to this point, with John Daly. I would love to meet him and be friends with him and possibly work with him in the future, maybe on another one of these or something else. I think he’s awesome, so simultaneously I’m kind of making fun of him but at the same time, the reality is I think he’s amazing, and he’s built a brand around himself, and he really is one of these people who is a legend who is completely aware of his own legend and myth and cultivating it, and I think anyone who’s doing that is fascinating right off the bat. So yeah, I’d love to meet up with him, have a beer, and have him hit a golf ball out of my mouth or something like that.

Adult Swim Golf Classic airs on Adult Swim tonight at 11:30pm.

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