Monday Night Football and Top Rank Boxing commentator Joe Tessitore lends his voice to a different kind of sports competition tonight as Holey Moley, ABC’s new extreme miniature golf-themed summer primetime reality series, makes its debut (8 p.m. ET).
Tessitore, who was also part of ABC’s Battle of the Network Stars reboot in 2017, hosts the show with comedian (and 2012 ESPYS host) Rob Riggle. Golden State Warriors NBA star Steph Curry also appears on the show and is an executive producer.
Tessitore, who talked about Holey Moley this morning on ESPN Radio’s Golic and Wingo, expands on the concept, the unique course design and paying tribute to ABC Sports’ legacy.
What is the Holey Moley course like?
The course has a Willy Wonka quality to it. We’ve all grown up with the standard miniature golf course, now all of a sudden that same windmill hole is 10 times bigger. The course is what separates Holey Moley from other primetime network competition shows. It really feels like you’ve entered another world. And in that world, miniature golf is all that matters.
Did you have a chance to play any of the holes?
I played ‘Sweet Spot.’ It was an extremely humbling experience to put it mildly. I really wanted to play a few others.
What’s the toughest hole?
The French-themed ‘Arc de TriGolf’ is very difficult because you have to make a strong and powerful tee shot that goes over a 30-foot arch, then the golfer has to run across elevated spaced out pads over a river to try to get to the other side and activate the guillotine to stop their golf ball from going in the water. A lot of golfers went in the drink!
How much did you work with Curry?
Almost all of my interaction with Steph was by way of headsets on-air together. We had some great laughs. He’s an exceptional golfer and you’ll see in many of the episodes a new side to him. He was all about being Stephen the ‘resident golf pro’ rather than Steph the NBA star. He is really invested in the success of the show.
What do you enjoy most about doing these ABC primetime shows?
Everybody loves the throwback ABC Wide World of Sports gold blazers. Every time I’ve worn it, I think about [former ABC commentators] Howard Cosell, Jim McKay and a different time in television. I know there are a lot of people who look at this show and say, ‘What in the world are they putting on TV now?’
But remember [former ABC executive] Roone Arledge and the guys who wore those blazers had a lot of fun for many years showcasing demolition derbies, barrel jumping, waterskiing jumps, soapbox derby, and even the Oklahoma rattlesnake hunt. Any form of sports competition is good entertainment.