Generating ABC’s top summertime numbers, the miniature golf game show, Holey Moley is a hit. Last night’s premiere opened as Thursdays No. 1 TV show in the adults 18-49 and beating out FOX’s new Spin the Wheel premiere by 41%. It’s the network’s best overall summer series debut in two years since Steve Harvey’s Funderdome from June 2017 (and is not on this summer’s schedule).
ABC apparently feels pretty proud of themselves and they should. Holey Moley is a fun show that’s appropriate for the whole family compared to Dax Sheppard’s innuendo-laden comments during Spin the Wheel. Instead, the show is hosted by NFL commentator Joe Tessitore and comedian Rob Riggle whose banter seemed surprisingly tame understanding the show’s potential audience. If you missed last night’s show, you can get caught up next Sunday when Holey Moley will get an encore presentation after the two-hour Highwire Live in Times Square with Nik Wallenda.
During each of the 10 episodes, a dozen contestants are featured putting their mini golf and physical skills to the test over the many different supersized golf course holes. The show began with a simple windmill challenge that you’ve seen many times at your local miniature golf course. Only here, the smaller one is sandwiched between to larger ones. The idea is that not only do the contestants need to get the golf ball through the smaller windmill, but they themselves must get past the giant spinning blades of the large ones. Something the first contestant didn’t do. In fact, both attempts landed her in the tulips. The falls were spectacular where I’m sure her pride was hurt more than she was physically. Even if you don’t plan on watching the show, I recommend watching the first ten minutes as these spills are worth watching.
Contestants are just as colorful as the props including “lumber” jack Bob Jensen and “unicorn Jared Gustaven seen below.
From there, we got to see different pairs of golfers face off against a log roll, huge gumdrops on a spinning floor, a super slippery mountain and more all leading up to three final contestants facing the daunting Mt. Holey Moley where one will be crowned the winner, receive the “Golden Putter” award, a green plaid Holey Moley jacket and $25,000 in pocket change not to mention bragging rights.
Holey Moley is sort of a mix of ABC’s former hits Wipeout and Battle of the Network Stars. The commentators even wear the coveted gold Wide World of Sports sport coats. (If you are unaware of what the means, you’re too young.) Believe it or not, the show is executive produced by NBA star Stephen Curry, who is also miniature golf champ himself and is set to appear in each episode. While much of the show will remain the same from episode to episode, the show will feature a number of special distractions including Kenny G. playing a happy tune in the player’s ears while they try to concentrate. Next week a drill sergeant is expected to appear. It’s silly, creative and a lot of fun.
Holey Moley appears again this Sunday at 10 p.m. with a repeat and then appears with a new episode next Thursday, June 27 at 8 p.m. on ABC.
I write about arts and entertainment in the greater Seattle area.