Thursday, February 7, 2008
Golf Digest Editor-in-Chief Jerry Tarde recently ranked the top comedian golfers. From fifth to first, it went Larry David, Ray Romano, George Lopez, Bill Murray and, at the top, Tom Dreesen. It’s an accurate evaluation, but it’s an incomplete read of what fans get from watching them on the links – good golf does not necessarily beget good jokes. (Not that golf acumen is irrelevant – George Lopez and ‘08 absentee Bill Murray has shown us some high forms of hilarity celebrating good shots.) Below, we rank the funniest guys to follow:
5. KEVIN JAMES
KJ is a funny guy. “Big people don’t need a reason to sweat,” he jokes on the Comedy Central special currently running. “ ‘What, were you jumping rope in the attic?’ ‘No, I peeled an orange about an hour ago.’ ” Thing is, his comedy is better suited for the spotlight mic or the sitcom audience, not the spontaneous stage that is the Pro-Am. For some hard-to-pin-down reason, though, the stylish Kangol gear he pimps is funny all by itself.
4. RAY ROMANO
The game of golf is inherently funny (and cruel…and bizarre). Romano knows this, and isn’t afraid to show it. Thus, his funniest moments aren’t one-liners, though he wings some zingers, but his reactions. Danny Gans played in the foursome behind the guy everybody loves last year. “It was great,” Gans says, slipping into Romano’s nasal tone. “From the next hole, you’d hear, ‘Oh, cooooome owwhhhhn.’ ”
3. TOM DREESEN
He’d be ranked more highly if he wasn’t a class act trained in showmanship by Frank Sinatra: He espouses loud bits that could distract other golfers – precisely the type of shenanigans crowds love. But he doesn’t need them – he’s approachable as hell and gladly will share funny stories about Sammy Davis Jr. and Sinatra, or playing LA’s Comedy Club with the young Lenos and Lettermans of the world (see story, pg. 25).
2. GEORGE LOPEZ
Lopez is El Más Chingon of this group, equally fearless diving into crowds and lampooning Pebble’s stuffy burgs. “Sometimes I’d cook chorizo just for the smell,” he says of the time he spent living in the lily-white environs. He’s only grown more comfortable with the crowds and his game over time – recent years have seen him throw his club theatrically, drop into the splits and crowd surf after drilling money shots. Meanwhile, he and Andy Garcia traditionally play in the same foursome, and have evolved into a duo with great comedic chemistry.
1. DANNY GANS
Somehow Gans squeezed a lifetime of talent into a five-minute bit at last year’s Clambake. He called it “The 12 days of Christmas” and proceeded to pile a dozen rapid-fire impressions into unparalleled lyrical satire that zoomed through Larry the Cable Guy, a femmy John Travolta, squinty Clint Eastwood, Rodney Dangerfield, Wayne Newton with a lisp, Christopher Lloyd from Back to the Future, Woody Allen, Pee-wee Herman, Colombo, Cheers’ Cliff Claven, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Andy Rooney. This AT&T, fans can chase a list of celebs around, or they can find funnier versions of that many more stars in one guy.