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Series / Holey Moley

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Putt up or shut up.
"Welcome to the Thunderdome of mini golf."
Rob Riggle

Holey Moley is a series on ABC created by Chris Culvenor that premiered in 2019. It pits various miniature golf pros and enthusiasts alike against a mini-golf course taken to the extreme with super-sized challenges and obstacles to conquer.

All of the contestants seek the coveted $25,000 grand prize, along with a snazzy plaid jacket and golden putter. With two large ham announcers, Joe Tessitore and Rob Riggle providing cheesy commentary and a lot of self-deprecating humor about contestants and the game, it values fun and camaraderie above all else.

Executive producer, basketball player, and experienced golf player Stephen Curry frequently appears to hog the spotlight and assist the golfers.

The series returned the next year for a second season as Holey Moley II: the Sequel, with even more wacky gimmicks, a slimmer number of golfers to accelerate the game's progression, and a championship putt for $250,000 at the end of the competition. Third and fourth seasons have been ordered, with the third releasing in 2021 as Holey Moley: 3D in 2D.


On January 21, 2021, Rob Riggle, Joe Tessitore, and Jeannie Mai appeared on Celebrity Wheel of Fortune to compete for charity.

This series contains examples of:

  • Aborted Arc: The Sequel was going to have a subplot where Stephen was busy building a special hole, The Tomb of Nefer-Tee-Tee, for the Grand Finale, with segments checking in on him at the construction site. While the idea is still mentioned, the segments had to be axed and replaced when COVID-19 lockdowns kept them from being filmed.
  • Affectionate Parody: Of hardcore athletic competitions like American Ninja Warrior and The Titan Games. The creator stated that he wanted to make a show that was a counterpoint to them by featuring a silly sport that anyone could play.
  • Anticlimax: After being hyped up all season, both Joe and Rob admit that the Tomb of Nefer-Tee-Tee in The Sequel was underwhelming for a big championship hole.
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  • Art Shift: The large majority of Stephen's appearances in The Sequel are animated instead of in-person, since he couldn't get on-set before COVID-19 lockdowns went into effect. This even extends into the closing ceremonies where the winning contestant is also animated when they receive their jacket and golden putter.
  • Awesome Mc Coolname: Rob thinks this way of a golfer named Blake Sledge in 3D in 2D; always saying his name with added emphasis and talking about him as if he were a superhero or a secret agent. This continues when Blake Sledge returns for the season finale.
  • Blind Without 'Em: One golfer in the first season takes a dip in the water in the Arc de Trigolf hole and loses his glasses at the bottom of the water hazard. Production brings in the pool fishing nets and pauses the competition until they find the glasses so he can putt.
  • Butt-Monkey:
    • The announcers usually make a joke at Course Marshall Joe's expense at the times when he appears on the course. The animated segments in The Sequel also often subject him to cartoony pratfalls. In an Imagine Spot in 3D in 2D, Rob crushes Course Marshall Joe's car with a monster truck.
    • Joey, the designated loser on the Diving Range hole in The Sequel. The hole makes golfers (Joey and two others) do a high dive, with the worst being ejected before they even get to putt. The gag is that Joey dives far better than the other golfers, but the diving judges and Rob rant about how bad he is and Joe is the Only Sane Man who thinks he's any good.
    • On Celebrity Wheel Of Fortune Jeannie Mai called out Rob and Joe for campaigning to get a heated indoor commentator's box while she was stuck out in the field in the cold.
  • Call-Back: The Parcade in 3D in 2D is styled like a pinball machine that has obstacles referencing holes from the previous two seasons (the Log Roll, Uranus, Putter Ducky, and the Tomb of Nefer-Tee-Tee).
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: Rob often says some pretty weird stuff, with Joe acting as his Straight Man. Like when one golfer had "Avocado" as a nickname; Rob continually pronounced it as "a-VOC-a-doo" and speculated as to its meaning even as Joe tried to correct him.
  • The Comically Serious: Both Joe and Rob mine a lot of humor out of making absolutely absurd statements with straight faces.
  • Corpsing: The commentators crack up at the silliness of the show fairly frequently. Joe tends to break into laughter more often, if only because Rob is the more likely of the two to ad-lib a one-liner that would set it off.
  • Crossover: A really weird one with The Bachelor in The Sequel. It featured Chris Harrison as a guest commentator, and all the players were single men and women, with the girls exchanging their high heels for golf trainers and concluding with a "date" between the remaining man and woman on Double Dutch Courage (the girl actually went after the lifeguard instead!).
  • Cutting Corners: Evidently, the budget ran out with the lackluster Beaver Creek in The Sequel, which was just a spinning column over blue cushions as opposed to water. Even the paint was coming off during gameplay. It's no surprise that this hole was ranked as the least popular at the end of the competition.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: One of the more humiliating distractions on the Distractor course in the first season, set on shaming the golfers; and when the golfers are finished putting, he moves on to Rob and gives him a Death Glare that leaves his eyes wide open and his lips sealed shut in terror.
  • Electric Torture: Utilized on Frankenputt in The Sequel, where contestants don shock bracelets on their arms and legs. They have nothing to worry about if they ace the hole in one stroke, but if not, they receive a nasty zap of electricity for every additional stroke taken if they miss the hole.
  • Filler: When The Sequel had retrospective specials air after its finale, Rob lampshaded in both episodes that it was because ABC needed to fill holes in their schedule on the cheap.
  • Final-Exam Boss: The final hole in the season finale of 3D in 2D, "Parfishdutch", combines Parcade, Fishing Hole, and Dutch Courage En Fuego into a single extra-long course with multiple obstacles.
  • Hold Up Your Score: The diving segments. Sir Goph always puts up symbols such as "walnut orange" which always translate to a "4." And Joey usually gets a 1.0 or worse from the other judges (see Butt-Monkey above), and Goph's score.
  • Honesty Is the Best Policy: Chris readily fessed up to accidentally tapping his golf ball on Arc de Trigolf in the first season.
  • Hurricane of Euphemisms: Both The Sequel and 3D in 2D feature holes with Double Entendre names, with the hosts making as many jokes as possible. In The Sequel it was Uranus (meaning the planet) and in 3D in 2D it's The Pecker (as in woodpecker). The Parcade in 3D in 2D also gets honorable mention, since it includes a reference to The Sequel's Uranus hole and invites the same jokes.
  • Ice-Cream Koan: In the first season, Stephen Curry usually appears in an interstitial where he babbles something nonsensical in a profound manner.
  • Incendiary Exponent:
    • Dragons Breath, a medieval-themed hole in The Sequel, has giant dragons that blast incredible amounts of flames at the golfers, who are clad in fireproof suits and face shields while looking like royal knights. Rob joked that the original name for this hole was "Lawsuit".
    • 3D in 2D goes and lights the Dutch Courage hole on fire for that season's variation, Dutch Courage En Fuego.
  • Long Title: The Sequel concluded with extra retrospective episodes called Holey Moley II: The Sequel: The Special: Unhinged: Part One/Deux. The hosts mock and complain about the name throughout both specials, and a few times it was even made even longer.
  • Looks Like Jesus: In episode 8 of season 1, Chris, who has long blonde hair, gets compared jokingly to Jesus by Joe and Rob.
  • Medium Awareness: In episode 9 of season 1, Rob says, "stick around because we want a season two." It happened as desired.
  • Mythology Gag: Joe and Rob wear the same yellow jackets as that ABC's 1970s sports commentators did in shows like Wide World of Sports. 3D in 2D makes another reference with a ski-jump-themed hole called Agony of Defeat, referring to the famous line from Wide World's opening and accompanying clip of a ski jump wipeout.
  • One Steve Limit: Averted as the show has two Joes; one commentating and one as the Course Marshall.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: The show is guilty of periodically editing out some matches and skipping over losing golfers to the point that sometimes they don't even get their names mentioned. The Sequel largely gets rid of this by cutting back on the number of golfers and holes per episode (a hole or two will still have a part skipped over, but at least all holes get shown).
  • Pie in the Face: Clowning Around, a hole only appearing in the final episode of The Sequel, has clowns throw pies at the golfers whenever they miss their putt.
  • Product Placement:
    • 3D in 2D has The Fishing Hole, which is sponsored by a fishing supplier.
    • Season 3 episode "Pretty Tee-rrific" has Rob plug fake beer brand "Meister King". It is apparently very bad.
  • Recycled IN SPACE!: Ho Ho Hole from 3D in 2D is a Christmas-themed reskin of Polcano from The Sequel, which itself is a volcano reskin of Mount Holey Moley from the first season. The first time Ho Ho Hole shows up, this fact is heavily lampshaded with a montage of Polcano clips.
  • Running Gag:
    • Rob Riggle often expects The Distractor to be a bear.
    • Rob often mentions and flashes his distinctly loud pants nearly every episode.
    • Joey always gets shredded by the judges on Diving Range, and Sir Goph always gives a nonsensical score that Course Marshall Joe interprets as a four.
  • Series Mascot: Fitting for a show about golf, Sir Goph; a gopher dressed in Medieval attire. Other gophers similar to Sir Goph show up from time to time, like Lady Gophina, Sir Goph's girlfriend, Evil Twin Evil Goph, and Dr. Frankengoph, a mad scientist gopher that shows up on the Frankenputt hole in The Sequel.
  • Sequel Escalation: Season 2 features holes that are much more elaborate than Season 1. For example, Season 1's final hole was made even more difficult and turned into an opening round.
  • Sir Not-Appearing-in-This-Trailer: For unexplained reasons, a contestant failed to appear as scheduled and automatically lost.
  • Spiritual Successor: To Wipeout. Holey Moley is actually filmed in the same location Wipeout was, the Sable Ranch in Santa Clarita, California.
  • Sudden Death: Comes into play if two or three golfers tie each other's stroke counts, resulting in each golfer attempting a six-foot putt to the hole as a tiebreaker. Some holes like the Distractor, Tee'd Off, and the Tomb of Nefer-Tee-Tee are in a Sudden Death format to begin with.
  • That's Gotta Hurt: One golfer took a bad spill on Slip N' Putt and smacked his face on the slope, which led to a nosebleed. On the same hole, another golfer slid down on her bare knees and once she crossed onto the green, the grass tore up her left kneecap and it bled heavily. (The Sequel added a barrier at the bottom of the slope to prevent skidding on the grass from happening again.)
  • Third Is 3D: Parodied by the third season being named 3D in 2D. And true to the title, it is in 2D.
  • Toilet Humor: Hole Number Two in The Sequel. Yes, it's that kind of "Number Two" - golfers have to dash past a row of port-a-potties before their occupants open the doors and smack them into the water. 3D in 2D makes it even worse, replacing the water pool with sewage.
  • Took a Level in Badass:
    • In season 1, Dutch Courage had two four-bladed windmills and an ordinary miniature windmill to get past. Come The Sequel, the hole received an upgrade to Double Dutch Courage, with the big windmills now featuring five blades and a drawbridge that raises after putting a ball onto the green and forces players to leap their way through the second windmill. The mini windmill is gone, since the hole was made already hard enough. 3D in 2D takes it even further by lighting the windmills on fire as Dutch Courage En Fuego.
    • Mount Holey Moley, the original designated final hole, was retooled into Polcano, where the drop zone element became more difficult, and the zip line onto a floating platform became a zip line to try and grasp a giant totem pole. In 3D in 2D, it became Christmas-themed as Ho Ho Hole.
    • Arc de Trigolf, where players had to launch their ball up an arch and cross four thin platforms and ring a bell to lower a guillotine to stop their ball from going in the drink, became Uranus, which carried over some of the old hole's elements, it focused the difficulty on the platforms to cross by making them planets of increasingly smaller size (round surfaces of differing heights being harder to traverse than flat ones of the same height), and contestants have to be extra cautious as they pass to the putting green. The guillotine element, which made the hole a bit unfair with two kinds of stroke penalties in play that made the platforms seem redundant, was replaced with a special chute which, if played correctly, catches the ball and launches it onto the green and may result in a hole-in-one.
  • Top Ten List: Among the "Best/Worst Moments" montages in The Sequel: The Special, one was a Top Ten list of (Double) Dutch Courage wipeouts. Rob complained that he hates Top Ten lists and started rattling off reasons why (which Joe pointed out was turning into a Top Ten list in itself), and between each entry Rob kept going off on tangents about Top Tens like "Is it ten best or worst, or is there even a difference?" and "Isn't there technically only one moment that can be the best/worst?"
  • Uranus Is Showing: The Sequel includes a planet-themed hole named Uranus, and the hosts make every Uranus joke they can think of. This extends into 3D in 2D, as the Parcade includes a Uranus obstacle that allows the hosts to continue making these jokes.
    Rob: [after a ball gets caught in a tunnel] Did it get stuck in Uranus? Can somebody reach up in Uranus and get it? [Joe starts Corpsing and tries to compose himself] Well, I just don't want Uranus to get clogged. Especially this early!
  • Wacky Marriage Proposal: 3D in 2D introduces the wedding-themed hole Holey Matrimony. Appropriately enough, the first time it appeared it was played by a dating couple, and the man proposed afterward.
  • WTH, Casting Agency?: Invoked in 3D in 2D. One episode was a "family night" where all the one-on-one match-ups in the first round were related to each other, such as being siblings or engaged... except one pair, who were total strangers who happened to have the same last name. Joe and Rob were visibly confused on realizing this, and commented that someone in Casting was about to be fired.