On Wednesday’s Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Tiger Woods made his first late appearance since his scandal. Anyone expecting Jimmy Fallon to ask him “What the hell were you thinking?” (what Jay Leno inquired of Hugh Grant in 1995) was probably disappointed. Fallon did address the scandal, in a roundabout way, choosing to open with, “It’s been a year and a half since you were on our show… what have you been up to?” Woods’ response: “Uh, nothin’. Nothin’. Playin’ bad golf.”
We do have to give props to Fallon for thanking Woods, ad nauseum, for the gift he gave late night shows. “I want to say thank you for having the courage to come on a late night comedy program…. It must have been a painful and awful situation, the whole thing you went through, but from a comedian’s standpoint, and my monologue writers’, thank you so much. That was some of the greatest comedy we did ever. I mean, you must have heard every golf joke in history, but that is like a magical thing to happen, your awful pain. And we laughed at your pain, and I mean, not even making jokes — it kinda wrote itself. I mean, ‘balls,’ ‘shaft,’ ‘holes,’ ‘foursomes.’ I mean, it really writes itself. I just want to say, thank you. thank you, thank you.” Woods laughed heartily and said, “You got it.”
Surprisingly, that’s when Woods looked the most relaxed. The rest of the time — talking about the four different practice greens he has to simulate the different sands he encounters on tour, the more than 10 million kids he’s helped with the Tiger Woods Foundation, the new Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12: The Masters game — he appeared nervous. Maybe he was worried we’d be rolling our eyes. We were, but only because he didn’t loosen up. I get that he probably didn’t want us to come off cocky by having fun, but this isn’t a press conference. As Fallon said, it’s a late-night comedy show. At least Amy Poehler, Fallon’s other guest, lightened the mood when she suggested Woods could finally wear one of his green Masters blazers on St. Patrick’s Day. Watch the interview below, along with something Tiger Woods-related that will entertain you.