A Golf Lesson From the Mayor.
OK, here’s the next chapter in the story of how Honolulu’s former mayor, Frank Fasi, ended up in an episode of Hawaii Five-0.
It started with an incident (see the post of two days ago) when the filming of a Hawaii Five-0 episode caused a traffic jam on Kapiolani Boulevard in Honolulu. A week or so later, I got a call in my City Hall office from the Five-0 casting director, Bob Busch, with what was obviously a peace offering. Bob said Five-0 would be shooting a scene with Jack Lord on the Waialae Country Club golf course and they needed a couple of extras to be part of Steve McGarrett’s foresome. (McGarrett was the main character in the series played, of course, by Jack Lord). Would the mayor, asked Bob, be interested in being in the scene and would I like to come along, too?
Frank agreed and at the appointed time, we showed up at the golf course to find one of the greens had been commandeered by the Five-0 production crew. The director explained that while playing golf with the Mayor of Honolulu, Steve McGarrett would be interrupted by a phone call and have to dash off to deal with a development in an important case.
When everything was ready for the scene, Jack Lord emerge from his trailer, said hello, and then rehearsed the shot. The phone call was to come just as McGarrett was about too attempt a putt. Lord bent over the ball and gripped his putter when, startling everyone, the mayor suddenly said, “Hold it!” He said it was obvious from the way he gripped the putter that Jack Lord knew nothing of the game and that every golfer in the TV audience would know that instantly. And so, for the next couple of minutes, while the rest of us watched nervously, the mayor instructed Jack Lord on how to sink a short putt.
Finally Frank was satisfied, we all took our places, the director cried “Action!” and the scene went off without a hitch: Steve McGarrett sank his putt with passable form, his mobile phone rang, and he announced that he would have to leave. Whereupon, with no notice and to everyone’s shock and surprise, the mayor ad libbed:
“Doggone it, Steve, I finally get you on the golf course and I’m beating you, and you have to leave!” The director hollered “Cut!” and there were howls of laughter and applause. What’s more, when that episode was edited, Frank’s line was left in the final cut that was broadcast coast-to-coast and around the world.
Hawaii Five-0 reruns are still being shown here and there, and who knows? One of these nights when you can’t sleep, you might actually catch an episode with that scene. If you do,look for the guy in the background holding the flag. That’s me.