How Impersonating Arnold Palmer Launched This TV Host’s Career

By Brian Flood 

ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt explains that it’s impossible to follow in his footsteps because his path to success isn’t something that can be duplicated. Van Pelt was a young production assistant for the Golf Channel when he was asked to impersonate Arnold Palmer during rehearsals for a new show. Former Golf Channel executive producer Michael Whelan asked, “Who is this idiot that thinks he’s Arnold Palmer?”

The next thing Van Pelt knew, he was a reporter for the network. “I was no more a reporter than I was an astronaut,” Van Pelt said. A friendship with Tiger Woods would propel his career even further, and it’s a good thing it worked out for the current midnight SportsCenter host.

“I’m not capable of doing anything else,” he said. “The whole TV thing is just a gigantic happy accident. There is no recipe I can give you.”