If you were a Stoolie in late 2016, you might have seen a dude come in with a Wallaby (not a Kangaroo) pitching an idea for a shark fishing show.
Well today is July 18th, 2019 and Barstool Outdoors is OFFICIALLY here. That sentence feels insane to type with my fingers in real life. I care about it a shitload, more than anything I’ve ever made in my life. Maybe you’ve heard of Stool Scenes before, maybe you saw me dancing shirtless with a rodent this Spring, or maybe you’ve seen something about Barstool Outdoors on social media over the past couple years, but this is the entire story.
In late summer/early fall of 2016, I was fishing at a place called Busch Wildlife in St. Louis (Lake 24 the tiny one by 35 if I remember correctly) and had the idea that I should cover fishing stuff for Barstool. I was living in my parents basement and “underemployed” and basically just consumed EVERY SINGLE piece of Barstool content possible. They had a million funny people covering a ton of subjects, but there wasn’t a “person” for Outdoors. It was the subject I knew better than anything else, and no one was doing it. “Holy shit!” I remember thinking, it might actually be possible.
I made a music video (yeah I know I used to be a white rapper) and Dave followed me the next day.
I DMed him begging for a chance to come in and interview and after a ton of nervous anxious waiting for about a month, set off from St. Louis with one of my best friends Jaimee, ready to try and jump through the screen into my favorite company in the world’s office. The same people who I had read for almost a decade would be talking to me in real life!
I came to Manhattan with a Marsupial in hand on December 16th, 2016, and pitched Dave on the idea of Barstool covering Outdoors and him paying me to catch sharks. There is no way he knew it was coming after only knowing of my existence from a music video a month earlier. He was somewhat intrigued enough to not kick me out and I kept coming to the office for the next 3 days in hopes of everyone just forgetting I didn’t work there yet and assuming I was on payroll. Eventually he called me into his office and said that they had a spot for me at Barstool making a reality show version of “The Office” of Barstool. I obviously said YES and on the way out Dave told me to “keep filming stuff” in the meantime, in reference to the Outdoors videos I had brought him.
It was the best moment of my life, but while I had just gotten a job at the place I had been dreaming about, I was sort of rattled when I walked out of the room because I was terrified that I’d missed my chance and would be stuck behind the scenes filming other people doing what they love forever. While it was WAY better than any other option I had in my life, part of me felt so extremely close while so far. In retrospect, its VERY fair to say the idea needed to be worked on a little bit. I had never hosted an Outdoors show, not a single person on the internet had a clue who I was, I had no specific rollout for a video product, and was quite literally some random dude off the street with a mid-sized mammal.
There was only one path left to go down, put all my effort into making a quality product in Stool Scenes that would make the company money and build Outdoors on the nights and weekends. Barstool is a crazy place where your personal growth is COMPLETELY in your own hands. I didn’t know if it would take 3 months or 3 years, but I was going to try for as long as it took. I knew was that as long as Stool Scenes was doing what it needed to, I could build a foundation for the Outdoors franchise of my dreams while working in the #1 place on the internet for creativity and growth all WHILE watching and learning from Dave, Dan, Kevin and all of the funny ass people here.
As my time from Barstool turned from a week to a month to a year, I made it a mission to sneak as MUCH Outdoors stuff into my social media or into content whenever possible. As time went on, brick by brick it started to become a “thing” and I could sense the traction that was slowly but surely building.
On my birthday this year, I finally put out a trailer for everything that we had been working on.
It got such a surreal response and I finally felt like I was close to getting an opportunity to do Outdoors for Barstool in a legit fashion. I honestly have zero idea if it was related, but that Monday Dave called me and Hank into his office and said he wanted to revamp Stool Scenes and have Hank run it. He said that I seemed to be doing more Outdoors stuff and that I didn’t need to be involved in Stool Scenes as much anymore if I didn’t want to. I was so unbelievably excited. I knew Hank is the one who should be heading that show up and that this meant I may have a chance to finally take my shot with Outdoors. In the months that followed, we have grinded the video files into what I think is an unreal collection of stories and experiences from across North America.
My vision is to make this into the Barstool version of Steve Irwin or Discovery Channel. The most beautiful, dangerous animals that the world has to offer, with a focus on the even wilder characters that exist around them. The Gladesmen that spend their life on the edge of society, the fisherman who have never heard of “Hamilton” or what Kanye is doing, but that live in the context of the Earth and all the creatures in it. In my opinion, Barstool is best when it is viewing the world through the lens of the real people that make up the country. By the common man, for the common man. I’ve seen and heard funnier shit from the people I’ve fished with than any movie or tv show and I want to capture that as much as possible.
Its about the journey as much as the catch, but I would be lying to you if I said its not about the catch. Every weekend from May til October I left on Friday night and traveled different places all over the country and came back late Sunday night. And goddamnit we caught some of the coolest shit that exists in this hemisphere. Sawfish, Makos, Sturgeon, Threshers, Hammerheads, Alligators, Alligator Gar, Burmese Pythons, big ass Catfish by hand, and so much more. And not only are the quarries unreal, the locations they are found are a who’s who of Outdoors destinations. We fished/hunted/explored Islamorada, British Columbia, Montauk, Wisconsin, Louisiana Bayou, the Everglades, Nantucket, Alabama, and everywhere in between.
“Season 1″ has been a grassroots effort and it is very cool. The real room for growth however is going to be the potential for bigger Outdoors guests. The guests in Season 1 focused on authentic personalities like Hannah and Jeff Barron, Gatorboys Chris, Kevin Estrada of Sturgeon Slayers, Python Cowboy, Capt. Skip Nielsen, AckSharks, as well as an episode with our own Donnie Does.
Season 2, how unreal would it be to get Steve Rinella or Rogan type guys, other Barstool people (I can’t even imagine how funny Dave would be in the woods or on a boat in the middle ocean), all while keeping a consistent base of common man outdoorsman involved from across the country. There is an incredible amount of room for growth with the base this season is going to build and I think it will only get better with the opportunities that come with more exposure.
After 2 and a half years of traveling, shooting, and editing, I am extremely proud to announce that Barstool Outdoors is finally here. Not just as a tweet or an Instagram account, but as a full fledged series. I could not be happier.
THANK YOU to Logan, Rudy, Dana B (numba 3), Kyle Dunn, Tom, Youngstown Bob, Quigs, Trey, Loud Sean, Jen, Erika, Dave, Matt Brown, and Mal for being so patient and helpful making the idea of a Barstool Outdoors show from a COMPLETE pipedream to a real live finished product. These people spent their own money and time on something that legitimately means the world to me and I will never forget that. Thank you to Hen Ease, Arya, Josh, and Rudy for crushing Stool Scenes and taking it to another level so I could really focus on trying to make Outdoors a reality these past few months.
The support from inside Barstool makes me feel so awkward because this is not a place for touchy feelies and that’s what I get when I see it! All of this shit means SO much to me that I feel extremely corny saying the honest truth about how insanely cool it is to have my friends and people whose humor and content I admire promoting videos of my dumbass fishing. Legitimately thank you SO MUCH.