Winnebago Man | Chicago Reader

Winnebago Man

In 2006 documentary maker Ben Steinbauer went looking for Jack Rebney, the RV pitchman whose uncontrolled temper and unabashed profanity in a 1988 video blooper reel had made him a YouTube legend. When Steinbauer finally found Rebney, now in his late 70s and living in seclusion atop a mountain in northern California, he turned out to be just as irascible as he was in the outtakes, though by that point his anger had shifted to Dick Cheney and Walmart. This engrossing documentary widens to consider the phenomenon of viral videos and the humiliation they can bring to their sometimes unsuspecting victims, then narrows to profile a man more thoughtful and philosophical than the foaming caricature he's left behind on the small screen. By the end of the movie, Rebney seems to have come to terms with his notoriety, which may not be a blessing but seems much less like a curse.

Credits

Director:

  • Ben Steinbauer

Cast:

  • Jack Rebney

Producers:

  • Joel Heller
  • James Payne
  • Malcolm Pullinger
  • Ben Steinbauer

Related Stories

  • Viral Video and Its Victims

    Viral Video and Its Victims

    After 20 years of torment, RV pitchman Jack Rebney has his say about the angry outtakes that changed his life.
    • Oct 14, 2010

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