Red Green Show Thrives Thanks To The Internet And A Whole Lot Of Duct Tape
from the quando-omni-flunkus-moritati dept
This one is a tad old, but it is certainly worth sharing. A while back, Chuck Norris’ Enemy (deceased) sent in this great interview with Steve Smith, the creative mind and star of the Red Green Show. This show, for those who are not familiar with it, is the amalgamation of comedy, handyman, and personal counseling all wrapped up in duct tape and presented by the backwoods host Red Green. Just to give you a taste of what this show has to offer, here is one of my favorite skits from the show.
In this interview, Steve describes a few interesting things about what has happened to the show in the five years since it was taken off the air.
Q: It’s been more than five years since the show signed off, so how is the fan base growing?
A: Two things: No. 1 YouTube. I mean fans are putting clips up there, and we are getting response, and we are getting new viewers that have never seen the show, only the clips on YouTube. And then we started putting them up ourselves. We are putting all the episodes up. We have about 120 episodes on YouTube now. Soon we will have all 300 up.
The second one is Facebook. We are almost at 500,000 followers on Facebook, so we have this line of communication. So between those two, I’d say brand awareness is more than ever.”
What I find interesting here is that Steve has embraced the full potential of YouTube. Not only does he upload videos, he actually allows and encourages the uploading of clips by users. This line of thought is something that is completely absent from many others in the television and movie industries. They would rather control what is shared and what people are allowed to watch. Unfortunately for them, that attitude only results in a stale online presence. The ability for new fans to find your show and share it is key to surviving in this internet age.
Next we have Steve contemplating the future of the show.
Q: Will you ever bring the character back to television?
A: I really doubt it. For one thing, I’m really preferring the Internet to television these days. I like having direct contact with the fans rather than having to go through some middle man or interpreter. If I was to do anything, I would probably do it on the Internet rather than on TV.
Q: Have you considered a YouTube series or something similar?
A: Yeah. We’ve got some people that we’re talking to now that might want to do something like that, and that would interest me as opposed to the whole mess of a television series where you have to worry about the network folks. We don’t necessarily have overlapping agendas, and the older I get the harder it gets.”
Many skeptics of online business models would probably laugh at Steve over these responses. Those skeptics claim that the only way to succeed is to go through old and dying channels of television and theaters. Sadly, these same skeptics also would gloss over the fact that the Red Green Show has had more success in the five years it has been off the air than the entire time it was on air.
Another key point to take from this interview is the importance of connecting with fans. Much like many artists before him, Steve has recognized that and has placed the value of that connection far higher than any deal that a gatekeeper would offer. Why would Steve abandon what he has accomplished in the last five years to go back to being relegated to 10:30 pm Friday night on public television? Wouldn’t you rather give your fans 24 hour access to your content and in turn have 24 hour access to your fans?