Winnebago Man – review

In 1988 Jack Rebney was filming an industrial video for Winnebago. It was hot and uncomfortable and Rebney kept forgetting his lines. Whenever he did forget them he would unleash a string of profanity. The day wore on and the outtakes piled up. Someone, we don’t know who, compiled all of the outtakes onto a VHS tape and started passing around copies. That’s how the legend of Jack Rebney started, something that was once rare and is increasingly common, an old-school viral sensation. For years these tapes were passed around and copied and passed around again. Eventually, in the new millennium, and with new technologies, the taped outtakes made their way online and to Youtube. Where they again proved to be very popular. (If you haven’t seen them you should head over there and get a taste)

Who in the hell was this man with such a colorful vocabulary? Is he still alive? What really happened on that video shoot. Why has he proven to be so popular and relatable? What does it mean for the subject when something goes viral? When your worst day at your lowest can never be forgotten?

Winnebago Man aims to answer those questions and more.

Winnebago Man is a compelling look at the cantankerous person behind the video and his journey towards confronting his fame and embracing the people who are his fans. Rebney is a hard man to like, but he is always interesting. When you break through his gruff exterior you come away with a different impression of the man than the one captured on that fateful day. Winnebago Man is worth checking out.

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