So last night my friend Allia and I watched the documentary film Winnebago Man. It’s a story about Internet sensation and Winnebago pitch man, Jack Rebney, who’s colorful and aggressive commentary between takes from commercial filming went viral long before the Internet helped it achieve worldwide popularity. For years it was literally passed around on VHS tapes and for years no one knew what happened to Jack until filmmaker Ben Steinbauer hired a P.I. to find him.
When Ben finally found Jack he did not believe he was a star. He admits later to putting on an act when the filmmaker hunts him down and we meet him for the first time. The story is there is no real story. We meet Jack and that was that, but then Steinbauer starts digging deeper and realizes that Jack is a fragile man whose eyesight is starting to fade due to the onset of glaucoma. Over the next few months and oncoming years, we see Jack grappling with old age and failing health. Locked in a constant battle with Steinbauer, Jack fights with him about what he wants to say to people. Upon the completion of the film, Steinbauer films himself and Jack along with his best friend at the Found Footage Festival in San Francisco. Jack speaks to the audience. He is charming, witty and funny, and his passionate anger about Dick Cheney makes the crowd go wild.
Here is the trailer: