Winnebago Man

2010

Winnebago Man

Critics Consensus

Though it doesn't quite answer all of the questions it raises, Winnebago Man is nevertheless a fascinating, hilarious, and surprisingly poignant look at a geniunely colorful internet celebrity.

90%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 62

80%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 19,106

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Movie Info

Jack Rebney is the most famous man you've never heard of -- an RV salesman whose hilarious, foul-mouthed outbursts circulated underground on VHS tapes in the 90s before turning into a full-blown Internet phenomenon in 2005. Today, the "Winnebago Man" has been seen by more than 20 million people worldwide, and is regarded as one of the first and funniest viral videos. Filmmaker Ben Steinbauer goes in search of Rebney -- and finds him living alone on a mountain top, unaware of his fame. Winnebago Man is a laugh-out-loud look at viral culture and an unexpectedly poignant tale of one man's response to unintended celebrity.

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Critic Reviews for Winnebago Man

All Critics (62) | Top Critics (26) | Fresh (56) | Rotten (6)

Audience Reviews for Winnebago Man

  • Apr 11, 2013
    A poignant, in-depth look at arguably the first YouTube star before YouTube even existed, that being swearing RV salesman Jack Rebney. Instead of the documentary being a mash-up "greatest hits" of this figure, director Ben Steinbauer makes a concerted effort to find out what happened to this man who was last seen by the public eye in 1989 when he was flipping out between takes of these marketing videos he would make for RVs. What makes this film so interesting is the "everyday man" tone the current Jack Rebney strikes with the viewer. He may be a bitter, angry old man, and we might not ever figure out what makes him that way, but it does not stop us from pulling for him to feel appreciated for those many lives he has, almost inexplicably, touched and all the people he made laugh through the years. Not an ordinary documentary by any means, and certainly not a film for everyone, but still a film that shows a man looking for one last run at glory before retiring into his cabin in the woods with his loving dog for good.
    Dan S Super Reviewer
  • Mar 29, 2013
    Who is Jack Rebney? And why is he so angry? These are the questions that film maker Ben Steinbauer wondered for years. Finally he decided to answer his own questions by finding Jack Rebney and documenting the experience. What we get is a look into the life of an interesting man. It may not answer every question you have, but it has heart and you feel a human connection with Jack Rebney. It's all about the human experience. What we find is a real, comedic adventure that I'm glad to be apart of (even as just a viewer).
    Chris M Super Reviewer
  • Jun 30, 2012
    Jack Rebney: I don't believe that I have the capability of being able to couch anything in a vernacular that's going to be understood by the people that you want me to talk to.  Winnebago Man is an interesting enough documentary, in that we get to see the person behind the viral video. "Going viral" is a term we hear all the time now, but it has never really been anything I concern myself with. Honestly, I don't give a fuck if someone is playing with a sword, trying to do a backflip, or cussing up a storm. There's just more important stuff in the world. So I'm with Jack Rebney on that one, as he to, fails to understand the love for the video. Honestly, I don't even find the outtakes funny. Why I liked the movie to the extent I did, is because I grew to like I guy I really didn't know anything about or really care about. A filmmaker who was obsessed for years over the viral video makes a documentary on the man himself. He wants to know if the guy is truly as angry as it appears. Is he mad about the publicity? Does he care that people find his rants amusing? Who is this guy? These are all questions the film asks, and like a good filmmaker, he answers them through his subject. If there's anything we can take from a film like Winnebago Man... actually there is nothing I can truly take away from it. I didn't learn anything about the human condition or about anything that truly matters. I just learned that Jack Rebney is a pretty cool old guy that loves to swear and thinks Dick Chaney is the worst human being to ever live. That's enough for me. This little documentary did enough to entertain me, while presenting a story I can't say I really care about.
    Melvin W Super Reviewer
  • Mar 29, 2012
    This is a comprehensive documentary that varies its message in many ways, but comes out the other side as an expanded student film venture and radically changes a viewer's perspective on its subject. The film itself is broadly about Jack Rebney, who unfortunately starred in ten minutes of outtakes from a Winnebago industrial film, which spread around the internet as of 2005. It was a traumatic and humiliating experience, a fact that filmmaker Ben Steinbauer addresses by also talking about other Youtube sensations such as the Star Wars kid, who ended up in a mental institution. Instead of being solely about how we as the public view these people's embarrassment in lieu of our own laughter, we look at Jack Rebney and the interesting way he himself deals with the sensation and how his life has been effected. The filmmaker is passionate about his subject, interested in the plight of Jack and where these no name celebrities end up, or where they are in their lives. Just because it isn't encompassing of the entire Youtube community does not diminish its subject's journey through life, the way he is perceived by different audiences, and the view of personal safety and one's own self image when the spotlight is shone without permission. Jack ends up isolating himself in the cavernous California mountains, and becomes quite defensive once Ben wanders around to find him, unraveling the hatred, the workings of Jack's powerful mind. Jack turns out to be a man of intellect, unchallenged and unchecked. He is only slightly more controlled than his video shows, but is a man of thought and wonder above all else. Overall, I found this documentary engaging simply because Jack was so insightful and surprising. This film gave me an entirely new perspective on the infamous video in question, and now makes me think before I laugh at the misfortune of others. Truly, a thinker.
    Spencer S Super Reviewer

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