UT Alum’s Award-Winning And Laugh-Inducing Documentary Released On DVD

Left: Jack Rebney on the set of the Winnebago sales video. Right: Ben Steinbauer pretending to drink caffeine. Photos courtesy of Ben Steinbauer

Winnebago Man, directed by UT’s own Ben Steinbauer, MFA ’07, has just been released on DVD. Michael Moore calls it “one of the funniest documentaries ever made,” and audiences agree. 

In its tour of film festivals in 2009, Winnebago Man won the CineVegas Film Festival Audience Award for Best Documentary and the Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary at the Sarasota and Edmonton International film festivals. 

Steinbauer’s film catches up with a Winnebago RV spokesperson, Jack Rebney, whose hilarious outbursts were caught on tape during the filming of a Winnebago sales video in 1988. Steinbauer was mesmerized by Rebney after first seeing it and would watch the tape whenever he had a bad day. Millions soon followed when the creation of YouTube in 2005 turned Rebney into an Internet phenomenon virtually overnight.

Steinbauer wondered, “Who was the man behind the swearing? And what had become of him since his celebrity?” 

As a graduate student in UT’s film production program, Steinbauer set out to find Rebney. After months of searching and a private investigator, he made contact and turned his first encounter with Rebney into the 30-minute thesis film that concluded his graduate work.

To Steinbauer’s surprise, Rebney continued to contact him and their relationship grew. All the while, Steinbauer and colleague Berndt Mader, MFA ’07, kept the camera rolling.

Years later, Winnebago Man has evolved into both a moving narrative of an unlikely friendship and a thought-provoking commentary on the effects of the Internet’s new age.

The documentary has been on tour nationwide since its world premiere at South by Southwest in 2009 and gotten positive reviews from The New Yorker, People, and more. If you missed it, simply can’t get enough of Jack, or want to spread the laughs, head to to purchase your own copy.

And check out The Alcalde‘s January|February issue for more on Steinbauer and the making of Winnebago Man.

Here’s a sneak peek at the film. Warning, though — Rebney’s mouth earned him the nickname the “angriest man in the world,” so it’s not safe for work.


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