The following is an interview I conducted with Joe Dan Gorman of Intellectual Frog Legs fame. The interview was originally 10 pages long, so this version is edited, while still maintaining Joe Dan’s unique “voice” and lively character.
LS: Joe Dan, where did you grow up?
JDG: I was born in Dallas, but grew up in Hazard, Kentucky and at that time, the coal industry there was rockin’. That was before the liberals went crazy and before the EPA (Environmental Pollution Authority). It’s a town of less than 10,000 people in the coal fields of the Appalachian Mountains of Eastern Kentucky. I can’t imagine growing up in a better place.
LS: Did the coal industry in Hazard go out of business entirely?
JDG: No, not entirely, but it did shut down the mom and pop businesses because they had to pay money to not only maintain their licenses and all of their overhead costs, but they had to buy new equipment to meet the new EPA regulations. Only the larger and mega companies could afford it. It was just more hypocrisy of the liberals. They’re against the corporations, but with all of the regulations the small businesses can’t compete. I was back in Hazard in 2007, and the town has almost stopped.
LS: Were you the class clown in high school?
JDG: Yeah, I’m afraid so. I was a terrible student, but yes, I was the class clown. I was always funny and my dad—he could always light up a room. We used to run a hotel with a bar and restaurant. We actually served frog legs—no joke. I’m Joe Dan. My dad was Joe Pat. People loved Joe Pat. He was a true entertainer at heart, and a good man. I like to think I got a lot of that from him. My mom, Louise, may have actually been funnier than Dad. She had a dry sense of humor, so I’m pretty sure I’m a blend of both parents.
I never knew what I was supposed to be doing with my life until God humbled me in 2008—and came into my heart in 2011. I never think about what I lost, but instead I’m focused on serving God. To be humbled is to not be defeated.
LS: Joe Dan, you told me in a previous conversation that you used to be a real estate broker and when the market went south, you lost everything. Is that when you started your show first Internet show, The In-Word?
JDG: There was actually a small gap in time. I literally lost everything in 2008 following the Arizona real estate collapse. You might recall Arizona was one of the hardest hit places along with Nevada, California and Florida. I had attended the University of Arizona, and subsequently became a broker/instructor and investment specialist in the Tucson Area. I didn’t know what I was gonna do or where I was gonna go, but I had to go somewhere because I was being evicted. That’s when God intervened and I got a call from my Aunt Jean in Kansas City.
She invited me to Kansas City, even offering to help me get there. I had been praying like a son-of-a-gun. Although I had a hunch then, I am more convinced now that God had her call me. The next thing I knew, I was travelin’ my country-butt up to Kansas City.
Once in Kansas City, I began to dabble in online commerce; we opened an e-Bay store called, Uncle Fred’s Attic. We began to see significant growth until President Destruct-O got elected. We watched as business got slower and slower until we had to eventually close it, which was seriously depressing. I thought, Dang, I’m too old to be startin’ my life all over.
LS: When and what was your very first video?
After our on-line store went into the toilet, I began thinking of what I could do. I had just joined Facebook a few months before that and saw various political videos that were posted. Never in my life had I produced or edited a video, but I started to think that I could. There’s no manual like a Dummies Guide to Doing a Web Show—trust me, I looked. I did have experience as an audio engineer, figuring it would basically be the same thing except I could hear and actually see the tracks. Eventually, I produced my very first video on June 22, 2009 (my birthday) on a cheap laptop with the Moviemaker software that came with it.
Using the song I Will Follow Him from Sister Act, the video is a spoof on the liberal media’s ridiculous infatuation with Obama. I uploaded it to YouTube on July 3, 2009. That’s when I accidentally created JoeDanMedia. I needed a name for my dang YouTube Channel, so I just threw the word Media on the end of my name and scrunched it all together. I had no idea it would become a company name.
Today that video it has over a quarter million hits.
After I did that one, I did several other short music videos, one called Live to Die, a piece about radical Islam that was ultimately banned by YouTube.
Later I came up with the idea to do The In-Word. Isn’t that a great provocative name? The show originated with Alfonzo Rachel and me. I kept sending Alfonzo messages until he answered me. I said, Look man, I’ve got this little idea for a Blog Talk Radio show called The In-Word. When he agreed, I was actually quite stunned.
I always liked cracking a joke so I thought I could be the side guy and have some smart person talking. As it turned out, Alfonzo was so busy that he couldn’t do much on the show. I ended up doing most of the talking. I really didn’t like that at the time. I detested the radio format, but I was learning.
LS: Sonja Schmidt did a lot of videos with PJTV for a while, as does Alfonzo. She was also involved with your show. Tell me about that.
JDG: What an awesome lady. I love Sonja. I am so honored that she spent any time with me. Have you seen this chick’s resume? She’s worked with In Living Color, The Arsenio Hall Show, Disney, etc. Anyway, I met Sonja when she was a guest on The In-Word with Zo and me.
A few months after Zo and I ended the radio version of The In Word, Sonja and I started talking about doing a UStream version of it, basically making it a show that could be watched instead of audio only radio format. Now my plan was for Sonja to be the host, and I would pop in occasionally—kinda like her Ed McMahon, but as we began working together, Sonja told me I was actually kinda funny. She kept getting me to talk more, so we became more like co-hosts. So it’s Sonja’s fault—she encouraged me. Blame Sonja.
LS: Your videos are very creative with smooth transitions and very funny scripts. Those, combined with your body language, videos and music make them hilariously entertaining.
JDG: I think it’s just a natural thing that you either have or you don’t. I do what I think would be fun—fast paced. If I feel it dragging, what better time to have someone walk into a glass door or crank up some old Foghat or ZZ Top.
LS: How did Intellectual Frog Legs start?
JDG: Intellectual Frog Legs started because I get so frustrated with my fellow Conservatives, more specifically the way we interact with media. And for the record, when I am speaking about Conservatives, I’m speaking generally. I know I have already turned many of their butts off.
Conservatives get outraged, and every bit of our programming reflects that. I always believed we could address these same serious issues in a way that was not so stern or somber, but in a way that would appeal to more people outside of the Conservative realm.
There is zero conservative humor except for a couple of folks. I love Dennis Miller. He has a brilliant mind; however, now that he’s a Fox News regular, he’s become two parts political pundit and one-part comedian. Then there’s Greg Gutfeld who absolutely cracks me up, but seriously, there’s ‘no programming where Conservatives are actually having fun and talking about things that make sense or the things we’re not allowed to talk about, like God.
My mission is the media and the schools. I tell people we’re upset about Benghazi, we’re upset about the borders, we’re upset about gays getting married, etc. Go down the list—Benghazi, Fast and Furious, the spending, the voter fraud—all of these things we should be upset about, but they’re actually just the by-products of losing our schools and media—our .societal input generators who demonize everything we hold dear.
LS: How did you come up with the name Intellectual Frog Legs?
JDG: Not sure, it’s not that I love frogs or anything. But I’ve had a blog for a while called Boiling the Frogs that was gaining traction. I had some people who wanted to write some stories, and I didn’t necessarily want them on that blog so I came up with a sub-blog, thus the name Intellectual Frog Legs. I thought to myself, That’s kinda funny. The Intellectual part lets the viewers know we’re very confident in our mental capabilities. The Frog Legs part indicates we don’t take ourselves too seriously.
People say that I talk about schools and the media, but I don’t talk about God. I have more pro-God pieces than most anyone outside the clergy. Now, if we can get some control over the schools and/or the media, we can begin to welcome God back.
We’re sitting here talking to thousands of people, while they’re talking to millions. We’re doomed if we don’t at least begin to make some in-roads; otherwise, it’s game over; but I’m an optimist. I think we can do this, but we have to bring attention to this stuff.
We need reasonable and practical solutions—solutions that deal with the root of the problem, not the by-products. In other words, we need to quit worrying about the little fires, and go after the arsonist. The arsonists are our criminal media and our union-run school systems.
Whatever we do, it has to be free; it has to be simple, and we’re not talking about any political crap—no legislation, but real things that you can do, that I can do, that the reader can do and not next week, but now!
Number One: The Schools.
We have politically-driven union members in charge of teaching our nation’s children, not hesitating to manipulate science and history for political purposes because the correct political opinion is more important than knowledge, wisdom and truth.
I propose we turn more churches into affordable private schools. Go talk to your church! Heck, if we can create more church-based private schools, we can start getting our kids away from the union freaks, and it will help the many cash-strapped churches.
Number Two: The Media.
Turn ’em off. It doesn’t get any simpler than that, and it’s free.
Here’s an eye-opening factoid that I pointed out in my last show. Name one Conservative or Republican achievement over the last 15 years. You can’t. How sad is that?
Grab a tissue and look at the accomplishments of the radical left: gay marriage, government healthcare, open borders, the powerful EPA, demonizing coal and oil. All left wing socialist dreams are coming true.
What’s really sad is that we make fun of them because we think we’re smarter.
As Conservatives, we embrace the rational. We embrace tradition. We don’t re-write history, we learn from it. We know lower taxes generate increased revenues. We see socialism’s undeniable track-record of failure after documented failure, yet we are watching as it snowballs in front of us.
Plus we have Eric Cantor who tells us that we Republicans need to change our message. Eric, shut up and sit down. I’ve had it with you and John Boehner, and John, if you start crying again, I’m gonna smack you and give you a reason to cry.
LS: While Karl Rove, John Sununu and all of the other RINOS in the party are trying to get rid of the Tea Party, we need to be working on weakening their ilk.
JDG: Ronald Reagan was the last Conservative that we had running for office. I would love for the Republican Party to be awesome, but they’re not; they have betrayed us. The Democrat (not Democratic) Party is Communist now. The former-Democrats who weren’t ready to embrace Communism have now taken over the Republican Party. There is no home for Conservatives anymore.
This is why I keep on saying, Turn off the media. I’m attacked by some psuedo-Conservatives who insist they don’t need to turn ’em off, because they are too smart to be brainwashed. Are you kidding me? These folks could not miss the point any more if they were hiding behind their couch wearing a fake mustache. It’s not whether or not you’re getting brainwashed; it’s that we’re funding our own demise. We are helping to generate their advertising revenue—revenue that is used against us. This is not rocket surgery. You are not supposed to be your enemy’s customer.
LS: Recently, Ann-Marie Murrell took a bold stand by canceling her cable and letting it be publically known. That took will power.
What drives me crazy is that we pay to see movies made by Commiewood. By going to movies, we pay to promote their leftists causes. I believe we can eventually shut them down by not going. As you say about the press, Cut ‘em off! However, we need to promote Conservative and Christian movies.
JDG: Amen Darlin! And God bless you and Ann-Marie and all of the others who have already done so.
But we need calculated and organized efforts to start the snowball rolling—and again, something simple and free that can include every freedom loving American. A massive organized effort to turn off the media; it would mess them up because it would hit them in the bank account.
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