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One of the highest-paid comedians in the world, Jeff Dunham – How rich is he?

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No one would have thought it possible that conversing with dummies would land a man on Forbes 100 Most Powerful Celebrities and the Guinness Book of World Records, as well as earn him his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, but Jeff Dunham accomplished all that and more, with what he called his ‘suitcase posse’, as he brought to life characters that millions found highly entertaining. He was dubbed “America’s Favorite Comedian” as he resurrected the art of stand-up ventriloquism by giving it an edgier, more modern take.

Get to know Jeff Durham

Three months after Jeffrey Douglas Durham was born in April 1962, he was adopted by Howard Dunham, sole proprietor of Dallas’ oldest real estate appraisal firm, and Joyce Dunham, a homemaker. As an only child, he still had fond memories of his childhood, raised in a Presbyterian household in an upper-middle-class Dallas neighborhood.

Jeff admitted to not being a cool kid, but he didn’t think of himself as weird either. He did well in school and even had perfect attendance from first grade through sixth. While he had a few friends in their neighborhood, he mostly rode his bike everywhere, and went off on all sorts of adventures on his own.

Received a ventriloquist dummy as a Christmas gift

His mother took him to a Toy Fair before Christmas in 1970, to sound him out on what he wanted. He was eight at that time and excitedly pointed out one toy after another, thinking he would take one home that day. Naturally, he would have to wait until Christmas morning before he got his present, which it turned out was a dummy named Mortimer Snerd, a mass-produced puppet originally created by well-known ventriloquist Edgar Bergen. Jeff had previously watched performances by ventriloquists on television, but had never seen a dummy in ‘real’ life until that fateful day in the store, and showed it to his mom.

He and his mother went back to the Toy Fair, where the latter bought him a record album called Instant Ventriloquism by Jimmy Nelson. His father took him to the Dallas Public Library’s bookmobile, so they could borrow books on ventriloquism – he confessed to still having the book, “Fun with Ventriloquism by Alexander Van Rensselaer” in his possession. Fast forward to 2009, Jeff gave a representative from the Dallas Public Library a $10,000 cheque for an ‘overdue fine,’ and had the audience laughing when he brought out that particular book on stage, still haven’t returned it.

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Why did he get into ventriloquism?

Not many people would choose ventriloquism, a performance act in which a person would create the illusion that his or her voice came from somewhere else usually a dummy, as a hobby or a way to make a living because it was thought of as strange. This wasn’t really surprising, considering that back in the day, it was considered a religious practice used to foretell the future or speak to the dead. Its entertainment value was explored in the 18th century, and went from there.  However, with the dummies being featured in psychological thrillers and horror films, it gave creepy vibes to some.

So, what made Jeff Dunham go into ventriloquism? There wasn’t really anything he was particularly good at or interested in when he was young. He couldn’t exactly pinpoint why he found the ventriloquist dummy appealing, but its uniqueness and the idea of making it talk fascinated him. It had become a way for him to get out of his shell; he was never popular and just sort of blended into the background. He said, ‘If I developed this skill of ventriloquism, I could make people laugh; I could finally stand out.’ and he certainly did.

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His first performance

Jeff made his debut as a ventriloquist in his third-grade class at the Northwood Hills Elementary School. It was for an oral book report on the Grimm Brothers’ “Hansel and Gretel.” With Mortimer Snerd on his knee and him pulling the string on its neck, he gave a two-minute presentation. Perhaps encouraged by the warm reception, he gave an unscripted routine for 10 minutes in which he made fun of his teacher and classmates. Everyone liked it.

His teacher, Miss Bentley, gave him an A+, and Jeff believed it was not because he delivered a good report, but because of what he accomplished – ‘The shy, almost pudgy, fairly unremarkable kid with freckles and braces had found something that he might be good at.’

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Meet his dummies

Jeff said that performing with a dummy allowed him to say things that he would never say and get away with it, at least most of the time. When he was creating his characters or materials, he didn’t set out to upset or offend anyone. He said that he drew a line for himself that he wouldn’t cross. For the most part, he just acted goofy, but still tried to inject edgier topics. When he had his characters say something they shouldn’t, he acted shocked, disappointed, or offended, and then protested what had been said.

Members of his ‘suitcase posse’ that helped him succeed included Peanut, the naughty but lovable purple-skinned sidekick of Jeff; José Jalapeño on a Stick with a Spanish accent; and Bubba J, a redneck who loved NASCAR and beer. They never failed to make the crowd laugh, and it was said that these were the most famous:

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Achmed, the dead terrorist

The big-headed, boggle-eyed skeleton was a failed suicide bomber, as he had premature detonation. It was introduced in 2007 in the “Spark of Insanity” special. His most popular catchphrase was, ‘Silence! I Keel You!’ While Achmed became the most popular character that Jeff created, it was also the most controversial. Not many, particularly those from the Islamic world, appreciated the humor in an ‘Arab corpse joking about suicide bombs.’ In countries such as Malaysia and South Africa, where Achmed was banned, Jeff rebranded the character and named him ‘Jacques Merde, the Dead French Terrorist’ when he had shows there.

Here’s an interesting trivia about Achmed: Jeff traveled via a private jet for a show in Medford, Oregon, but the pilot had to abort the landing due to heavy fog. They landed instead in Klamath Falls, Oregon, but as the tower was closed and no one was manning the radio, the pilot parked the jet at one corner of the airport to wait for the fog to clear. As the pilots were shutting down the engines, four military Humvees surrounded the plane and they heard a voice from a loudspeaker announcing, ‘All occupants of the aircraft: You must exit the aircraft immediately with your hands in the air…’ About 25 US Marines had their M4 rifles pointed at them as they went down the steps. Jeff shouted, ‘Do you guys know Achmed, the Terrorist?’ One Marine replied that they watched him on TV, and Jeff said, ‘You guys!..It’s me!’ That cleared up any misunderstanding, and they all shook hands.

Walter

He’s a grumpy old man wearing a frown, and had his arms crossed in disgust or discontent. Jeff named him after a friend’s father, whom he described as ‘a cantankerous old fart,’ and another welder who lived near his apartment complex. The character was actually inspired by the American actress Bette Davis. Apparently, Bette was interviewed by Johnny Carson on his show, and Jeff found her refreshing as she didn’t care if what she said was outlandish or politically incorrect. Walter was a Vietnam war veteran and a retired welder, who loved his wife but was pissed off at her too. He was a big hit when Jeff introduced him to the crowd.

Jeff on his chosen career

Although he graduated in 1986 with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Baylor University, there was no doubt in his mind about what he wanted to do with his life. He didn’t have a back-up plan as he never thought that he would fail in his career as a comedian and a ventriloquist. His parents had been quite supportive since the start, and Jeff could only recall one incident in which they expressed a little uncertainty about his chosen profession. It was during one of his visits from college, and his father mentioned how their friends’ children were going to be a lawyer or a neurophysicist, and he would say, ‘Well, Jeff is still doing his puppet show.’ He never knew if his dad was trying to make a point, or just making a joke at that time.

His rise to fame

He was voted “Most Likely to Succeed” in high school, and while he lived up to the hype, it took him a while to establish himself in his field. The goal he set for himself when he was still an aspiring comedian was to make a guest appearance on “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson,” and he achieved that in 1990. His fan base continued to grow over the years.

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Earning a solo spot in the American stand-up comedy series called “Comedy Central Presents” in 2003 was a big deal. The ratings during its premiere and repeats were quite high, and it translated to more ticket sales and more shows. The network wasn’t too keen on having a ventriloquist on their programming, however, so it was only in April 2006 that they finally agreed to air the one-hour special entitled “Arguing with Myself.” The response went way beyond expectation, which surprised not just the network but also Jeff’s team, as it had around 1.7 million viewers. It was Comedy Central’s second-highest-rated show that weekend. The DVD sales of that special were astounding, as they hit platinum within three months of its release and then before long reached 250,000 units, and continued to grow.

The airing of the second special, “Spark of Insanity,” garnered 3.8 million viewers, which proved that his success with the first one wasn’t a fluke. Jeff went on the “Spark of Insanity” tour from 2007 to 2010 across the US, Canada, Australia and the UK. He made it to the Guinness Book of World Records in 2014 for the most tickets sold for a stand-up comedy tour with over 1.9 million sold. He continued to release TV specials, some of which he wrote and became the executive producer, and went on tours across the globe except during the pandemic.

Jeff has also been a voice actor in various TV and movie projects, including “30 Rock,”  “The Nut Job” and its sequel, and “Smurfs: The Lost Village.” His autobiography, “All By My Selves: Walter, Peanut, Achmed and Me,” published in 2010 became a New York Times Best Seller, and in 2017, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce honored him with a Star for the Live Performance category at 6201 Hollywood Boulevard – Jeff was accompanied by Walter as he accepted the star.

Since he joined YouTube in December 2006, he’s gained over four million subscribers, and his videos have garnered more than a billion views. His stand-up specials, “Jeff Dunham: Relative Disaster” (2017) and “Jeff Dunham: Beside Himself” (2019) were released on Netflix Originals, and both met with success.

His car collection

Jeff’s car collection is the envy of many car enthusiasts, not just because of the size but also the range. He had the usual classic cars, but there were exotic ones as well. Some of the cars that became much talked about by fans included the Ferret Scout, a British armored fighting vehicle he reportedly purchased for a zombie apocalypse, and the 1970 Plymouth Superbird, a highly modified version of the Roadrunner having the graphic image and distinctive horn sound of the Looney Tunes character named Road Runner. He also had a Hummer with DuPont Chrome Illusion paint, which enabled it to change colors depending on the light. In 2011, he bought The 1966 Batmobile, the movie prop or stand-in car used in the filming of the Warner Bros “Batman Returns” (1992) starring Michael Keaton. They retained its look, but re-engineered it and put a Corvette engine in it so it was drivable.

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Jeff’s expensive hobby

His fascination for rotorcraft began at age four, when his parents took him to a State Fair, and thought it was the coolest thing when they rode a little Bell helicopter. In 1980, he saw a radio-controlled helicopter, and was enthralled upon seeing the four-foot-long machine lifting off and hovered five feet above the ground. He headed straight to a hobby store, and spent $1,000 on a kit, and everything else he would need to build and fly one. After a few months, he had a $2,000-worth chopper hovering an inch off the pavement. By 1986, he was building a life-size two-seat helicopter from a kit he bought from the money he saved from his acts. He did it at a friend’s barn, as he kept it secret from his parents. People from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspected his work, and he took pilot training lessons. Soon, he was flying his homebuilt helicopter all over Texas. When he was still a student pilot and had only logged 40 hours in the air, he crashed it in a cornfield, and rolled at 20 miles an hour until it stopped with the chopper lying on its side. Fortunately, he only suffered a slight bump on the head.

Personal life

His first marriage fell apart after 14 years. Try as they might to work things out for the sake of the kids (Bree, Ashlyn and Kenna), it still ended with him moving out of the house and filing for separation in 2008. His parents had stayed together for over 60 years, and he never imagined anything different for himself. Jeff shared that almost from the start, they had problems that were never addressed, and disagreements that were never resolved.

He had moved on and soon met Audrey Murdick, a personal trainer and certified nutritionist, and found it refreshing that she’d never heard of him. While his parents liked her when he introduced her to them, it took a while for his kids to accept her. Jeff was 50 when he married 32-year-old Audrey in 2012, and their twin boys, Jack Steven and James Jeffrey were born in 2015.

How rich is Jeff Dunham?

Jeff had come a long way from being an opening act to a headliner, and from filling small clubs that seated 500 people to arenas with 16,000 people per show. He realized early on that ‘You can amaze an audience once or twice, but you can make them laugh for a lifetime.’ This had become his mantra, as he said that he was a stand-up comic who just happened to use ventriloquism as a tool for comedy.

He topped Forbes’ list of highest-earning comedians in 2010 from merchandise profits and DVD sales, and his name would appear on that list again and again after that. By 2018, he was at No.9 at $16.5 million, with a gross income of close to $350,000 per show that year.

As of March 2023, his net worth according to authoritative sources was estimated at $140 million, and he reportedly makes $15 million a year. Jeff would like to think that even with all his success, his core values remained the same. As a way to give back, he’s been putting aside a dollar from every ticket sold in theater and arena dates for charity, since 2009.

As the Editorial Director at Net Worth Post, I steer a skilled ensemble dedicated to producing riveting stories about the lives and triumphs of influencers. With an unwavering commitment to precision and a flair for weaving compelling tales, I guide our content creation, from the depths of research to the pinnacle of narrative excellence. My responsibilities encompass the full spectrum of editorial management, including the meticulous investigation, narrative development, and upholding the integrity and high standard of our output. At Net Worth Post, our goal is to furnish our audience with thorough portraits that shed light on the inner workings of industries such as finance, entertainment, and more. By employing detailed investigation techniques coupled with enthralling storytelling, we illuminate the extraordinary paths and achievements of those who lead and innovate. Our work aims not just to inform but to enchant and motivate our readers by sharing the personal and professional odysseys of individuals who shape our society.

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The Untold Truth About Expedition Unknown

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Although stories about previously unknown, ancient treasures and unveiled mysteries are usually seen as fictional fantasies, those same topics are exactly what makes “Expedition Unknown” so endearing. While the show takes us to the most fantastic and historically meaningful places around the world, what has really been keeping us engrossed with it for years it’s discovering the biggest secrets history has in store for us, which wouldn’t otherwise be possible.

“Expedition Unknown”s premise is very unique and so are the show’s settings, format and approach to topics. However, knowing how well produced and planned it is, it makes us wonder about things we aren’t able to see on-screen.

For this we have prepared a list of the less known facts about the show, including interesting bits about its host Josh Gates, his crew and what they’ve discovered so far. This is the unknown truth about “Expedition Unknown“.

Josh Has An Impressive Career

Just in case you have missed it, Josh Gates has an impressive career both in and outside the entertainment industry. A native of Massachusetts and born into a British-American family, Josh graduated from Tufts University with a degree in Archeology and Drama.

Although the fields are an uncommon combination, his professional background has allowed him to incorporate both. His debut on TV happened back in 2002, when he made short appearances in the ESPN’s game show “Beg, Borrow & Deal” and other TV productions. His big time finally came in 2007 with “Ghost Hunters” and “Destination Truth”, which became Syfy’s most watched show for a while.

While his career as an actor is less well-known, it’s not non-existent either, having played roles in low-budget movies such as “Party Foul” in 2003, and “Hard Cell” in 2007.

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Josh has also been involved with the production of many of the series he’s hosted, including “Stranded” and “Legendary Locations”.

Though Josh’s background as an archaeologist has allowed him to develop the proper experience to be his show’s investigator, his involvement with paranormal-related and myth-hunter shows make him a very multi-faceted TV personality as well.

Filming Takes A Long Time

As expected, when it comes to a show so well planned and shot on location like “Expedition Unknown” is, filming could take unexpectedly long periods of hard work.

As it happens, in “Expedition Unknown” we’re used to seeing Josh and his experts travel around the world. Though that would be genuinely enjoyable for almost everyone, transporting the camera crew and production staff to those places usually takes weeks or even months of preparation, besides the normal time filming takes.

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All in all, it’s said that to produce every season of “Expedition Unknown”, the crew take 200 days a year, out of which hundreds of hours are spent in airplanes and other transport, as Josh affirms.

The Most Dangerous Place

For those who are used to seeing Josh Gates shenanigans in the show, it’s hard to think of naming only one place as the most life-endangering.

However, Josh’s closest call was definitely in Myanmar. It happened back in 2015, when he and his crew were filming the episode “Curse Of The Golden Bell” in the search for an ancient and lost artifact which took him to the depths of the Yangon River. While Josh is a professional scuba diver, he didn’t consider the difficulties that entailed swimming in such muddy waters.

The lack of visibility caused by the heavy pollution and strong currents made his mission to find King Dhammazedi’s Great Bell impossible.

As he affirms, diving there was like ‘working with a blindfold on, feeling around underwater’ and despite his initial enthusiasm, the conditions were not only just too dangerous, but actually the worst he’d ever experienced.

All in all, desisting from it was a good idea, especially considering how many people have actually died in the Yangon River while looking for the Great Bell.

Unexpected News While Filming

It’s nothing out of the normal for TV casts to be in contact with their families while filming, especially for shows like “Expedition Unknown”, in which the crews have to spend long periods traveling and away from their loved ones.

As it comes, Josh Gates was given one of the best news items of his life while filming the show. It was back in season two, when Josh and his crew were in Portugal filming the episode “Secrets of Christopher Columbus”, as he was phoned by his wife to tell him they were having a baby.

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The exact moment in which an overly excited and emotional Josh informs people around him that he was going to become a dad for the first time, was filmed and included in the episode.

Later in season four, again while on the road with the “Expedition Unknown”s crew, Josh was informed that he was going to become a father for a second time; he wasn’t filmed, we can clearly imagine his reaction.

Humor Doesn’t Always Go As It Should

Despite being an investigation-centered show, “Expedition Unknown” always has a little touch of humor to make everything lighter.

However, despite how entertaining and light-hearted Josh Gates’ jokes are to us, he affirms that being funny isn’t his strongest skill. According to him, his attempt at humor ‘falls flat all the time’, but it’s admittedly his way of not only keeping the audience’s attention, but to make the work environment easier to endure during situations hard to deal with.

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Despite the extensive planning the show’s staff does, things in “Expedition Unknown” don’t always go as they should while filming, so joking and trying to lift everyone’s spirits on set is considered important in Josh’s perspective. That positive approach is probably appreciated by his fellow co-workers, and the audience surely enjoys seeing  and hearing it.

Food Is Not Always Safe To Consume

For a show such as “Expedition Unknown”, unexpected problems related to environmental factors occur quite often. As is obvious, the crew usually deals with problems just fine, but there are times in which things get so out of hand that it could endanger the cast’s wellbeing.

The latter situation happened during the fourth season, when the crew was in Ecuador filming “Hunt for the Metal Library”, and had to spend a long time enclosed in a cave. While the crew was prepared beforehand to successfully face the conditions of said environment, having to eat in a place where there were many animals had its consequences.

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This resulted in three members of the show’s crew falling sick for consuming bat’s excrement that somehow had fallen on their food. While their health’s condition didn’t worsen and their sickness was actually not as serious as it sounds, it’s enough to give us an idea of how far the show goes to keep the cameras rolling.

Josh Married A Co-Star

As should be obvious, Josh Gates’ work schedule has been very hectic since he made his TV debut. Knowing he spends a significant part of his life on set, it’s understandable that he ended up meeting his significant other half there as well.

As it happened, Josh and his then wife-to-be Hallie Gnatovich met on the set of his formerly-hosted show “Destination Truth”, for which she worked as an off-camera researcher. Though details about their relationship are unknown, in 2014 they tied the knot, and have since welcomed two children together.

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Despite Josh’s celebrity status, he and Hallie have carefully kept their children’s privacy, by not revealing their names or faces to the public. Regardless of their choice maintaining their private, their relationship always looked blissful from the outside, that is until Hallie announced in August 2021 that she and Josh had been separated for ‘a year and half’. In her words, their divorce had been officialized just a couple of months before, and both of them were still trying to figure out their shared parenthood and separate lives.

Josh Gates Famous Necklace

One never gets surprised enough when it comes to celebrities and things their fans do for them. Although Josh Gates’ personality is pretty much on the humble and chill side, some of the weirdest aspects of being famous is the fact that his necklace, which he usually wears in the show, has become quite popular as well.

If you don’t believe us, you only have to look up “Josh Gates Necklace” on Facebook, and see it for yourself. As it turns out, the page is very active and usually updates “Expedition Unknown” fans on Josh’s shenanigans.

While the aforementioned accessory has been described as ‘not magical’ by Josh, seeing that its page has over 3,000 fans and keeps growing, it makes us question if his words are actually untrue.

How Topics Are Selected

Seeing that “Expedition Unknown”s main premise is that of pursuing and unveiling ancient mysteries, it’s only expected that a lot of research takes place prior to letting its crew adventure into often unknown territory.

There are certain aspects which play a big role while choosing what and where the show’s crew is going to explore. While every myth could be interesting enough to be considered, what catches the show’s research team’s attention is if the stories indeed have substance, or as Josh describes it, if they have ‘meat on the bone’.

With the help of international archaeologists and experts in other fields, Josh and his crew follow the leads that actually lead to something instead of simply being completely unproven.

Besides the obvious pre-research that they go through, logistics and resources are factors not to be left aside. However, according to Josh, he and the show’s crew go on their adventures without knowing a great deal about what is going to happen in the end, which obviously makes the whole deal more interesting for both them and the audience.

What Josh Has To Say About William Shatner

Throughout the years, “Expedition Unknown” has surely given us many memorable moments. Out of those, one of the most interesting was shown in the series’ spin-off, “Shark Trek”, featuring William Shatner.

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Of course, this sort of tribute to “Star Trek” was unexpected considering the show’s usual concept. Despite that, the challenges encountered by Josh Gates’ crew along the way turned out as an extraordinary experience for everyone.

However, if there’s something that stuck in our heads it was how easily William adapted to the show. It wasn’t only us who noticed it though, as Josh admitted himself that besides being an amazing co-star, William’s genuine interest made everything more enjoyable.

According to Josh, what made William’s a memorable partner was definitely his willingness to ‘tackle and understand’ his fear, in order to ultimately conquer it. Those are qualities which surely an expedition expert such as Josh appreciates a lot, and will make us remember the special show with a smile for a long time.

The Reason They Went On Exploring Sharks

As entertaining as “Expedition Unknown: Shark Trek’ was, at first many people were surprised to find that the series would continue exploring sharks, which was an admittedly unusual topic for a series mostly focused on uncovering other types of mysteries.

While the reaction is understandable, there were actually good reasons for this objective. As Josh explained, more than just going on a trip looking for sharks, his main focus was to explore human’s fearful attitude towards the unknown. In his words, the common fear towards these animals is partially caused by the media’s influence, films such as “Jaws”, and prejudices based on their appearance. However, by examining these sea creatures, Josh wanted to not only understand them, but to debunk the many misconceptions surrounding the species.

Needless to say, Josh’s intentions with the show are well appreciated by the audience, and surely by environmentalists as well.

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The Reason It Has Many Spin-Offs

“Expedition Unknown” has spawned several spin-off mini-series over the years, including titles such as “Hunt For The Yeti” and “Egypt Live”, which makes us feel happy to see it becoming a successful franchise.

However, while these aforementioned series were meant to show specific expeditions made by the crew in a deeper way, for the last couple of years, long-running spin-offs “Josh Gates Tonight” and “Expedition X” have also been released.

The reasoning behind creating these series in this new format, is a matter of adapting to the several regulations related to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has made it difficult to produce “Expedition Unknown” in the same way we were used to.

Traveling and filming is also a big concern for the show’s production team for the same reason, but they’ve at least continued to produce content for the franchise until the situation improves. That’s a relief for fans, who still wait for “Expedition Unknown”s return to TV screens as it was previously.

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What happened to Christie Brimberry from Gas Monkey Garage?

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For a time, fans of the reality-television series called “Fast N’Loud” were worried that one of its stars, Christie Brimberry, wouldn’t appear again in their favorite automotive restoration TV show. Due to health issues, she couldn’t perform her duties as the office manager of Richard Rawling’s Gas Monkey Garage, which was the focal point of the reality-TV series. She took a break from managing the business in 2016 to focus on getting healthy, with the blessing of everyone in the shop. Loyal fans were relieved when she was seen again in the 15th season of one of the most-watched car shows on Discovery Channel.

Christie’s Early Life and Family

Not much information about her family and early life was revealed to the public. All that was known about her was that she was born on 25 March 1972, in Dallas, Texas, because Christie was very careful about what she shared in her social media accounts and during interviews.

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On her social media pages, she was proud to post that she had a good relationship with her parents, most especially her mother who passed away in 2015. She also shared some rare photos with her sister, and said that she was her ‘ride or die until the tires fall off’.

Christie has been married for many years to Darren Brimberry, a professional hairstylist with a hair salon in Dallas. She has six children, and some featured in her Instagram account, although some fans wondered why she has children of Afro-American descent. A fan complimented her for adopting them, but another said that she didn’t adopt any of them, but without offering any other information; much speculation formed but she never addressed the isue. Some of her children have graduated from college, and some are already married. When she posted a tribute to her mother during Mother’s Day in 2020, she mentioned that her old lady was about to be a great-grandmother soon.

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From Gas Monkey Garage to “Fast N’Loud” reality-TV

The Gas Monkey Garage is a Dallas-based custom auto shop founded by Richard Rawlings. After seeing automotive shows on TV, he realized that there was a chunk of the untapped market that those TV shows hadn’t taken advantage of – he noticed that his wife and kids wouldn’t stay and watch an auto show with him. The businessman in him knew that he needed to have a garage first to get to that point of creating a TV show. It was like hitting two birds with one stone, since his passion was automotive restoration and customization, so he sold his printing and advertising business to open up a garage in Dallas. Christie was hired through her husband, Darren, who was Richard’s hairstylist.

For many years, he had been pitching the TV show concept to Discovery Channel, until the cable executives eventually accepted the idea and “Fast N’Loud,” was born.

Unlike other automotive shows on TV with overwhelming machismo, Richard toned it down and made it appealing to women and kids without turning off the male viewers. The premise of the TV series was that he would look for worn-down classic or vintage cars all over the country, and purchase them for his team to restore them at the garage. After the fabrication and restoration process, Richard would sell the vehicle at a higher price, creating a significant profit for the business.

All through this, Christie was responsible for assisting Richard in dealing with all the chaos and drama involving the various people in the team – even shouting at her boss – to make sure everyone stayed on course so that they could meet the deadline. The first episode aired in June 2012 and the final episode in June 2020, all in all 155 episodes over the course of 16 seasons, produced by Pilgrim Studios for Discovery Channel.

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Meet Christie’s Co-Workers at Gas Monkey Garage

It might be Richard Rawlings who owned the garage, but it was his team of experienced professionals who were responsible for the actual restoration and customization of each car. He had the final say on the overall plan, such as choosing the car to be restored, the schedule, and approval of the budget for the proposed project, while Richard’s sister, Daphne Kaminski, worked as the Head of Operations.

The main mechanic and chief fabricator, Aaron Kaufman, was there almost from the start until he left the garage to open up his own fabrication shop in 2018, and subsequently starred in his own TV show also aired on Discovery Channel. He was with Richard for 14 years, but they maintained a friendship afterwards, as Richard respected him not only as a fabricator but also as a person. Christie even promoted and congratulated Aaron when he finally launched his own online shop.

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The rest of the team was comprised of Tony Cano, Mike Coy, and Kennan Hons (Paint and Body Tech Team), Chad Isbell (Automotive Parts Expert), Russell Holmes (Mechanic), J. Cheatham and J. Freeman (Fabricators), Jon Rodriguez (Wiring Expert), and Jason Aker (Firebird expert),

The Real Reason Why Christie Left Gas Monkey Garage in 2016

Ignoring potential health problems was one of the reasons why Christie had to leave Gas Monkey Garage abruptly and indefinitely. It was revealed that back in October 2016, she went through life-threatening surgery to remove a cancerous lymph node from her thyroid. Initially, she didn’t want to share her experience with the public, as she was a very private person. However, she eventually thought it best to educate people about the importance of getting a medical examination when one’s body didn’t feel right.

Apparently, before August 2016 ended, she felt something like a small knot in her throat, but ignored it, thinking that it just had something to do with her Hashimoto condition, a disease that attacks the thyroid and creates nodules in the throat. When it became annoying and felt like having a finger shoved down her throat, Christie had it examined; she had an ultrasound, and when the doctor saw the size of the nodule, a biopsy followed. Somehow she knew deep inside that it could be something worse and dangerous, and 12 days later, her suspicions were confirmed. She had thyroid cancer and the only good thing about it was the doctor saying that it had only affected one lymph node, but it had to be treated right away because it was aggressive.

Christie was assured by her doctor that it would be an easy surgery, that the removal of the thyroid and the cancerous lymph node was done in one day, however, when they operated on her, it was discovered that cancer had spread and a cluster of lymph nodes was removed.

The doctor also had to remove a part of her trachea because it was affected as well. Unfortunately, during the process of removing all of it, the nerve in her voice box was cut, which resulted in her having no voice at all, and she was informed that the condition could last for about six months or so. Christie also had chemotherapy to help fully remove the cancerous cells from her body.

In November 2016, the tube that was inserted in her throat and the stitches were removed, however, the doctor identified that the left side of her voice box was still paralyzed, which made talking and swallowing difficult. Instead of the initial prognosis of six months, the doctor said it would take around eight months to a year before she regained her voice.

Christie went back for a follow-up after a month, and there was an improvement. She got her voice tone back, but she lost a lot of volume.

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She was advised to stop taking her thyroid medication so that she could receive Radioactive Iodine treatment; this created an imbalance in her thyroid hormones, that left her emotionally drained, such that she would cry often, and had little control over her emotions. Being on a low iodine diet, which meant no bread, no dairy and no commercially processed food, made it even more unbearable.

However, after a year of non-stop treatment and a disciplined lifestyle, Christie was declared cancer-free by her doctor in December 2017. She posted on her official Facebook page, ‘I went through the last of my treatment last week, and had my one-year bone scan on Friday! The results came back today and I am CANCER FREE!!!’

Back on Gas Monkey Garage and “Fast N’Loud”

While Christie was never fired from Gas Monkey Garage, as Richard was very supportive of her, she wasn’t physically able to join the rest of the cast of “Fast N’Loud.”

She totally regretted that she wasn’t part of the filming of the Mannequin Challenge that Richard and the rest of the team did in December 2016, however, she made sure to be active on her social media platforms Instagram and Facebook to help promote the TV show. There was even a time when she went live while an episode was being aired, just to stay connected with the fans.

When the doctors cleared her to return to work, she was welcomed back in the garage. On 13 June 2018, Richard posted on his official Facebook page, a photo of him sitting behind his desk in his office at Gas Monkey Garage with Christie looking on while pointing out something on a ledger. It was business as usual, and he captioned it with ‘Working hard and havin’ fun’, while Christie posted the same photo with the caption, ‘I love my job.’ Fans were able to see her once again in the last two seasons of their reality-TV series.

Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. Loyal fans were shocked that Richard announced during a guest appearance in the podcast, “The Joe Rogan Experience,” in December 2020, that the 16th season that was aired earlier that year was the last from his team. He didn’t renew his contract with Discovery Channel, saying that it had run its course. However, he assured the fans that he had many plans for Gas Monkey Garage on other media platforms.

True enough, Gas Monkey Garage has been continuously uploading videos on their official YouTube channel, which has over 800,000 subscribers. They also created a podcast called “Monkey Trap with Richard Rawlings”, with their Facebook page having close to five million followers. Recently, the Gas Monkey Garage online merchandise shop launched Richard Rawling’s Car Sweepstakes, in which anyone who purchased $1 worth of merchandise automatically received a raffle ticket for the vehicle giveaway. For instance, a $35-trucker hat would mean 35 raffle entries into the giveaway contest.

A federal-regulated sweepstakes agency was tasked to draw the winner each time the giveaway countdown ends.

Christie Brimberry net worth and financial difficulties

According to authoritative sources, Christie has an estimated net worth of $2 million, some earned from her participation in the reality-TV series and her involvement with the Gas Monkey Garage business. This assess thatment must be true before her battle with cancer, because in some of her social media posts, she shared that she had a hard time paying for the medical bills she incurred for her cancer treatment, saying the insurance coverage that she had wasn’t large enough to cover all the expenses. To alleviate some of the expenses, she marketed events and brands through paid sponsorship on her social media accounts, and was even accused of being a sellout through the comments she received. One time, she was fed up with them that she told everyone that it was her way of surviving, and if they didn’t approve, they could unfollow.

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When “Fast N’Loud” ended its run, fans were worried that Christie lost another source of income. After a while, she announced that she’d opened up an account in OnlyFans.com. While some of her fans were apprehensive about this, the move no longer surprised them and they suspected it was to be used for a secondary source of revenue. Most of the celebrities and regular folks joined this web content subscription service, so that they could earn money from subscribers. It was one of those social media platforms that allowed content creators to receive funding from their fans for exclusive pay-per-view photos or videos. It actually created an uproar over the Internet, as most of the content offered consisted of sexually explicit videos and photos.

When Christie posted a teaser showing a photo of her wearing an unbuttoned shirt revealing her cleavage down to her tummy, the fans expected racy content from her.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B56O9l5A2zC/

However, she clarified many rumors that went around after her OnlyFans announcement, debunking what most of the fans thought was her reason for joining, saying that it wasn’t for financial reasons because she wasn’t broke. She also said that she wasn’t getting a divorce, that the OnlyFans idea came from her husband. Christie said she was just happy and that the timing was perfect as she was in a place where she’s most comfortable with her skin. Not everyone believed her because of her previous posts about her problems with finances due to her surgery and all that came with it. For $24, a subscriber could access the 165 digital media she posted about herself for three months on her OnlyFans account, however, the controversial crowd-sourcing site announced that it would prohibit account users from uploading explicit images and videos, as of October 2021.

https://www.facebook.com/GasMonkeyGarage/photos/t.100044231209485/675220785834592/?type=3

Her profile on her official OnlyFans account showed ‘I used to be that girl from that show but now I’m the girl from that website! No porn, I’m not a porn star.’ However, her sexy photos in which her nipples were in full view were leaked to the public, even if there was a warning on her page that said, ‘Any images/videos re-uploaded elsewhere online will be sent a DMCA from my lawyer, and legal ramifications will be enforced.’ Some of her subscribers said it was like Christie posted for racy magazines such as Playboy or Penthouse.

“Fast N’Loud” fans were wondering if she’s still connected with Gas Monkey Garage, because based on her Instagram and Facebook accounts, she hasn’t posted anything about them in 2021. The pandemic caused by the Covid-19 virus has surely created problems for all types of businesses all over the world, and it would not be impossible at all if the auto shop undertook some reorganization of its staff and crew.

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