Jeff Weinberg is a comedian who has a travel show in YouTube called Tourist Trapped which focuses on getting side tracked when traveling; here is a link to the pilot episode:
Q: What inspired you to start Tourist Trapped?
A: I guess you can say it originally started at any concert or football game where you are having such a great time tailgating that you don’t even care if you see the show or go to the game! After going to Sundance Film Festival for several years and NEVER seeing a film, I realized that it is the revelry surrounding these events that make the events so awesome to attend!
Q: What makes it different from other travel shows?
A: While I enjoy many of the travel shows on TV, they all seem to get a bit monotonous with no sense of adventure and certainly little humor. Most are very nice and friendly, I wanted to do something that is edgy, with less ass kissing so to speak and really challenge the people and landscape around me.
Q: What kinds of places attract your attention?
A: Great scenery is a must, whether you’re on a beach or a mountain. They are both extremes. The ocean is so vast and powerful, it puts you in awe of you own insignificance and makes you realize just how powerless you are. Mountains all seem to have their own personalities with so much beauty, it really puts you in touch with nature…and whatever breed of creation you subscribe to ~
On both a personal and professional level, I love to see people finally let loose! So I like to go to places where people go, to watch them and interact with them, learn about them, and sometimes mock them because we are so very different. It’s great to see so many people come together for a common purpose of sheer enjoyment. At that moment in time, for all of those people, that place is the center of the universe, and that’s a cool thing to see, even though there are several other centers of the universe happening at the same time. For everyone that worked their butt off and trudged through hell and high water to get there, there are 10’s if not 100’s of people that wouldn’t go if you paid them; but these people are here, now! They are committed to their cause! That too is a cool perspective for me. Ultimately though, it really doesn’t matter where you are, it’s whom you’re with… even if your alone!
Q: What is your strangest travel story?
A: Being deported from Canada is always highlighted in bold on my resume! On the way to Toronto headlining a comedy gig, a chick with a dick at the border stopped me, ran my info and discovered a minor infraction committed many years earlier. I spent the weekend at a makeshift Canadian jail with a bag of weed stuck in my ass. They made me pour out the bottle of duty free vodka I had purchased 10 minutes earlier. Imagine, no vodka allowed in jail, and that wasn’t going in my ass! My parents, attorney, and comedy club agent spent the better part of a day with US consulates and the Canadian embassy in a futile attempt at releasing me. Nonetheless, I missed my weekend gigs, only to go to court after the weekend and being deported for attempting to illegally enter their country. The real brains of the Canadian government unveiled itself after court when, they dropped me off on the US side of the border in Buffalo but my car was impounded in Canada and, since I was deported from Canada I was not allowed to retrieve it! Only because I had contacts in Buffalo from working their comedy club the weed earlier, was I able to call someone to come pick me up and they were able to then go and get my car. That entire encounter from the same country that invented hockey, but took close to 100 years later before they invented the goalie mask! So, I have that going for me….
Q: What kind’s of day jobs have you had and how have they influenced your perspective on things?
A: I have never really been able to hold a job. I can barely hang a shelf! Want it done wrong? Hire me! When I did work, it was sales related, and that was a loooong time ago. At an early age, I had some success in sales, and, i was funny, and at a certain point I realized that it didn’t matter what i was selling, people bought me. They bought me because they trusted me, and they wanted hanging out with me because I put them at ease and made them laugh. They were going to buy that product anyway from somebody. At a certain point, i figured I would just eliminate the product and just sell me! It’s a long term avoidance of customer service!
Q: Where will we see you go for the first few episodes?
A: Probably not Canada for the first season anyway! We are doing a full show at Sundance, the Kentucky Derby, Sturgis Motorcycle Rally just to name a few. I like to attend a wide range of events, some I would not instinctively seek out; and i like to fit in wherever i go… if they’ll have me! There’s something special about being a tourist, but passing as a local!
Q: What, in your opinion, is the biggest tourist trap vacation destination in the US?
A: Gotta be Disney, but it’s worth it! It really is the happiest place with very little evil. You’re so happy there you’re just happy to pay anything for everything! .
Q: Are you compensated for featuring certain businesses on your show?
A: No way, I never know where I’m going to end up, although I may have certain places on my radar. If business are paying me to feature them, it may not reflect the true vibe of the scene. While I can’t help getting sucked in by certain forces, I also like to focus on the local culture and get their perspective on how the event affects them. It is their territory that is being invaded and while at times I’m a bull in a china closet, I also have to be a fly on the wall at the same time.
Q: What causes wander lust?
A: Adventure and boredom! As humans with all of our bonus senses and emotions, I think the desire to discover, explore and be stimulated keeps us alive with a sense of purpose. We look forward to something and that gives us hope. Without hope and dreams, we are dead spiritually! When we are dead, we are bored…. and usually boring! There are of course some exceptions where people have become more interesting after their death, but, I’m not counting on that for me! Even the best places that seem like utopias when you first arrive, can become cumbersome with the onslaught of a ‘been there, done that” attitude. Everyone has different levels of stimuli so, it’s sort of relative. If the sign says Do Not Enter, I want in! It’s also great to see so many different places because, while they are all so very different, they are all so very similar! People are people, there are nice ones and jerks everywhere… even at Disney! I like to be sarcastic to the nice ones, and make the jerks realize they’re jerks…but not until after I’ve left!
Q: What is the most underrated vacation destination?
A: Your back yard with family and friends….
Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)