After a solid three-season run, where Zane Lamprey and his crew traveled the United States – with a couple stops to some high-profile Canadian cities – and introduced us to bars and drinks, the focus for Zane now turns international.
Chug! Will take on a similar role that “Three Sheets” had, where Zane and crew traveled the globe introducing us to new cultures, drinks, food and night life. The show, however, will not have a network – it’ll be online. Thus, we all need to chip in to make sure it happens. Here’s how to do it, according to Zane.
I was fortunate to catch up with Zane and ask him some questions about the upcoming project. Here’s what he had to say.
Giovanni Albanese: I’m sure many of your fans — like myself — have been with you since season 1 of “Three Sheets”. Although “Chug” is in its infancy stage, what are some of the plans that will differentiate it from your two previous shows?
Zane Lamprey: I’ve reunited with Mike Kelly, executive producer and creative of Three Sheets, to ensure that Chug is as good as Three Sheets, although we will strive to be even better. As far as the differentiation, we arrive by train. That enables us to have a clever name. At first, to some, it might scream “frat boy”, but viewers of the show will know that’s not our M.O.
GA: A personal favorite of mine was the Professor from “Three Sheets”. Will we possibly see a return of him with “Chug” returning to international drinking?
ZL: Well, we can’t have “The Professor” as he was in Three Sheets. But we may have “The Doctor”, or the “Mr. Know It All”, something similar. The educational segments will still be there and we’ll still hide information beneath layers of entertainment.
GA: Any plans in the works to bring your mascot, Steve McKenna, on the road with you for “Chug”?
ZL: We want to return Steve McKenna, the man, to Steve McKenna, the legend! He’ll still be referenced, like he was in Three Sheets, and he will make some cameo appearances. But the objective of the show is to make new friends with the locals to have unique experiences. I love Steve. But not having him there will allow me to be the silly one, when situations call for it, and also force me to get out of my comfort zone so that I can really connect with the people I am drinking with.
GA: Can you explain the development of “Chug” — when did you know “Drinking Made Easy” wouldn’t return, and how quickly you moved onto doing another project?
ZL: I’ve know for a while that “Drinking Made Easy” would not return. Mark Cuban and I have been talking about it for several months. He wanted to see if we could modify the show, to make it LIVE, to fit in with the new direction of the network. We considered several options, but I felt that the travel format was better for me than a LIVE version. So, that’s when I came up with Chug. I pitched it to all of the networks, and they said they didn’t want a “drinking show”. So, I decided to let the fans decide its fate and put it on Kickstarter. It’s doing great. Even Mark Cuban is supporting it!
GA: At any point, with the networks crumbling, despite both previous shows’ success, was there any doubt you wouldn’t be filming another drinking show?
ZL: There’s always doubt. My employment is very volatile, as it is for most television personalities. Things are great one day– you have a great show that people love– and the next day you’re wondering where your next paycheck is going to come from. But I’ve never been very good at sitting idly waiting for the phone to ring. I’m very proactive. So, while there have been brief moments of doubt, they don’t last long. Downswings are extremely motivating!
GA: With the show being driven by kickstarters, what is minimum you are hoping for to put the show on the air? What is your expectation of number of episodes?
ZL: I really hope we get to make a full season, which is 12 episodes. With our initial goal of $500,000, that will enable us to make six episodes. I have no expectations. I have just have hopes and dreams that I fuel with hard work.
GA: Should you get the financial backing, when would filming start? When should viewers expect to see the first installment?
ZL: Once we hit $500,000, we’ll start pre-production. We would continue pre-production in June, and shoot in July, August and possibly September.
GA: If you could, what is your most memorable moment in an international city? domestic city?
ZL: Oh, man. There are really too many. When I think of a location we shot it, for either show, so many memories pop into my head. Some made it to the show. Some didn’t. But every single episode has a moment that I smile when I think about.
GA: Favorite beer? Wine? Spirit? Cocktail?
ZL: Monkey Rum! Thanks for the softball!
GA: Favorite city?
ZL: Too many to choose from!
GA: Lastly, anything you would like to add about the show that fans should know?
ZL: The Kickstarter project has been one of my most challenging undertakings. I don’t just sit there watching the ticker. I’m calling in every favor I’ve ever had and doing everything I can do have us reach our goal. A tremendous amount of people are supporting what we’re doing. And we need all of their help if we’re going to reach our goal.
Like it? Hate it? Love it? Let me know. I’m sure you’ll be pleased though.