Brookfield’s Ethan and Lou Show Featured on VICE TV Documentary About Danbury’s Ian Bick
Ian Bick grew up in Danbury and at an early age, exhibited an impressive ability to grasp business concepts
By the time he was 19 years old, he was the owner/operator of the legendary local night club Tuxedo Junction. He had altered the longtime reputation of the club as a rock venue into an EDM destination. Bick was a teenage pied piper, the host of the hottest party in town, but it would not last long.
By 2016, Bick was a 21-year-old convicted felon, found guilty of wire fraud and money laundering. During his time as the prince of nightlife in the Hat City he'd convinced a group of local adults to invest in him and his businesses. However, authorities say investors never saw returns on those investments. One such investor spoke to the News Times around the time of his conviction, saying:
I believed in the kid and I believed in his goals to revitalize downtown Danbury but he put me 20 years behind financially. I drank the Kool-Aid and I regret it to this day.
Bick served time in prison, was released in 2019, and came back to the area with a hunger to tell his side of the story and there were many who were willing to help him. After all, the drama was tailor-made for TV. True crime is the hottest genre in America, so it didn't take long for Hollywood to come calling.
The HBO Max show was popular with audiences drawing more attention to Bick. Recently, the Vice Network came calling, producing a short documentary on Ian, they used clips from our April interview with him in the news segment called "I Ran a $500K Ponzi Scheme at 19."
This was an interesting situation for me as a radio show host. I had to wonder if some of our loyal listeners were victims of Bick's financial crimes. Would this feel like a betrayal to those people? What had he done to this point to deserve an opportunity to tell his side of the story?
In the end, Ethan and I decided the intrigue was worth it, but we could not do a puff piece. We'd have to ask tough questions that were representative of the feelings of the community. In the lead/promotion of the segment, we got a lot of e-mails and DMs about Bick and none were what could be considered glowing reviews of him.
People either wanted to tell us something they claimed to know about Bick or to ask why we would allow him to use our platform. We presented some of that criticism to Bick, and did what we thought was a fair but stern series of questions.
The interview was popular with our audience, and I thanked Bick for his time. I didn't know him before the interview and I thought he handled the process well. We hammered him on-air for a week before the interview and grilled him the day of. He didn't complain that we'd done a hit piece and that is unusual.
With a show like ours, timing is everything. If we'd interviewed him a year after the documentary, very few people would care. In these cases, when you book a guest that is top of mind, right when their "moment" comes, guests will look at it like they are doing you a favor.
In exchange for that "favor", they will often come on board with strings attached. They will try and dictate what questions can be asked, request that you focus on something positive in their life and they will cry foul if they don't get what they want. This is specifically why we don't do interviews like this often, we do not allow the guests to set the terms.
Bick didn't do any of that. He welcomed tough questions, even challenging me to ask them prior to the interview. He endured the interview and did not complain when it was over and that is something I have a lot of respect for.
I have not talked to Bick since April, but then, he sent me a text on Wednesday (11/24/21) with a link with the words "you got a cameo on Vice lol" I checked out the link and asked when the show debuts, assuming this was a preview of the episode, he said "that's the whole episode - it's a series that gets a ton of views because people have short attention spans."
He made a good point and I should've known better, I actually watch VICE on TV, which is unusual. A lot of people that have the network, don't know they have it (opinion - not based on research) and most of their viewers are digital-only eyeballs. The video published to Youtube on (11/23/21) and as of today (11/29/21) it has 250,000 + views.
I love their stuff, shows like F--- That's Delicious, Slutever, Hate Thy Neighbor and It's Suppertime! get a lot of play in my house , so I was happy to be associated (in a small way) with a network that delivers some seriously raw content.
After Bick sent me the link, I texted it to my mom, which is cliché, but that is what most people do. I also sent it to my wife, my father and my boss (Joey Ech AKA Big Punisher).
Here is the difference with how I perceive this versus how someone else might. I thought about, how I was happy I dressed like a normal person that day, and wondered how this might benefit the radio show. Joey Ech texted me some hilarious observations that I didn't catch while I was busy being impressed with myself. He wrote:
"Dude that's a fantastic cameo. Pen in hand, fake glasses, I get the sense, hahaha." That's what friends are for, right there, you get two minutes to smell your own farts before they bring the whole thing down. He wasn't done with the hot takes sending along this picture.
The fingers, "I get the sense" and the pen, I didn't even see it, haha. The truth is, I'd do it all over again, the same way because to be on TV, you have to be a singing, dancing d-bag. I call it "douche-havior" and it's the price of admission.
TRIVIA. - I've been a part of/featured in multiple TV projects that include, which ones actually made it to TV?
- Deer Hill Avenue - Reality Show Mockumentary
- Blind Date - Reality Show
- The Best Man - Reality Show
- Vice News Doc on Ian Bick - News
- Testosterone product endorsement - Commercial
ANSWER: Vice news piece, Blind Date and the growth hormone commercial, that's it. I was also offered a national TV commercial to play the "Lucky Charms" cereal character. I hurt my knee and could not take the part because the character needed to skateboard. I also passed on a major role on "Joeylicious" with Joey Cassata because I didn't want to travel -- what a moron.
Below is our full April 2021 interview with Ian Bick.
P.S. If there is a production company out there looking to put together a reality show about the inner workings of developing an amazing radio show, I'm not hard to find.