Andrew Jenks, award-winning filmmaker and host of MTV’s acclaimed reality series World of Jenks, has just launched his own podcast titled What Really Happened? in which he uses his trademark blend of humility and insatiable curiosity to “better understand, dispute and tell the deeper story behind six real-life narratives from modern history, including: Mohammed Ali, Chris Christie, Britney Spears, Michael Jordan, Winston Churchill and Princess Diana.”
From the press release:
What Really Happened? challenges accepted narratives around key events involving legendary figures. With the premise that the “official story” is a rough draft of the truth, Jenks digs into the gaps between perception and reality, examining motives as well as new facts, offering up an unvarnished, intimate perspective that makes these stories outstandingly compelling. The initial six real-life, epic dramas include Muhammad Ali, Chris Christie, Princess Diana, Michael Jordan, Britney Spears and Winston Churchill. As a follow to each investigation by Jenks, reaction episodes will play a crucial role in the exploration of each topic. While the extensive and groundbreaking research for each episode provides an exhaustive depiction and understanding of events and the subjects involved, the follow up reaction episodes seek and share additional insights, bring new players forward, engage the listening community at large and play an integral role in knowledge that may have otherwise been lost to history.
What Really Happened? allows us to explore a method of storytelling we’ve never touched upon before,” said Seven Bucks Productions co-founders and executive producers, Dwayne Johnson and Dany Garcia. “We’re removing everything we think we know about these epic tales, and putting fresh eyes and new sources into the mix – taking our audience with us for the ride with every story, every encounter and every investigation we unfold. No conspiracy theories, just facts – and with Jenks at the helm, we’ve been able to create a remarkable narrative that our Seven Bucks global audience will love.”
Part of what makes human history so intriguing is that it is often very subjective — shaped both by the people involved at the time, and those of us looking back. Andrew Jenks has a real talent in being able to explore the human element of any story, and that’s exactly what he brings to the table in the podcast. “I think in order to extract ‘What Really Happened?’ in every episode, it’s necessary to realize the motives—good and bad—behind everyone we cover,” Andrew says. “For each story, I’ve tracked down previously unknown figures who have had vital roles in each story but have been overlooked, pivotal people who have never before been interviewed. For each episode, I’ve spent months, and, in one case several years, working to best understand these public figures and historical moments. Based on my experience developing documentaries, living on the rails for weeks on end to understand hobos or living in Japan for months to capture the essence of an ex-pat American coach, what has surprised me about developing this podcast is that equal intensity required to get to uncover the essence of each respective topic or subject.”
The first episode focuses on the remarkable headline-grabbing story of Mohamed Ali talking a young man out of jumping from a building to his death. Here is the episode synopsis from iTunes:
In 1981, on a 9th floor building and in front of hundreds of people, Muhammad Ali talked a 21-year-old out of committing suicide. The story ran the following evening in front of 36 million people on the CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite. But with new sources and information, Jenks questions if this was a concocted event, devised by Ali himself.
I have yet to listen to the episode, but I’m a HUGE fan of Andrew and can’t wake to take these journeys with him! (I’m a Louis Theroux junkie as well, and think of Andrew as Louis’ little brother from across the pond.) Click here to check out the podcast on iTunes and give it a listen. Yes, it is free.
And for those of you curious about the break out star of World of Jenks, Andrew recently announced that he is looking into crowdsourcing to film a follow-up documentary featuring Chad DenDanto. Andrew shared numerous clips with Chad from the show earlier this summer, and included the hash tag #ChadAndJenksShow. When asked about it, Andrew explained:
People are asking what’s the deal with all the #ChadAndJenksShow videos. Simple: autism isn’t talked about nearly enough. The time I spend with Chad isn’t enough. The money I’ve given to the cause isn’t enough. The fact that he doesn’t have a job isn’t fair. There is always more work to do. We should stop calling people like chad DISabled. If we put in the resources, it’d be quite the opposite. My hope is that these videos show he and millions of others are in fact, WELLable and have plenty to contribute that society hasn’t realized.
Nobody wants to do a series with us, so I asked Chad what to do? “Sh!t, just start posting, Jenks!”
#autism #wellable #ChadAndJenksShow #disability #humor #love #autismawarness #friends #film #fartjokes #comedy #buddycomedy #mentalhealth #autismlove #autismlife #autismkids #autismproud #autismfamily #autismstrong
The post drew an avalanche of supportive comments, most all of which were enthusiastic about a potential Chad and Jenks Show. Andrew thanked people for their support and revealed that he is “thinking of crowdsourcing.” In another comment he wrote: “I think kickstarter or something similar may be way to go.”
To be honest, I would be STUNNED if MTV passed on the opportunity to do a follow-up series with Chad and Jenks! The network really seems to be struggling to find successful programming with a target audience that is watching less and less TV, and I cannot imagine that the Chad and Andrew series would not only get enough ratings to merit the expense (though not a blockbuster by any means), but it would also be a quality program that MTV really needs for their branding resume. I don’t think the EMMYs had a reality show award when World of Jenks was on right? A Chad and Jenks Show would be a shoe-in for a nomination, if not the win.
Anyways… Congrats to Andrew on his new podcast! We will keep our eyes peeled for that Chad and Jenks Show kickstarter campaign! 😉
We will send you off with a series of clips featuring Chad and Andrew as posted by the latter on Instagram:
[NOTE: I was going to pare these clips down, but going through them all and watching them they are ALL PRICELESS! I still trimmed a few, but I felt like a bad person for doing so.]
A pat on the back can go a long way. Although my bad Chad for hurting ur balls. #ChadAndJenksShow #autism #wellable #disability #humor #love #autismawarness #friends #film #fartjokes #comedy #buddycomedy #mentalhealth #autismlove #autismspeaks #autistic #autismlife #autismkids #autismproud #autismfamily #autismstrong
"Don't you normally knock?" Going to see the girlfriend! Part 1. #ChadAndJenksShow #autism #wellable #disability #humor #love #autismawarness #friends #film #fartjokes #comedy #buddycomedy #mentalhealth #autismlove #autismspeaks #autistic #autismlife #autismkids #autismproud #autismfamily #autismstrong
"I'm like ur big chunky body guard. That make u feel warm & fuzzy inside?" (Part 2) #ChadAndJenksShow #autism #wellable #disability #humor #love #autismawarness #friends #film #fartjokes #comedy #buddycomedy #mentalhealth #autismlove #autismspeaks #autistic #autismlife #autismkids #autismproud #autismfamily #autismstrong