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Actor / EntertainerWe're Brian Brushwood and Jason Murphy, hosts of NatGeo's Hacking the System and now YouTube's The Modern Rogue. We're launching a Patreon today, so Ask Us Anything!

Jul 11th 2017 by ScamSchoolBrian • 24 Questions • 4649 Points

Hey guys. We're Brian Brushwood and Jason Murphy. You've seen us on Discovery's Scam School, National Geographic's Hacking the System, and now we're doing The Modern Rogue on Youtube.

For 10+ years now (starting with a failed TruTV show!), we've explored, tested, and tried to demystify all things underhanded, dangerous, and badass.

Today we're hoping to turn it into our day job by launching a Patreon for The Modern Rogue, and we're here to answer all your questions.

What's The Modern Rogue? I'm glad you asked. http://youtube.com/modernrogue

Scam School you say? http://youtube.com/scamschool

Oh my, a Patreon? http://patreon.com/modernrogue

Our Proof: https://www.instagram.com/p/BWaS6RTDSZv/?taken-by=scamschoolbrian https://www.instagram.com/p/BWaSaJJAaB4/?taken-by=captainmurphy

Q:

What eventually made you think "eeeh, the hair's overdoing it"?

A:

The hair was a weird thing: In real life, everywhere I went it made people smile. The moment I walked on a plane it made everyone happy.

But on screen, it just played differently. What read IRL as "I'm confident and friendly and can't wait to talk to you," once on-screen became "I'm loud and insecure and I'm in your face!"

So the big moment was when I realized that my day job was shifting from being onstage to on-screen. The first few years of scam school, I was a stage performer who dabbled in online video. Nowadays I'm that guy from the internet who you occasionally get to see onstage.


Q:

So excited for this! I've wondered, since the Modern Rogue is part Gentleman, would you ever do a few episodes on dress clothes or clothes in general? Like adding hidden pockets, what to look for in a suit, etc?

A:

oh, shoot-- I hadn't even considered sneaky stuff on suits before. There's a number of simple alterations that make it possible to pull off some incredible magic tricks!

But yes: we desperately need a simple primer on fashion stuff. When we shot Hacking the System, there was like 7 people surrounding me, and not one of us knew that I was buttoning the completely wrong button on my suit.

In fact: the show made it past production and went to air with me totally revealing what a dumbass I am about wearing a suit.


Q:

I guess my question is gonna be pretty standard but:

How did you guys end up together? What was the chain of events that led to you guys actually starting the Modern Rogue? And why is it so good?!

A:

oh, man. /u/murphymodernrogue will have to help me out, but our friendship definitely began drunk on... I think New Year's Eve 2000? I remember Jason begging to know how I did a stage magic trick, me telling him everything, and then him waking up from a blackout drunk having no memory of the method.

We started kicking around ideas after that, and eventually did the TruTV development project, which led to Scam School, Hacking the System, and now the Modern Rogue.


Q:

Thank you for the reply and I'm surprised about the injury answer. With all the crazy shit you two do, I thought at least you would be injured by something that relates to the subject, but a drone is one I did not expect.

A:

Well, don't jump ahead too far. I definitely should have gotten stitches after this moment: https://youtu.be/0dESArb5YP4?t=10m58s

...unfortunately, I was too embarrassed to hit the ER again so soon after the drone strike, so I just put a tight band-aid on it and kept my finger straight for a week.


Q:

How is Mr. Happy Pants doing?


Q:

What is the target demographic for the Modern Rogue? Other than Ted Talks, you have the only other channel on YouTube that I gladly spend 15+ minutes on. I'm asking because you cover everything from how to drink whiskey like a gentleman to how to make a knife out of Styrofoam and it just covers a wide array of topics!

A:

I guess the answer is "guys like us", which according to YouTube is 97% male, and 80% ages 18-34.


Q:

Long-time fan of the show, I hope the Patreon is a huge success!

Are there any ideas for episodes you've had to abandon because they were too difficult/dangerous to film?

Also, what's the most unusual drink you've ever been served?

A:

Bombs. Anything that could be a bomb or get the FBI knocking on our door.

Side note: it's astonishingly easy to make bombs.


Q:

Did Scam School get picked up for a full season on the Science Channel?

A:

Too early to call. We did well for our time slot, so I'm hopeful. Will report!


Q:

What's your favorite ice cream and why is it rocky road?

A:

Both of you are monsters. Cookies and Cream or DIAF.


Q:

I can't even remember the last time I had ice cream.

A:

Yeah, but you hate chocolate.

Again: Monster.


Q:

Only do this AFTER you watch the MR on how to block a haymaker

A:

Ask questions. the person asking the questions is in charge of the conversation.

"Hey, quick question: do you know any bar scams or tricks? I'm asking because I saw this thing on a show called 'scam school'..."


Q:

Hey Brian!! Been a fan since the Revision3 days. Do you guys plan on collaborating with other YouTubers like Grant Thompson anymore? Also, you've tackled some InfoSec topics before. Any plans to dive into that subject further? (Some simple stuff like WPA cracking, session hijacking, etc.) Might be fun to collab with Darren and Snubs from Hak5 for that stuff...just sayin'. (Also I miss Revision3)

A:

hey TuxOtaku! Great to see you again!

Yes, yes, yes to collabs: They really do amazing stuff to grow your channel, but it's expensive to travel (especially when you're bringing a production crew). Our hope is that this patreon will let us do more on-location stuff.


Q:

Any hints to find the secret bar in Austin?


Q:

Have you thought about doing episodes on tasting other hard liquors? Perhaps you can throw a bone to us Lady Boy Tequila Slaves

A:

Hence the Patreon, good sir! If we're gonna do this right, we'll need a proper booze budget.


Q:

Were there any embarrassing or noteworthy moments doing the Russian Push-up exercises?

A:

I made the mistake of saying "we should get footage of us with our shirts off!" while being 15-pounds over my TV weight...

(quietly hopes /u/gatowag doesn't have screenshots)


Q:

You guys ever consider doing an episode on Steganography?

A:

Oh, man--- link me? This sounds good.


Q:

Anechoic chambers scare the hell out of me please do an episode on them.

A:

Oh, wow-- that's amazing. It really blows my mind that you're still with us. Thanks for sticking around.

Yeah, I'd love to do sensory deprivation stuff. Did you know that the quantum physicist Richard Feynman was into those? https://www.dmt-nexus.me/forum/default.aspx?g=posts&t=51786


Q:

Brian, you have off course a history with Twit.tv. How is it working with someone who still host shows like All About Android and Tech News Today with the network?

A:

I see what you did there. :-)

(now help out all the fine other people by posting a link to the relevant Night Attack timecode?)


Q:

But how did he get his powers?

A:

And more importantly: how does he feel about the relationship between power and responsibility?


Q:

While filing an intro or outro for scam school, have you ever tripped on something while walking backwards?

Also what kind of looks do the people give you that see you talking to the camera.

A:

Rarely (unless I'm wearing flip flops. It's hard to walk backwards in flip flops). The trick is to pick a seam in the concrete and stick to it as you walk backwards.


Q:

Can you go into what your failed TruTV show was? Additionally, how was the reception, from Discovery specifically, for the Scam School Pilot that aired on Science Channel?

A:

It was our first pitch to a TV network, back when they were CourtTV. I had a strong champion who was really into my "Scams Sasquatch and the Supernatural" talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iPUxFRcTpfA

about halfway into development, my champion left for another network and I inherited someone who just wasn't a match. She made me comb my hair and put on a sweater, and they ended up with a very forgettable version of what we were going for.

But the good news is that the frustration of that experience led directly to Brian Brushwood on the Road, which was invaluable to bring us Scam School.


Q:

OMG YES I had no clue what happened to the show Hacking the System!!! Will you guys be making a season 2?

A:

I think you're looking at it!


Q:

Can you confirm the rumour that you can't get an infection in you booty hole?

A:

You can't get an infection in your booty hole. It's your booty hole.


Q:

What is one project you would love to work on (whether it be Gentlemanly, Warrior, or Scoundrel) but can't do without the help of your patrons?

A:

Murphy's playing coy, but I'll just lay it out there: Get us some cash, and we're going to learn/invent something I've wondered my whole goddamned life: zero-gravity combat.

We've already started talking with Richard Garriott, who can hook us up with a vomit comet ride. Yes, everyone's posting videos of "oh, gee! look at me, I'm floating!"

Forget that. I want to know the most effective way to kick someone's ass if I'm ever floating in a space station.

(because you never know)