L-R: The Beeramid, Todd Hoffman, Maxim editor Dan Bova, Dave Turin, Jack Hoffman, Dan's Special Liquid Lunch
You guys all have pretty impressive facial hair. Is that required to be on the Hoffman crew?
DT: Ha, it’s part of the deal!
Conditions are pretty harsh up there at your mining sites. When you’re walking around New York are you thinking, “Why am I going to go back to that God forsaken place again?”
TH: Seems like we long for the city when we’re up there and then long for the mining grounds when we’re here. We like being home for a little while, but then we’re gone. A lot of guys are nervous about the future, so we decided to go do something about it and we’re out there digging raw gold out of the ground. And we’re learning. We’re getting better at it.
DT: We’re ordinary guys doing something extraordinary. We’re in the wilderness about 500 miles from the Arctic Circle. It’s a severe climate, so it takes a special type of person to live up there. It draws you back.
Do you agree, Jack? You first mined up there in the 1980s, right?
JH: What I think is that our country’s in trouble. And I think that the only way that we can help our fellow man is by getting gold. That’s basically what we’re trying to do. We drive ourselves harder and harder so we can be substantial aides to the people around us. The economy is going just the opposite direction.
Which candidate are gold diggers voting for?
TH: To be honest with you, neither candidate connects with me or looks like me. We can all sit around and rearrange the chairs on the deck of the Titanic if we want to, but with this kind of debt, we gotta pick the best person who’s got the best plan to get us out of frickin’ debt. And, probably, Paul Ryan’s got the best plan to do that.
If you dug up a car-sized chunk of gold, would you use it to end America’s debt crisis?
TH: Ha! A car-sized chunk of gold! Absolutely not! But here’s the deal: when we turn it into cash, we pay our taxes, we create jobs—we do the things that you’re supposed to be doing. When you create more jobs, you’re going to get more revenue from taxes. Government isn’t going to solve our problems. It’s got to be the private little business guys out there taking a risk. That is the American spirit and that’s what we have in our hearts. The fans that watch our show believe in it, they’re part of it.
Speaking of fans, we have some reader submitted questions. This one is from Oliver Lee: “The show captures a lot of moments I’m sure you wish weren’t being televised. Do you get people coming up to you asking, ‘Why the hell did you do that?’”
TH: You know, I’ve made a lot of mistakes and they focus on a lot of that stuff. Look, I’m learning how to mine. We get a lot of, “Oh you should’ve done this, you should’ve done that.” Well, you know, to be honest with you, I’m out frickin’ doing it, while they are sitting at home, a bunch of armchair warriors. I’m at least doin’ it. Do I have a long ways to go? Yeah. I’ve never claimed to be a professional gold miner and TV accentuates a whole lot of screw-ups. They don’t show anything cool so it’s like, you gotta live with it. It’s real. It’s reality.
DT: When we make a mistake, 5 million people realize it. It’s that quick.
Reader Matteo Picinich asks: “In addition to searching for gold in Alaska, will they also be searching for Sasquatch, space aliens, and Elvis?”
JH: You know what, Sasquatch speaks English. I found that out because every time you point a gun at him and you’re gonna shoot one so you have evidence, they say, “Don’t shoot! Don’t shoot!”
TH: Discovery Channel has this show called “Finding Bigfoot” or something. Here’s the deal: most of these other reality shows are completely stupid. Let’s be honest, we’re not like the Kardashians, we ain’t like Jersey Shore, and we’re definitely not gonna be walking around the woods trying to find a frickin’ Bigfoot. We are trying to provide for our families. We’re just normal guys. We’re putting the “real” in reality. Some of these other weird shows out there…it’s almost hard to believe that idiots watch ’em.
So is Honey Boo Boo going to make a guest appearance at the mining site?
JH: I guess that show’s doing really good, but she will never be on Gold Rush and Gold Rush boys will never be on Honey Boo Boo. Let’s be honest, we’re not from this TV world. We just so happen to have most of the country watching us Friday nights.
JH: We’re number one for women too on Friday nights.
DT: ’Cause Todd’s a good looking man.
TH: Yeah, and it’s hard to be the only good looking guy in the crew. There’s a lot of pressure around me.
I think if you combine a singing contest element to this show, your ratings will really go ballistic.
TH: You want me to grab that microphone, that little tape recorder and jam it in your mouth? ’Cause I’ll do it, right here.
Speaking of mouths, reader Felipe Alvarez asks: “Have you considered digging for gold in Flava Flav’s pie hole?”
TH: Tell Felipe, if he was right here, sitting here right now, I’d probably punch him right in the face. And tell him that’s from Todd.
Okay, before I get smacked, let’s end with a sneak peak of what viewers can expect this season.
TH: Here’s the deal. I got inspired and I said that we would get 1,000 oz. Now, you gotta understand, we did 94.7 oz the year before. 1,000 oz. just came to me, I don’t know why. So you’re going to see if we hit it or if we failed. What you’re gonna see is something pretty awesome, but you’re also gonna see some pretty hard things to watch. There’s some shows probably I won’t even watch.
Well, you’re all here in one piece, so that’s good news.
TH: We did survive. We came back alive, nobody killed each other.
And isn’t that the most precious treasure of all?
Watch the season premiere of Gold Rush Alaska October 26.