Wheeler Walker Jr.
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Wheeler Walker Jr.
Ben Hoffman
Wheeler Walker Jr.jpg
Hoffman outfitted as Wheeler Walker, Jr.
Born
Benjamin Isaac Hoffman

(1974-12-13) December 13, 1974 (age 46)[1]
Other namesWheeler Walker, Jr.
Occupation
  • Comedian
  • actor
  • writer
  • producer
  • musician
Years active2005-present
Musical career
OriginNashville, Tennessee, U.S.
Genres
Instruments
  • Vocals
  • guitar
Labels
Websitewheelerwalkerjr.com
YouTube information
Channel
Years active2015-present
Subscribers487K[2]

Updated: 16 August 2021

Benjamin Isaac Hoffman (born December 13, 1974), better known by his stage name and alter ego Wheeler Walker, Jr., is an American comedian, actor, writer, and musician.[3] As the Wheeler Walker, Jr. character, Hoffman has released three albums of satirical country music rife with profanity and sexually-explicit lyrics. His first album, Redneck Shit, debuted at number nine on the Billboard Hot Country Albums chart, number one on the Billboard Top Comedy Albums chart, number 127 on the Billboard 200, and was the first album in over a decade to debut in the top 10 on both charts simultaneously.[4]

Early life

Hoffman is originally from Lexington, Kentucky.[5][6] He is the older brother of Scissor Sisters bassist Babydaddy (Scott Hoffman).[6] Hoffman is Jewish and attended Tulane University.[7]

Career

Hoffman created and hosted The Ben Show, which premiered on Comedy Central on February 28, 2013. The show was broadcast for one season.[8]

He was a writer and correspondent for the Sports Show with Norm Macdonald, and has written for the MTV Video Music Awards, Archer, and The Late Late Show with James Corden. He has appeared in acting roles on Arrested Development, New Girl and Drunk History and has produced content for and appeared on InfoMania.[6][9]

In 2018, Hoffman created the Netflix adult animation comedy series, Hoops. In addition to writing, he provided voice talent and was also an executive producer alongside Phil Lord, Christopher Miller, Seth Cohen, and Jake Johnson.[10] The show was cancelled after the completion of one season.[11]

Wheeler Walker, Jr.

Hoffman debuted an early version of the satirical country music artist Wheeler Walker, Jr. character on a skit for The Ben Show in 2013 where he performed his song "Eatin' Pussy, Kickin' Ass".[12]

He recorded and released his first album, Redneck Shit, on February 12, 2016 via Thirty Tigers and Pepper Hill Records. The album was produced by Dave Cobb out of Nashville and originally premiered via stream on the pornographic website PornHub.[13] It debuted at number nine on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart, number one on the Billboard Top Comedy Albums chart, and number 127 on the US Billboard 200.[14] It was the first album to debut in both the top 10 of the comedy and country charts. It sold 5,900 copies in its first week.[15][16]

Rolling Stone called it "Unfathomably obscene and undeniably offensive, the debut album from Nashville never-was Wheeler Walker Jr. is also goddamn funny. But Redneck Shit is far from just an X-rated novelty record."[17]

I took my fucking life savings, which I don't want to mention here, 'cause it ain't much to brag about, and I gave it all to Dave and said, let's make the album without any fucking record company telling me what to do".

--Hoffman on creating his first album.[18]

The Wheeler Walker, Jr. persona has been compared to other artists such as Chinga Chavin, Andy Kaufman, and David Allen Coe.[19][20] The character's fictional biography outlines his history as an unsigned Nashville talent too crude for mainstream radio due to his desire to revamp the classic outlaw country style by playing songs that would have "gotten him yanked off the Grand Ol' Opry broadcast in a matter of seconds", although he finally found success with the rise of uncensored satellite radio and the internet.[21] Despite the persona's satirical nature, some have called the character an "experiment in free speech" and "a platform to speak out against censorship and bias in the music industry".[22]

On April 16, 2016, Hoffman appeared as the character on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast episode #786.[23] He has been a guest on a number of other podcasts including Your Mom's House with Tom Segura and Christina Pazsitzky,[24] The Church of What's Happening Now with Joey Diaz,[25] and Bertcast with Bert Kreischer.[26] He also appeared and performed live on the Howard Stern Wrap Up Show on May 25, 2017.[27]

His second album, Ol' Wheeler, was released on June 2, 2017 and debuted at number 10 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart, with 7,800 copies sold in its first week.[28] Prior to the album's release, crowd funding music site PledgeMusic removed the album's pre-sales and refunded fans due to obscenity complaints. Upset, Hoffman claimed censorship and angry fans responded by trolling a page promoting the band 311.[29]

Hoffman toured throughout the United States from 2016 through 2018.[30] During the summer of 2018, Hoffman toured with Kid Rock and Brantley Gilbert in the Red Blooded Rock n Roll Redneck Extravaganza Tour.[31] He also performed his song "Sit On My Face" alongside Tyler Childers and Sturgill Simpson at Hinterland Music Festival in 2018.[32] Hoffman, outfitted as Wheeler, presented an award to Childers at the Americana Music Honors & Awards that same year.[33] Hoffman concluded his tour on December 8, 2018 with a final concert at The Rave in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.[34]

His third album, WWIII, was released on November 30, 2018.[35] He released first greatest hits compilation entitled Fuck You Bitch: All Time Greatest Hits on May 1, 2020. It features material from his three studio albums along with two new tracks, "Drunk as Fuck" and "Go Big or Go Home".

Discography

Studio albums

Title Details Peak chart positions Sales
US
[36]
US Country
[37]
US
Indie

[38]
US
Comedy

[39]
Redneck Shit
  • Release date: February 12, 2016
  • Label: Pepper Hill
127 9 6 1
Ol' Wheeler
  • Release date: June 2, 2017
  • Label: Pepper Hill
88 10 5 1
WWIII
  • Release date: November 30, 2018
  • Label: Pepper Hill/Thirty Tigers
187 20 3 1

Filmography

Television

Year Title Director Writer Executive
Producer
Notes
2007 2007 MTV Video Music Awards No Yes No
2008-2011 InfoMania No Yes Yes 47 episodes
2011 Sports Show with Norm Macdonald No Yes No 7 episodes
2012 The Jesse Miller Show No Yes No
2013 Comedy Central Roast of James Franco No Yes No
2013 The Ben Show Yes Yes Yes 8 episodes
2014 Archer No Yes No wrote episode Archer Vice: Southbound and Down
2015-2016 The Late Late Show with James Corden No Yes No Wrote 38 episodes
2020 Hoops Yes Yes Yes Series creator

Acting roles

Year Title Role Notes
2005 Arrested Development FBI Guy #1 1 episode
2005 MovieMania Spider-Man 1 episode
2008, 2013 Drunk History Doctor (2008), Newscaster (2013) Episode: "Drunk History Vol. 4: Featuring Paul Schneider", "San Francisco"
2012 New Girl Sherman Episode: "Injured"
2020 Hoops Time Bomb (voice) 9 episodes

Music videos

Year Title Role Artist
2015 "Fuck you Bitch" Wheeler Walker, Jr. Wheeler Walker, Jr.
2015 "Drop 'Em Out" Wheeler Walker, Jr. Wheeler Walker, Jr.
2016 "Redneck Shit" Wheeler Walker, Jr. Wheeler Walker, Jr.
2017 "Pussy King" Wheeler Walker, Jr. Wheeler Walker, Jr.
2017 "Finger up My Butt" Wheeler Walker, Jr. Wheeler Walker, Jr.
2017 "Summers in Kentucky" Wheeler Walker, Jr. Wheeler Walker, Jr.
2017 "Puss in Boots" Wheeler Walker, Jr. Wheeler Walker, Jr.
2017 "Pictures on My Phone" Wheeler Walker, Jr. Wheeler Walker, Jr.
2018 "I Like Smoking Pot (A Lot)" Wheeler Walker, Jr. Wheeler Walker, Jr.
2018 "Rich Sumbitch" Wheeler Walker, Jr. Wheeler Walker, Jr.
2018 "All The Pussy You Will Slay" Wheeler Walker, Jr. Wheeler Walker, Jr.
2020 "Go Big or Go Home" Wheeler Walker, Jr. Wheeler Walker, Jr.

Controversy

On January 19, 2019, in response to viewing a video of an incident at the January 2019 Lincoln Memorial confrontation in Washington, D.C., involving, among others, a white student approached by a Native American during the March for Life, Hoffman posted to his Wheeler Walker Jr. Twitter account: "If you know this little shit, punch him in the nuts and send me the video of it and I'll send you all my albums on vinyl, autographed", followed by a close-up picture of the face of an involved teenager.[43] A few days prior, he made a series of critical and "profanity-laced tweets" about Carrie Underwood, Jason Aldean, Kelsea Ballerini, Thomas Rhett, Kenny Chesney, Keith Urban, Brett Young and other country musicians.[44]

References

  1. ^ Ben Hoffman on Twitter: "Thanks for all the birthday wishes. That I'm hopefully gonna get. After this tweet." Twitter.com
  2. ^ "About Wheeler Walker, Jr". YouTube.
  3. ^ "WTF with Marc Maron Podcast".
  4. ^ "Music". wheelerwalkerjr.com. Retrieved 2021.
  5. ^ "Comedy Central® Sets Mid-Season Schedule Featuring New Series And Specials And The Return Of Network Favorites" (Press release). Comedy Central. Retrieved 2013.
  6. ^ a b c Copley, Rich (22 March 2013). "Lexington native Ben Hoffman brings his Comedy Central show home". Lexington Herald-Leader. Retrieved 2015.
  7. ^ Scheinfeld, Jillian (4 March 2013). "Talking to Ben Hoffman of the New Comedy Central Series, 'The Ben Show". jewcy.com. Jewcy. Retrieved 2021.
  8. ^ "The Ben Show with Ben Hoffman". imdb.com. IMDb. Retrieved 2021.
  9. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (June 28, 2012). "Comedy Central Orders Series With Anthony Jeselnik, Amy Schumer And Ben Hoffman". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 2013.
  10. ^ Andreeva, Nellie; Petski, Denise (October 3, 2018). "Netflix Orders 'Hoops' Adult Animated Series Starring Jake Johnson From Ben Hoffman, Phil Lord, Chris Miller & 20th TV". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 2018.
  11. ^ Porter, Rick (8 December 2020). "'Hoops' Canceled After Single Season on Netflix". hollywoodreporter.com. The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2021.
  12. ^ "The Ben Show with Ben Hoffman". imdb.com. IMDb. Retrieved 2021.
  13. ^ Wheeler Walker Jr. Crosses Country's Fine Line Between Satire and Stupidity Houston Press
  14. ^ Hudak, Joseph (23 February 2016). "See Wheeler Walker Jr. Taunt Horses, Bare Chest in 'Redneck Sh-t' Video". rollingstone.com.
  15. ^ 'Redneck Shit' Debuts at #9 on Billboard's Top Country Album Chart Wheeler Walker Jr.
  16. ^ Bjorke, Matt (February 22, 2016). "The Top 10 Country Albums Chart: February 22, 2016". Roughstock.
  17. ^ "Wheeler Walker Jr. - 35 Most Anticipated Country Albums of 2016". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2016.
  18. ^ Hudak, Joseph (10 February 2016). "Wheeler Walker Jr.: Inside Country's Filthiest New Album". rollingstone.com. Retrieved 2020.
  19. ^ Hudak, Joseph (5 June 2017). "How Wheeler Walker Jr. Matured Beyond Dick Jokes on 'Ol' Wheeler'". rollingstone.com. Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2021.
  20. ^ Friederich, Brandon (26 May 2016). "WHEELER WALKER JR. IS COUNTRY MUSIC'S FILTHY NEW SAVIOR". Maxim (magazine). Retrieved 2021.
  21. ^ Deming, Mark. "Wheeler Walker, Jr. Biography". allmusic.com. AllMusic. Retrieved 2021.
  22. ^ Funkhouser, Brett (30 November 2018). "Wheeler Walker Jr. Displays Incredible Musicianship Behind Lyrical Raunchiness". americanahighways.org. Americana Highways. Retrieved 2021.
  23. ^ "Wheeler Walker, Jr". spotify.com. Spotify. Retrieved 2021.
  24. ^ "490-Wheeler Walker Jr. Too Short & Kevin Blatt-Your Mom's House with Christina P and Tom Segura". soundcloud.com. SoundCloud. Retrieved 2021.
  25. ^ "#531 - Wheeler Walker Jr". mixcloud.com. Retrieved 2021.
  26. ^ "# 317 - Wheeler Walker Jr. & ME". spotify.com. Spotify. November 2018. Retrieved 2021.
  27. ^ "Wheeler Walker Jr. Performs Live on the Wrap Up Show". howardstern.com. Howard Stern Show. 25 May 2017. Retrieved 2021.
  28. ^ Bjorke, Matt (June 13, 2017). "Top 10 Country Albums Chart: June 12, 2017". Roughstock.
  29. ^ Willman, Chris (3 March 2017). "Wheeler Walker Jr. Cries Censorship After PledgeMusic Pulls His Album Campaign". billboard.com. Billboard. Retrieved 2021.
  30. ^ "Wheeler Walker, Jr.'s Concert History". concertarchives.org. Retrieved 2020.
  31. ^ Hollabaugh, Lorie (6 April 2018). "Kid Rock Launching Tour With Brantley Gilbert, Wheeler Walker Jr". musicrow.com. Retrieved 2021.
  32. ^ Gage, Jeff (6 August 2018). "See Tyler Childers, Sturgill Simpson Jam With Country Parodist Wheeler Walker Jr". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2021.
  33. ^ Warren, Bruce (13 September 2018). "Jason Isbell Wins Big At The Americana Music Awards". wamu.org. American University Radio. Retrieved 2021.
  34. ^ "Wheeler Walker, Jr". therave.com. The Rave. Retrieved 2021.
  35. ^ "Wheeler announces new album "WWIII"". Wheeler Walker Jr. Retrieved .
  36. ^ "Wheeler Walker Jr. Chart History: Billboard 200". Billboard. March 5, 2016.
  37. ^ "Wheeler Walker Jr. Chart History: Top Country Albums". Billboard. March 5, 2016.
  38. ^ "Wheeler Walker Jr. Chart History: Independent Albums". Billboard.
  39. ^ "Wheeler Walker Jr. Chart History: Comedy Albums". Billboard.
  40. ^ Bjorke, Matt (June 13, 2017). "Top 10 Country Albums Chart: June 12, 2017". Roughstock.
  41. ^ Bjorke, Matt (June 19, 2017). "Top 10 Country Albums Sales Chart: June 19, 2017". Roughstock.
  42. ^ Bjorke, Matt (January 14, 2019). "Top 10 Country Albums Chart: January 14, 2019". Roughstock. Retrieved 2019.
  43. ^ Comedic Country Singer Wheeler Walker Jr. Under Fire for Inciting Violence Against Kentucky Teen in Viral Video, popculture.com, January 21, 2019
  44. ^ Daniel S. Levine, Comedic Country Singer Wheeler Walker Jr. Goes off on Explicit Rant About Carrie Underwood, Jason Aldean, Other Country Artists', popculture.com, January 24, 2019.

External links


  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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