Stad is the inspiration for us doing this blog series about fans who mean a lot to us. We only are able to get to know most of our fans in a digital sense but we have had the extreme pleasure of getting to meet Stad and have him become an honorary member of our “family.”
Stad recorded himself being interviewed with the questions we sent over and rather than share them in a formal Q&A format, we want to give you the chance to hear from Stad more directly as he shares his Jackbox journey. It’s heartwarming and just another reason why we love him all so much! A big virtual round of applause for Stad; one of our most appreciated super fans.
From our friend, Stad:
I heard about Jackbox Games in middle school (back when Jackbox was Jellyvision). It was the ‘90s and I remember going to an Electronics Boutique and seeing this big, giant head that said “YOU DON’T KNOW JACK TELEVISION.” It looked really cool and interesting!
Later on, I was at the Computer Museum in Boston. One of the exhibits they were showcasing had different software and there it was again – YOU DON’T KNOW JACK (YDKJ) was one of the games being featured! (Although, thinking about it now, that was pretty inappropriate for a museum geared toward children!) I kept wanting to know more.
After these initial glimpses, the true impact of Jackbox on my life really began in 6th or 7th grade. One of my advisors at school knew that I really liked YOU DON’T KNOW JACK and gave me a copy of YOU DON’T KNOW JACK TELEVISION for my birthday and because I had been doing well in school. I could only play in her office because I didn’t own a computer powerful enough to run the games. To this day, this is my favorite YDKJ game because it was my first and because I really love it: I’ve always been a TV kid. It was both a game show and a computer game AND it was really well done. The host, Schmitty, was so quick witted and sassy and to this day is still my favorite Jackbox host. I thought, “This is what I want to do.” I wanted to emulate his style and that’s what I try to do to this day.
As I got older, YDKJ and other Jackbox games really were the catalyst for solidifying what I want to do (work in game shows and become a host). Back in 2011, Jackbox put out a new version of YDKJ for consoles and had a Hollywood release party. I really wanted to go and searched all over the Internet to find a ticket. I ended up going with my friend Jolie. It was really fun (a cool Hollywood thing PLUS one of my favorite games of all time). This is where I met Allard, the current Chief Creative Officer. Somewhere, I still have his business card!
Eventually years later I met Ryan DiGiorgi and Warren Arnold (both game directors at Jackbox). I followed their journey from being fans, to freelance writers, to full-time staff, to game directors. It was like my journey getting into game shows in L.A. In 2010, I started as a Page at CBS and then became the Set PA at The Price is Right, slowly trying to move my way up. It was inspiring for me to see Ryan and Warren work their way to where they are now and know that there are people out there that have dreams and can accomplish them through hard work and determination (and some luck). Ryan even directed the new YOU DON’T KNOW JACK (in Party Pack 5), which was his dream! There are many others at the company who have had an impact as well – Ben’s love for creating games is beyond bounds, Spencer’s humor is hilariously cool and sharp, and Brooke’s marketing and willingness to interact with fans and build community is astounding. I also want to give a shoutout to Andy Poland, Mike Bilder, and Luke Cody (among others). And to Owen Watson, who sent me pins and some character drawings on an envelope when I was going through a tough time. Everyone at Jackbox cares about their fans. I feel lucky to be their friend and we all share the same love of irreverence, humor, and humanity. I’m not joking when I say they’ve had a huge impact on my life.
I’ll also never forget Brooke coming up to me at TwitchCon 2018 and asking me to host one of the segments on the Jackbox stage. I’d never done something like that and she said, “You’re going to be great. And, you’ll have Ryan and Warren in your ear the whole time!” It was so much fun. (Though it’s a blessing and a curse to have Ryan & Warren in your head… talking… and no one else can hear them but you.)
Editor’s Note: It’s very easy to build a community when you have people like Stad as one of your moderators! And, it’s true – Stad did a great job hosting a segment at TwitchCon and you should tune in when he does it again this year later in September!
Now, I’m a challenge producer on Double Dare, which I could’ve never imagined in my wildest dreams. I watched as a child and I get to work with one of my idols, Marc Summers. And I still try to join Jackbox streams every week. Anyone who is interested in Jackbox Games should come to a Thursday stream and join the Jackbox Discord! (I’m jokingly referred to as the “Mom” of the Jackbox Discord) There’s a whole channel dedicated to fan-made trivia and another dedicated to art. It’s amazing. People really do care and there’s an impact that goes beyond the games. When I sit down and think about it, I can’t imagine myself not having Jackbox in my life.
My favorite Jackbox Games:
- Obviously YDKJ is one. I even got an Easter egg in YDKJ: Full Stream! When I input my name in the game, Cookie addresses me directly! When I heard this, I flipped out.
- Fakin’ It is also one of my favorites. I love social deduction and it’s one of the games that truly works best when you’re playing with others in the room. The nice thing about Fakin’ It is that you’re never put in a position where you feel like you have to be funny. The game is funny for you and you learn the most hilarious things about people. The style of the game is great too!
- Bomb Corp. is also a game I really like. It’s a puzzle game (I love puzzles) and if you make a mistake you blow up and have to start over. It has been three years and me and a few of my friends still keep trying to beat that last day of the game!
If you’ve never been introduced to a Jackbox Game, there are three that encapsulate the essence of Jackbox:
- Fibbage is great for trivia lovers, very easy to get started, and can be played seriously or funnily.
- Drawful is great for those looking for a drawing-based game. The prompts are ridiculous and the game really gives you the tools to create something funny.
- Everyone suggests Quiplash! Quiplash does a good job of showcasing what makes Jackbox party games so good and at the forefront of creating games for the digital age.
All of these games have sequels too. You can’t go wrong.
It’s funny, when I was living in Boston, all I wanted to do was work at Jackbox. Time goes on, and now I’m in L.A. working at a dream job in my dream industry. I don’t need to work at Jackbox anymore but in some ways, I feel like I achieved that goal of being able to work with and help out a company that I truly admire. I’m so excited to see what cool things are coming next.
Editor’s Note: At the end of the recording, Stad begins to give personalized shout-outs to several Jackbox team members, congratulating them on new babies, life accomplishments, or even really good facial hair styling. It was a wonderful thing to be able to share with the team while we wind down hard work on The Jackbox Party Pack 6. People like Stad are why we put so much passion into our work. Thank you for giving us the motivation to cross that finish line, Stad!