Chop & Steele: Found Footage Festival Pranks Again

Mike Paulus

UW-Eau Claire grads Nick Prueher and Joe Pickett – the men behind the Found Footage Festival – have made it their business to prank local TV news outlets over the past decade posing as bizarre (fake) guests such as Yo-Yo Artist Kenny Strasser and a TV chef named Chef Keith.

Their latest gag puts both Prueher and Pickett on camera as strongman duo Chop & Steele, convincing morning news shows around the Midwest to book them, including our own WEAU (where Prueher actually worked back in the '90s). Chop & Steele are just two guys showing America how easy it is to get in great shape without buying any fancy equipment.

The Found Footage Festival Returns April 19

This video is just a teaser for a full highlight reel of Chop & Steele news appearances to be shown at the Found Footage Festival's next visit to Eau Claire on April 19, where they'll have an all-new show. They'll be doing two special dinner shows (6pm and 8:30pm) at The Lakely in downtown Eau Claire. The night includes a three course dinner and a beer pairing. 

➜ More info and tickets

Also featured in the Festival's new show are clips from David Letterman's VHS Collection (inherited by the FFF when Dave retired), a montage of satanic panic videos from the '80s, and 10 years of bloopers culled from one hapless North Dakota news team. Watch the trailer. Check out the FFF press release ...

Found Footage Festival Comes to Eau Claire With New Show

Curators Bring Newly Unearthed VHS Treasures To The Lakely At The Oxbow Hotel

New York, NY – March 21, 2017 – The Found Footage Festival, the acclaimed touring showcase of odd and hilarious found videos, will bring its new 2017 show to Eau Claire next month. Hosts Nick Prueher and Joe Pickett, UWEC alums whose credits include The Onion and the Late Show with David Letterman, are excited to debut their new show in this special dinner engagement at The Lakely at the Oxbow Hotel (516 Galloway St.) on April 19th at 6:30 and 8:30 pm. Tickets to the Found Footage Festival, which include a themed three- course meal and beer pairing, are $40 and are available at www.foundfootagefest.com. Tickets.

The Found Footage Festival is a one-of-a-kind event showcasing videos found at garage sales and thrift stores and in warehouses and dumpsters throughout North America. Curators Joe Pickett and Nick Prueher take audiences on a guided tour of their latest and greatest VHS finds, providing live commentary and where-are-they-now updates on the people in these videotaped obscurities. From the curiously-produced industrial training video to the forsaken home movie donated to Goodwill, the Found Footage Festival resurrects these forgotten treasures and serves them up in a lively celebration of all things found.

• Highlights of the new show include: phone: 718-752-0281

• A collection of satanic panic videos from the 80s, including “The Law Enforcement Guide to Satanic Cults”

• Outtakes and on-air bloopers from over ten years of North Dakota local news

• A little-seen “Welcome Home Desert Storm” parade featuring Roseanne Barr and Gerardo

• Exclusive selections from David Letterman's VHS Collection, donated to the Found Footage Festival when Letterman retired last year

• A new prank pulled by Pickett and Prueher posing as a strongman duo named Chop & Steele on morning news shows, including WEAU in Eau Claire

The Found Footage Festival debuted its first show in New York City in 2004 and has gone on to sell out hundreds of shows each year across the U.S. and Canada, including the HBO Comedy Festival, Bonnaroo and the Just For Laughs Festival. The festival has been featured on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, and National Public Radio and has been named a critic’s pick in dozens of publications, including The New York Times,. The FFF can also be seen on the new TruTV series, “Late Night Snack,” in the hit documentary “Winnebago Man,” and in their book, “VHS: Absurd, Odd and Ridiculous Relics from the Videotape Era.”