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Riding Shotgun With Charlie

Aug 31, 2021

Riding Shotgun With Charlie
John Hickok
YouTube Creator, Comedian


I reached out to John Hickok to double check the social media links for RSWC #101 with Hickok45. After he replied, I said I’d like to have John on the show sometime and he said he’d be up for it. I was heading to Nashville for a personal trip. I message John, giving him an idea when I would be done and he said he’d enjoy being on the show. I love my gig!


We all know that John is Hickok45’s son. John grew up with the Hickok range in the backyard. He was shooting at 3 and shooting an Uzi (full auto) at 4.  Yes, it was only a few rounds left in the magazine, but it was STILL full auto!


John is the one behind the scenes for the channel. When YouTube was young, John noticed that there weren’t many gun channels on site. While in college, he watched YouTube and realized that he missed shooting. There were only a few gun channels at the time and the ones that were on the site weren't very exciting. So John suggested that Hickok45 start making some gun videos, because they could do something way better than what was out there. John helped Hickok45 make a video about single action revolvers and some cowboy guns for Hickok45’s class.  And that’s when it started. 


They were both surprised and shocked at the growth of the channel. There were certainly milestones along the way: 1,000 subscribers, 10,000 subscribers. Currently, the channel has 6,000,000+ subscribers and 1,700,000,000+ views!!! Holy schnikes!


About 5 years ago, John decided to get out from behind the camera and in front of the camera. He did a video or two a month on the channel. No matter how much video time he was getting some people still wondered who he was.   He turned to music and playing the guitar and doing stand up comedy as an outlet. He did some podcasting and started his own YouTube channel as well. He was really trying to find his own voice and personality on video. 


I picked up John in the West End section of Nashville. We drove downtown and it was packed!  When I filmed the episode with Hickok45, there was a snowstorm and Nashville was a ghost town.  It was quite the opposite on the warm August day. The lower Broadway section of town was very busy and packed with people. One of the fun sights is the tractors transporting trailers with people doing some day drinking on them. 


After we talk about the Hickok45 channel, we get into John doing stand up comedy. I was doing stand up occasionally over the last couple years. We talk about how it isn’t as easy as some people may think.  It takes time to think of material, then work out how to say and phrase everything, and to get timing down.  Every comedian needs some stage time and John has been doing stand up nightly for a while, even hosting some open mics around Nashville.  We talk about writing comedy, dealing with hecklers, and John’s Mount Rushmore of Comedy, too! We’ve got a lot of comedians that we love in common. 


One of the things I really love about my gig is that I get to talk with folks and really find out what’s going on with them. We all love firearms and shooting, but we’ve got other things in our lives and well.  John is just as passionate about comedy as he is about the Hickok45 channel.  And I think you’ll get that from this episode. 

Favorite quotes:

“You can do something way better than this.”

“If I hadn’t basically been lazy…  the YouTube thing may not have happened.”

“I really enjoy coming up with something in my head, creating it, putting it out on YouTube, and seeing what people think about it.”

“It is a luxury to be a professional entertainer.”

“All that is BS. There’s no such thing as writer’s block...There is no writer’s block; there’s only laziness.”

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