Maybe you know Jim Shearer as a former MTV2 VJ and current host of VH1's Top 20 Video Countdown. Maybe you know Jim Shearer as the genius behind Yinz Luv 'Da Stillers and Yinz Luv 'Da Guins, the incredibly entertaining videos about the Steelers and Penguins respectively. Maybe you don't know Jim Shearer at all, so I'm here to introduce him to you. Actually, I just sent Jim a few questions and he was kind enough to reply, so I'll let him "speak" for himself.
How did the Yinz Luv videos get started?
My MTV contract ended at the beginning of 2008 and I was looking for work. Trying to branch off into sports (which I thought could eventually bring me back home to the 'burgh) I went to an audition at the NHL. They were starting up a daily web-show. The audition lasted about two minutes, and I didn't get the job (sigh). As the playoff season started that year, I thought to myself, "Well, if the NHL doesn't want me, I'll just start up my own web-show." While throwing around ideas in my head, I quickly realized that "yinz" rhymed with "guins," and the rest is history.
Do you draw all of the figures in the intros?
Yep. I draw them all. If you notice in the early episodes of Yinz Luv 'Da Guins, the cardboard cutouts aren't as detailed as they are now. That's because I was rushing around to put the intro together, right as the playoffs began, and right as I was about to launch the show. Once I had more time, I could get more creative with the figures (i.e., Ulf Samuelsson viciously checking Cam Neely or Brooks Orpik's crazy-eyes stare).
I think I already know the answer based on the fact that you stated that you draw all of the figures, but is there anyone else that helps you with the Yinz Luv videos? They are so well done that it seems like multiple people must work on them.
I do most of the work on the episodes--hosting (obviously), editing, and producing the segments. However, if you ever see me with another person on an episode, it usually means that someone else is helping me tape. My good buddy Fuzz tapes some of the tailgate interviews and drives me to away games (since I don't own a car).
If the Pirates ever make the playoffs, could we see a Yinz Luv the Buccos?
I might consider doing some episodes if 'Da Buccos make the playoffs, but because I'm holding down a full-time job, while simultaneously doing web-shows for 'Da Guins and 'Da Stillers, the baseball season is my off-season; my decompression period if you will.
Switching over to your day job, has there ever been someone you interviewed on MTV/VH1 that you weren't really looking forward to meeting, but turned out to be extremely (perhaps surprisingly) cool?
All the time, and it happens a lot more often now, because I'm working in the world of pop music. When I was working at MTV2, I hosted 120 Minutes and Subterranean, which dealt with indie-minded music (which is more my preference). Not that I wasn't looking forward to meeting him, but I just met 50 Cent last week, and I was surprised how friendly he was. He shook everyone's hand on the set, and hung around following his interview to small talk with the crew.
Have you ever hung out with VH1 regulars Bret Michaels or Flavor Flav?
I have not. I have interviewed Flavor Flav backstage at a Public Enemy show though, and let me just say, he's hounded constantly for picture, autograph, and hug requests. I remember him as an all-time great hypeman in hip-hop, but his series of reality shows has opened him up to a whole other audience.
I may be one of the few people that watch you on both Yinz Luv and VH1's Top 20 Countdown. To prove it, I enjoyed watching you grow a playoff beard during the Pens' Stanley Cup run on VH1. Did anyone (either at work or at home) give you a hard time about growing the beard or sharing your Pens fandom on national TV?
Before the playoffs even started, I approached our executive producer and asked if I could grow the beard. He, being a big sports fan too, agreed to it. I did give a warning, "Just to let you know, the Pens could go all the way, so I may have this thing on my face for a while." I think the charity tie-in also helped. Who's gonna give you crap if you're raising money for cancer research?
One of the reasons why I asked you about the playoff beard is because I may grow a mustache for charity in November. Do you have any advice for me?
Grow that mustache. It's easy money for charity and makes the ordinary, everyday routine of looking in the mirror a little more exciting.
Finally, now that we're 1/4 of the way through the season (Sean’s note: Jim answered this question prior to the Steelers-Lions game), do you have any general thoughts about the Steelers?
Um, we really need Troy in the lineup, Limas Sweed needs to learn how to hold onto a football in the big leagues, and as a team, the Steelers have to close out games with authority (which will make our lives as fans less stressful).
Jim is passionate about Pittsburgh sports and puts together amazing videos from his unique perspective. If you haven't seen his work before (where have you been?), here's the latest Yinz Luv 'Da Stillers:
Jim is also passionate about music and recently put together his video playlist on VH1. I figure that I might as well show what he does during the day, so here is Jim talking about Coffee and TV by Blur:
This video has nothing to do with the interview or Jim, but since he talked for almost an entire minute about it, here is Blur in one of the greatest videos ever.
Thanks again to Jim and make sure that you visit Yinz Luv 'Da Stillers and Yinz Luv 'Da Guins and watch him on VH1.
Photos courtesy of Jim Shearer via the Pittsburgh City Paper (you can probably tell that their interview is much more professional than mine) and PSAMP.