In the 21st century, there is a plethora of great shows on History Channel. But this wasn't always the case. For people who grew up in the '90s, The History Channel is associated with WWII docs and other somber programs. Over the years, it has shifted from reputable documentaries about US and world history to original treasures like the faked Pawn Stars, UFO Hunters, and the equally fake Swamp People. This has all presumably been in an effort to make more money, but as the Countess Luann of Real Housewives of New York City would say, "Money can't buy you class."
When Swamp People premiered in 2010, it seemed like the exploitative reality drama about Cajuns that the world needed. Unfortunately, over the first eight seasons, it has evolved into a parody of itself as more viewers have become savvy to its manipulative editing techniques. Plus, it's not as much about the Cajun lifestyle as it is about ultra-dramatic confrontations with alligators, since the show mostly follows backwoods folk as they hunt gators for a living.
This list is not about the questionable morality of hunting gators. That's shaky ground, as the state of Louisiana actually encourages gator hunting as a way to curb the reptile's alarming population growth. This list is about fake reality TV and how Swamp People lies to you. As it turns out, those gator wrestling matches aren't as dramatic as they look. Read on below to find out more about how Swamp People is stretching the truth.
While part of Swamp People's appeal lies in its cursory look at the Cajun lifestyle, there are just as many working and middle class people in Southern Louisiana who don't hunt gators and talk like Gambit from X-Men. Ironically, if the show spent more time exploring Cajun customs, it could more clearly delineate the swamp people as a very specific subculture within a wider regional culture.
Eagle-eyed viewers have noted that the gator hunters frequently switch out guns during wrestling bouts, but there's no realistic way they'd have time for this when they're trying to focus on not getting killed. This poor editing exposes the fact that the men probably aren't using their guns the entire time, which means that some of the "wrestling" might be filmed after the gator has already been shot. They keep the guns on them for dramatic purposes.
Sure, the folks of Swamp People might seem easy-going, but there's some real darkness lurking under those calm waters. The Molinere duo once beat up a dude with a beer bottle because he looked at them wrong on the freeway, and Trapper Joe was seen beating up his girlfriend in public.
The list goes on. Nicholas Payne, the first convicted criminal on Swamp People, has a history of assaulting cops and resisting arrest. Roger Rivers Jr. was arrested and charged with the following crimes: "18 wildlife violations plus two drug charges." Oh, yeah, and Chase Landry enjoys haphazardly shooting at innocent people who get close to him in the swamp.
Sometimes, the gator hunters of Swamp People stick their arms in the water when wrestling gators. A real gator hunter would not do this, because, well, this is gator hunting. Alligators have large, powerful jaws that are solely designed for gleefully crushing through bones and flesh.
That's why hunters are encouraged to use a wide variety of tools - ranging from harpoons to arrows - to snatch them. If these guys are putting their arms in the water, then it's stock footage.