Hey guys. We're Brian Brushwood and Jason Murphy. You've seen us on Discovery's Scam School, National Geographic's Hacking the System, and now we're doing The Modern Rogue on Youtube.

For 10+ years now (starting with a failed TruTV show!), we've explored, tested, and tried to demystify all things underhanded, dangerous, and badass.

Today we're hoping to turn it into our day job by launching a Patreon for The Modern Rogue, and we're here to answer all your questions.

What's The Modern Rogue? I'm glad you asked. http://youtube.com/modernrogue

Scam School you say? http://youtube.com/scamschool

Oh my, a Patreon? http://patreon.com/modernrogue

Our Proof: https://www.instagram.com/p/BWaS6RTDSZv/?taken-by=scamschoolbrian https://www.instagram.com/p/BWaSaJJAaB4/?taken-by=captainmurphy

Comments: 966 • Responses: 67  • Date: 

CaffeineBoost309 karma

What eventually made you think "eeeh, the hair's overdoing it"?

ScamSchoolBrian510 karma

The hair was a weird thing: In real life, everywhere I went it made people smile. The moment I walked on a plane it made everyone happy.

But on screen, it just played differently. What read IRL as "I'm confident and friendly and can't wait to talk to you," once on-screen became "I'm loud and insecure and I'm in your face!"

So the big moment was when I realized that my day job was shifting from being onstage to on-screen. The first few years of scam school, I was a stage performer who dabbled in online video. Nowadays I'm that guy from the internet who you occasionally get to see onstage.

GregoryPanic25 karma

Really interesting to see an artist talk about transitioning mediums and how something as simple as hair can play totally different just because of it being on a screen.

I do like you more without the spikes on camera. As a member of the computer security community I often see many new or lesser skilled people emphasizing their looks or weirdness trying to fit in or seem fun and approachable, as opposed to the 40-50 year old father running a workshop spending his time selflessly helping people for little recognition (in a polo and jeans with a conservative haircut).

It's stupid, because as a magician and social engineer with spikes, I saw you as kind of a hack. When I started watching your newer stuff, you are clearly not, and I feel stupid for having been affected by the looks. And I even know better, because I spent years training as an actor. Wearing a different kinds of glasses is enough to get people to feel differently about you from the start, why wouldn't hair.

Anyway cheers, love your work, love what you do, keep on keeping on.

ScamSchoolBrian37 karma

I think it's just a matter of bandwidth and fidelity. When you meet a someone IRL, you have extreme amounts of both: you immediately understand "this is a reasonable person who wants to stand out from the faceless masses. He's polite and interesting to speak to."

On screen you have very little of either: "This is a cartoon character who clearly needs to compensate for an inherent lack of character."

MarixD21 karma

I miss the hair.

ScamSchoolBrian55 karma

me too.

Joe_Fixit230 karma

So excited for this! I've wondered, since the Modern Rogue is part Gentleman, would you ever do a few episodes on dress clothes or clothes in general? Like adding hidden pockets, what to look for in a suit, etc?

ScamSchoolBrian316 karma

oh, shoot-- I hadn't even considered sneaky stuff on suits before. There's a number of simple alterations that make it possible to pull off some incredible magic tricks!

But yes: we desperately need a simple primer on fashion stuff. When we shot Hacking the System, there was like 7 people surrounding me, and not one of us knew that I was buttoning the completely wrong button on my suit.

In fact: the show made it past production and went to air with me totally revealing what a dumbass I am about wearing a suit.

TardyMoments189 karma

Why does this show reflect my interests so well?

MurphyModernRogue232 karma

Because you're one of us.

ScamSchoolBrian242 karma


JustinRyoung187 karma

Who's the B?

neshcom77 karma

Yeah /u/shwood Imma need an answer on this one, boss.

t2t258 karma

Well clearly not Ryce since he can't summon the right account

neshcom41 karma

Ah Christ

ScamSchoolBrian43 karma


ScamSchoolBrian55 karma

oh, you bastard.

Juanyam2 karma

Inquiring minds need to know

ScamSchoolBrian6 karma

We love all our editors equally.


JustinRyoung11 karma

You have failed this Forrest Challenge on now must be credited as Rian on the next episode.

ScamSchoolBrian6 karma


runs1note92 karma

So far "Gentelman" stream has mostly been about alcohol...

What other gentlemany things are yuo going to be doing?

MurphyModernRogue110 karma

Cigars, suits, maybe even dancing. We do need to flesh that category out some more.

ScamSchoolBrian96 karma

How to smoke a pipe like a gentleman! Can't wait for that one.

(and yes: despite Bonnie forbidding me from dancing on the internet... the Modern Rogue would know how to dance.)

JaredGreenberg58 karma

How is Mr. Happy Pants doing?

iamnicklit57 karma

What are some ideas that you have tried that have not worked out for Modern Rogue?

MurphyModernRogue76 karma

Heh. We actually usually end up posting those anyway. There's only 1(?) I can think of that was unfinished. We're going to try it again later. I don't want to spoil the surprise.

ScamSchoolBrian131 karma

That's the weird part: apparently all our most popular videos consist of:

(1) start a project (2) completely fail at it (3) collect 1 million views.

See: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RxuEvQmdWyM

droznig42 karma

You know.... Now that I think about it, a lot of your videos are actually relevant to prisoners in the states.

BJJ/Judo, Making improvised weapons and shanks, prison wine...

You need to switch your target demographic. There are 2,220,300 prisoners in the states and prison wine only got 1.7M views, we need to smuggle smart phones in to the remaining 500k prisoners to bump up that view count.

ScamSchoolBrian39 karma

I like the way you think, sir.

Lukebekz53 karma

I guess my question is gonna be pretty standard but:

How did you guys end up together? What was the chain of events that led to you guys actually starting the Modern Rogue? And why is it so good?!

ScamSchoolBrian102 karma

oh, man. /u/murphymodernrogue will have to help me out, but our friendship definitely began drunk on... I think New Year's Eve 2000? I remember Jason begging to know how I did a stage magic trick, me telling him everything, and then him waking up from a blackout drunk having no memory of the method.

We started kicking around ideas after that, and eventually did the TruTV development project, which led to Scam School, Hacking the System, and now the Modern Rogue.

TheTurtleDuckMan52 karma

Would you ever consider doing an episode of the Modern Rouge where you make flamethrowers from squirt guns?

MurphyModernRogue77 karma

Heh. Oh, it's being looked into.

TheTurtleDuckMan27 karma


ScamSchoolBrian80 karma

Oh, shit... has anyone ever attached a flamethrower to a drone before? How dope would that be?

bkofford49 karma

So, what's your "days since last injury" counter up to?

MurphyModernRogue46 karma

Hmmmm. I can't remember exactly, but it was definitely Brian's hand.

ScamSchoolBrian49 karma

It's always Brian's hand. For the uninitiated: https://www.instagram.com/p/BOlC1XMBQbF/?taken-by=scamschoolbrian

kaolincash47 karma

How do we delete Jason's trousers from reality? Please advise

ScamSchoolBrian59 karma

YOU TAKE THAT BACK, MISTER! Those pants are nothing short of GLO RIO US!

idr_rbi45 karma

Hey Brian & Jason, how about an episode on making your own jerky for emergency situations?

biocow44 karma

+1 I've been wanting to try making my own jerky. Could call it "Jerks makin' Jerky".

ScamSchoolBrian28 karma


ScamSchoolBrian32 karma

oh, nice! I'd love to do that.

davebandit9 karma

You don't even need a dehydrator. A box fan and some clean AC vent air filters and you are set. That's a very Modern Rogue way of making jerky.

Hardest part is finding the right recipe.

ScamSchoolBrian8 karma

That's a jaunty jerk!

BinaryYT36 karma

  1. Brian, when you were in school, did you scam anybody?

  2. Best boardgames/Tabletop games?

  3. Why do you follow literally everyone on Twitter, Brian?

ScamSchoolBrian95 karma

  1. Oh jeez. I shouldn't share this, but I was a tech junkie who always, desperately needed the latest v.90 modem from USRobotics. I may have noticed that all the USR modems had the same bezel, and I may have bought a new edition, unscrewed and swapped the bezels, and returned the last-generation hardware (labeled as the new thing) to Best Buy for like... 3 years running.

This may or may not have worked for sound cards, hard drives, 3DFX voodoo cards...

  1. Action News is the best card game you'll play this year. It's Anchorman: the game. Fund it here: kickstarter.com/projects/contender/action-news-the-game-of-television-news?ref=discovery

  2. Because I'm very, very friendly.

juanabos35 karma

How much pressure do you feel to keep upping the ante for every Modern Rogue episode? Do you feel it has to be more dangerous than blowing up a car or more illegal/shady than the dark web or counterfeit currency?

MurphyModernRogue59 karma

Nope! We've started to realize 'big' doesn't necessarily mean 'best'. While we're not getting rid of the 'bigger' episodes, I don't think they're necessary for us to grow and keep people excited about the show.

ScamSchoolBrian61 karma

Yeah, that's been the biggest surprise: People really seem to value authenticity between us over spectacle.

Don't get me wrong: we'll always be going for the spectacle, but much like Mythbusters, it's really about the electricity of the setup than the big payoff.

princepain34 karma

What's your favorite ice cream and why is it rocky road?

ScamSchoolBrian75 karma

Both of you are monsters. Cookies and Cream or DIAF.

MurphyModernRogue40 karma

I can't even remember the last time I had ice cream.

ScamSchoolBrian55 karma

Yeah, but you hate chocolate.

Again: Monster.

SwanNinja32 karma

Hi Brian and Jason. Do you guys ever think that The Modern Rogue will ever be like a civilian myth busters? Also was there any serious injuries that you two or the crew encountered?

MurphyModernRogue46 karma

We're not trying to emulate Myth Busters, really, but certainly don't mind the comparisons. As for serious injuries while filming? Not really. Brian did mangle his hand with the drone, though. It was gnarly.

SwanNinja17 karma

Thank you for the reply and I'm surprised about the injury answer. With all the crazy shit you two do, I thought at least you would be injured by something that relates to the subject, but a drone is one I did not expect.

ScamSchoolBrian25 karma

Well, don't jump ahead too far. I definitely should have gotten stitches after this moment: https://youtu.be/0dESArb5YP4?t=10m58s

...unfortunately, I was too embarrassed to hit the ER again so soon after the drone strike, so I just put a tight band-aid on it and kept my finger straight for a week.

blazecoolman28 karma

What is the target demographic for the Modern Rogue? Other than Ted Talks, you have the only other channel on YouTube that I gladly spend 15+ minutes on. I'm asking because you cover everything from how to drink whiskey like a gentleman to how to make a knife out of Styrofoam and it just covers a wide array of topics!

ScamSchoolBrian44 karma

I guess the answer is "guys like us", which according to YouTube is 97% male, and 80% ages 18-34.

idr_rbi27 karma

Bonus question to Jason: How do you find those hot pants?

MurphyModernRogue37 karma

Vintage stores. I have tons of them.

ScamSchoolBrian46 karma

Show them the award. I swear to God you show them the award you were given right now or this is all over.

Sunbun25 karma

Will the modern rogue learn how to cook?

MurphyModernRogue31 karma

I've considered it. We've got one tangentially related to that coming up in August/September, I think.

runs1note7 karma

Gentleman knows how to cook, certainly!

ScamSchoolBrian14 karma

Good point. Maybe an episode on an "award winning omelette" or something?

johnyboz23 karma

Have you contacted Adam Savage? He'd make a great guest for an episode.

ScamSchoolBrian42 karma

Adam and I swapped emails years ago, but I've just assumed he's too busy these days. But my friend Bill Doran of punishedprops.com works with him from time to time. You should check out his stuff.

Under9Thousand22 karma

Long-time fan of the show, I hope the Patreon is a huge success!

Are there any ideas for episodes you've had to abandon because they were too difficult/dangerous to film?

Also, what's the most unusual drink you've ever been served?

ScamSchoolBrian56 karma

Bombs. Anything that could be a bomb or get the FBI knocking on our door.

Side note: it's astonishingly easy to make bombs.

slyder559720 karma

Did Scam School get picked up for a full season on the Science Channel?

ScamSchoolBrian23 karma

Too early to call. We did well for our time slot, so I'm hopeful. Will report!

mnossek16 karma

Any tips for people who aren't very outgoing or confident in social situations to kill it at Scam School scams?

ScamSchoolBrian40 karma

Ask questions. the person asking the questions is in charge of the conversation.

"Hey, quick question: do you know any bar scams or tricks? I'm asking because I saw this thing on a show called 'scam school'..."

TuxOtaku16 karma

Hey Brian!! Been a fan since the Revision3 days. Do you guys plan on collaborating with other YouTubers like Grant Thompson anymore? Also, you've tackled some InfoSec topics before. Any plans to dive into that subject further? (Some simple stuff like WPA cracking, session hijacking, etc.) Might be fun to collab with Darren and Snubs from Hak5 for that stuff...just sayin'. (Also I miss Revision3)

ScamSchoolBrian16 karma

hey TuxOtaku! Great to see you again!

Yes, yes, yes to collabs: They really do amazing stuff to grow your channel, but it's expensive to travel (especially when you're bringing a production crew). Our hope is that this patreon will let us do more on-location stuff.

Billybobjr1747416 karma

Any hints to find the secret bar in Austin?

dangerzonepatrol10113 karma

Have you thought about doing episodes on tasting other hard liquors? Perhaps you can throw a bone to us Lady Boy Tequila Slaves

ScamSchoolBrian23 karma

Hence the Patreon, good sir! If we're gonna do this right, we'll need a proper booze budget.

ChronosHorse10 karma

You guys ever consider doing an episode on Steganography?

ScamSchoolBrian8 karma

Oh, man--- link me? This sounds good.

CheapBiscuit10 karma

Were there any embarrassing or noteworthy moments doing the Russian Push-up exercises?

ScamSchoolBrian34 karma

I made the mistake of saying "we should get footage of us with our shirts off!" while being 15-pounds over my TV weight...

(quietly hopes /u/gatowag doesn't have screenshots)

GetYourTanOn10 karma

Glad I found this. Big fan of TMR!

Anyways, out of the many shows you guys have done, which one is your all-time favorite?

ScamSchoolBrian12 karma

I simply cannot describe how magical it was to explore the hidden depths of shortwave radio in this episode: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RIXF9L6HRLA&index=31&list=PLMviV1kG2V2g29X7Dl4SopoJnjh0UrDFu

If you haven't played with it, there's an amazing HTML shortwave radio you can explore at http://shortwave.themodernrogue.com

HerHor10 karma

Brian, you have off course a history with Twit.tv. How is it working with someone who still host shows like All About Android and Tech News Today with the network?

ScamSchoolBrian14 karma

I see what you did there. :-)

(now help out all the fine other people by posting a link to the relevant Night Attack timecode?)

RalphV12097 karma

Hey guys. I'm a big fan from all the way back to the tail end of the BB live show and Jasons reviews and loading bar stuff. Thank you both for the literal weeks or so worth of content I've enjoyed over the years.

Do you guys have any plans on doing more episodes like the audio hallucination one? Maybe something to do with sensory deprivation?

ScamSchoolBrian15 karma

Oh, wow-- that's amazing. It really blows my mind that you're still with us. Thanks for sticking around.

Yeah, I'd love to do sensory deprivation stuff. Did you know that the quantum physicist Richard Feynman was into those? https://www.dmt-nexus.me/forum/default.aspx?g=posts&t=51786

HerHor6 karma

Can you confirm the rumour that you can't get an infection in you booty hole?

ScamSchoolBrian5 karma

You can't get an infection in your booty hole. It's your booty hole.

dogfoundchainsaw6 karma

But how did he get his powers?

ScamSchoolBrian11 karma

And more importantly: how does he feel about the relationship between power and responsibility?

EnergizerKid6 karma

While filing an intro or outro for scam school, have you ever tripped on something while walking backwards?

Also what kind of looks do the people give you that see you talking to the camera.

ScamSchoolBrian6 karma

Rarely (unless I'm wearing flip flops. It's hard to walk backwards in flip flops). The trick is to pick a seam in the concrete and stick to it as you walk backwards.

WinstonTheBadger5 karma

OMG YES I had no clue what happened to the show Hacking the System!!! Will you guys be making a season 2?

ScamSchoolBrian6 karma

I think you're looking at it!

audiorevolver4 karma

Can you go into what your failed TruTV show was? Additionally, how was the reception, from Discovery specifically, for the Scam School Pilot that aired on Science Channel?

ScamSchoolBrian14 karma

It was our first pitch to a TV network, back when they were CourtTV. I had a strong champion who was really into my "Scams Sasquatch and the Supernatural" talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iPUxFRcTpfA

about halfway into development, my champion left for another network and I inherited someone who just wasn't a match. She made me comb my hair and put on a sweater, and they ended up with a very forgettable version of what we were going for.

But the good news is that the frustration of that experience led directly to Brian Brushwood on the Road, which was invaluable to bring us Scam School.

Masterwabbit3 karma

You guys going to any conventions in the near future?

MurphyModernRogue3 karma

I think Brian will be at DefCon and DragonCon.

ScamSchoolBrian8 karma

and Scoopfest in vegas!

southmax3 karma

More of the drink episodes coming? Love those

ScamSchoolBrian3 karma


ScamSchoolBrian2 karma


fuzzycuffs2 karma

How drunk do you guys get on modern rogue episodes involving alcohol?

MurphyModernRogue11 karma

What are you, a cop?

ScamSchoolBrian7 karma

Because you know you have to tell us if you're a cop.

TheWhiskeyWolf2 karma

When is the archery episode coming?

MurphyModernRogue6 karma

Ummmm. Maybe next month?

ScamSchoolBrian12 karma

We're doing an archery episode?

GrayKitsun32 karma

What is one project you would love to work on (whether it be Gentlemanly, Warrior, or Scoundrel) but can't do without the help of your patrons?

ScamSchoolBrian31 karma

Murphy's playing coy, but I'll just lay it out there: Get us some cash, and we're going to learn/invent something I've wondered my whole goddamned life: zero-gravity combat.

We've already started talking with Richard Garriott, who can hook us up with a vomit comet ride. Yes, everyone's posting videos of "oh, gee! look at me, I'm floating!"

Forget that. I want to know the most effective way to kick someone's ass if I'm ever floating in a space station.

(because you never know)

gamehelp161 karma

What resources do you recommend when one wants to learn social engineering?

ScamSchoolBrian8 karma

gumption. and Balls.

And free time.

and the willingness to get caught, have a miserable time, and move on with your life.

(turns out those are in fairly short supply)

Godtaku1 karma

Have you ever used any of the skills you've seen in scam school to get a leg up irl?

ScamSchoolBrian6 karma

Certainly the get-out-of-a-speeding-ticket trick. But it didn't work out so well for this guy: http://www.cnn.com/2017/06/29/us/monopoly-card-arrest-trnd/index.html

(I'd so, so like to believe that I had a hand in this...)

TriggeredPineapple1 karma

You're the only person to hate vinegar as much as I do.

Are there any other food that you absolutely hate?

ScamSchoolBrian3 karma

Most fruits are too sweet and loud for my tastes (except citrus). I dig vegetables and all things bitter and savory.

AmericanRuin1 karma

What are some of your best scams that you were not allowed to air?

MurphyModernRogue5 karma

There was a ton of stuff that got pulled from Hacking the System. I don't want to spoil the good ones, though. :)

ScamSchoolBrian3 karma

The good news is that almost all the ideas that didn't pass standards and practices will probably show up on The Modern Rogue. Hang in there.

Walktotheplace1 karma

Brian, you have been an inspiration to me to do all kinds of 'gross out' magic. I've been following scam school back when the spikes were in style, and you gave the best performance on Fool Us. I even stuck gave a performance at my nose that included the human blockhead, which I learned from you. You have inspired me to do magic based on body horror, and I love that. My question is: who inspired you? What led you to begin that path of your life, and where did you get your particular 'style'? A response would mean the world to me, thank you.

P.s. My names also Brian! People put a 'y' so often, I hate it.

ScamSchoolBrian2 karma

Thanks for all the kind words, man! Means the world to me.

Ctraine881 karma

Hey guys, I'm Max and I have been an loyal viewer for brief period of 9 years or so. I was just wondering, you know since I grew up with you, if you would be my Internet dads. Would you? No child support checks required :)

ScamSchoolBrian6 karma

It's about time, son.

Me and your other dad have talked for years about how proud we are of you.

TheTurtleDuckMan1 karma

What's the hardest magic trick you've ever pulled off?

ScamSchoolBrian5 karma

The best was EVP: https://youtu.be/q4rVA9TStdY?t=7m2s

The hardest was this silly move. I'm still looking to perfect it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UF5oFOt4YE8

ICantWriteForShit1 karma

What are you guys' favorite whiskies? Also, does the Glencairn glass really help as much as they say it does in terms of 'taste'?

Love the show. More whisky ones please.

ScamSchoolBrian3 karma

I can't say with 100% authority, but it really does seem to make the "nose" part of the drinking experience pop. Before using one, I'd rarely take notice of that aspect.

Bigswiggindingaling1 karma

Is there any chance of you guys going on a "Modern Rouge" road show!?

ScamSchoolBrian8 karma

Yes, but we actually think there'll be more interest in a "Modern Rogue Weekend," where you come out to Austin and spend 2 days with us: exploring the whiskey vault, blowing up cars and shooting guns, visiting our secret speakeasy, doing builds at the warehouse...