Exclusive Interview With Todd Hoffman On Gold Rush


The idea of personal connection is central to Gold Rush and, in particular, the relationship between Hoffman and his father, Jack, is a core element of the show.

“You know, there’s not very many good dads out there – let’s be honest, ok? And, it’s hurting our country. You know that, and I know that – it’s no secret. So, when you have a good dad… my dad sacrificed everything for us kids. You know, he wasn’t the smartest guy in the world, he didn’t have millions of dollars, but here’s what he was – he had a relationship with God, and he was faithful to his family, and faithful to my mother, which provided a firm foundation for us kids.

”He always had a dream of going gold-mining. Well, now he’s got a little chubby kid that happens to be able to make things come true. And I created the show because this was my dad’s dream. So that was the driving force – my love for my father is the driving force to put together the biggest show in the history of the Discovery Channel. And let me tell you something – I put this show together from Sandy, Oregon, in my brown chair – over in one of my buildings in my little airport. You know, you have all these LA types that think they’re so smart and everything, well you know what? Your top show on the Discovery Channel was created by a little kid from Oregon. That’s America though. Look at it. This is the kind of stuff we can still do in America if we believe it. Try to chase out this mentality that we can’t do things, get rid of the restrictions on these little entrepreneurs, take the handcuffs off the small business guy, and let us go out there and bust some ass like we have for so many years.”

What makes the success of Gold Rush so notable is that there is so much competition in the genre. Television schedules are crammed with documentary-style reality series, each fuelled by larger-than-life personalities, all vying for audiences. Millions of people choose to tune into Gold Rush week after week, however – perhaps because of its inspirational nature. At a time when the average citizen is locked into a system of daily commutes and corporate manipulation, Gold Rush provides a window on a group of people from the same situation, who have chosen to take their fate into their own hands and make things happen.

“You got Duck Dynasty – they’re over there doing skits, they’re good guys, they’re good little skits about this, that and other, but you know what? Dude, people are in the struggle. Tupac used to rap about it – you know, being in the struggle. Well, people at home are in the struggle. You got kids that are getting bombarded with so much crap, you know, they’re struggling to keep the family together. They’re struggling to put food on the table. Deep down in their heart, they want to escape for an hour, with the fat kid in the red hat, going north to try to make something out of this adventure and feed his family. It’s like, the struggle’s part of it.

“There’s gold, you know. The economy could crash, and gold would be the only thing left, and you know, there’s an element of that too. I’m not saying everyone should panic but, you know, we are in debt as a country. Gold is a worldwide currency – you can use gold anywhere. The dollar in your pocket is just kind of a promise that there’s a value to it. But really, it’s scary – if the dollar were to crash, you need some gold in your pocket, and I think everybody kind of has… you know a lot of guys would love to have part of their portfolio in gold, you know? Or some physical gold hidden away, you know? It’s a dream for a lot of people.”