Jack Rebney – Captain 11 has passed away

Jack Rebney as Captain 11 trading card
Captain 11 trading card from 1954

Jack Rebney has died at the age of 93. Rebney played Captain 11 on WMIN, taking over the role in late 1954 when Jim Lange went into the military. Rebney hosted the show through early 1955 when Chris Wedes took over. Following his brief run as Captain 11, he worked in advertising in Minneapolis, then CBS radio in Chicago. Most gained notoriety years later when a collection of outtakes from an RV sales video appeared on YouTube in 2004.

The viral video clip of Jack Rebney was a collection of out takes from a sales video for Winnebago RVs recorded in the 1980’s. The story is that the outtakes were passed around among television workers who saved these “blooper reels,” and they were eventually posted to YouTube when the video site was gaining popularity. A filmmaker named Ben Steinbauer tracked down Rebney and produced a documentary called Winnebago Man in 2009

Back in 2013, we determined that there had been another person that played Captain 11 between Jim Lange and Chris Wedes, but it was not clear who the actor was. A bit of research eventually determined that Jack Rebney was the mystery man. The director of Winnebago Man was able to confirm this was the same Jack Rebney from the bloopers, saying “Yes! The mystery of Captain 11 has been solved. Jack was Captain 11 for some amount of time and ultimately left that position and went into radio and then ultimately wound up in Chicago working for CBS. He tells me to extend his kindness to you.

You can read more about Jack Rebney, Captain 11, and Winnebago Man here on the Minnesota Kid Vid site and the videos of Jack’s bloopers can be found on YouTube

Jack Rebney obituary on Legacy.com

Jack Rebney obituary at Entertainment Weekly

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