Casting New Swamp Peeps!

It all began at Big Al’s Seafood in Houma, Louisiana.  It was a muggy hot Saturday afternoon, and with not a whole lot better to do, I decided to drive into town and check out the local casting call for the popular reality TV series Swamp People.

There were a couple of interviews going on when I arrived, with several others waiting in the wings for their turn.

As explained to me by Noelle, one of the casting agents, they were targeting a very specific type of character for next year’s series; more specifically, alligator hunters with at least 50 tags.  When I asked her if they were interested in female alligator hunters, her answer was a resounding “YES!  Do you know any?”  At that moment, I almost wished I had known a few that I could call up right then and there.  Alas, I knew none.

After I introduced myself to the head of the casting crew, Galoka, and after she agreed to let me interview folks and take photos, I made my way around the room checking out some of the prospective candidates.  There were only a few there at the time, and they were all men.  As time ticked by, more and more folks came out of the woodwork and into Big Al’s to take their chance at being the next new star of Swamp People.

As I glanced around the room, this interesting looking hat caught my eye.

As I got closer, I recognized him as being gator hunter Andee from down our bayou.  Andee wants to team up with another hunter named Dan D.  (who could not be here today).  Andee, father to three sons, is an avid outdoorsman and has hunted gators for most of his adult life.

Andee and I got to talking, one thing led to another, and I told him how they were looking for female alligator hunters.  He immediately thought of a woman from down the bayou and gave her a call.  Within an hour, she was there, ready and signed up for the interview.

Andee and Marie during their interview with Galoka.

Right then and there, a new gator-hunting team was formed!  Marie grew up on the bayou and hunts gators from her pirogue on her family land behind their farm house.  The mother of five daughters, Marie raises cattle, and you might remember her pink pig that survived Tropical Storm Lee.    Marie told me, “I can fit a rifle, an eleven-foot gator, and me in my pirogue!”

Here’s a photo of a big gator Andee caught last year.  It’s hanging in Big Al’s dining area.  (The pic, not the gator!)

This cousin duo looked pretty promising.  And if cute smiles gets you the gig, then this guy had it hands down.

His name is Martin, and his cousin, Bradley is in the background.  Martin has a regular day job to pay the bills, and he loves to hunt alligators, box, and cage fight for the rush and the fun of it.  He shared a video of himself playing with an eleven-foot alligator before hauling it into the boat to shoot it.  Yes, he hauled a live gator into his boat.  Rush?  Yeah, I should say so.

There were a couple other interesting characters there, many of which I did not get to talk to, but at least I got this guy’s photo before he left.

I think this man called himself “Alligator E. J.”, and he made the hat himself.  I’m not sure who his partner was, or if he even had one, but he was quite a character.

And then there was this young man who was definitely dressed for the part and seemed quite familiar to me.  Do any of you remember seeing an episode of Wife Swap back in around 2005?  The wife was from Zam’s swamp tours in Kramer, Louisiana?  She had a son named ZZ, and he was known for saying, “Alligators don’t sweat!”  Do you remember him?

Well, he’s sixteen now and ready to give Troy a run for his gators! He told me he doesn’t like to kill gators any more but would rather catch them, and they have three 14-footers in their pen now.  Maybe he wants to wrestle gators on the show?

Next there was this father and son team from Raceland, LA.

George is a single dad raising two sons.  He manages about a thousand acres of hunting land, guides deer and duck hunts, runs the crawfish ponds, and hunts all the alligator tags.  Sometimes, Z helps him, so maybe that’s why Z was there.

This is another pair of hopefuls from the upper neck of my bayou.  Brent and Ricky hunt gators for Gator Tail Lodge up around Lake Theriot.  Brent runs the lodge and guides all their fishing and hunting trips.   They were two really nice fellows.

By the time I had to leave, there were folks still coming through the door.  I noticed several man and woman teams waiting for interviews, but I didn’t get to talk to any of them or take their photos.

Oh, and I have to make this disclaimer.  At first, one casting crew member said I couldn’t post the names of these people.  Then she said I couldn’t say too much about them, either.  Then, the boss lady said it was okay.  So, I’ve gone ahead with this post.  If after they view it, they decide that it interferes with what they are trying to do, then I will remove it, but we will have a little fun for now!

(There was a poll right here where you could vote for the team you might like to see on the next season.  However, due to public confusion that this poll somehow might have a bearing on who gets casted for the show, it was suggested that I remove it.  I’m an easy-going bayou woman who aims to please.  Poll removed, but I know who got the most votes, he he he!)

If you care to, in the comments section below, let us know who you think might be fun to watch on future episodes of the show.

Hanging with the Swamp Peeps,

BW   (That’s Jay Paul right down there.  His daddy, R.J., was down at the Tarpon Rodeo and couldn’t make it to Big Al’s.  Maybe next time . . . .)

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  1. Really nice post. Do you know just how many teams showed up? When will they find out if they’re selected?
    BTW, It’s nice to see a smile on Jay Paul’s face. He was always so serious on the show. Maybe he’s smiling because his dad is in G.I.! LOL

    1. It’s going to be a long process because they are going to a bunch more cities after this. I have no clue how they are going to choose or how many they are going to choose. They weren’t forthcoming with that information. I was sort of cramping their style a little, but they were very gracious to let me hang out!

  2. You should have gave Jay Paul my email or work number, lol. I have been trying to get them to do a commercial for the tribal commodity program nation wide but keep getting hung up with an agent. Celebrities…lol Maybe I need to just come down there and try to bump into them. 🙂

    1. I listed all the casting calls. Maybe you should go to one of those and hope they show up! Yeah, now that they are celebrities, you can’t even talk to them without the agent getting in the way. I have to say, though, that sort of surprises me. I guess things get really complicated when you become famous. Better keep that in mind. Hmmmm.

  3. I remember the wife swap with ZeeZee! It was one of those that had me really laughing at the woman who showed up in LA! I felt like she had no clue at all of what was happening.

    1. Yeah! Remember when Mrs. Zam gave all the ladies in Los Angeles the alligator heads as a gift! And they were all vegetarians, too! It was pretty funny!

      1. I knew I remembered that boy from wife swap. It just didn’t seem like he could be that old already. Thanks for the post.

    1. The show has only been in existence for two years, I think. I hate to spread rumors, but since some of it made national news, I guess it’s okay to say something. It was reported that two of the hunters got in scrapes with the law this past year, so maybe they are going to be replaced. This past season, they added a new team of two younger guys but only had them in a couple episodes. Maybe it was a trial basis for them. They didn’t really become that popular . My guess is they will add two new teams this season. So, next spring, when the show airs, we will find out who the new guys are! Having been at the casting call, I can’t wait to see who they will be.

          1. I’m not naming any names, but I know one of the hunters was seen in the Federal Courthouse in B.R. Maybe that’s one reason they’re looking for replacements.

    1. That’s why I love doing the Bayou Woman Adventures–you just never know what’s going to happen–catching a shark in brackish water, dodging (or running over) gators on the highway at night, and on and on!!!

  4. I am not going to vote for any of these people. Why is it when a network has a mega hit show, do they want to go and change it? Leave the show the way it is, with the people it has on right now! It was bad enough when they separated Liz and Troy-I thought they were a great team. Leave the show alone!!!!

    1. Hi Vickie and welcome to the bayou. Your comment’s are very welcome here, and we often have a little back and forth with our comments. Maybe you don’t remember that R.J. and his son were not on the original show. They were discovered during a casting call in Houma. The other reason to hold casting calls is in case they have to replace a team that quits for whatever reason. That has already happened, too. And rumor has it, a team got fired this year. The only reason Liz was with Troy for that short time was to introduce her to the audience and see how we liked her. Once we liked her, then she was able to carry her own place on the show. It is a mega hit, and it will continue to be a mega hit, but sometimes circumstances change, and a good producer is always on top of his game when that happens! So, now you know the rest of the story . . . . come back any time! We have a lot of fun here talking about real life on the bayou! BW (By the way, this is just a fun vote. It doesn’t count and is in no way connected to the real show! It’s just us having fun.)

  5. Dang. I missed the casting call here in Webster. BUT – there was a tiny blurb about it in the Houston Chronicle. There wasn’t much news in the article and they got the caption wrong, but the comments attached to the story were pretty funny. Here are a few that tickled me:

    “Webster? How many midde class NASA engineers kill alligators?”

    “Should go to Bacliff and San Leon, where there is a definite teeth to tattoo ratio. Every 911 call is prefaced by “Hey, hold my beer and watch this”

    “I would nominate my sister as she loves this show, but she doesn’t have the license or tags!”

    And there were folks who thought none of this belongs on the history channel:

    “I remember back in 1997-98 when the History Channel first came out, it was all about exactly that, “History”. But now, just like channels like “MTV”, “VH1”, etc…its all about “Reality” crap….who cares to see that on channels like these…Make a “Reality” channel if that’s what you want to show and leave “History” channel for history.”

    So there you have it, sort of live from Galveston Bay. Back to you, BW!

    1. “Thank you for that remote report from Galveston Bay. Back here in bayou country, the search continues for just the right duo that will capture the attention and win the hearts of reality TV viewers across the nation . . . .”

      Meanwhile, Linda, I love the comments! Thanks so much for sharing them with us! We should tag team more often, lol!

  6. I remember the Wife Swap episode….Very funny with gifting the gator heads! I would vote for Zee Zee (and not because his name reminds me of another young man, tussling on the bayou!).

    Do you have any idea how big the gator is in the pic. with Andee? Happy to see cutie Jay Paul’s smiling face. I’m glad you went and reported back to us. Now they know who Bayou Woman is and will remember!

    1. That gator was 13.5 feet and the biggest I have ever seen come out of these waters for sure. Capt. John’s biggest was about 12 feet and it was a monster! Andee offered me photos, so I might go interview him and write a feature story about him. (I’m not so sure they will remember me as anything other than a nuisance outdoor writer!)

      1. Uh, I doubt anyone would NOT remember you and you would be anything other than a nuisance. Go get that interview Capt. Wendy and write that feature story yet to be told.

        That was a beautiful alligator.

  7. See if you’d have saved that Gator you were trying to tenderize last weekend with the truck, you could have just wheeled in to Al’s with a cane knife in your belt, throwed that gator on the floor, spit out some tobacco juice, wipe ya mouth with the back of your hand, then start a bar fight. Ayeeeeeeee………… You could always carry your jar of Garrett snuff and use your “toothbrush” to put some more in you lip after the fight, you’d have the job for sure! AND don’t forget dem flour sack blummers.

    Personally I vote for Galoka! I know she’d get my vote.

    LOL.. tell “Gator EJ”, its gators they hunt, NOT croc’s.

    Ya know they could get someone to replace the Brothers, they weren’t really gator hunters, just bayou folks. Maybe Fabio could rassle some of dem gator gar’s for dem TV folks. I don’t think Fabio thinks too much about those TV folks though, they’d just get in his way.

    All joking aside, they need to get in a boat and go talk to the folks on the bayou. That’s where you meet the good folks. There are more real coonass characters that don’t hunt gators than there are that do. I bet they didn’t meet the Guist brothers at a casting call. When’s Lagniappe on the Bayou, thats where they need to shop, or the Sauce Piquante festival, or the andouille festive or the gumbo festival…….

    1. Yep, Foamheart, you got the right idea about beating the marshes for the real swamp folks, but they made it very clear they were looking for gator hunters only. And I tried very hard to get BF to go with me, but I made the mistake of leaving a voice message telling him what I was up to, and after that he would not answer or return my calls. You’re right, he’s really too interested, well, not in the money any way. He is going to be on an Animal Planet episode . . . .which I said before. Hey! Galoka was the one doing the interviewing!!! Cut that out!! I’m not really interested in being on the show since I haven’t been hunting gators since I could “wipe my own butt”, as Kristy (Liz’s helper) put it. I just thought it would be fun to drive Liz around in her boat on one episode! Lagniappe on the Bayou sort of died out, I think. 🙁

      1. Lagniappe on the Bayou??? Wow that was “THE” definitive festival, it was better than the Thibodeaux Volunteer Fireman’s fair! The first place I ever had a Boulette well other than garfish. I am now sad.

        Kitrina get it?

        1. I’m not really sure why the stopped it, but I think they reinstituted it last year. When I first came down here, the only thing I had to compare Lagniapppe to was the La. State Fair in Shreverport. Two things stood out to me at Lagniappe: First, all the beer drinking. Secondly, all the trash. Everyone just threw their trash on the ground and then walked through it. I was really put off by that and didn’t care if I ever went to another one. That was in 1979.

      2. “Hey! Galoka was the one doing the interviewing!!! Cut that out!!”

        Oh and tell her that is how Markie Post got her start……..

      1. It’s just good-hearted laughter is all. So much about this post and its comments made me chuckle and smile. You have so much fun ‘adventuring’ and writing about it that I can’t help being joyous about it as well. Thanks, BW.

  8. Love your post! I hadn’t heard anything about this till now, thank you for keeping us in the know!

    1. Welcome to this bayou, Angie. And if you had been reading here, you would have seen the original casting call listing dates and locations! See? We’re a wealth of information here at Bayou Woman! Glad to have you and hope you stick around! BW

    1. Looking forward to the next seasons adventures on Swamp People. Always interesting to see the new characters they come up with.
      Wife Swap? Really?

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