Swamp People Surprise!

Well, it’s Carnival Time!  Maybe not where you live, but Mardi Gras Parades started down here last weekend and will roll from now through Tuesday.  The Parish Council is even considering allowing the rained-out parades to roll AFTER Fat Tuesday, can you imagine?  It’s because so much planning goes into the floats and costumes, and so much money is spent on “throws”, that they just can’t imagine not rolling.  And all this fuss is because there is a big rain forecast for Fat Tuesday.

This post was originally planned to be about Mardi Gras, but things changed when I received a call last night from Bayou Fabio™ saying, “I’m on the Internet now!  With my picture and all.”

Poor Bayou Fabio™.  He just has no clue how many photos I’ve posted of him over the past few years on the Internet.  Even though I’ve told him, he doesn’t have ready access to a computer with Internet connections.  And if you’re new here, you can do a search for his nickname and read prior stories about him here on this blog.

About fifteen years ago, my first introduction to Bayou Fabio™ came while my youngest son (Termite) and I were standing out on our little dock on the bayou.  We had seen him several times before, but this time, he slowed down in his boat and engaged us in conversation.  And this is what he said to me,

“HEY!  Do you know where I can find a blond with brains?”

And that was the beginning of the friendship between Bayou Fabio™ and Bayou Woman.  Mind you, he didn’t know I had secretly nicknamed him Bayou Fabio™ until much later.  It was an inside joke for several years before he finally heard me refer to him by that name, and then he asked, “Why you call me dat?  Who’s Fabio?”   And that made it even more fun to call him by the well-suited moniker.

For years I’ve been telling him that I was going to make him famous.  Do you recall that I posted about a casting call last year in Houma for Swamp People?  Bayou Fabio™ wouldn’t go, so instead, I got the casting company to come down here and take a look at him.  During the interview, the casting guy, Ethan, kept turning to me and smiling.  One time he mouthed the words, “Is this guy for real?”

Bayou Fabio Screen Test

Yes, Rickey Verrett is for real, and there is not another one like him in the country.  Soon after, I received a call that the people at History Channel were very interested in casting Rickey for the show Swamp People.  Acting as his agent, I was able to negotiate his contract and get him signed on as one of the new stars for the upcoming Fourth Season of the show.

Bayou Fabio Swamp.People

So, the new season starts February 14th, but Rickey tells me he’s not appearing in the first few episodes.  Since History Channel hasn’t told me when he’s appearing, all we can do is watch from the beginning and wait.  I’m really looking forward to seeing what angle they are taking on Rickey.  And I told them about his nickname, although I have no clue if the producers decided to use it or not.  Also, his young son went fishing with him several times, and one cameraman was impressed enough with their energy to say, “This is TV gold!”

Well, fans, you heard it here first.  And now all of you can say, “Oh my gosh!  I knew Bayou Fabio™ when he was on Bayou Woman’s blog BEFORE he became famous!”

And even now, I can’t make him realize just how big this could be.  Before he signed the contract, I asked him several times if he realized how much this could change his life.  All he could say was, “Not me, no.  Ain’t gonna change me, no.”  We shall see.  As his manager, I’m preparing him for the upcoming public appearances he will surely be asked to make, but he’s still playing it down, proving to me the whole thing has not become real to him yet.

But the night he sees himself on that screen, and the phones start ringing, I wonder if even then it will have any impact on this man who lives a lifestyle most of us can’t even imagine.

Possibly, as the show goes along, I will blog about it and post photos that I was taking behind the scenes.  Until then, mark you calendar, set your DVR, or set an alarm in your cell phone for February 14, at 8 p.m. Central Time.


Now, shout it to the world:   “Bayou Fabio™ is going to be on Swamp People!”  (And don’t forget to tell them they can read older posts about him right here at yours truly!)

I can now scratch one more thing off my Bucket List.  I’ve made him famous!

Stay tuned for updates!


NOTE:   All photos Copyrighted property of W.W. Billiot and Bayou Woman.  Photos MAY NOT be copied and pasted on the Internet, printed, or transferred without MY written permission.  And in case your mamma didn’t tell ya, it’s not nice to take without asking. 

UPDATE NO. 1:  Our contact at History Channel says that Rickey will appear in Episode #6, which should be March 21st!

UPDATE No.2:  The producers are having trouble understanding what Rickey is saying.  Furthermore, his appearance has been postponed, and now they say they are saving him until the end of the season.

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  1. Great job, BW. If anyone can make things happen in the Bayou, it will be you. I have been a big fan of yours for several years now. Mostly started with your recipes. I still use your fig preserves recipe each year for past three years. Keep up your fantastic work with your writings and postings. Good luck to Bayou Fabio and his great new adventure. With your advice and guidance, he will prosper in many areas.

  2. Maybe you’ve found your true calling with this! You need to become an agent for all that filming that is going on in Louisiana. This was an interesting article. Sure wish there was a way for me to watch the show. I’ll have to investigate other ways to watch it.

  3. Can’t wait to hear “Get your Bayou Fabio gear at the Bayou Woman Blogspot!”. Great job BW. This region is so full of colorful characters with stories that need to be told before this way of life is gone forever.


  5. I can’t think of anyone more deserving than Ricky! He is truly one of a kind and unique. I knew something was going on last Sept as I would see you guys every day with cameras in the boat. I thought Ricky was going to have his own reality tv show but being a regular on the all time popular Swamp People is even better !!!! Ricky is gonna be blown away when he sees himself on the History channel. I wish him luck … He’s a great guy!!

  6. I’m so excited the cat is finally out of the bag (or the gar is finally out of the bayou!). Can’t wait to see him on tv!

    1. But when I posted about the casting call, he really didn’t go! I had to use my persuasive powers to get the guy to come down here. He took a chance and it paid off!

  7. Nice… I know I have talked to the guy a couple times but why and when and how are lost… Are you sure you can’t get M_D and R_S signed too?

    Sacalait were biting today under the ice.

  8. I went to school with Bayou Fabio…[aka Richard]. He is one of the nicest people I’ve ever known in my life!! He’d literally give you the shirt off his back if you asked for it. And he’s very

          1. I’ve seen u around before. Just haven’t formally met. I was born and raised down Dularge. Lived there until my 30’s. Excited for his episodes!

  9. Do you think that the discussion about getting a re-roll on wet parades this year might have to do with the shortness of this years season, about 4 weeks? Also you lose another week of Mardi Gras because the Super Bowl game was in Nawlins. That’s right, they turn off Mardi Gras in NO for a week now so it doesn’t overload the city services.

    Don’t you remember when the Krewe of Endyminon was tauted as the rain free parade since it’s begining in the Morial convention center and now ending in the dome?

    I have spent some pretty nice wet Mardi Gras (what is the proper way to say Mardi Gras in plural?) LOL. It builds character…….. How can you claim your veteran’s status without a stormy Mardi Gras?

    I always in the past said, that Mardi Gras in NO was not for rookies, it was for the professional partier. Family Mardi Gras were in Houma, Thibodeaux, New Roads, Lafayette, etc. Now in NO you know who is in the Krewe, you can buy a membership, hell, you can buy the kingship, its all about money. With the exception of Comus, maybe Rex and Bachus, few follow tradition anymore.

    ANYWAY…….. grats to BW and BF, hope it all works out well for both of you.

    1. Our local discussion and parish council vote on rolling Friday and Saturday past Ash Wednesday were because they will be rained out Monday and Tuesday. There were some interesting comments made by council people and constituents alike. Most people seem to have forgotten that this is a religious for Catholic folk, and you just might offend some very staunch Catholics by partying beyond Fat Tuesday. After all, that’s what it was all about anyway. Ash Wednesday and beyond are the days to abstain from your favorite things . . . . like drinking, for example!! Until Easter Sunday. Parish Council voted NO. So, everybody around here better buck up for a wet ride on Lundi Gras and Mardi Gras!!!!!

  10. I am so happy to read this article of “Bayou Fabio” Ricky, he always reminded me of Fabio also, all dressed up whenever we would see him out at a club, he would just stand there quiet but if asked he would dance with you, he is one of many cousins of mine, I wish him the best of luck and hope that he doesn’t change too much after his stardom begins, from cuz debra

  11. Rickey owns a shirt?

    sorry I tried not to type that but……

    Got dragged to Red Lobster today. The diabetes is not happy one tiny little bit…..

    1. That’s a good one, Blu. The truth is, they MADE him put on a shirt for the screen test, because he was NOT wearing one. Then, they MADE him put on a shirt to go gar fishing, which he NEVER does, and of course, it was a raggedy ole faded out tank top, so after that, he HAD to wear the SAME ole raggedy tank top over and over and over. Others might recall how in the first season Troy was wearing the same shirt. And then next season, the same shirt. That’s so they can interchange footage!!! But there’s no way Rickey will wear that same tank top next season because it’s faded out to grey now! (Oh, the reason they made him wear a shirt is because History Channel is a family channel, and I guess they figured all his muscles would make some old ladies faint or maybe have lude thoughts? Who knows!)

  12. Well, I have to say, this post hasn’t generated the sort of buzz I thought it would. It’s great hearing from all the regulars—I knew you’d come through. And welcome to the few new people who stopped by. Please come back often as we go through this journey with Bayou Fabio together. I’m hoping to get out on the water soon (after the rain stops again) and see how many gators have woken prematurely from their bromation. Hope to get some cool photos, too. Meanwhile, keep those comments coming and post a link to this article all over FACEBOOK, if you dare!!!

  13. I can’t wait to watch the new season. I need to get with you on a good time to come down this summer. I doubt I can get them to go anywhere else and I know I would rather go see y’all. So much to fill you in on that hasn’t been posted publicly on FB.

    1. This summer, don’t wait until the hottest dog days, lol! Come in early June if you can and maybe it will be more bearable. And if it’s just the four of you, we can do a little more stuff possibly! (not to say it wouldn’t be nice to see everyone, but wasn’t too sure about an infant in the boat, lol!) So, email me, sister!

  14. I just knew that BW’d post a recipe here. I mean how many chances do you get a lead in to make garfish balls. I here Blu laughing. If I had one, I’d have posted it. Course it would be more about cleaning the fish I suspect. Maybe some red beans & rice with garfish balls.

  15. I had the pleasure of meeting him Saturday night. He is quite charming and funny. He kept saying, “I am going to be famous. I am a movie star. What you don’t believe me? Watch the history channel on Thursday.” I couldn’t convince him that did believe him. I wish the best of luck to him in the new season and many more to come!!

    1. Laura, welcome to this blog! As of now, Rickey is having a hard time wrapping his head around just how famous he might become. As his manager, this presents some challenges, to say the least. Also, he won’t be on until about the sixth episode, so don’t be disappointed if we don’t see him Thursday night.

  16. Well, gosh. I never knew him by any name other than Bayou Fabio! Now I have to ask – is he somehow connected to the folks for whom Lake Verret is named? That’s one place I kind of hoped to get to this spring. I’ve seen some beautiful – nay, stupendous – photographs of the place, especially the yellow iris.

    And I just giggled – who trademarked “Bayou Fabio”? You or him? Or both, working together. Does this mean I can’t use the phrase Bayou Fabio in my posts any more, or do I just add the TM? Inquiring minds want to know!

    1. Well, who do you think has the business savvy in this duo? LOL! You may continue to call him by the nickname (I dubbed him years ago), but add the symbol if you don’t mind. I will email you more about that later. No, he’s not related to Lake Verret, and he spells his with two t’s. Also, even Verrets who are related down here spell it differently. Anyhoo, we can definitely take a ride to Lake Verret if you want and take a tour with a friend of mine, but we won’t go close to Bayou Corne and the sink hole!! If you plan it just right, you will catch the iris in bloom within the cypress–a site I have seen with my own eyes! And yes, it’s gorgeous. So, do your homework and make that itinerary!

  17. I love wacking choupiques behind Mark’s house.
    Only had 3 to the dock but the ride is grand while they are on.
    Dragging my body to lake for some first of year fly fishing at noon.

    Backwaters up north of me have healthy population of bowfin too.

    The type 2 diabetes is being quirky this week. Really messing with me.

  18. I wonder if Rickey will be at bingo tomorrow night or watching himself on Swamp People?.. If I kno him as we’ll as I think, I’d bet money he is at Bingo.. Lol

    1. You are ABSOLUTELY right about that. But please know this, we just found out that he will not be appearing until the SIXTH EPISODE, and I will go make a footnote to that affect here in a second. Been on the road all day today, and just sitting down at desk. He loves his BINGO!!!!!

      1. Yes he does!!.. I hope to see him there and I wish him luck. He doesn’t need luck with anything else;)

    1. I hope you really like all those other characters because I fear you didn’t see the update. History emailed me that he’s not appearing until the sixth episode, which is March 21 by my calculations! So sorry, but I had my popcorn ready too!

      1. I admitt I really didn’t expect to see Joe & Tommy, but no Bruce & Tyler nor Junior & Willie? How rude! 29 Days is a short season so guessing its a special? Maybe we will see all the old timers again in the fall. I hope so, and BF too!

        1. I hope you’re wrong, in that I do believe we will eventually see Bruce, Tyler, Jr. and Willie this season, just not right up front. There’s another new kid, whom you might have seen in a blip at the beginning of the first episode: A young wavy-haired kid saying, “I’m the Prince of the swamp”. His name is ZZ, and his first claim to fame was on an episode of Wife Swap when he was a little boy. He became famous for this quote: “Alligators don’t sweat!” And we will, as I said, see BF on March 21st, or at least that’s what I’m being told at the moment.

  19. Good luck to Rickey (aka BF – I can’t add the TM thingy on this stupid laptop).

    I’ll be watching. I’ve heard you mention him but it will be fun to see him in action.