Photography by Michelle Kilfeather
Let's try this again.
Back in Season 1, we met our friend Stuart Schuffman, aka, Broke-Ass Stuart, for a recording at The Willows. We have to admit: What we did for the podcast back then is much different than what we do now. Let's just say that the episode is more about Stuart's whacky San Francisco stories than about his total being.
Fast-forward to this summer, and we sat down with this affable SF character at The Wooden Nickel to hear his life story.
In Part 2, Stuart talks about how , after college and an internship with Bill Graham Presents, he dabbled in producing concerts, first in Santa Cruz, then back here in San Francisco. Back in The City and after an event blew up, he decided to try other things.
He moved in with his girlfriend and worked a number of random jobs. Shortly after that, "Broke-Ass Stuart" was born. It's a colorful story he goes into in the podcast.
What started out as a zine ended up with Lonely Planet sending Stuart to Ireland. When he got back, he got a deal to write Broke-Ass Stuart's Guide to Living Cheaply in San Francisco. He went to New York to write a version for that city. Both books exist as de facto time capsules today, as they were written two recessions and a pandemic ago.
His website was originally just a place to sell zines, stickers, and shirts. In 2009, though, he made the site more of the destination it is today. He hosted an IFC TV show, Young, Broke, and Beautiful, that took him all around the U.S. The show didn't get picked back up, and so Stuart started bartending.
Then, in 2015, Stuart Schuffman ran for mayor. He talks about why he did that and what he got out of it (hint: losing was winning).
We pause for Stuart to get another drink, then we get back to talking about Broke-Ass Stuart the person and the media entity through the pandemic. Naturally, that ends up being a discussion of whether any of us really needs the internet. But then we shift to talking about the measures he took to survive through COVID-19.
Stuart ends this episode talking about his vision for a post-pandemic San Francisco.
Check out the three-part web series Stuart talks about in the podcast, When the Lights Go Up in The City.
We recorded this podcast at The Wooden Nickel in July 2021.