Chuck Shute Podcast

Stephen Taylor (comedian, former teacher)

December 04, 2023 Stephen Taylor Season 4 Episode 399
Chuck Shute Podcast
Stephen Taylor (comedian, former teacher)
Show Notes Transcript

Stephen Taylor is a stand up comedian, podcaster and former teacher.  He was recently fired from his teaching job after the district saw some of his comedy videos on TikTok. Taylor was given a choice — remove the videos from his account or resign, which reportedly led to his firing.  The story gained national attention, including an article on The New York Post. Stephen is now focused on his stand up career and has shows booked across the country. In this episode we discuss the state of education, social media, performing with Theo Von, and more!

00:00 - Intro
00:13 - Stephen Fired, News Story & Career Boost
03:30 - Marketing Stand Up Career
07:10 - Why Stephen Was Fired From Teaching
11:53 - Backwards Education System
19:51 - Black & White Rules & Education Values
28:00 - Money in Education
35:00 - Other Podcasts & Interviews 
36:25 - Stand Up  Comed Versus TikTok & YouTube
41:00 - Working with Theo Von
42:50 - Formerly Fat Stephen & Diet Tips
51:46 - Outro

Stephen Taylor website:
https://formerlyfatstephen.com/

Chuck Shute YouTube:
https://www.youtube.com/c/chuckshute

Support the show

Thanks for Listening & Shute for the Moon!

Chuck Shute:

Welcome, Steven Taylor amazing love the story, New York Post. It's kind of exciting. Maybe not the way you wanted to be on there, but it's national news.

Stephen Taylor:

You know, I, I'd be lying if I said I didn't see it coming. I kind of knew as soon as all of this stuff started to happen that I was like, Yeah, this is kind of ridiculous. And I think I can play it up enough to where people hear about it. So I was definitely stoked. Whenever I saw it actually working out like, The New York Post, getting donkey of the day is something I never thought I would see in my life.

Chuck Shute:

Wait, what's donkey? Is that part of the New York Post? No, donkey, the

Stephen Taylor:

days on the Breakfast Club. It's like the number one hip hop morning show in the country. And they give somebody just kind of like, you know, the donkey of the day. And, you know, just somebody that made a decision or whatever. Usually, it's a celebrity. And yeah, they they said that I was and it boosted all of my numbers a lot. But it was definitely kind of surreal to see that

Chuck Shute:

I was going to ask you how much of this booster numbers because I know your tic TOCs it like 20,000. That's pretty, pretty solid.

Stephen Taylor:

Yeah, that was overnight. I mean, I've always just kind of sat around 1000 and had never really posted anything. And then just kind of with this, it's definitely gone up. Everything's just kind of gone up across the board. Like I've had people at shows now that are coming out specifically to see me and I'm on the road like 24/7 already. That was why teaching was already so tough. So you know, I've been seeing people at shows just kind of trying to stay steady on the social media stuff. And yeah, just kind of trust the process, I guess.

Chuck Shute:

Have you had any big name comedians or bigger comedians reach out to you and be like, hey, I want to have you as an opener. I want to help you out or like shared your story or anything.

Stephen Taylor:

I've had, like, people share the stories for sure. Whether they were using it as like fodder to like talk about or whether they were like, Hey, I know this, dude. He's good. Like, you should check them out. Yeah, I haven't it doesn't you like nobody's going to take me on the road because of a good story. But I've definitely had a lot more.

Chuck Shute:

Oh, two. I mean, I've watched the videos. I've watched your stand up. And the tick tock. I mean, you're solid comedian.

Stephen Taylor:

Oh, yeah. No, no, no, my stand up is the thing that I'm most, you know, that's what I pride myself on the tick tock stuff is just a supplement that like, but people just, you know, unless they know, they know, you know, it's all about the comedian's that I've worked with so far. And that this is going to help me work with in the future and just being able to go out and do stuff on my own and be able to headline my own stuff. And actually have people come out for that. Like, that's the dream. That's what you want is just like, oh, people are interested in you. And that's been working out, you know? Oh,

Chuck Shute:

that's good. Okay, so yeah, I saw you have some tour dates and stuff. I'm in Arizona, I would definitely come see if you come this way. Yeah.

Stephen Taylor:

Are you up in Phoenix? Are you in where are you? That Phoenix Scottsdale? Yeah, but I mean, there's like, there's a bunch of comedy clubs here. I can see Yeah, just a few one after Yeah, definitely. And it always helps if people you know, that are watching and are interested reach out to those clubs and say, hey, you know, there's this guy got this interesting story, because I go on the tour with teachers, you know, I go by myself, but I also have like, a couple of teacher buddies of mine who are out of Denver, and just really funny comedians, you know, they're big on their own right. And we, we tour with that, too. So you know, it, we've been able to, like market it. And I, the reason that I was able to kind of plant my foot in the ground so hard with the school district, is because I had a feeling like I was going to be able to make something out of it. And so far, that's working. It's not like I've made it out of it, but it's definitely its momentum, and then this in the business that feels like everything. So I'm at least holding on to it. And just like, you know, it's just trying to be hopeful and stick to the work, you know. Oh,

Chuck Shute:

absolutely. So is that more your dream, obviously, because, I mean, you made the choice to go with the stand up over tea, because if they'd said you delete the videos, you could have followed those orders and then you might still be teaching right

Stephen Taylor:

now. I mean, I deleted the videos like once they deleted it, I what I said was give me a second like, let me look through this. Let me talk with somebody I'm not just deleting them because you're telling me to delete them. Like I'm gonna get feedback, talk to my union. And then I deleted them before they went into fire me you're not giving me a heads up. Hey, you know what, I'll take them down. I didn't like delete them off the face of the internet. But for all intents and purposes, like They were gone. And they just still went, they were, they knew the same thing that I knew, which was that this was going to be a problem in the future, too. You know, if they were taking fart jokes seriously, then wait until they see what my standup is, you know, and that fart joke is just like, those are me making my first two videos ever about T chick. Like, it's pretty run of the mill, not very innovative, not like the funniest thing in the world. You know, it's not like I would do that on stage. But for tick tock, it definitely works. And I think they knew that if that was like me, my first that it was only going to keep growing from there, and that it was going to be a problem. So, I mean, yeah, I put my foot down. And I said, you know, I don't want to delete the videos. And if you think it was really everything I did was kind of a challenge to see how the district felt, because I knew that, you know, it was my guess was it was going to be an issue in the future. And I didn't want to get put on paid leave in December again, because I put up one of my stand up jokes. And they were like, What the hell is this? You can't talk about this stuff. And it's like, yeah, I've been doing it for six years, eight years, you know, like, I don't know, I just, I think that it was worth it to put my foot down. But also, like, it wasn't a willfulness to just be like, Oh, I'm not gonna listen to you. It was like, Oh, if you want me to delete videos that I made on school grounds, I can make a promise to you that I'll never make another video in the classroom. But I can't promise you that I'm going to stop making content about teaching or that I'm going to like meet be more professional, you know, that I was gonna like put on a face on Tik Tok, and be, you know, wholesome, saintly, angelic teacher who is just graded as jobs and loves his kids and only has perfect interactions with parents. It was like they didn't want jokes. And since it had been vaguely associated with sensitive my brought to their attention, they didn't want to be made to feel like a joke. And, okay,

Chuck Shute:

so what law did you break? Or is it just a school policy? Or is it because I know you said they got you on a technicality? Because you made this video about 14 and it was there was a pictures on the wall of student thank you notes and says that they said that violated the FERPA which for people who don't know, we don't work on education. And since we're Family Educational Rights Privacy Act, so it's like you're putting the kids names on something, that and making it public. And that's how they got you to that's what rule they said you broke, right? Yeah, it's mostly

Stephen Taylor:

it. So like, that's the thing that they're holding on to, like, legally, that they were trying to say, which is really a tough mine to hold. You know, if you know anything about FERPA like that's not a very names is not really enough. Most of the are just first names, maybe last initial. And most of them were students that had already graduated. So like I don't even like you would have really had to do some digging to like find anything and there you know what FERPA is for is for like posting students. Like if I was making Tik Tok videos with my kids in them, you know, if I was using them as content, that's a FERPA violation. I was just using the backdrop of my classroom, which just so happened to have thank you notes. And

Chuck Shute:

because then how is that that's violating FERPA then those things shouldn't even be allowed on the wall? Because then other kids could come in or other parents that come in or the custodian comes in, and then they see it? Is that not violating their rights? Exactly.

Stephen Taylor:

It would be the same as having like classwork up in the hallway. Like, they wouldn't be able to see the sign your name on the back. Oh, no, I can't put it up there. Yeah, it's, it was kind of a ridiculous thing. But they do also have a school board or a policy that says, you have to be professional in all matters of communication with students, staff, or families. And their argument would be because it was a public facing social media being that anybody could access it. And what I was saying was not necessarily deemed professional. In one video, I said ass, okay, they said that that also violated the board policy. And that's why I was like, Dude, if we're here, if this is the issue, this is never going away. Like if you are asking me legitimately how many times I've farted on a kid or how many times have I lied to a kid if you're taking these obvious jokes very seriously, then I you honestly wait until you see my standup like it's so much more adult so much less. You know, school, professional, whatever, that it was like, Yeah, this is going to be an issue forever now that they know.

Chuck Shute:

Right? But so you were able to do the stand up and teach you said for six years.

Stephen Taylor:

Yeah. I was a stand up before I was a teacher, when I went every interview I did as a teacher, they would say, where do you see yourself in five years, and I would say not here, you know, I wanted to let them know, you know, this is not my dream, you'll get the best teacher, like, I honestly believe that I am a better teacher, giving, you know what I was giving, which was like, I felt like I was giving 80% to teaching and 80% of comedy, which was kind of like killing me, you know, I felt like I was burning the candle at both ends. But even at 80%, I felt like I was a better teacher than most like, I really felt like I was doing good work there. And the students, I think, have shown that in response to everything that's happened. So I'm, like, proud of that work that I did. But I would tell you know, in the interview, I'd say, Look, you know, I will be pursuing stand up with every single ounce of my body. But I'm also going to be a really good teacher, and you'll never have to doubt it. And like all of my admin, they would like the the first principle I ever had, as soon as all of this stuff started happening, called me, it was like, let me know, when you want a job. Let me know when you want to come back. Like, it's, I've always been very confident that if anything came, push came to shove, like people would see that I was a good teacher, and that I wasn't out here, you know, just fucking using people for content and, you know, just making money off of, you know, just using it as like a stream of income that really didn't matter. Like I care. There are a lot of teachers who don't care. I wouldn't say a lot. I think that's a bad frame. But I think there's a decent percentage of teachers who, you know, are just kind of in it and over it and going through the motions. And I, I wasn't one of those. But yeah, it's it's weird being out of it now. But I'm still happy that it's all happened.

Chuck Shute:

Yeah. I mean, well, I worked in education for 17 years. So I know exactly what you're talking about. It's it's a I don't know the exact numbers. But there's a large percentage of teachers that I don't know if they wouldn't, I would say they don't care, but they don't care as much as they should. 80%, I would have killed for a lot of those teachers that have 80%, there was a lot of teachers that I mean, they were probably given 20%. I mean, they were doing the bare minimum. I mean, think how many teachers, they call in sick all the time, they miss meetings, they're the ones that leave it like exactly at 220, like the bell rings, and the kids leave, and they're out of there. And they still kept their job. And so that's why it's so backwards to me, because you were saying that, you know, your whole thing was getting the students attendance and engagement up. And you succeeded with that. And to me, that's what makes us successful teacher, I don't care if you make fart jokes, or you stand up, or, I mean, I guess only fans, I don't know, that's a different ballgame altogether. But I mean, fart jokes come on, is that we're gonna get let teachers go crazy.

Stephen Taylor:

I feel like we live in a world now, where Beggars can't be choosers. And when you get something good, you hold on to it, and you check the redeeming qualities, right? Like, not everything is all good. Not everything is all bad. I'm gonna come with baggage when I'm at your job. Right? You might have to deal with answering, hey, he said some crazy shit on stage. And we heard it and we don't like you might have to answer those questions. But at the end of the day, you know, those kids are getting a good education and that they're locked in, and that they look forward to coming to class, and that they would be devastated if they lost that teacher. Right. And then there are other teachers who, like, they're not doing anything, they're not really helping us out at all. You know, they're redeeming quality as they bring good food to the potluck. And you're like, alright, well, yeah, we can maybe coach them up a little bit. But like, you know, I was one of those teachers that called in, I would have to call him because I was on tour. You know, and I would be out, but I also made sure that I had a sub plan that was like, solid, and that the students knew that if things went haywire while I was gone, that it was not going to be like fun, you know, that it wasn't going to be easy going. So I think it's just you. We don't have the ability to measure teachers, because the standards are so low, because the pay is so low, and there's no real benefits to anything that you do. And teachers now are like cops like, it's like, you don't even have to have a college degree. You can just kind of volunteer for a little while. And then, you know, we'll pay you like they until they get the system figured out. Like I just I feel bad for teachers that are still in it. Because social media is not going away. side hustles aren't going away. The fact that people are doing only fans shows that, you know, one there are people out there. There are teachers that are just human beings that are into whatever they're into. And if you want to go behind a paywall and find that, whatever I'm still going to be your teacher, right like I think we got to get rid of this idea that teachers are angelic preacher sit from God to do the Lord's work, you know, it's like they're just let them know that they're an average human. And I mean, I think you're just your people got to make money, how they want to make money, and they're going to do what they want to do. And as long as they're doing a good job in the classroom, I don't care what happens outside of the classroom, but I think you're right. If you've got people who stink and are in the classroom, I would much rather see them get tossed than somebody who does only fans but is getting students to engage with Hamlet on a deeper level of

Chuck Shute:

like, alright, well, and that's one thing like, it's so interesting when you're a kid, you think of your teachers as these kind of goody two shoes like don't break any rules don't drink don't smoke, don't do any drugs don't have don't have sacks. You just thinking that he's like, almost like, like a nun or something or priests, and it's like, then you get into education, and you're behind closed doors, and you hear the teachers swearing and drinking and talking about sex. And I mean, they're just humans there. Yeah. I mean, yeah, not every teacher is like that. Some teachers are our, you know, church going or whatever. But, I mean, there's a lot of teachers that are, it's gonna surprise you. I mean, I remember like, teachers smoking pot and stuff. I was like, wow, this is great. This was before it was legal. I mean, this is crazy. But I mean, it's like, yeah, why do we hold the teachers of this higher standard for lower pay? It doesn't really make sense.

Stephen Taylor:

Well, it's a one. It's a judgment thing, right? People like to be holier than thou. And they're saying, if I'm paying your taxes, I expect you to behave this way. Right? And it's like, what do you behave this way? Like my taxes go to you and your roads? Do you behave in this perfect way? I think there's like, teaching has become political. For sure. And the past like 30 years. have caught even since the 60s Anyway, that was

Chuck Shute:

but I think teacher is smoking a bong, and doing jello shots or whatever in their bikini or something, which I think this happened to a girl on spring break or something in a bikini and she was drinking or something. Uh, drinking is legal. I mean, now weed is illegal in Arizona in most states. I mean, so then what do you draw the line? And again, your thing too, it's like, you didn't really break any laws? I mean, yeah, this FERPA technicality is kind of BS. But, I mean, if people aren't breaking the law, I mean, what's the

Stephen Taylor:

what's the worst thing that happens? When that teacher comes back to school? What's the worst thing that happens? She gets caught smoking a bong in a bikini on spring break. Doing jello shots. What's like worst case scenario when she gets back to the school?

Chuck Shute:

I mean, I don't know, I'm trying to think of two from the kids perspective, because they look at her differently. But maybe she's cooler now. I don't know. But they might think she's cooler.

Stephen Taylor:

But she is going to have to wear that publicly. We don't live in a private world anyway, everything you do is public. So when she comes back, she's got one of two options. And either way, she's a human being, she's got to handle it like you would any fucking job. You know, if I saw my manager doing that, and I was, uh, you know, I worked for some charity organization giving water to people in Africa. And I saw my manager getting lit up and hammered. You know, I might have different levels of respect or admiration for her. But then it's her job to address that, you know, to use it as a teachable moment to be like, Yeah, this is why you should think about your actions and who you're around and where you're doing it. And if you're going to a party, you should party in a safe way. And you shouldn't be doing what I was doing. Or they could say, like, yeah, you know what, this job is really stressful. And you wear me out sometimes, and I don't make any money. And you know what, I just had a good time, and it got caught on camera, and that sucks. And sometimes you make mistakes in life. And no matter what the kids are going to leave that situation going. Oh, well, that's a somebody I can relate to now. Yeah, I didn't have any teachers I related to in high school, barely any, the only ones were the ones that let me see behind the facade, you know, the ones who were like, Yeah, this is like, who I'm not saying you got to cuss in front of your kids. I'm not saying you got to party. I'm just saying like, if you do, who cares? The kids don't care. And at the end of the day, I'm in it for the students and what's good for them. And if they, you know, I think you go to the students, you have a full council of everybody's students and you go, should they be can't ask the admin. I think that's what we should do. It shouldn't be in the hands of school board district or district members or anything like that. Like my firing should have been with the principals, assistant principal, like all the admin, all the staff, and the students like yeah, to get feedback, check it see what it is. Well, I

Chuck Shute:

think it needs to be more black and white to like, you know, like, if it's a thing where you sign this, Hey, you cannot drink alcohol. You cannot have video Have you drinking alcohol publicly? You cannot have videos of you smoking marijuana publicly, you cannot. Yeah. And absolutely, whatever, you know, whatever rule they come up with, I'm not saying that should be the rule or shouldn't but yeah, it needs to be black and white like, because like yours. It's like so and that's the thing like I used to do. You know, I started podcasting and I was still in education, I dabbled with stand up a little bit, and I was terrified of something being exposed, and then me getting fired for it. But again, it's like they don't the rules aren't really black and white. But you kind of know, like, Okay, this is something we're like, they could use this to fire me. That's the thing. And that's

Stephen Taylor:

what I hate is unwritten rules. Like, I mean, I agree with you that if you're going to be if you're going to impose these, like holier than thou sanctions, then you better be pretty damn clear as to what it is. Because nowadays, especially subjectivity matters. We're all on different algorithms, we live in different realities, what's professional to you is not professional to me. And like, there can't be these like vague ambiguous words, it's you cannot film from the classroom or on school grounds under any circumstances at all. Right, or you can't smoke, there can be no videos found of you taking any substance and districts operate on different levels. So my home district in Louisiana is going to operate different than whenever I taught in the inner city in Kansas City, and they might have different black and white rules. But it needs to be like, This is what you can do. This is what you can't do, even if that rule is you can't have social media, you better at least like me sign that, you know, because you just

Chuck Shute:

and then but it also like what if you so like, what if you didn't follow the rules. But let's say you are because I think this happened to a teacher that I worked with a camera if they got fired or transferred. But there was a picture of them drinking, like, I think it was like a gallon of kettle wine or something. And somebody found the picture and then made like posters and put it up all over the school. But it's like, they didn't post the picture. They didn't even take the picture, somebody else took it, and then ran with it. So like, are you just not allowed to drink then? I mean, it's like, yeah, a

Stephen Taylor:

mess. And even then it's like, dude, punish the kid who did that, and then wear your consequences on your sleeve. You know, I'm just rarely into the idea that you get to tell me how I should live, when I'm the one suffering the consequences of it. And you didn't pay me enough to begin with, like, and I'm not here to say that teachers should be able to act however they want. But I am here to say that there should be more grace given to teachers, and I think anybody in a job that is one necessary to underpaid. And I think that like, it's just crazy that you would try and say, you know, that guy gets a picture blown up of a student makes a decision to make a prank. And then he would lose his job for that, or have to move his family or have to change his profession because of a decision that he made. Even if that video came picture was from yesterday. Like I could care less like I think it doesn't matter what kind of school you're at, or anything like you're a teacher, your job is to educate your job is not to not drink. Your job is not to not party, your job is to educate and are the kids getting educated? Yes or no? Like, that's what I care about.

Chuck Shute:

Exactly. It's interesting, the things that we value. And this all goes not just with education, but also like politicians. And I think entertainers and all these things like, are you good? Are you good at what you do, because that's the thing that I don't think they value. They it's better if you don't have any sort of social media or scandals or whatever. And you're just a subpar teacher, you can last 4050 years and be just terrible teacher as long as you show up every day on time. But if you just give a half assed, you know, 20% of your effort. I mean, you can still you'll still be in the system until retirement. And those are so many of the teachers that I work with, that was so frustrating as a counselor, and parents that come and complain. I'm like, There's nothing I can do. We can't get rid of this teacher, even though they're like, I know, they're terrible. You know, they're terrible. administration knows they're terrible. But because they haven't had any scandals or whatever, we end our government employee. We can't fire him.

Stephen Taylor:

Yeah, because we all know what the school district's value. Like, I don't think anybody like shiz away, like you can just look at the numbers. Like anybody that works in admin, anybody that works at the district office, there is a thing that they value more than the students and more than the teachers. And it will always be and again, there are a few that are probably exceptions to this. You know, I had people that worked in district offices that I think really cared about what was happening at a very micro level. But I think when you get up in the clouds, your head gets big and your wallets get fat, and you start to go okay, I'm actually like making money in education. And I think their biggest fear is that that would stop, that they would get booted out of their position. And so anybody that poses any threat to that at all, what they prefer, I think is silence. I think they you could be a system teacher who gives 20% of bullshit work comes in clocks and leaves, gives a pizza, not a pizza party watches a movie, you know, three days out of the week, you could do legitimately nothing and survive in education, because you were quiet. And because nobody was making the news about the teacher who doesn't care, because then everybody's gonna go, Well, why should she care? Or he care, you know, like, it's not a sexy story. There's nothing interesting about it, you your job is not at risk, because a person is bad at their job, which is what sucks. It sucks that even if students aren't learning, that your job isn't at risk, because also it's hard to prove how students are learning and all of that, but just like, you know, it just it sucks that that can't be the qualification, and that instead it becomes this very political, you know, how do we maintain our position? And then do the same corporate ladder? You know, how do we climb? How do we go from, you know, executive manager, to senior manager to associate director of manager to, you know, these, you know, random titles that you're just climbing to to be like, Yeah, I got more money. And now I have more say over what people do. It's just like, you don't care about the students like, yeah, yeah, you can't, it's not you're not allowed to.

Chuck Shute:

It's like you said the video, one of the videos you posted about where you're where you're addressing the school board. And you said, the number one thing that you tell your students was to ask questions, because you want them to be curious, and not compliant. And that's what you were asking, like, okay, like, why are you telling me to take these videos down? I just want to know why. And it's like, they don't like that. They don't like curiosity and questioning, they want everyone to just do you know, status quo, like you said, and just be silent. And sad. Yeah,

Stephen Taylor:

I mean, no Corporation, no system likes when somebody is talking back, or asking questions, you know, any corporation? Any I worked in, you know, political organizations. You know, even as a server, if you're like, hey, why don't we do it like this? And then they're like, shut up, and then you go, okay, but like, what, what about your, you get fired, just for like, that, you know, it's it's a sad part of like, the systems that we buy into, as a whole, but it also is, like, indicative of where education is now, which is, you know, becoming closer and closer to a for profit machine. You know, it's just people want to make money at the educational level, and with private schools, and charter schools and everything else, and all the money that you can make and the technology industry, like it just it's becoming that way. And it's been that way for a while, but I think people are finally seeing that. Okay, this is here to stay. I see. And, and

Chuck Shute:

I would almost disagree too, because I would say like, if it was for profit, then things would make more sense. Because here's the thing. There's so many things that I saw, like we talked about these teachers that are terrible that make $80,000 a year because the top of the pay scale, but there's also things so I have a master's degree, I was a counselor, I got into counseling because I liked kids. I wanted to legitimately help kids, I wanted to counsel them. And they would have me half of my day at the last year. That was when I finally said, Fuck this. I'm out. They had me doing three lunches, once duty. I am a master's level counselor, and I am babysitting kids at lunch. This is a complete waste of money. We could hire somebody for $12 an hour to babysit kids at lunch. And they'd probably be better than me. I was terrible at trying to tell kids not to throw food and stuff. They don't listen to me in that regard. Now, if I'm counseling them one on one, I feel like I'm really good at that. But I'm not good at like saying, Hey, knock it off. Like they don't. This isn't work for me. So there's so many things like that. I mean, administration, you talk about these people that are making the big bucks of the administration, go down to the administration building and see all these jobs that are the highest paid jobs, and just look and see what they're doing. They're not doing shit. They're paper pushers. It's so vaccine,

Stephen Taylor:

they're rubber stamp errs. They're interviewing me about how many times I farted on kids, but they're like, you know, that's what they're concerned with. And I think it's, you know, for profit doesn't have to make sense. It just has to make money and the administrative level and the school board level continues to make money, they make more money every year. The like, all of the data shows that their salaries continue to grow, and they don't have to maintain good teachers because that doesn't pay their bills. You know, it's like, if they got more teachers or more, whatever, they're gonna lose, you know? It's less tax dollars that are gonna go to them. And it's it's a sad situation because there's no real, clear cut answer that anybody wants to do. It would take, like, very radical change from how we view the education system. And I don't think there's anybody that actually cares. Like, I think you feel like, Oh, I got out of the education system. And now, you know, oh, my kids will deal with it, they'll be fine. And then we just keep letting generations slip and slip and slip. And we wonder, yeah, hey, why does this suck now? Why Why are students in America really failed? Like, it's like, Well, we haven't really given a shit about any of their education. We cared about the politics

Chuck Shute:

much wasted money, I feel like like my salary, like I said, the lunch duty that is a waste, then meanwhile, these kids are not getting the mental health counseling they need and then a half of that administration, half of the office staff, you walk into the offices, you're like, What is your job, okay, I take all the files, every time a kid registers, I get all these files, and I put them into the computer. I'm like, why can't we just have that like a national database, when you're five years old, you sign up for school, here's the birth certificate, it's in the computer, you can go to any school in the country, you don't have to enter this in every day. I mean, there's so many things like that, where they could get rid of a lot of this administration, and then use to channel that money into the teachers and, you know, give bonuses and stuff like if you're a good teacher, and your kids, you know, tested at a third grade level, the first of the year, and now they're, they're working at a fifth grade level, usually get a bonus for that. I mean, you did your job, you took Third Grade Level Reading kids and brought them up to fifth grade. I mean, that's something that you did, I would think, well, I think one

Stephen Taylor:

of the problems with that is like, then you get to teaching to these metrics and trying to like hijack the system. Like, I feel like in general, there's enough money to go around. What I've witnessed in my life as an educator, is when I taught in the inner city, and I asked for resources, the answer was always, absolutely not, we have no money here. And as soon as I went to the suburbs, and I said, Hey, can I get these resources? They said, Yeah, and what else do you want, get as much as you want, like, there are, the money is just not like, distributed in a way that makes sense for everybody to get along. And so you have people feeling more and more burnout, who are trying to leave, this cycle gets created, where, you know, people are more focused on making a living and raising a family than they are with the education process. And I think, you know, there's money that's wasted, for sure, the contracts that we give to people are insane. Like, I think the way that we do education is like, fully backwards from how we should be doing education now. But when it comes to the money, it's like, there's money to pay teachers. Like, I got a $10,000 pay raise when I moved out to the suburbs, you know, and I got to to like, less work, smaller classes, more resources, like my life got easier to get paid less. And it's like, there's money there. It's just not going to places for,

Chuck Shute:

right, like very specific reasons, teachers that are like 60 years old, and they're absolutely garbage. And they're making like 80 grand a year. And then you got this young teacher who's like 24, and she's a go getter. And she's staying after school, and she's doing all this prep, and she's working with the kids and the kids love her. And she's getting the cheapest salary that they can give her she's making like 30 grand a year. I'm like, This doesn't make any sense. Like, I don't know. Yeah,

Stephen Taylor:

yeah. It's, it's amazing what we've accepted. And what we've said is fine. And I imagine what we will continue to accept. That's why we're so confident not going back is it just doesn't feel like anybody has an interest in changing it. And maybe that's the best thing that could come from any of this stuff that's happened to me is that I at least can like sit and talk about it now since I don't want to go back to it. Right. And at least be annoying. I mean, that was kind of my whole thing with the district is I was like, if you think I'm annoying now just wait until like I'm not on your payroll, then I'm going to be very frustrating. Like I will make videos I will post content I will continually joke about this system and your district and so far I've managed to do that and I hope to continue that's my main goal in this is that they would leave going cat we really should let that guy stay for another. All I wanted was to stay until my that was it. I was like just let me finish. Even till December. I was like you could give me till December. I could like find out you know what I was going to do? And once they were like, No, I was like alright, let's see. I'll do whatever podcast. I'll do whatever video whatever new segment. We have to do just so I can kind of make fun of the situation. Yeah, no, that's great. I

Chuck Shute:

love it. Are you doing more? Is there other podcasts you're gonna do or new segments? And I would think because this was a national story, have you gotten other interview offers?

Stephen Taylor:

Yeah, I've had like, you know, I did the teacher quick talk podcast, which is like the biggest one and teacher content that I know of, besides like board teachers. I got a couple of like, talk show things in New York that I don't know, if they're actually going to do anything, you know, the virality kind of goes away pretty quickly, besides all the articles that you had, you know, the New York Post and insider and all that it's like, I would say that where we're at now is like building my own content out, you know, I did this interview with the only fans teacher on a sports radio show in St. Louis. It's like some big show out there. And just like talking with her, it was like, we both had the same ideas, which were like, oh, there's plenty of ways to like capitalize on this, and make it worthwhile and have fun doing it. And it sucks to like, leave the kids like, it sucks that this is how it's had to happen. But you know, pretty optimistic for the future. No, absolutely. So

Chuck Shute:

the stand up is obviously bringing in some money. Now. i We got to get your YouTube numbers up. So I'll try to help you with that. And then yeah, talk is kicking ass, you got 20,000 Just tick tock pay. Because Youtube is that's what's helped me a lot is like it actually pays money.

Stephen Taylor:

So I don't I don't take cuts of tick tock because, you know, there's conspiracy theories that if you do, they kind of bury you. And I really don't care about the money from tick tock, I would like to figure out YouTube, and to start publishing different things, I've got different content ideas that I want to do, I just have to find the leverage to do it. Like the district took away my unemployment, which I think is really hurt my time to like be able to focus in on kind of what I wanted to do. So, you know, as soon as I get that figured out, and you know, it's about trying to prioritize, but there's some stuff that I want to do on YouTube, for sure. I started doing YouTube shorts, and those seem to be doing well. Those do like pretty good numbers pretty quickly. Like I was surprised to, you know, I didn't have any subscribers on YouTube, and just was making the post and they were doing, you know, they were doing relatively well. It's like a few 1000 here, and they're

Chuck Shute:

gonna say yes, if those tic TOCs. You got 20,000. If you post the exact you can just post the same videos as a YouTube short, that's what I do. And that's funny. Sometimes they blow up on Tik Tok and sometimes on YouTube. But if you just post them on both, I mean, that should help bring up your YouTube numbers for sure. Yeah, I've

Stephen Taylor:

thought about doing it. And I part of me is like, creatively Are you rehashing things and I want you're talking about fart jokes. Like there's no there's no creative. Just put it up on the internet. You big old doof

Chuck Shute:

Yeah, some people like tick tock and some people like YouTube, so I don't think it's gonna interfere.

Stephen Taylor:

Yeah, I wish I had done it. Like, while it was happening, I wish I had thought to like, go ahead and put on YouTube shorts, and I kind of post some on Instagram reels. But yeah, there was part of me that was like hating it. While it was happening. As I was just like, Man, this isn't it's not funny. It's not like, I think my standup is hilarious. Like, I think I'm a very good stand up comic. And I think tick tock the videos you're making, you're like, how can I make the majority of people laugh at this topic? You know, and how can I get the most amount of people to engage with this? And that's never going to be the funniest thing.

Chuck Shute:

Yeah, you're taking your stand up, like, you can be very proud of your entire set. You know, that was a really good set. And now you've got to take like one joke from that set. And it's not really the same. It's like the same with a podcast. Like I do a podcast like, oh, wow, that was a great interview. Okay, now I've got to take like a 22nd 32nd clip from the podcast. It's not really the whole the same thing. Yeah, and it just

Stephen Taylor:

feels you know, manufactured and that's what it is. That's what people crave. That's what people want. You know, it's how do you how do you be authentic while also manufacturing this thing and how do you find the balance but

Chuck Shute:

and put the facts in the music or the little like icons and stuff you got to keep the Add generation so like every five seconds, you got to pop something up or whatever, it's yeah, it's again,

Stephen Taylor:

the thing that I hate the most about it and the thing that I like the most about stand up is in stand up like I thrive on nuance and ambiguity and like, you know, creating weird situations but on tick tock, there is no room for nuance or for ambiguity like you cannot You need to say exactly what the joke is exactly what the point you're trying to make is, and you've got to do it in 60 seconds, you can do it in 10 minutes. But if you're trying to keep the ADHD, it's how do you keep something funny into a minute. And it's like, you know, it was tough, but I found out that I was good at it when I started doing it, and just to have the first three videos pop off. And, you know, go the way they did, I am kind of just building up ideas. And then I'm going to try and record as many as I possibly can and get some content, you know, generated for both. And we'll see, hopefully, I get those YouTube numbers up. That's, I gotta I gotta start a podcast as well. I've got Riverside, I can do it. I could set it up. Yeah,

Chuck Shute:

the thing for me that's helped. Because I again, I was just a school counselor, I was nobody is just having the guests. And you know, some of those big name guests, like because other people will search out those names. And then they'll subscribe if you have a good clip or a good interview or whatever. So that like you said, you've worked with some amazing comedians deal. hewgley and George Lopez and feel Vaughn. Tell me about

Stephen Taylor:

I did a weekend with Theo. What was it 2019. That was like, right, as he was really getting hot, like, the podcast was popping off. He was doing all this stuff with Rogan. He was like he should have been doing theaters at that point. But he came and did our comedy club that I do stuff that and so he did. You know, a weekend there did five shows with him. They were awesome. crowd was great. And yeah, had a good time.

Chuck Shute:

Is he it's I just don't understand, like, because he's so funny. But I feel like is that is it an act? Or is that just kind of how he is because he almost plays like this kind of dumb guy. But I'm like, I don't think he's done in real life. I feel like it's it's kind of an act. Yeah,

Stephen Taylor:

at that point, I was hosting. We didn't like hanging out a ton. Like we didn't interact, it seemed like, you know, I would say that how he is on a podcast is probably how he is with his friends. And I doubt that's how he is when he looks in the mirror. But I would say that's probably most of us. So, you know, I think that's yeah, I mean, I think that was like, the vibe I got from him is just kind of goofy. And you know, give you some weird phrase turn of phrase, you know, like, What are you talking about, you know, just kind of off the wall sometimes absurd. Southern absurdity. That's what I'm going to start calling do Vaughn that's like, he's just kind of, yeah, off the walls. But yeah, I think that was him for sure.

Chuck Shute:

That's awesome. Yeah, he's, he's very funny. I think you're gonna get to that level to tell me about I want to ask you about this too, because it's like your Instagram handle is formerly fat. Steven, and you talk in this about this in your standup about how I used to be three and 50 pounds, and you were called fat Steven, and then you lost the weight. So explain to me like what prompted the weight loss? How did you do it? And I mean, it seems like you're still keeping it off. How are you keeping it off?

Stephen Taylor:

Um, I'm wearing better clothing, which is making it seem like I'm keeping it off. That's probably the biggest piece of advice I'd give to anybody looking to lose weight is just fine, better clothes. I used to work in politics. So I was like, and I've, I was walking door to door. And my job was to find volunteers to do it. But I was very bad at my job. So I would just hit the numbers of doors that I was supposed to get volunteers to hit. And so I was walking for like six to eight hours a day in the Louisiana summer, you know, from July until November, and was Kido during that time, so I wasn't eating bread and eating a lot of Zach's B salads. And yeah, just did keto and walked a lot and it kind of shed off pretty quickly. I don't think it's like very healthy to do. I think everything I've learned since I've done it is like keto is actually a terrible diet to live. So I think it's like all right for if you're trying to quickly lose weight. But yeah, I'm pretty glad I was able to get off of it. I hate that I'm losing or that I'm gaining all the weight back but it makes me a funny bit. It makes it that makes people laugh. Whenever I say that I used to be fat Steven and they're like we can still we can see you

Chuck Shute:

how much because you lost 100 was 150 or 100 pounds.

Stephen Taylor:

100 pounds.

Chuck Shute:

Oh wow. Dang. So I probably

Stephen Taylor:

gained like 30 back you know? And then it fluctuates in there. But so you

Chuck Shute:

say keto is not a good diet. So what is a good diet and what do you think is better? Something I

Stephen Taylor:

would never do. I think like most of the stuff that I've like seen about read about, I would say the best thing you can do if you're actually trying to lose weight is just count calories and workout and don't eat processed foods, like just try to eat like non processed foods, anything that comes in a little snack pack, just probably try to avoid it and make your own. But the diet or lifestyle I've seen that really does seem to work is plant based, you know, is if you go fully plant based, my dad is fully plant based, doesn't give a shit about the animals. I've never seen a person less interested in animal cruelty, he doesn't care at all. He's like, Whatever you do to the cows, I don't care. But he just thinks that it's like the healthy way to live. And the more that I look into it, and the more that I research it, the more that I tend to agree. And I've seen it in his life. He's, you know, gotten fit, but his blood work is like, really? Night and day difference from where it was. So

Chuck Shute:

just saying Yeah, cuz like, I see I've tried that I've done like the whole, I don't know if you've heard of the whole 30 But I'm actually that girl on my podcast, and she wrote that book and it's like, that one's kind of ketone away, but it's like almost stricter, don't do dairy. But that's really good. But I tried vegan and like we actually like I gained weight on vegan. And so I

Stephen Taylor:

don't, I don't It's not vegan. It was like, it's mostly it's just plant based. It's like you are defaulting, like they didn't even rule out meat. Like they would have meat sometimes but like, it's like their lifestyle was for the most part they're eating. leafs do Do you know carrots? Beans, maybe? Like not a lot of not a lot of rice? I don't think. I don't know. It just seems like if you're eating a lot of vegetables, that was kind of the the mindset I got sure I was like, you should be eating like 90% vegetables, or fruits, and then everything else. Whatever you got is good. I'll never live by that. I love making little turkey bowls and chicken bowls and whatever else I got. But

Chuck Shute:

because there's also people that go the other way. What is it called the carnivore. And it's they just eat meat and dairy. They get healthy too. So I think it's finding what works for you. Like for me vegan, didn't work. But for other people vegan is amazing. And then like, yeah, there's plant based vegetarian, and there's whole 30 and keto. And

Stephen Taylor:

I can't imagine that just eating meat is good for your heart. No, I, I couldn't imagine it supposedly,

Chuck Shute:

yeah, there's all this stuff like people have done it. And they've, I was listening to this interview today. And they were talking about though I think the big portion of that is that when you do carnivore diet, you just eat meat, you're avoiding all these other things, like you said, the processed foods that's causing all these other issues. So all these other like these autoimmune problems and all this stuff, they go away when you go on the carnivore diet. But some of that could just be that you're avoiding a lot of the process. I think the processed food and the white flour, stuff that that is the worst for you even more so than like red meat.

Stephen Taylor:

Yeah, and I think like, my gut instinct would, would be to say like, if 90% of the nutrients that you're getting are protein, that something's gotta be breaking down somewhere. There's got to be like some heinous thing that's happening in your I don't know how organs work. But I would imagine maybe that's where your spleen comes into play. I've never seen what the spleen is used for. But I can imagine that it's for protein, digestion, but there's gotta be your kidneys gotta be into failure. Good lord. Just the idea of like, only eating meat. Seems so insanely hard to me. I did keto. And that seems like impossible.

Chuck Shute:

Now was that as tough keto doing full keto? Yeah, I don't know. Well, we're to people who aren't doctors. So don't take any of our advice. But I mean, yeah, you should

Stephen Taylor:

take my advice. whoever's listening here, you should take my advice. I'm absolutely an expert in this I lost 100 pounds because I sold my soul for a political party.

Chuck Shute:

Well, the walking is definitely I mean that. That is something you could advise people for sure. Walking six hours a day. Yeah, that'll help you lose weight.

Stephen Taylor:

If you got the time. Yeah, find a job that helps you lose weight. When I was teaching over the summers. I did irrigation, because I would gain 30 pounds during the school year, and then I would lose like 15 to 20 Whenever I would do irrigation because you're just working diggin shoveling, you know, six to eight hours a day in the summer sun. You know, it's it's the way that they probably don't have irrigation out in Phoenix. They don't allow you to have extra water. I imagine they need it.

Chuck Shute:

We have irrigation we have the canals that they bring In the water in from Colorado, and they have these canals over i don't know i think I'm assuming that I don't know if they're still working on them I'm assuming they're done but I know my friend when he first moved out here we both moved from Seattle and he was a roofer in Phoenix which I cannot think of a worse job to do it sounds terrible is to be on top of a roof with no shade but he got like really he got in really good shape so

Stephen Taylor:

probably got really tan to Yes, I

Chuck Shute:

think he did. So sorry. Yeah, I'll let you get to your next thing that you got going on here. Is there anything else you want to promote? I'm definitely here to help in any way if you want to come back and promote something Yeah, definitely.

Stephen Taylor:

I appreciate it. Follow me at formerly fat Stephen if you go to my website sign up to be on my email list. That's probably the biggest way if you know a comedy club holler at them check out the untouchables we go on tour during cribs break Spring Break summer break, because they're still teachers. Even though I'm not as the on teachables formerly fixed even, they have not yet they're holding on. Do

Chuck Shute:

they have acronyms? Like do they are the aliases where they use different names or something now

Stephen Taylor:

they have taken my advice they do not post from the classroom. So they they keep their stand up by our public and their front. I mean, they lose got 100,000 followers on both, you know, he's like popping off. So all right, yeah. Come follow

Chuck Shute:

us there, Phoenix or come see you. We're working on it. They're out of Denver. So we'll make our way over. Amazing. Cool. Very, very cool to see you. And thank you so much for everything you've been doing. And yeah, again, let me know if I can help I can help promote anything or share this episode out and hopefully get you a couple new subscribers.

Stephen Taylor:

Well, thanks, dude. I appreciate it. Great hangs and I'm sure I'll holler back at you. All

Chuck Shute:

right. See you later, Steven. Thank you for taking the time to listen to the full podcast episode. Please help support our guests by following them on social media and purchasing their products whether it be a book, album, film, or other thing. And if you have a few extra dollars, please consider donating it to their favorite charity. If you want to support the show, you can like share and comment on this episode on social media and YouTube. And if you want to go the extra mile you can give us a rating and review on Spotify, Apple podcasts or Google podcasts. Finally, make sure you're subscribed to the Show on YouTube for the video versions and other exclusive content. We appreciate your support. Have a great rest of your day and shoot for the moon.