In 2012, a video was unleashed upon the Internet that created quite a stir around campus. Kellyann Wargo, a senior then, studying Art and Design and History of Art, had started a revolution: The Walk of Shame Shuttle. It’s exactly what it sounds like. Here’s the YouTube video for those of you who live under a rock:
Listen ladies, no one’s judging you for your one night stands. In fact, those of us who go home each night to drunkenly binge on mac n’ cheese applaud you. It’s girls like you who make our foremothers, the feminists who fought for sexual freedom, proud. You do you, girls (or should I say, you do them?).
Just one month after Wargo created the hilarious YouTube video of her business, a media production company approached her. Together, Wargo and this company created a “sizzle reel” (the video used in pitch meetings) and began to pitch the idea to TV networks. Vh1 loved the pitch and decided to take it straight to a series. Thus, The Walk of Shame Shuttle reality show was created.
Filming took place in Ann Arbor during the first week of May. It was then that I found Wargo on Facebook (in a totally normal, non-stalkerish way) and asked her a few questions about this exciting new chapter in her life.
Name: Kellyann Wargo
Age: Twenty-three, but I still have the mentality of the awkward seventeen-year-old-me that can’t quite find the right shade of foundation
What she studied: Art and Design with a History of Art minor officially, but also how to function on little to no sleep with a concentration in functions of dry shampoo, and minor in groufits (sweatpants on sweatpants)
Where she's from: Novi, MI is where my parents live now, but I grew up and went to an all-girls private Catholic high school in Farmington Hills. I still wear my uniform every year for Halloween.
Her Campus: What gave you the initial idea for the Walk of Shame Shuttle?
Kellyann Wargo: Basically being the only one in my friend group that had a car and was willing to wake up before 8 AM to do a pre-app round of “find my friends.” My girlfriends would repay me in McDonald’s hash browns, but believe it or not, I actually got to a point where I couldn’t take any more fast food and preferred money. Then it hit me: if I can get money out of my friends, I can definitely make money off strangers. So my roommates helped me come up with the name, I made a poster, went viral...and then I had to follow the law and get a chauffeur license.
HC: What did your parents think about the video?
KW: About a year after the YouTube video, Brian Graden Media, the production company that “discovered me” combined my first video with some higher quality stuff we filmed (and by filmed I mean they suction cupped some cameras to the windshield and said don’t get in any accidents) and made a sizzle reel. The reel was definitely more “crazy story”-oriented and less about me. My mom kind of cringed at hearing me talk about v-cards, but had no problem with my threesome jokes. So what is actually going through their minds is a mystery to me, but they have always laughed at my jokes, and they are 100% supportive of my comedic aspirations. I think they are just glad I’m not wearing my diploma as a crop top and working the corner.
HC: Did you ever think anything would really come from it? Or was it more just for fun?
KW: HOLY CRAP NO, not a single part of my brain was like, "Maybe someone in the entertainment business will see this and make it a TV show." I was just having fun! When I made the YouTube video I thought, "Maybe some guys will recognize me at the bar and I can get some free shots." ALSO WRONG, everyone recognized my friends in the Halloween costumes and I would just kind of stand to the side. I originally started the business to make money, but $5 is not a strong motivator to pick up strangers. What keeps me going is what happens in the shuttle. I love swapping ledge-dancing stories, comparing scars from tripping in heels, the craziest place you took your spanx off- it is the source material!
HC: How did Vh1 approach you? What was your initial reaction?
KW: Vh1 didn’t approach me directly, they were pitched the show idea from the production company and decided to take it straight to series! It’s really hard to explain my reaction… like I am never quite sure what to be most excited about. I remember senior year getting calls from different production companies thinking, “This is it!” Then I was told VH1 bought it and I thought, “It’s really happening!” And then there was a crew of 20 people in town and I was like, “Oh wow it’s real!” I keep having these huge internal moments where I am so excited and I get this huge adrenalin rush and think I have to pee every two seconds, but then I get really scared and think paparazzi will be taking pictures of what’s in my Target bag. Those moments are pretty quick and intense, but then I plateau and it’s followed by lots of waiting and phone tag. I have learned a lot in the past 2 years, but mostly to be patient and to be confident. For fear of sounding too Taylor Swift-level shocked, let me just say I still don’t believe it. I am not sure when it will really “feel” like I have a show on VH1. Maybe I have to see my face on a TV screen or something, but until then it all just feels like making goofy videos with new friends.
HC: How does the production of the show work?
KW: There was this amazing crew of sound guys, video guys, editing gals, and producers all hanging out in the PO (production office) and it all felt very… big- like all these people are depending on me. But then I get in the WOSS and there are a couple cameras, and some light strips around the radio (I call it "selfie lighting") and it’s just me again. It’s just me, picking up a guy or a girl, and we are just talking- and it’s back to feeling small and it’s my business again, not a TV show. That’s about all I know- then some lucky guy gets to go through it all and find the funny parts, or just plain interesting parts, and it poof - it gets cut up into a show! I can’t wait to see how it all comes together.
HC: What has filming been like?
KW: Well, you get to be best friends with the guy dropping a mic down your shirt and hooking it to your pants real quick. Note to anyone about to be on TV- wear underwear. I learned real fast in 6th grade geography that memorizing anything other than the 50 states was not my thing, so I’m lucky in the respect that it’s not “scripted.” It’s easy to be myself when I don’t have lines to memorize and can really just banter with whoever is in the passenger seat. We have had some great sassy back and forth, and also some real awkward silences.
HC: What’s the most fun experience you’ve had from this?
KW: The free catered lunches everyday- I don’t know how anyone on TV is so thin. Cheers to being filmed sitting down 75% of the day. All of it is fun. Eh, except getting lost...I got lost with one girl. Michigan roads are so crappy. Couldn’t find her house- but she was great about it, we talked about gifting our virginities to kill time. The best part, I think above all, is seeing the difference in people’s faces when they get out of my car. I don’t think they realize I am just as nervous as they are, but I’m too busy singing and dancing for them to notice. Hearing a girl say, “That was really fun,” or, “I feel so much better” is the most fun and the best part of my job. I feel like Ann Arbor’s sassy older sister. I won’t yell at you for texting your ex, but I’ll get you a taco and say, “Hey, maybe you should delete his number.”
HC: What’s your next move?
KW: I am expanding business to Miami, Los Angeles, and Boston! I wish I could be everywhere at once, but other drivers are necessary at this point. Luckily my standards for employees are higher than my standards for guys, so expect some really fun, smart drivers. In 8th grade I decided my dream was to be on “Whose Line Is It Anyway,” but since I have almost doubled in age since then, I think SNL is a better long-term goal. Right now I am happy achieving some short-term goals, like getting a kitten and naming is Squiggles.
Make sure to keep an eye out for Vh1’s “Walk of Shame Shuttle” with the hilarious Kellyann Wargo. And make sure to keep on keepin’ on, girls. Get with that dude who bought you a drink. Get with that dude that keeps eyeing you from across the bar. Get with the dude who has questionable facial hair but makes you laugh. Go ahead and get with your ex, but buy a taco afterwards and delete his number. Or, go out and come home alone. Just do whatever you want.
Because, it may be popularly known as a walk of shame, but I prefer to call it a stride of pride. You do it after you just got laid; I do it after I just made a really good pot of macaroni.