Exploring the history of the Ozark Mountains is a key focus at Shepherd of the Hills, and that spirit provides the foundation for their comedic dinner show, Funny Farm Dinner Feud. Serving up a hot, fresh meal and wacky Ozarkian antics, viewers experience a humorous tale centered around hillbilly culture. The premise of the show looks at two feuding families who attempt to settle their differences, with the families even calling on members of the audience to help them reach an understanding through games and activities. The hilarious cast of performers is accompanied by The Goldwing Express, an incredible bluegrass band who puts on a lively preshow and underscores the action in Funny Farm Dinner Feud. For those in search of a delicious dinner and boot scootin’ fun, you’ve found it with Funny Farm Dinner Feud.
We had the chance to talk to Catfish, who is the master of ceremonies and stars in Funny Farm Dinner Feud, among other Shepherd of the Hills productions. Around Christmas, Catfish plays Santa, having taken on this seasonal role at Shepherd of the Hills, Smoke on the Mountain, Showboat Branson Belle, Branson IMAX, and more. He is also a balloon artist and pumpkin carver. He holds degrees in music and theater from College of the Ozarks and has been working in entertainment for 41 years. Following college, Catfish briefly worked outside of the entertainment industry, but felt a calling to return to theatrical performance. He began working at Treasure Lake before taking a job at Silver Dollar City, where he worked for 23 years. Presently, Catfish enjoys his work at Shepherd of the Hills, where he connects with visitors to the area and is a big contributor to the shows’ popularity. Catfish’s wife is a Southern gospel pianist, and together they have two sons in college.
Building a friendly rapport with guests is a particularly important element of a great show. Establishing this sense of familiarity allows audiences to feel more engaged with the performances and also facilitates audience participation. Above all, expressing gratitude for supporters of live entertainment is critical. Catfish prioritizes fostering this level of comfortability, which is why before every show, he spends time greeting and chatting with show-goers. When Catfish is asked what he loves about what he does, he initially jokes, “I like to talk, can’t you tell?” before sincerely saying, “I just enjoy visiting with people. [Talking to guests] is the fun part.” The appreciation that Catfish extends to his audiences does wonders to enrich the guests’ experience.
Catfish showcases his instrumental chops by occasionally playing banjo ukulele to welcome visitors to Shepherd of the Hills. “It’s a lot of fun [to] just stand out here and play, people gather ‘round, and it’s quite amazing.” he says. As someone who has dedicated a large portion of their life to music, much of Catfish’s leisure time involves music, too. “I have a recording studio at home, [and as a] matter of fact, when you hear the song ‘Funny Farm’ [in the show], I didn’t write all the words, but I wrote all the music, I recorded it, and I’m playing mostly everything that’s in it. Unless you hear piano, then that’s my wife.” Catfish is a major instrument enthusiast, and declares that his house contains dozens of instruments. A deep comprehension of and passion for music lends itself well to making Shepherd of the Hills’ productions spectacular.
Catfish is enthusiastic about the shows currently playing at Shepherd of the Hills, and is anticipating continued success in these productions. “We’re doing great shows. We’ve got Million Dollar Quartet coming in, we’ll have Jim Stafford here in October, and then at Christmas, we’ll do the Shepherd’s Christmas Carol Dinner Show, we have A Christmas Story…we’ve got so much going.” As for the future of Shepherd of the Hills, Catfish is confident that the current shows will continue to do well, and that new shows will broaden the audiences coming to the property.
If you are planning a trip to Branson and are looking for a good time with great food and exceptional people, Funny Farm Dinner Feud at Shepherd of the Hills is the show for you. Contact Discover Branson for phenomenal deals on tickets to this show, as well as tons of other Branson shows and attractions. Our travel experts are committed to making your Branson vacation one for the books.