Billy Brown Tribute


Billy Bryan Brown

1952-2021


   As we have all heard, Billy Brown of the TV series ‘Alaskan Bush People’, died on February 8th, 2021. He apparently suffered a seizure and passed away. Our sincerest condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Brown.

   Billy was born in Texas and suffered the loss of his parents at an early age. At some point he gathered his wife, Ami, and moved to Alaska to live. Billy and Ami raised a family there and lived an adventurous life, which culminated in a starring role on the reality series, ‘Alaskan Bush People’, demonstrating how living in the bush was a lifestyle he loved. The series started in 2014 and was in production up to 2020. It was a major hit show on the Discovery network, and defined the way we perceived the man.

   For the next six years we watched as the family survived the wilderness of Alaska, built houses, bought a boat, moved to the lower 48, had medical issues, got married, had kids and survived a fire. All very interesting stuff. There were many who watched and believed everything they did, and many who didn’t. Either way, Billy was the same throughout, a caring husband, father and grandfather. He had a dream of living in the wild, on his own terms and seemingly enjoying every minute of it. With all of the family’s ups and downs, Billy was at the center, guiding them onward. 

   I myself was intrigued when I saw the trailers in 2014, of a family that lived in the bush, struggling to live their lives to the fullest. I must admit, after watching a few episodes, I was disillusioned by what was shown. Eventually, I ended up writing recaps of the show, and what was presented. Some of it was heartwarming, some was pretty mundane, and some was laughable. But as the show progressed, I still enjoyed the series. As most reality shows goes, this one was very entertaining. Say what you will, to have your life story presented on national TV is pretty ballsy. I wouldn’t do it, to be scrutinized and criticized at every move I made is definitely not my cup of tea. And let’s be frank about it, who amongst us has not dreamed of a life beyond the nine to five existence that most of us share.

   Of course that is only what we saw on the TV every week, and long after the family had actually moved to Alaska. What led up to that point was hit upon every so often on the show, but still, to have persevered up to that point without throwing in the towel is an accomplishment on its own. When the Discovery channel decided to have a series about them, I imagine the production supervisors stepped in with writers and plots to make the show that much more entertaining. Good or bad, Billy stuck with the direction he had laid out from the first episode. He stuck to the theme of family and unity.

   It seemed to me that Billy was good guy, someone who I would of been happy to call a friend. Would I go into business with him, probably not, but it seems I could sit on a porch with him somewhere and share a story and a laugh. 

   In the end, if the show continues, he will be sorely missed, the family must miss him terribly. All I know is that I enjoyed the show, never missed an episode, called out the good and bad, and wished him well through it all. 

   Thank you Billy for everything that that you shared, the lessons learned, and the wonderful entertainment you gave us every time we tuned in. May you rest in peace.

21 thoughts on “Billy Brown Tribute

    1. More like flip flopped! Does the article mean some of us who have been following “Railing Kill” are the brunt of a prank on every review of the show?

      1. Obviously you have misinterpreted what I wrote. I liked the show, I wrote about the show, I stand by what I wrote.

        Naturally I lampooned the hell out of it, it was easy. The way they (the family and the producers) portrayed the ‘Alaskan Bush People’ was the truest example of using every opportunity and device to draw in the public to watch the program. More viewers, more advertising revenue, more profits. It was no worse than some and no better than some. I’ve watched movies that have won Oscars, TV shows that have won Emmy’s, and sometimes wonder who in the hell got paid to push the vote in that direction. If you don’t care for what is being shown, change the channel. ABP was by no means stellar Shakespeare material, so what ? It was entertainment.

        I have always been a proponent of the view that one isn’t being civil by kicking someone when they are down. The guy died for heaven sakes, I think a tad bit of dignity is called for. I’ve noticed a lot of folks going out of their way to take a person that I am assuming they have never met, never had any dealings with, never did anything wrong to them personally, and tear him to shreds with comments and attitudes that have never been my style.

        I liked the show, it was a hoot, Billy added to it. Doesn’t mean I believed what they preached, far from it, most of what was shown was obviously scripted and blatantly just made up, in my opinion. I still liked it, just tame entertainment.

        As far as sitting with Billy and listening to his stories, sounds like another hoot to me, doesn’t necessarily mean I’ll believe any of it. I’ve listened to friends and neighbors tell the most unbelievable stories in the world from alien abductions to believing what a politician says. I’ll still listen and still call them friends. Billy seemed like a good storyteller and beyond that, it is up to me to decide whether I call him out or just listen.

        I never met the ABP, don’t know any of them, wouldn’t care for them to be my next door neighbor, wouldn’t want them to date a son or daughter actually, but I’d be glad to sit with any of them to hear their side of the story. Again, it sounds like a hoot.They never did anything to me but put on a entertaining show that garnered a lot of attention.

        You have obviously read what I have written about the show, the recaps. It is the same thing in a way. I was just having a bit of fun, a lot of people found it amusing and I strove to put out a good piece, wasn’t trying to deceive anyone or fool anyone. Just wrote about what was presented on the show, with a flair for snarkiness. Entertainment for the masses. Don’t like it ? Don’t read it.

        In the end, ole Billy gave us all a good run…

        1. I want to point out a few points in your post that contradict past reviews on the ABP Docu-series. “I liked the show,” the truest example,”comments and attitudes that have never been my style,” “for heaven sakes,” “I liked the show, it was hoot,” “I still liked it,” “Again, it sounds like a hoot” “hear their side of the story,” “put on an entertaining show,” “just tame entertainment,” “Entertainment for the masses,” “what was shown was obviously scripted,” (Discovery labeled the show as a Documentary, true reality, and unscripted). The whole point is that the masses were lied to and it was proven by Billy, his past neighbors, friends, and people he took advantage of. You say that you didn’t know them, but criticize ‘others’ (who didn’t know him) of tearing him to shreds. Isn’t that being a “tad” hypocritical? My favorite two points that you made in this piece are; “if you don’t care what’s being shown, change the channel.” I’ll answer that with this, I like hate watching it. (Google that to get up to speed) And “Don’t like it ? Don’t read it.” Thanks for the invitation, I’ll take you up on that one.

          1. I never criticized anyone who tore ole Billy to shreds, just said it wasn’t my style. You can say whatever you want, I honestly don’t care.

            They never once lied to me, I watch everything on TV with a sense of cynicism to start with. I don’t take any of it seriously, from ABP to politics to the commercials. Doesn’t mean I hate them or hold a grudge, just entertainers trying to earn some coin.

            Glad you took the time to read the recaps, hope you liked them, and thanks for the comments !

            If you care not to engage in my perspective and recaps, fine by me, do you actually think I get paid to write this? LOL

      2. I agree, flip flopper….. This site, as well as the Ryan dude at TVInsider, and the ABP FB Exposed page have made themselves look stupid paying tribute to a man and family they took the utmost pleasure in mocking every week. They would have been better off to have written nothing at all.

          1. Yeah Ryan, I couldn’t understand the point of that comment either….

            In the end, it seems 99% of people agreed with what I wrote, some not so much… It’s a free country, first amendment and all that. lol

  1. RIP Billy We will miss you! Loved your show.Wish the family our best.Were very sorry for your loss to the family.May they go own and be strong like you showed them.God Bless the family.

  2. Be Happy and Thankful that you all had Billy to raise you and guide you and teach you to make your own way in life. In following his teachings you all are free and able to do as you wish, staying with the show or moving on. Be happy in what ever your next adventure is. Always Mary

  3. This ha s truly been a family with the greatest Love and compassion for their own I ever watched and actually prayed for all the times they struggled b I t came back together to create a home with each person always there to support one another with their heart and souls.
    Deepest sympathy to the entire Brown family .

  4. That’s pretty nice. Bilky has gone to try the big grift in the sky. I’m not sure what were the details of his illness as it was never gone into in detail in the show other than some of the early seasons where it was used as another drama skit, seems like he definitely took a major step back as chief commenter, in what I assume is the last season. He did hit a home run with the show, besides whatever happened to his wealthy parents fortune. So his large brood(of whackos) have a relatively huge fortune to spend the rest of their lives comfortably and if used wisely provide past their own lives. What is surprising to me is that someone who achieved pretty big wealth in his life didn’t use it for extensive medical care for his condition afaik. Look at Ami’s whole breast cancer saga and what they did there.

    Moving forward I would suggest you put your satirical skills to one of the other ridiculous Alaska shows, the Filchers of Homer, AK seem a natural fit. Large brood, obvious scripted drama and dialogue, lying etc. But there’s also Life Below(zero) and the famous Moaning Cow of Kavik-gas station and the other very strange company too. Good luck out there.

  5. Billy seduced a 15 year old girl when he was 26 and, already married, abandoned his first wife and two children to marry 15 year old Ami. He then separated Ami from her family, the typical act of an abuser and control freak.
    Billy raised 7 dysfunctional children, and left a trail of scams all over the country, including Alaska. He offered conflicting stories about living in ‘the bush’ (They most likely lived on fishing boats) and the filming done for the ultimate scam, their TV show, demonstrated an alarming lack of survival skills.
    I found the TV show to be amusing, if only to laugh at Bear’s stupidity, Noah’s pretentiousness and worthless inventions, and the fake hunts.
    Scariest of all, though, was Billy, with his seizure disorder (which eventually killed him) driving all over the West Coast in that camper. That he didn’t kill anyone is a miracle.
    The Discovery channel should live in disgrace for enabling the scammers to continue their ways.
    The family will prosper with residual payments while the various cable channels run re-runs forever. And they won’t even have to pretend, any more, to be living in barns, storage trailers, tree houses, and castles. They can stay in their motel rooms and count their money.

      1. lakerman1, I assume that it was written in French, so I translated it to English and came up with this…

        “You crazy asshole room to talk like that will make you grumpy meter you don’t even reach her ankle”

        Makes about as much sense as, well, as the French….

        lol

  6. I hope for the sake of all these kids, and the children they are having now, Discovery continues to reach out to this family. I personally think Billy “the kid” was an irresponsible person, bringing all these children into the world with no way to support them. He may have loved the ‘bush’ but his life was dangerous, and he endangered each of this kids. He had no way to support any of them, and to make this fake ‘live in the bush’ nonsense was ultimately the only way he could survive. I think these kids, starting their own families should move on, and maybe move back into society? They now have their own children to protect and provide for. Maybe they could actually learn to work and get a paycheck so they, unlike their father, can actually provide for their family, live a normal life with a house, and a community around them. He used his kids to pay back for favors he got, wood which was supplied by others so he could build a house? I can’t imagine taking to the woods, starting a family with no plan, no money, and hoping to survive? It’s shocking they made it, and I guess that’s due to this Billy, but ultimately, he really didn’t have any way to support them or his family, and to me, I think that’s the ultimate irresponsibility as a parent. I hope someone reaches out to this family and befriends them, teaching them other ways to live and earn a living, something safer and more stable than this out in the woods ‘hoping for the best’ baloney. I can’t quite imagine if people reach out to this family and invite them to join society and really provide for their families, they would turn that down? I doubt it. To have a real house? To have real beds to sleep in? To have a stove to cook with? Look at all they have now to teach their children, and the legacy of ‘Billy the Kid’ will live on, but at least his kids can learn a different way of life, something hopefully that won’t put them on a mountain in the middle of Alaska, alone basically without a prayer. I hope they don’t starve or freeze to death. This may have impressed Billy the Kid, but he put his kids in danger every day by what he did, and exploited each of them to provide for him and his wife because he ultimately could not. Horrible.

  7. Asa actually said this. “Billy Bryan Brown graced the earth for sixty eight years.”
    I have to wonder if Asa threw 7up in his mouth, or slashed a wrist, after saying that.
    I also was amused at how, in the first minute of the show last night, Asa went from a 16 year old boy, orphaned, to a 25 year old married man with two daughters, who abandoned them for jail bait. Happy go lucky, as Ami said.
    And if you people stayed tuned in, you were blessed with episode #1, season #1.
    What did you learn from Billy? Alaskans are criminals, hiding from the authorities, mean to strangers.

  8. True Laker, but you left out that Billy hatched a bunch of new scammers who are still pretending to be wild ‘bush people and probably looking for a new spinoff ! I mean with no education and very few real skills, this is their gig….. ( Matt has outed his entire disgraceful family , video) actually feel bad for him, but not for any of the rest of those brown clowns………..

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