born into the Rat Pack,” laments entertainer Charlie Moore, with a grin. A household name in New England since the 1990s, the self-made broadcast personality often conjures his heroes, Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. If you spend any time with Moore at all, you come away believing that he longs for the sensibility and style—the individualism—that was synonymous with the Rat Pack in its heyday.
So who exactly is Charlie Moore? Well, he’s a television host specializing in the outdoors—fishing—and over the past 15 years, numerous celebrities and sports personalities have filmed fishing segments with him. Each had a story to tell. Many had a major sports career to discuss and one even had a national political campaign to pursue. Moore’s guests have included such diverse personalities as rocker Ted Nugent (that segment earned the show’s first New England Emmy), hockey legend Cam Neely, and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. Each has climbed onto the boat and experienced the combination of the great outdoors, cable television, entertainment and comedy all at once. But each show was an original program, unique and one-of-a-kind.
Moore had always dreamed of having a TV show. His company, Mad Fish Productions, was built on a simple franchise concept—the idea of celebrity guests fishing with him in a variety of locations and also participating in friendly challenges or special events like shooting with Ted Nugent; water skiing with Mitt Romney; and dishing music with bands like Metallica, Boston, and Blue October. The dream was defined by establishing his television presence based on his personality. Moore is an extrovert, a fiercely outspoken guy and cable television’s go-to independent outdoorsman. Today, the Mad Fisherman, as he is known, is not only a veteran of cable’s outdoor lifestyle genre, but an innovator. Mad Fish Productions’ mainstays, Charlie Moore Outdoors and Beat Charlie Moore (ESPN2 and New England Sports Network/NESN) have fundamentally revolutionized the way outdoor sporting shows are made and Moore is poised to develop all sorts of media opportunities and roles, both on the water and in the studio.
Most recently, Mad Fish signed with the Versus Network, which is part of the Comcast/NBC Universal merger. But Moore found his first toehold in broadcasting during the mid-‘90s doing two-three minute outdoor/fishing segments on NESN.
“People can buy cameras, they can buy equipment, they can get a host and they can try and duplicate what you do,” Moore tells Smoke. “You can never duplicate Dean Martin. You can never duplicate Frank Sinatra. You can only be referred to as someone like Frank Sinatra, but you’re never Frank Sinatra. And to me, in my industry, I am a ‘Frank Sinatra.’ I’m a guy who took an industry and changed it and you can never take that away from me. People can only copy me now. I will always end up on top because I’m authentic. There’s no one writing me or making me or creating me. I am who I am. When I saw Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin in the Rat Pack, they were who they were. They each played a character in Vegas, but they were those characters in their everyday lives. So when you watch my show and see me on TV, that’s exactly who I am. I’m sitting here with you right now, smoking a cigar. I’m not a character on TV who smokes a cigar...there’s a big difference.”
Moore grew up in Revere, Massachusetts, near Boston. Originally called North Chelsea, the town was named after American hero Paul Revere and is geographically associated with the 19th-century American author and master of heroic themes (“rags to respectability”), Horatio Alger, who was born in neighboring Chelsea, Massachusetts.
Charlie Moore fought for his respectability and comes by his success like his accent—honestly. If anything defines him, it is his ethic, both his strong sense of self and his place in the world. From this foundation, or well, springs his vision and motivation. He does not suffer sloppy thinking and he loves to argue, albeit without confusing the difference between shedding light and turning up the heat. Moore deals in many things: family, comedy, television, fishing, entertainment, cigars and the myriad joys reserved for fans of professional sports in the Boston area.
The aroma of his father’s cigars was also influential on Charlie.
“I’m always enjoying a cigar,” he explains. “It’s part of me, I enjoy that—it reminds me of my father when I was a kid. I would come home and open the door and smell a cigar.” Moore actually worked at his father’s cigar store in Revere, where he learned about cigars at a young age.