'Gold Rush' has turned into a huge hit for the Discovery Channel, with last week's episode eclipsing 5 1/2 million viewers for the first time. While the story of a family's struggle to strike it rich in the wilds of Alaska has something to do with the show's popularity, the interesting language choices of the show's star, Todd 'The Boss' Hoffman, may be equally credited.
Discovery put together a compilation of what they're calling 'Todd-isms' for Fox411.com, and we talked to Hoffman about his penchant for saying, among other things, the word 'frick' a lot.
Hoffman hadn't realized how much he used the 'word' until he saw the 'Gold Rush' compilation.
"I've always said 'frick'. My roommate and I started saying it while we were at bible college," Hoffman tod Fox411. "We obviously couldn't swear there. It's just a softer way of saying the 'F' word."
Hoffman told us he does not sit up late at night thinking of new, funny things to say.
"I really don't know where I get this stuff from. I just say 'em," he said. "These things may come out as funny, but a lot of times I'm actually trying to be serious."
Perhaps it is Hoffman's early career in comedy?
"I was voted class clown in high school," he said.
No doubt his high school classmates are surprised to see Hoffman become the latest reality TV star. Last season, Hoffman, a former aviation worker, sold almost everything he owned and convinced several of his unemployed buddies to pool their resources and go to America’s last frontier to mine for gold.
“I don’t qualify for unemployment,” Hoffman told us before Season 2 aired. “I’m not even on the radar for any of that type of stuff. For guys like me, that’s not even an option. Thank heavens it isn’t, because it’s killing our country. You have to get out there and make something happen.”
Hoffman said he learned the art of mining from his father, Jack, during the hardscrabble ‘70s. “Coming out of the Carter days, it was rough for my family,” says Hoffman. “We weren’t successful money-wise, but we were very successful in that my father showed me the possibility of the future. That came to fruition later on, as now I am able to help my father realize his lifelong dream of becoming a gold miner.”
Watch 'Gold Rush' Fridays at 9pm ET on Discovery.