Home Renovation Meets Comedy: Chris Distefano’s Twist on DIY Projects in ‘Backyard Bar Wars’

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Host Chris Distefano (center) in truTV's "Backyard Bar Wars"

Backyard Bar Wars (premiering July 8 on truTV) is not your average renovation show. This show takes a comedic twist with host Chris Distefano bringing energy like no other. The actor/comedian, alongside contractors Anton and Anthony Downing, assists homeowners in achieving the bar of their dreams and has loads of fun along the way. Whether it is an outrageous backyard tiki setup or a speakeasy-style garage, these spirited hangouts are jaw-dropping masterpieces. Distefano, who’s been headlining comedy clubs and hosting his Hey Babe! podcast, doesn’t leave the humor behind in this DIY venture. He quickly learned he is no professional when it comes to construction.

 What made you want to join this type of production?

Chris Distefano: When they wanted me to host Backyard Bar Wars they were like, “What we liked about you is that you look like a guy that knows how to build things, but you actually can’t build things.” So, I thought, “That’s true. Hurtful, but true.” So, I would actually like to learn how to build things, so I can just help out. I mean, I have two little daughters and I feel like everybody’s always like, “Oh my dad will do it,” and I’m not that. I want to be able to do it. The reality is my wife can probably fix more things than I can, which is cool, I’m fine with that, but I can’t be this not handy and have two daughters.

What type of budget is there for a show like this?

The show gives each contestant $25,000 to build a bar that they want. So, they have to stay within a $25,000 budget — all supplies, the architecture and all that stuff has to stay within that budget.


Do you have any say in the designs, or is it primarily the homeowners?

We have two contractors that work for Backyard Bar Wars, Anton and Anthony Downing; they’re twin brothers, and each contestant gets a twin brother to help them design. I sometimes chime in with my design ideas that are usually stupid and shot down immediately, but I do try to sometimes throw some ideas in. So far, one of them has made the show. I don’t know if it’ll make the edit, but it made the show. I was like, “That was a joke, but you guys actually put it up there.” But for the most part, they just look at me, and they’re like: “Just shut up and just be silly.”

Do you have a favorite bar?

I think my favorite one so far was this one woman. She made an alien spacecraft landing, like a downed alien spaceship theme backyard, and that one was pretty cool. It’s like her bar is inside a crashed flying saucer.

Does the show feature any guest stars, or do you plan to bring anyone else on to tackle these projects?

So far, it’s just been me and Anton and Anthony, but because I do the [Hey Babe!] podcast with Sal Vulcano [Impractical Jokers] and he’s obviously truTV family, I’m going to try to just finagle him and get him to either have a bar built at his house, or just get him a guest appearance somehow. I’m going to try to blackmail him and hold it over his head so he comes on the show.

Backyard Bar Wars premieres Thursday, July 8, at 10:30pm ET on truTV.