Nardwuar the Human Serviette: Do It Yourself! at TEDxVancouver (Transcript)

Here is the full transcript of Canadian celebrity interviewer and musician Nardwuar the Human Serviette’s TEDx talk presentation: Do It Yourself! at TEDxVancouver conference. For more details about the speaker, read the bio here.


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Nardwuar the Human Serviette – Canadian celebrity interviewer and musician

Welcome TEDxers! I am Nardwuar the Human Serviette from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. I do a radio show on CiTR-FM 102, Cable 102, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. I also do a radio show on WFMU, New Jersey and I play in two rock-and-roll bands: The Evaporators and Thee Goblins.

The last time I was here at Kay Meek, which basically is West Vancouver High School, was when I was kidnapped as part of a grad prank. And nobody cared. But hopefully, you’ll care today for dootalaladoodoo: Do It Yourself.

I mentioned CiTR radio. At CiTR, you’re not a DJ. A DJ is told what to do. At CiTR, you’re a writer; you’re an operator; you’re a producer; you’re in total control. You can do whatever you want within the CRTC guidelines.

So, I’m up at CiTR. I’m doing my radio show. I play in a rock and roll band. I have a vision to put on a giant rock and roll gig featuring from Seattle, Washington, Mudhoney. I went into follow records in Seattle and got Mudhoney’s phone number, because I asked. I phoned up Mudhoney and bribed Mark Arm and Steve Turner of Mudhoney with porn. And they said they would play a gig in Vancouver.

I had another great vision for a gig. So Mudhoney are all up in Vancouver, they’re just about to go on stage. I come out on stage and I announce what I’m about to do. What my idea was for the gig was — was that I would hand out pennies to the audience. The audience would then take the pennies and come back to the next Nardwuar gig, hand in the penny and they would get a nickel, yes. Then they’d come back to the next Nardwuar gig, hand in that nickel and get a coin. So they would get rich going to Narwuar Human Serviette gigs. That was my vision.

So, I came up on stage much like I’m here at TEDx, West Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada at Kay Meek. And I said okay, here are the pennies and I started handing out the pennies. And then what did the crowd do with the pennies? They threw them right back at me. They weren’t saving them. I was frustrated. I didn’t know what to do, I could only think of one thing: Tell the crowd to spit on me.

[Video clip]

Oh! There’s a picture of Snoop Doggy Dogg. I will say, I was sick for 3 months after that. So not always what you envision comes true. And as I mentioned Snoop Doggy Dogg — Me and Snoop. The first time I was offered an interview with Snoop Doggy Dogg in the year 2000, I didn’t want to do it, I was scared. I knew nothing about Snoop Doggy Dogg.

And then I realized, the less you know the better. If you’re nervous, that’s good. That makes you try to find out more information about the person you’re talking to. I thought really hard. Snoop Dogg. Oh! He loves comedy. Maybe he likes Redd Foxx, the comedian. Oh! and my friend Diane Holme has a Redd Foxx doll. Maybe I will bring, even though I’m totally nervous that Redd Foxx doll to the interview and see if that will break the ice.

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