Everyone is annoyed by TED Talks these days, those vacuum-sealed idea nuggets. So comedian Sam Hyde sneaking onto an (independently organized) TEDx program at Drexel University last weekend and delivering this incomprehensible 20 minute talk on the “2070 paradigm shift” must be seen as a symbolic victory in the war on bullshit, even if it gets kind of old after minute 10. (Which is, I think, part of the joke.)
How did Hyde, who is a fairly notorious weird comedian and part of the sketch troupe Million Dollar Extreme, get on the program?
For our latest mission, a presenter at the TED conference has his talk interrupted by the Mac spinning wait cursor, commonly known as the “Spinning Beach Ball of Death.” As he stands awkwardly and waits, things get weird.
Enjoy the video first and then go behind the scenes with our report.
For the uninitiated, TED is an annual conference in Long Beach, California that focuses on “Ideas Worth Sharing.” I gave a talk at a TEDx event last year that was promoted to TED.com. For the conference this year, the TED curators approached me about staging something unexpected to surprise their audience. We had previously staged a musical prank at a conference, but I wanted to do something new and different for TED. I came up with the idea to have a fake speaker give a talk and make it seem like his big moment in the spotlight had been ruined by a computer crash. Apple users love to hate the notorious Spinning Beach Ball of Death. I started with that image and set out to heighten it to absurdity.