Musicians@Google: Reggie Watts


Uploaded by AtGoogleTalks on 01.06.2010

Transcript:
>>presenter: Thanks, again, everyone for coming to another fantastic AtGoogle event.
Today, we're very proud to welcome to the Google office musician,
comedian, and self-proclaimed tech geek,
Reggie Watts.
[audience applauses and cheers]
Yeah. [audience clapping]
Reggie is known for his borderline, absurd comedy, if I may say so,
and I think we can appreciate that here at Google, right?
I, I mean,
we've clearly got a twisted sense of humor.
Hell, we did buy ORKUT.
[audience chatters]
And, I know someone was laughing when we launched Lively,
so we can poke fun at ourselves.
If you haven't seen or heard his work before,
I'll let you experience it firsthand in just a moment.
Though, if it means anything he was handpicked by Conan O'Brien
to be the opening act on Conan's
"Legally Prohibited from Being Funny on Television" tour.
[audience chuckles]
That said, Conan is currently unemployed,
and by the looks of his scraggly beard, he's letting himself go.
So, take that as you will.
But, but Reggie's comedy is distinct, to say the least.
One of the comments I've heard most about him is that he's a comedian's comedian.
You know, like a man's man, he's a comedian's comedian.
But, what does that mean?
Well, it usually means that the audience spends the first third of the show
laughing in kind of awkward uncomfortableness.
They spend the second part of the show laughing,
but not understanding why,
and then they , spend the last part of the show laughing their asses off,
but it doesn't matter what the comedian says.
And then there's always about three or four people
laughing hysterically throughout the entire show;
those are the other comedians for the night.
That's what a comedian's comedian is.
And, and a comedian's comedian would appreciate that joke.
But comedy is only one half of the equation.
Many of, many of people would call that the "sum of what he's does."
He's much better known, I think, as a musician;
a master of beats, tracks, loops,
primarily using his own voice,
and a technique of beat boxing to produce his own unique sound.
Beat boxing, for those of you who don't know,
is when you use your own vocal cords
to produce seemingly electronic or synthetic, sounds.
If you'll allow me to demonstrate.
[deep breath in] No, that's retarded.
This guy's a master.
I'm gonna let him do that and after the show,
once you realize that you've gotta get your hands on more of his work,
once again, you can always find him on YouTube and Vimeo.
But, come May 18th,
he'll be releasing his new Comedy Central special DVD,
"Why Shit's So Crazy."
So, let's welcome to the stage Reggie Watts.
[applause, cheering, clapping]
Thank you, sir.
>>Reggie: Thank you very much.
Thank you.
Thank you so much.
Google has been around for quite some time.
It's core application is one of never seemingly ending stream
of contemplative,
yet industrial,
feel-good,
binary,
nonsocial, yet social,
activated premises,
oriented,
border controlled,
butt free and open applications.
And that's just the beginning.
[laughter]
Google will strive over the next year to expand its reach to 6, 322.7,
as opposed to the 333 that it's currently involved in now.
Many of the search algorithms that we're using now,
currently using the Baptiste algorithmic phrase
for identifying non-semantic approaches
and will continue to do so until the Wolfram|Alpha Engine becomes
artificially aware of itself. [laughter]
What does this mean for Google?
Where is it going and what it be about and shit? [laughter]
Google entered the field in 1981 as one of the strongest companies
to ever emerge out of a nontechnically-minded society.
California seemed like the right place.
When the creator of Google,
as [inaudible] much,
found himself wondering,
"What could we do, electronically,
that would influence and change the world?"
He came up with Google.
Originally titled,
"googol" for the French word "to lay about." [laughter]
I'm here to talk to you about a new project that we will be working
on over the next few months.
I represent an independent consortium of designers and engineers
that are working with Google
to freshen up and tighten up some of its loose projects on the fringes.
Of course, some of you know of the top secret program AE752.
This is probably one of the most anticipated projects
that we've been working on, on the sidelines.
And, obviously, some people around here are totally indifferent.
But, we're very excited. [laughter]
When I was a child,
I was very small. [laughter]
Or, at least, far away.
And people would say to me,
"Stop doing that!"
Ok. [laughter]
[paper rustling]
What is an algorithm?
An algorithm is someone who feels good on a rainy day.
It's a bowl of porridge when the rain is soaked to our bones
and we need nourishment that is warm and comforting.
An algorithm is the touch of a baby's breath on a mother's shoulder.
It is the acquiescence of a large piece of information
that identifies us as a species.
It is that person from which whence we would not know
as though he would say,
with own words doth bated breath as she did not lay in the sun,
did she not see the smiling of that natural landscape
she did within be her-- [laughter]
there a lot. [laughter]
[with deepened voice, like a Shakespearian actor] Did she not know
that of all the times in history,
of all the people that have been around,
with the love of her life beats live so not so far away behind tree
as did every day did watch a stream did bathe the young girl
in the likeliness's of the refreshing waters of Delanusca?
Did not she know that as she walketh upon road,
past peasants carrying supplies to where,
who knows?
They had a better day because of seeing such a visage;
roamingly, seemingly floating down said road in a way that there a-, uh-, [laughter]
Me thinketh not.
But, with one word she can change the future of the world.
Let not your dirks and daggers do bequeath thee and sheath
as they do lie dormant inside your side armors for peace
has been in this land for far too long.
Let the war of nations fall upon us now as a great race of humans
and nonhumans alike. [laughter]
Let not the noose be splayed,
launched but yesterday,
robotic and militaristic in space.
Do start such wars that we dream of only in [inaudible].
But I digress. That's a piece-- [laughter]
from my new play coming out,
which will be at PS122,
it's Under the Radar Festival.
In January.
A few other points I'd like to bring up.
First song of the evening,
in case Carey was talking to you about it,
is going to be,
a song that's gonna be a rendition that was written by Eric in engineering.
So, good for you, Eric. [laughter]
We all gotta do something besides engineer.
[laughs]
[Train sound] Wooo! Wooo! Chug-a-chug-a-chug-a.
[laughs][laughter] So, get on you engineers.
So, this is a song about,
about mourning,
depression,
the loss of everything,
and hopelessness that inevitably strikes all of us
in the moments in which we're not strong.
Alright, here we go.
[snaps fingers in a rhythmic fashion]
Ok, that works. Ok, here we go.
[electronic music with beat boxing]
♪ cultural song ♪
[electronic music with beat boxing]
And it's like, you can't even -- [laughter]
you know what I mean?
You know what I mean.
So. [clapping]
[Reggie uses a "valley girl" accent here] So, I was like, "Why?" You know?
It doesn't really matter,
but she's, she's cool.
So, I don't know if you guys remember,
but like, last year or whatever,
there were all those guys.
They were like, hanging out at my, my building 64.
And like, and they were just being such dicks.
I don't know if you know those guys,
but they're always hanging outside
or whatever and they're just like, "uhhhhhhhh."
You know what I mean? Just like, total dicks.
And I wrote this song.
This is a trilogy and it occurs over the course of two years
and it follows the journey of a small,
but powerful individual named Mark Edstrom,
who is a dick.
And, and-- [laughter]
and he just goes around just being really super dick, like,
"I'm just like dickin' around, doin' dick stuff." [laughter]
And this is a song that kind of encapsulates all of
that into one thing or whatever,
and I figure since it's one day after Earth Day
that we would pay attention,
honor our planet, Gaia,
for all of the miracles that she provides,
the sun and solar systems,
for entering into the dark rift in 2012,
according to Maya,
it's re-entering a new phase of consciousness.
And all this consciousness is inherently instracted
inside of the outskirts of the universe,
which is the holographic fence to allow us to feel as though we're here now.
And so I'm super stoked about that and shit,
so check it out.
It's a new song and it's a so-reeeer-a-reeeeeeeer.
[makes cat screeching noises] [laughter]
All right. [begins creating electronic music]
♪ How does it feel?
♪ There's something about you, babe.
♪ And every step you take
♪ We can follow the same, someday.
♪ But I can tell you if you want me to Baby, the next day, yeah.
♪ If I told you what you're doing tonight
♪ It'd be tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow
♪ I can't tell you what you can
♪ Ooh, baby, made a mess
♪ I go into myself and I understand the principles of time
♪ Does not linear,
♪ and I jump to the possibility that's ahead
♪ And time, and it tells me, tells me, tells me, tell me now
♪ And I go back into right myself now
♪ And I look at you and I tell you, baby, and to make sure
♪ And it wouldn't even make a difference
♪ because maybe you'd have a hesitation about that would lead to
♪ The conclusion that I learned about the future
♪ Cause time is infinite and it spreads
♪ Come on, baby
♪ Oooooooooohhhhhh,
♪ I love your smile
♪ I la-la-la-la-la-la-la
♪ Ooooooooooo hhhh,
♪ I love your smile
[inaudible]
♪ Because the barn doors closed and we're feelin so good.
♪ Alright.
♪ I want some truth,
♪ but I don't know where to get it.
♪ So I'll go down to the normal café and get something
♪ that's already prepared for me.
♪ And I have the illusion of choice.
♪ The illusion of choice is really functional is a really complicated
♪ System that's inhabited by many individuals.
♪ Oh yeah, oh yeah.
♪ Because if you feel free then you will feel free to make the things
♪ that you should make.
♪ And I've been intending,
♪ for quite some time, I don't know, I don't know,
♪ I don't know why they make that thing,
♪ I don't know why they make that thing called
♪ made that thing called life.
♪ I don't know what it is
♪ Sometimes, late at night when I think too much about it
♪ I start to get freaked out cause I think
♪ What the fuck is the sun?
♪ What's the sun when I look at pictures of it?
♪ It just doesn't help at all.
♪ Cause it looks like some weird, furry, hairy thing of light
♪ And somehow it keeps on working even as I'm talking about it being matter.
♪ It don't really help me.
♪ I doubt the situation doesn't change
♪ and now that you're so observant toward me.
♪ In the shadow of the Earth's giving us some Amazing photographs,
♪ photographs, video HD ten times, ten times, whoa
♪ I don't even know if that makes a difference
♪ because you seized it larger resolution increases the human limit.
♪ So, I don't know how it would even be better than the perceptions
♪ of the state of the limit of who we are.
♪ We observe things in the future.
♪ Right now, in the past,
♪ I know, I know, I know, I know,
♪ there is a future out there because I experienced it.
♪ Right now, right now, right now again.
♪ I know that everybody, everybody, everybody, everybody,
♪ Oh yeah,
♪ you got a friend.
♪ I got a friend.
♪ We got acquaintances.
♪ There are many levels of people that are associated in our lives,
♪ that's the way it works.
♪ It takes a village to exist inside of life.
♪ That's the way time works,
♪ you might as well get it, alright.
♪ But I'm not, keep...
[makes typewriter sound] Chu-chu-chu-chu, click, click
Alright, I'm going to try standing up.
[makes typewriter sound] Chu-chu-chu-chu, click, click
O-my-God! Can you come here Tommy?
[inaudible]
What's the problem with your file index?
[inaudible gibberish]
When did you talk to Frank?
Or get him on the line?
Hey, Frank, can you...?
Okay. Just hold on a second
Ok, Okay, I think he's talking to Brad.
He's kind of like whatever, whatever.
Did you notice Lisa? She's so hot!
Yeah, I know,
but I think it's inappropriate to say anything at work.
Yeah, I know. Totally agree. Totally agree.
Yeah, anyway, so, how's your project coming along?
Oh, we're a little bit behind.
Did you whiteboard it?
Yeah, I whiteboarded the fuck out of it. [laughter]
Doesn't help at all though.
It still doesn't make it... it looks good though.
It looks good to stand in front of a white board though,
where you put things up on it.
Yeah, I don't know,
we'll probably just wait until the last second and then make it works somehow.
[laughter and clapping]
Thank you.
[laughter and clapping]
Thank you very much.
It's been a dream of mine to perform at the Googleplex for,
for quite some time and I've been a Googler
since Google has been on the scene.
I use almost all of the Google products.
I was in Australia and I was checking out Google Wave
or "Waaave" and I didn't get it. [laughter]
And I don't use that,
but I do,
I do use everything else, though.
I like the calendar's very pretty and super funcs.
And, and I love the Ergo's, you know what I'm saying?
Ergo's so sweet and broad, you know what I'm saying?
No, but I use like all, I use the search engine.
I tried Bing for awhile and it's like,
I like the idea of it,
but I just, I don't like it.
That's like, you know what I mean?
It's like when you're using something,
and you're like, "I don't like it."
That's what it's like using Bing. [laughter]
It's like; it's kind of like Google.
Isn't that horrible?
It's like, you're like using something and you're like, "Well, it's kinda like Google."
It's like, almost guys, it's like,
it's horrible.
It's like "Well, it's kinda like,
it's kinda like Android, isn't it?
It's pretty close, well;
maybe I'll switch to it if gets exactly like it."
"Well, why don't you just keep using Android?"
"Oh, yeah, right, ok." [laughter]
I'll keep doing that, how about that?
No, but, I was checking out the NexusThree a little bit,
and it looks really good, guys.
It's 50% thinner and has a slight curve to it.
It uses a fiber optic display that's bendable.
You can remove the back in the battery and it's clear
so you can see the componentry through the system itself,
which is kind of nice.
A lot of the functionality has been limited on purpose-- [laughter]
I don't know what to tell you guys.
I mean, the new iPhone 4G,
which I checked out some pictures of and checked out as well.
I used a,
I took pictures of it online and then I had it rendered
with an artificial intelligence that could kind of reproduce all the componentry
that it was showing,
so that I could do a mock-up model of it using rapid prototyping.
And it feels pretty good, I guess.
I don't know if I got the ceramics right, but--
Interesting phone,
but I think that the, the NexusThree is gonna be a lot better.
And we've, we're skipping two this year.
Cause there's Google.
[Reggie and audience laugh]
But I have been taking Google tablets and-- [laughter]
they're really good,
very delicious, very smooth.
And it has a USB port!
[Reggie and audience laugh]
Just, just, stop, no,
OK, ok, guys,
no, but seriously.
This is a serious time for us all
and I'd like to do a moment of silence, ok? [laughter]
I turned gay recently because being gay is a choice.
And I remember when I made that choice, that one afternoon,
I registered online-- [laughter]
and they sent over a gay integration counselor right away.
And he suggested the easiest way to jump into gay culture
is to go out dancing.
So, I was like, "Sure, that sounds like a good idea."
Went down to this place on 55th and 1th-- [laughter]
called "The Manhole" and we were inside,
and lemme tell you, this place was club.
If you've ever been to a club,
but like, this place was like so club.
Like, you go inside,
there's a floor-- [laughter]
and a ceiling and a structure to make sure those things stay separated.
And then kind of an atmosphere that was collectively decided
by a few individuals that represent a larger system at whole
that philosophically keeps things intact in a safe environment
so that those population can function within in
without the worry of being persecuted from outside world,
you know what I'm saying? [laughter]
Like, a club. [Reggie and audience laugh]
And so, I wrote this song.
It's about clubbin' in the USA and I really like it.
A lot of people don't know,
but I'm, I'm Indian,
native Indian and also a little bit white.
I'm half white,
half, half Indian,
half black,
half human.
I'm human, sorry. [laughter]
Oh yeah, anyways, so here we go.
♪ I'm only human
♪ Of flesh and blood, I'm man.
♪ Human,
♪ born to make mistakes.
♪ I'm just a man.
[inaudible gibberish]
♪ But I'm trying,
♪ not to snuf you.
♪ But I want to.
[inaudible gibberish]
♪ I don't know what to do,
♪ I think I'm fallin for ya.
[inaudible German sounding gibberish]
♪ Gluten free.
♪ [begins playing electronic music] Gluten free...
♪ ahhhh-yeah.
[inaudible]
[makes hawk sound]
[Inaudible German sounds]
[Inaudible French sounds]
[singing in Irish accent] ♪ I saw my bonnie lass,
♪ down by the stream.
♪ Where the bonny was goin' down to the sea.
♪ I said to the lass,
♪ there's a waitin' on the shore.
♪ As her man would be returnin' from the horizon off the moors.
♪ And the lass, she was a smilin'.
♪ With her hand outreached for the sea.
♪ Did she not know that her man did drown off the coast of Galilee?
♪ As his boat did sink to the ocean,
♪ his last thoughts were of her.
♪ If she only knew the weight of the situation,
♪ then she might have been okay.
♪ But the Banshee lurks in the forest.
♪ With his claws outreached in the woods.
♪ As he creeps through the jungle of the Irish brush,
♪ out to find some one.
♪ As the banshee...
[Makes a roaring sound] Ro-a-a-r
♪ Sunk to the heavens,
♪ did she not feel the heat of the wave?
♪ For the angel Michael would be waitin' for her
♪ In an airship off the coast of the town.
♪ I'm from Cork, she says.
♪ I'm from Cork.
♪ And the banshee obliged me.
[Makes a roaring sound] Ro-a-a-r
♪ And she died right there, of a heart attack.
♪ For she knew not who she was.
[electronic music stops]
[English accent] BBC News giving you the best.
Here at 94.7 from the things that we need--
[laughter and clapping]
the most.
Thank you.
[applause]
[laughter]
Ok.
So, I grew up in Montana.
Montana's a -- [laughter]
kinda one of those places where you're like,
"Where's the drugs?"
Know what I'm sayin'? [laughter]
Anyways, so --
yeah, so I grew up in Great Falls, Montana,
and there weren't a lot of good drugs or anything like that.
Sorry, that was stupid.
[laughter]
I'd like to talk to you about something that's pretty interesting tonight.
A lot of you guys have to get back to work; I understand that.
It's been a hard cycle.
I've been running at about 1.66GHz here.
My capability's about 288, so.
And reduced quite a bit.
Hard drive has been fragmented for quite some time.
I've been too lazy to defrag it.
I don't know if I'm into doing that at all
just because I'm so used to the way my computer functions.
I don't know if I wanna defrag it.
I took it down to IT.
The IT Crowd; this is a great series on British television
if you guys check that out.
I have a Comedy Central DVD coming out on May 18th,
which is mostly about technology and its effects on the world
and how it will change the relationship between the human mind
and its correspondence with nature.
It is mostly about that.
There are two sketches that are kind of funny in it,
but it's mostly about that.
There's an addendum that's gonna be coming out,
so you can definitely be on the lookout for that.
When you see it,
it'll probably be roaming around the hallways.
You'll only catch a glimpse of it, you know,
as it goes around a corner.
You may not see the whole thing, but addendums are hard to see.
Also, I'll be coming back onto the campus.
I like to call it a campus; I know you guys don't.
But, you call it the headquarters.
But, I'm going to be coming back to the campus
to just check on things and see how you guys are doing.
I know a lot of you had some concerns and you wrote them in emails
and also delivered them on microfiche. [laughter]
Holographic memory is here.
We're using these holographic storage devices now.
We're gonna be switching over a server-based to some of these optical drives
and we are using Bloom Energy's experimental fuel secto-, fuel cell technology.
S-, uh-s-e-, it's-, -- [laughter]
ah-, es-, ts-,
has, here's, you know-- S-, [laughter]
and she's like, "Noooooo."
[Reggie and audience laugh]
I'm like, "Why?"
[Reggie and audience laugh]
That's what's life on the campus.
[laughter]
But, yeah, so this is gonna be,
this is gonna be my last song.
I really do appreciate all of you guys being here
and creating an excellent web experience for me
so I feel like I'm living in the future now.
I do appreciate that.
I will be developing a new search style called Spherical Search,
which will be implementing soon.
Which will be great,
we'll be taking quite a few ideas from that on the next time I visit the campus
and see where you guys have gone with that.
Lastly, but not least,
I want to thank some of the sponsors for this whole event.
I'd like to thank Google for sponsoring the event.
I'd like to also thank Google for some other things.
I'd like to thank Line 6 for developing an interactive loop-based
nonlinear time aggressive technologies.
I'd like to also thank Germany--
Israel,
Pakistan,
Kashmir.
I'd like to thank Jeff Todasek,
Crab Martinson--
Phelstof Strislant,
from Switzerland for developing the new propulsion systems that will change--
[coughs]
and I'd also like to thank Godzilla
for all of his work in terrorizing the country--
over and over again,
and destroying most of its buildings
and giving way to new buildings being built.
So, we have to give it up for that.
I'd also like to thank North Korea.
You gotta have someone to bounce back ideas.
North Korea is good at that.
I'd like to thank ICBMs and I'd like to thank,
of course, the movie War Games,
starring Matthew Broderick.
[computer sounding accent] "Would you like to play a game?"
[laughter]
I'd also like to thank Sammy Hagar
for inspiring a whole new generation of people.
I'd like to thank Neil Young for essentially being the voice
that is mimicked most in Indie rock.
[laughter]
Essentially, all Indie rock groups are Neil Young singing,
if he were a little bit younger.
But, I'd also like to thank Brooklyn
and Williamsburg for giving me a home
to develop a lot of my new performance technologies.
I'd like to thank Sherry Shafer,
if there is a person out there with that name.
Thank you.
I'd also like to thank Jeff Hahn
for providing the, the popularized multi-touch interface that we see,
but yet not occupying every day of our lives cause there's a problem.
As people start getting all touchy-feely,
you know, kids are just gonna start touching laptop screens,
they're like, "Why doesn't it work like that?"
And then I'm like, "I know, I know, I know."
[mimics child-baby voice]
I know, its 2010,
you would've think something different would've happened by now.
But you can change that. You can change that here.
Please help me make this world a touch-screen based world.
I'm tired of mice.
I think they're great,
seeing them scurry,
they have efficient teeth,
nice claws and stuff like that and they have fur
and they can regulate their internal temperatures at will, but--
not into that.
We should be using OWL-based technology.
And I'm giving that to you for free if you wanna give Google the edge.
I know Google's a start-up,
but you guys can,
you guys can make it in this world.
I know you can and I think using the OWL model will get you there.
Some of the important things to remember about the OWL model
is that you have very good site and vision.
You also have two ears that are asymmetrical.
One is higher than the other;
they are to auto locate sounds three-dimensionally,
even through surfaces such as snow.
They also have tattered feathers on the trailing edge of the wing span
in order to disrupt airflow,
and to create a nearly,
completely silent flight and glide as it swoops down
from the trees to locate the prey that it needs to get through sight
and through stereophonic auto location. [laughter]
It also has a powerful beak.
Extremely powerful.
One of the most powerful beaks in the world; extremely sharp,
really pointy,
very pointy beaks--
owls have.
And talons.
Very sharp talons,
good grip, strength,
retractable gear,
it's really good shit.
So, use that Google.
That's, you have the two zeros,
you know, you, you, you're there.
You're there already.
It's an OWL looking at you every day and yet,
you're not taking advantage of it.
So,
[laughter and applause]
Thank you very much, thank you, thank you, thank you.
>>presenter: Reggie Watts, everyone, give it up!
May 18th, Why Shit's so Crazy,
a Comedy Central DVD coming out.
Thank you very much for attending.
[wild applause]
I'm sorry;
did I mention there'd be explicit lyrics at this?
I might have forgot to leave, to put that part in there.
[applause]
Now, Reggie, typically we do have a little bit more time in here,
typically we do a short Q&A.
Would you be able to stick around for a few more?
Alright, so,
since we do only have one mic at this time,
raise your hand and Reggie will take a question,
and if you could just repeat the question into the mic.
>>Reggie: You got it.
>>presenter: Who's gonna be the first?
>>Reggie: And action!
>>female 1: What do you like better [inaudible].
>>Reggie: Whew, you know it's hard because if you just said fuck all the time,
well you can do that, but it's good to have variation.
>>male 1: I'm a big comedy, [inaudbile ] radio fan.
I heard you talk a bit about how much has changed over the last few years.
About how technology has changed in promoting yourself and having a career.
>>Reggie: Ok, yeah.
Promoting, promoting a career,
how technology has changed comedians lives in promoting their careers.
I think, I mean, people are a lot less shy about utilizing the technology.
I think that before when someone would mention "podcast"
they just didn't know how to react, you know?
And, and, and now the tools are so easy and so many people do it and there's,
and comedians are eager to share that technology with other comedians.
And use it in innovative ways, like Paul,
Paul Fuckin' Thomas, no, sorry,
Paul Thompson,
but no, Thompson S. Hunter?
No, he, he uses his Twitter
and I think it's mostly his Twitter and his blog
to basically get a certain amount of people
to subscribe to his show in a town,
and then he comes to the town if enough people have subscribed to,
you know, to come to the show.
So, I think that there are these beautiful, clever ways
that don't really require that much energy for any artist,
whether comedic or not,
to take advantage of and so I think that
it's changed in that it's become more ubiquitous
and much much simpler to use.
>>male 3: Do you like Bobbie McFerrin?
>>Reggie: I do.
I, I, I liked him,
I was,
you know when I heard "Don't Worry, Be Happy",
that was incredibly inspirational
and that is just a, just a vocal only tune.
It's probably one of the only songs in,
I think, would be maybe in history that's all vocally produced by one person
and then also being a hit.
So, -- [laughter]
so, I think that that's pretty amazing.
That, that really affected me,
but I'm also a big fan of Michael Winslow from Police Academy
who did all the sound effects.
That was incredibly influential on me.
I was constantly trying to imitate sounds,
doors closing and whatever.
So, that was huge,
but, I do like Bobby McFerrin although he's kind of a little,
he's kind of gotten a little weird on the slightly religious tip,
which I'm always, you know,
like if I'm with someone,
this is just a pet peeve I've come into recently
so I might as well share it here because it's not being recorded.
Just kidding.
But, like, before people go on stage,
like if you're part of someone's project and then they kind of like,
do some kind of like a weird prayer or something before going on,
it always ruins the mood for me.
Not because I'm anti-religious or anything like that,
it's just like, to me,
the religious experience is performing on stage,
and so why not ensure the maximum of, ability of someone to express on stage.
So, when I heard some of the stories of,
from some friends of mine who did some vocal summits,
I was just like, "Aw, man!"
Just like, holding hands in a circle and like,
saying thing about energy and like and,
I think, some Christian stuff or whatever,
which is fine, but I'm like,
"Aw, that's weird cause what if someone's not?"
What if they're just not?
Why not just do it at all?
So, anyways, but so, Bobby McFerrin, yes, in principle.
[laughter]
Yes? Sanjay Gupta?
He's not here.
Yeah.
>>male3: You seem to have a pretty solid knowledge of the tech industry.
Could you just talk a little bit about,
you know, [inaudible] and how you brought that into comedy,
[inaudible]?
>>Reggie: Yeah, I mean,
you know I've,
I like the idea of,
of technology in the, as used in a, in a way to kind of create magic,
I guess, or magical elements.
And I've always been a gadget freak at,
I, I, I kind of had this realization like,
I don't know, two years ago,
that I had pretty much every organizer that ever came out.
Like, starting in, starting from 1988, I think, '87.
When they were just like address books,
like fancy calendars that could store names and numbers
and I like, went all the way through like the Zaurus series all the way to iPacks
and all that shit and personal digital assistants.
But, I've always liked the idea of technology being a,
a powerful tool used to creatively to make an experience
that you may not normally get otherwise with just a person standing on stage.
So, I like technology,
but I don't like it overshadowing the content.
The, the art has to,
has to supersede the technology.
The technology only aids the idea
so the idea is still a human idea that's being represented.
But the technology is simply a medium by which to expand the creative idea,
which I think is very important cause a lot of people are gear heads,
and you just see a bunch of gear on stage and you're like,
"It wasn't really that good." It doesn't matter.
If, if the experience isn't good then it doesn't matter
how much technology or how little technology you have.
>>female 2: I have two questions.
One is, uh, growing up,
what was it like in your household?
Did your parent encourage you, or did they think, "Oh, my God?"
Or did [inaudible].
And then number two is do you actually speak German?
[inaudible]
>>Reggie: Well, my mother's French
and so I grew up speaking French and I was born in Germany,
but only there for like six months.
And then my dad's American,
so I grew up in kind of like this bilingual, bicultural,
biracial household in Montana.
So-- [laughter]
so, as an only child.
So, so, it created a lot of time for me to just kind of drift off
and think about who,
who I am and try experiments with what I think the world is like
and watch lots of television and PBS and BBS, or BBC shows.
I was an Anglophile growing up and I love like, fantasy novels
and science fiction and romantic comedies.
And, I pretty much like anything human.
I mean, pretty much anything human based culturally,
I just kind of look at it anthropologically,
I guess without being an anthropologist, but--
>>female4: Was your mom [inaudible]?
>>Reggie: Yeah, my mom was cool, man.
She was like, you know,
"You wanna take piano lessons, take piano lessons."
And, and, they were hard workers, too,
so when they agreed to do things,
they worked for it for my ability to do them
so I was very appreciative of that.
But, my parents were very encouraging and, and strict at the same time.
But I was always able to have the appearance of following the rules,
but breaking them behind their backs, which is,
I don't know if that's good or bad, but, anyway, yeah.
It was fun. It was fun.
It was fun growing up.
In Montana.
And growing up, too.
It's really fun, guys.
I don't know if you guys remember,
some of you guys didn't do that. [laughter]
>>presenter: We have time for one more question.
Are there any out there?
>>male 5: What was your musical training like?
>>Reggie: I studied classical piano from age five to sixteen,
although how good at it I became is questionable.
And then I studied classical violin in the school system,
public school system from 5th grade,
basically eight years.
And then, yeah.
And then, a brief, a two and half years at Cornish College of the Arts,
I studied jazz voice,
cause I figured since I do a lot of singing,
I figured the ear training would be good
because improvising over complex chord structures as they change,
but finding a graceful melody over them,
would be probably the ultimate ear training and I think that it was effective,
in that, in that, in that regard.
>>presenter: Well, that brings us to the end of the hour.
Thanks everyone, again, and technology or no technology,
I think we all agree that your comedy and your work stands on its own.
So, thanks again and give a round of applause for Reggie Watts.
[applause]