It is funny to watch someone who spends much of their time performing in front of a camera suddenly have to perform in front of a big audience. It usually doesn’t go so well.
Nathan Barnatt, an internet comedian (and depending who you talk to, the internet comedian), was invited to do a TEDTalks speech recently, and I don’t know if he was working schtick, but he comes off exactly like every nervous, awkward person he portrays. Suddenly I don’t know if his litany of oddball characters is an act or really just Nathan Barnatt filtered through a disguise? I guess it doesn’t matter really, because Nathan — not in front of an audience — is brilliant at what he does.
I first stumbled across Nathan like a lot of people — when he was in his “Keith Apicary” persona auditioning for a Kimberly Cole music video. I never wanted a person to be more real in my life, and now, seeing him as himself, I am relieved that a bit of “Keith” really is in there.
He and Ed Bassmaster have both just put an absolute lock on internet weirdos, and it is exciting to see Nathan getting the appreciation from a prestigious entity like the TED conference. And for him to just be so unabashed in his love for French new-wave band Yelle in front of that audience, well, it just makes me like the guy all the more.