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David Rees is a comedian, writer and entrepreneur. Variety calls him a "phenomenal cult hero." In 2010, David launched his artisanal pencil-sharpening business — since then he has sharpened more than 2,000 pencils for customers around the world.
His book How to Sharpen Pencils was published to great critical acclaim and confusion in 2012. He's the creator of Get Your War On, a popular satirical cartoon about the War on Terror that was published in Rolling Stone, collected into three books, and adapted as a play that toured internationally.
As host of Going Deep with David Rees on the National Geographic Channel, David teaches viewers how to master often-overlooked skills. It's a how-to show that teaches you how to do the things you think you already know how to do. In each episode, viewers journey alongside David as he dons his black apron to deconstruct a familiar process — navigating the whys, hows and what-ifs of everyday experiences. Along the way, he meet experts who reveal the task's surprising history and de-familiarize it until you realize you actually know nothing about it.
Here's what else we talked about:
Nardwuar the Human Serviette. Hip hop artists understand this seemingly-obnoxious interviewer, but not all bands appreciate his approach.
AphexSwift. An album David is working on of Aphex Twin-Taylor Swift mashups)
The Book of Secrets Carla gave me this book a few years ago, and it is fun to browse through. Bound in fake leather with a sewn in ribbon bookmark, it is loaded with short items about little known or largely forgotten facts.