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UBC Reports | Vol. 49 | No. 4 | Apr. 3, 2003

Who Iz Nardwuar The Human Serviette?

He’s MuchMusic TV’s guerrilla interviewer

Ed.’s Note: If you are a celebrity, you might call him a scourge. He would enjoy that, however. This guerilla journalist has stormed press conferences to ask Mikhail Gorbachev which world leader wears the biggest pants, director Oliver Stone which cheddar he prefers -- American or Canadian, and televangelist Ernest Angley whether or not there’s a cure for the summertime blues. If you missed those interviews you may remember the post-APEC press conference where Prime Minister Jean Chretien responded to his question about people being maced with pepper spray with the now famous line: “For me, pepper, I put it on my plate.” In his submission to UBC Reports Nardwuar, one of UBC’s most colourful graduates, tells us how it all began.

I, Nardwuar the Human Serviette, hate math, but I love numbers! Especially the digits that come together to create ‘1986’, the year I entered the University of British Columbia. I guess to some I only lasted in ‘proper’ university for two days. Proper university? That to me is like going to class, studying and doing nothing else. No, I am not a dropout; I graduated from UBC in the fall of 1990 with a BA in Canadian History. What happened to me? Well, let’s lay the blame on the bands UB40 and the Fine Young Cannibals!

On my second day of university they played UBC’s War Memorial Gymnasium. Before the gig my buddies and I wanted to get wasted! Being 18 and all, it wasn’t going to happen in the Student Pub; however, maybe it would happen at the Beer Garden being hosted by CiTR fM 101.9, UBC Radio! So with the promise of the ‘olde ale’ we wandered into the Student Union Building’s “Party Room” for CiTR’s “Brews-cast”! Needless to say, I was served no problem. Except there was just one hitch: I was pressured into joining the station! Well not exactly pressured but encouraged to join possibly the greatest radio station in the world! Me? A teenage zit loser? Yes! All the training would be provided and I didn’t just have to be a DJ., I could do news, sports, arts, mobile sound DJ-ing, production, or writing for the station’s program guide, Discorder. Or, I could even do as little as eating my lunch in the CiTR lounge! There were so many “or’s!” The fine folks at CiTR then gave me a membership form and told me to bring it back the next day. And that day was my third day of university! My third day of university!! And that is when ‘it’ all changed! I joined CiTR! I think it’s the greatest thing I’ve ever done in my life! Hell, it is my life!

I ate lunch in the CiTR Lounge for a year before I got a radio show. But there was no rush! Little did I know that through CiTR I would be able to interview everyone from Mikhail Gorbachev to Kurt Cobain, from Dan Quayle to Courtney Love, from Timothy Leary to Ron Jeremy, from Iggy Pop to Jean Chretien, from Snoop Doggy Dogg to Sloan, and from James Brown to Reveen! All this through a campus station! Not some top 40 lame-ass joint! No! Through the STUDENT, I repeat, STUDENT radio society! Aside from the ‘journalistic’ part, through CiTR I have also met the nicest, warmest, kindest, people! Punks, poets, preachers, yeah, yeah, yeah! Now it is time for you to do the math dear readers. If a dweeb like me can still be hooked on some campus club after 17 years, there must be something stupid going on. Like you reading this! Baboom! Now go out and join CiTR! Everyone is welcome.
CiTR celebrates 21 years of FM Broadcasting the weekend of May 9th. Go to http://www.citreunion.com for more information on the festivities taking place.

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Last reviewed 22-Sep-2006

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