Jun 13th 2017 by milehighmagpie • 32 Questions • 80 Points
(SORRY EVERYONE - ALL DONE FOR NOW. THANKS FOR YOUR AWESOME QUESTIONS)
We are some of the OG members of Linus Tech Tips (Linus Sebastian, Luke Lafreniere, Edzel Yago, and Brandon Lee), one of the biggest PC hardware and consumer tech channels on YouTube, and we are quite excited to be doing our first official Reddit AMA.
The Season 5 Finale of "Scrapyard Wars" - our take on a reality show - just launched on our YouTube channel. You can watch all of Season 5 here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=USr4vZpYkD0&t
We had a ton of fun creating this season (big thanks to PaulsHardware and BitWit for taking part!), and we're hoping to take on even bigger challenges in Season 6, which should take place later this year.
Looking forward to your questions :D we'll be answering as many as we can over the next couple hours.
Did playing a man so badly bullied by his co-workers have an effect on you IRL?
Also, your dog is awesome.
How is the adpocalypse affecting you and the broader tech YouTube community?
Yes. My dog is AWESOME!!! ;) As far as being bullied on the show having an effect on my real life I would say no. The bullying was only on camera. The minute the director yelled cut I was definitely one of the "in crowd". lol
The most unexpected thing is that we are somehow conditioned to think of North Korea as very simple. As in people are hungry & poor & brianwashed. Then rich are like Kim Jong Un & his friends all partying and eating & drinking. Not true. My students were the sons of elite, the creme de la creme of North Korea, but they were under the most strict control every second of the day. They had not been anywhere, outside their country certainly but also within their country, and they didn't know anything, their education thus far seemed to have been totally bogus and built only around the Great Leader. They had no freedom of any kind. Sure, they were of course better off than the rest of the country that suffers, famine-striken etc., but the elites also live under fear. What I am trying to say is that it's not black and white. The control / abuse happens on all level. Basically they are all victims. The entire country is a ladder / web of abuse and control.
Since our videos are advertiser friendly, it hasn't hit us too hard directly.. but it was part of what prompted us to build Floatplane Club so that we and other creators would have ways to make money in the event that our adsense revenue got ripped away.. so it's definitely costing us money, but only because we're re-investing what we're making.
I love that we eventually find out that he has a beautiful family and has achieved awesome life goals !
How did they feel about learning English? Resentful? Enthusiastic? Indifferent?
They had no choice. This was what they were ordered to do, and they studied so diligently because they were obedient. It is a culture where they have to listen to the authorities. But little by little, they would show some frustrations. They found it hard. Their dictionaries were outdated, which translated Korean words to English, and they didn't like to use English dictionaries for definition. They found different accents by the teachers (many were missionaries from deep South, with the Southern accent, or from New Zealand etc) difficult to understand. But these were just practical difficulties. Their real feelings about having to learn them? They couldn't really show it. They just felt worried that they were spending all their time learning English when their majors were within the field of science and technology
It will. That is absolutely the plan. Even though we haven't been affected we see the need to invest in a "backup plan" for ourselves and provide the same option to other creators.
Also was great that when he was at home he was super witty, had great reflexes etc. Honestly I've always considered that to be a master stroke of the show.
What wildly held belief among your students surprised you the most?
Hi Linus! How much shit do you get for your footwear choice?
I completely agree. The episode where Jerry retires and Leslie comes over to talk with him because she felt like they didn't give him a good farewell was one of my favorites. Leslie sees how Jerry is adored by h is family. She also sees that he's awesome around his house. He's funny, smart, quick reflexes. Leslie acts likes she's been thrown to some other dimension. The writers on Parks always knew how to handle each situation. I thought it was a brilliant idea. :)
There were so many things. They just learn totally upside down information about most things. But one thing I think most people do not realize is that they learn that South Korea & US attacked North Korea in 1950, and that North Korea won the war due to the bravery of their Great Leader Kim Il Sung. So they celebrate Victory Day, which is a huge holiday there. So this complete lie about the past then makes everything quite illogical. Because how do you then explain the fact that Korea is divided still, if actually North Korea "won" the war? One would have to question that strange logic, which they do not. So it's not so much that they get taught lies as education, but that that second step of questioning what does not make sense, in general, does not happen, not because they are stupid but because they are forbidden and also their intelligence is destroyed at young age. There were many many examples of such.
Well I'm getting some now, so that should give you some idea :p
What kind of measures did you have to go through to make sure your notes or any other evidence of your actual work would never be discovered?
Hi Linus, what was Intel’s response to your video on the i9 and the X299 platform, seeing as you just had a sponsored video with them?
Many people have told me that they work without someone who is basically the office punching bag. I seems that every office needs that person to take the fall for everything. Unfortunately for Jerry it was his burden to take on. That being said...I do believe that Jerry truly loved all of his co-workers and knew that deep down they all had his back. As much as family was most important to Jerry he also adored all the people he worked with. Even when they weren't being especially kind.
I kept them all on USB sticks which I kept on my body at all times. I erased the trace off my computer every single time I signed off. I also created a document within a document so that my notes looked like a school material. I also created a back up copy on SD card which I hid in secret places in the dark, with the light off, just in case there were camera in the room.
I've actually exchanged emails with them already and I have a call with some folks over there sometime this week to discuss my concerns. There was a lot of concern from members of our community that our criticism of Intel would negatively affect our relationship with them or our business moving forward..
But I think that's not giving Intel enough credit. They are big girls and boys and can absolutely take the constructive criticism with the praise.
And in response to the folks who didn't understand why our workstations are using Intel after that video.. Even if I don't agree with their strategy, I respect that they build world class technology and I'm not going to stop recommending their products just because we're having a bit of a spat at the moment.
I always figured it was because of his time share in Muncey.
Hi Suki! I read your book this spring - thank you for writing your experiences; truly enlightening, and also, empathy-invoking. Would you ever go back to DPRK? Do you think you'd be allowed to? Any plans for more books?
Yes. A time share in Muncie can certainly sway a girls head. But Jerry's other "head" is what probably turned her head. lol
Hi, for now at least, I would not be allowed to go back, but more than that, even if I were allowed, which I could be in the future, I would probably not go because it would be too dangerous (in a different way than when I was there undercover for the book) and also because I would not feel that I would learn anything new, unless it could be under a different setting, which would be nearly impossible to find for the moment. And yes, there are more books at work:) Thanks for reading.
Being in a huge hurry to blitz through booths and see all the coolest stuff then run off to the next one (our first year at CES we did over 50 videos with 3.5 people)
We had no time to do B roll a lot of the time so I would have to manhandle the product to show what I was talking about.
These days it's just part of the fun of doing shows. I love tech and if this "dropping stuff" persona lets me argue to a brand they should let me get up close and personal then I'll keep playing it up!
I'm not actually (usually) that clumsy. Just in a hurry :P
Were you ever in a situation where you had to act against your morals/beliefs to maintain your cover?
The premise of undercover journalism is a difficult one. Because you have to essentially "lie" to keep a cover. That is only used when the traditional methods cannot work, which is the case in some difficult topics such as investigating mafia or dictatorship etc. North Korea is one such place, there, traditional methods can even be collaborating in the regime's lie. So it's one exceptional circumstance where the undercover /embedded method can reveal the truth buried within lies. It was hard to be among the evangelicals however because I had to attend the sunday service (which was kept secret from students) at the dormitory, to keep my evangelical cover. The thing is, you have to set your own parameters of decency and integrity. Within my capability, I tried to remain as truthful as I could. I know it sounds odd to say that, but there is no real rule in this kind of independent investigative journalism where you take all the task / risk of finding sources / pursing it / jumping in there etc all on your own. So for me, I just tried as best as possible to be sincere despite the circumstances. But to be amongst such devout believers of fundamental Christianity, I found it difficult to maintain my pose, but I knew I had to, to be allowed to blend in. But I really struggled with it. It was very hard, I would say.
One of Luke's friends who wanted to meet folks in the industry and agreed to help us carry our tripods and stuff in exchange for tagging along
I get the feeling they did this to make it up to the actor for all of the abuse he took. That and his hot wife.
I always wondered how actors with characters like this can compartmentalize the experience of being verbally/psychologically abused. I mean, I know it isn't real but the writers are making fun of their physical representation of the character which is their actual physical appearance IRL.
I am guessing it is easier for adult actors but what about younger ones who are still developing psychologically? For example, Anne from Arrested Development. There were some really cutting comments about her on that show and I have to assume it stung a bit.
Are there any linguistic things/cultural habits that North Koreans do that the rest of us Koreans also do? Like the "aigoo" and the "oh moh moh" when surprised?
So Linus, what video do you hate the most on all of your channels? And why?
That's an interesting insight. Yes. When they're making fun of a characters physical attributes they are also making fun of the actors in a way. Personally I've never been bothered by it. I've been a big guy all my life so weight jokes come with the territory. That being said maybe I should get myself some therapy and figure some shit out. lol :)
Generally it's the same. Yes, the accent is different & they have some phrasings and words that are different or feel quite old fashioned or war-related vocabularies, but in general the difference is almost regional where one has that in South Korea from region to region also, but when you are talking about the basic exclamation you cite, (when bumping into things or surprised) they are pretty much not that different.
Firetruck unboxing video. I wouldn't even hate it so much if it didn't have more views than all of the GOOD STUFF I've ever done.
If it didn't make so much money in adsense from 5 year olds just watching "the next suggested video about firetrucks" I'd pull it down. It's an embarrassment.
Dammit, I'm only on the 4th season (my own fault).
edit: Dammit Jerry I can't quit, I'm a government employee for a rural city in the North East.
What ESL teaching methods and approaches were favoured by schools in North Korea? Additionally, what kind of resources/texts were available for you to use in the classroom?
Dammit!!!!! Quit your day job and start binging. No excuses!!!!!! ;) lol
Only those texts allowed in China. All that was pre-approved by the North Korean authority. I tried to install my own methods of essay writing and letter writing to investigate what they are really thinking, but that was not a part of the official text, but I insisted and got them approved by the North Korean authority called "counterpart".
It's a matter of time. We've actually reached out to the brand that makes the sandals I wear about doing an LTT edition sandal. They got back to us saying it "didn't align with their brand values" or something to that effect.
I was like "WHAT?? The ONLY person on EARTH who proudly rocks your dad sandals as a keystone of his image and supporting that is not part of your brand values?? What ARE your brand values??"
You sat in front of my friend and I at a performance of Hedwig and the Angry Inch on broadway about two years ago. Not only were you kind enough to introduce yourself and my friend and I stared at you in awe, but you took the time to take a picture with us when the show was over since we weren't allowed to take them in the theater. You were so kind and willing to talk to two awkward 18 year olds so I just wanted to thank you, two years later!
My question is: what's your favorite encounter you've had with a fan?
Was the experience frightening in any way?
Hey Linus, what's probably the most exciting project that you've done on the channel (LTT)?
I remember meeting you at Hedwig (great show by the way).
Because of the popularity of P&R it's changed many things in my life. 99% good...1% not so good. I can honestly say that part of the 99% is the interaction I have with the fans. I know a lot of actors aren't happy to stop and talk with their fans but I'm always happy to take pics and chat a little. There were many MANY years as a working actor that nobody knew who the hell I was. The fact that I was lucky enough to land a show like Parks and get to have an impact on peoples lives is something I will never take for granted. I'm honored (and humbled) that people like my work and want to come up to let me know.
For those wondering what the 1% is that isn't so great...people sneaking pictures. I would rather have someone come up and ask for a pic than sneak around trying to get it. For some reason that seems much more invasive to me. :)
Yes, frightening every second. Not because I was in Pyongyang, but because I was taking notes / writing the book in secret. For average people who visit Pyongyang for whatever organizational reason (that is not a place for a personal curiosity visit since it's basically a gulag positing as a country), it would not be frightening since everything's so controlled.
7 Gamers 1 CPU was one of the most exciting projects I've done. I'll always remember the moment it worked as one of the highlights of my career.
That's really where I get off - spending a TON of time on something, not being sure that it's going to work, and then seeing the end result be awesome.
Scrapyard Wars Season 1 will also hold a special place in my heart forever. That was where we began experimenting with the idea of being a "Tech Top Gear" rather than just a review channel and that path we took continues to shape our content (even our reviews which contain more personalities and funny stuff and more little sketches than ever) to this day.
Hey Jim Gengurch! I love your acting in many shows I've seen, especially P&R.
The finale after special refers to you being the most different from your character. Which other actors are most distant from their characters and most similar?!
Also, how much do you miss P&R?!
What made you want to go undercover in North Korea considering all of the dangers?
That's awesome! Also, same question regarding Channel Super Fun.
Missing P&R is something I will do the rest of my life. I spent six years (7 seasons) with the greatest cast and crew that has ever been assembled (in my humble opinion). Thankfully the cast are constantly texting each other and staying in touch. I keep in touch with a lot of the crew too. That being said...nothing will ever be like going to work every day to laugh with people you truly loved.
As far as people being different from their characters...As actors I think we all bring a certain part of ourselves to every role. It's just natural. Nick Offerman is a smart man who can build anything. So that's like Ron. On the other hand I think politically they might be at odds.
You know. . .I don't really know. I could give all the usual answers how I was so tortured by the injustice there - which is true - and how I felt horrified watching so many separation that happened to families, including my own - which is also true. But the answer is a far more complicated one. So I recently wrote a long essay on this very topic for Lapham's Quarterly, which should be coming out any day now. So I will tweet that out when the piece comes out. I think it has something to do with fear. How that society is built on fear, and how fear can dictate us, and how we try to fight that fear in life. . .I know it's maybe a bit nonsensical in this AMA answer format, for which I apologyze. . .but the more accurate answer would be that I jumped in there because it was the most scary place in the world for me. . .if that makes any sense.
Rocket League in Real Life was really exciting at the time. It hadn't really been done and we thought with some more production values Channel Super Fun had the opportunity to go viral.
But it didn't really work out that way.
Hi Ms. Kim! As someone who is in the middle of “Without You There Is No Us” I am thrilled that you are doing an AMA for us, so thank you! My question is, while you were exhausted by the lies your students had no hesitation in participating in, were there any students in particular whom you felt was less into the shade of the regime? Or any student who has slipped up and revealed something that shouldn’t have been reveal to you? And I might as well: what was one of the most outrageous lies you remember your students telling you? Thank you so much once again!
Linus, did the "walking in the rain" video have the effect you wanted? Just curious as it's quite out of character from the rest of your content.
You've been JAMMED! ;)
I guess the boys lying broke my heart because they were always so absurd. What was heartbreaking about it was because there was no logic to any of it. Once a smartest, savviest student pretended to go shopping within the campus (when there was no shop & he could not go outside) but he knew that I knew that there was no shopping happening. So why did he lie? It was the way very little children would lie to avoid the moment, not a 19 year old young man. Also the fact that very same young man was normally so bright & quick witted upset me more. What made it outrageous was not that they were lying but that they continued with these nonsensical lies that would be caught instantly. Why? That was complicated which I discussed in the book. What happens to human mind when you have been brought up inside outrageous lies for generations, where lies are encouraged, where lies have different weight or value, where lies become ways of a survival etc etc. . .I guess it was that disconnect that I found unacceptable and outrageous and horrible, because that disconnect was happening in my boys whom I loved and respected and adored. So I would have to say it was the disconnect that I found to be inhumanely imposed by their regime.
Yeah Dennis and I were both really pleased with it.
Did you start this AMA by going to alta vista and typing in "Please take me to Reddit?"
Do people in North Korea really see Kim jong un, Kim jong il, and Kim il-sung as essentially a god, or is it an act?
What do the people high in the workers party think of the western world?
The difficulty of this question is that they are also human beings and complex. Sometimes it is possible to believe as well as not believe. They do see him as essentially a god, but some also don't. Sometimes these beliefs co-exist. My students were like this often with me. I was their enemy because I came from the western world as well as South Korea (which is their enemy) but then I was their teacher, the only one they saw everyday they relied on, so they loved me at the same time. And it is that conflict within their humanity vs the inhumanity of their world that makes North Korea exceptionally tragic. Also, imagine, they were brought up in that system for 3 generations. It is a bit like a cult religion, so even if you might have some doubts, it is literally the world they come from, the only world they know and are allowed to see and be in. So it's a bit like hating a father you also grew up to worship. It's as conflicted as that. Because they are not "brainwashed" or robots, the problem becomes far more complex. Yes, they view the western world as their enemy but a part of them might want to see it or feel a bit worshipping of it, but they live in a world that is not allowed so they cannot ever show it. So it's a combination of all those things.
duly noted.. It's something we're considering, but we also don't want to force ourselves to create content because it's "popular". There's a fine line between engaging with the community and pandering.
Just trying to stay on the former side of it.
What did you enjoy about NK?
When you created Linus Tech Tips and then Linus Media Group, is that what you envisioned from the beginning or did it take a lot different of a turn then you expected?
Not a note. lol :)
"Enjoy" would not be the right word, I think. But I have great empathy for the place because they are suffering. I am American but I am also Korean, and as a Korean, I feel for the less privileged half. Also as a human being, I find the existence of the place and the inhumane treatment of the people there unacceptable. So it's not that I enjoy North Korea -- which I do not, I find the place to be horrifying -- but I am drawn to North Korea. But joy is of course there. My students I met there and fell in love with were all full of joy, because they were young and sweet and adorable and innocent and there were some fun times we shared, but they were also full of darkness, because of their society.
It's really different. I imagined that after 5 years we would have 4-5 people and that as long as we could afford to pay everyone a fair salary to do what we loved it would be awesome.
I also had in my mind that I wanted to be a "real company" with things like employee benefits and a dental plan and stuff.
Well if you want to do that you add some administrative overhead unless you want to do everything yourself.
Then you realize part of being a real company is giving people reasonable work/life balance and covering for them when they need vacation time.. so you hire some additional bodies..
Then you realize that now that you've got to manage these extra people and you have no time to work on sales deals with brands anymore.
So you hire a sales guy who manages to use all the extra time he has (because he's not making videos) to double your ad rates and find new buyers for them.
Then you've got more resources to build out the team further and make better videos than ever..
And it continues to snowball from there.
I had this realization at one point that if you're employing world class people they won't want to be in entry level positions making entry level pay forever. You have to give them opportunities to improve their craft and get promotions and raises if you want to retain them.
And the only way to do that is to keep growing and building out a support structure for them.
And I don't think there are many who would argue that we don't have a world class team of YTers here.
You've kind of been defined by your role on Parks & Rec, but you've had a long and impressive career. Is there one movie or TV show you've been in -- other than Middle Man -- that you'd recommend to people looking to see a little more of you? A performance you're particularly proud of?
What advice would you have for the general public regarding "how to understand the world, especially the "other" who we have not personally encountered?" Specifically, in the age of infinite information, fake news, and polarized sources, how does the public sift through and make meaning of their world?
What a great way to describe how to grow a business. I love that you value the folks that are making your company succeed.
Great question. I've been blessed to have been working in this crazy business for over twenty years. Because of the popularity of Parks I'll always be best known as Jerry which is a gift. I love when I get to sink my teeth into a dramatic role. Dark comedies are my favorites. It's one of the things that led me to Middle Man. I'm not the "funny" guy in the film yet I get a lot of laughs. I love getting a new script and figuring out what I'm going to do with it.
As far as finding something I did in the past...hmmm...I did an episode of Diagnosis Murder where I got to play a crazed serial killer. I had a lot of fun with that. I would also check out a remake of Harvey I did many years ago with Leslie Nielsen, Swoosie Kurtz and Harry Anderson. It was one of my first films. I look like a baby. It was an amazing experience. :)
This is really relevant. Fake news seems to dictate our world now, but I do believe due to the rise of fake news (or the method in which they can travel has grown tremendously due to the internet & the ease / speed of the internet publishing), the need for the real in-depth news has also risen. So if you were to look around, you will see so much more information on almost everything. I do think this means we have to just look more. And also I think because of the policing that happens as the result of the surplus of info, we can't get away with bogus information anymore the same way. North Korea is a perfect example of there being so much junk out there posing as info. So then you have to check who is saying that, who is writing it, what do they know etc etc. In the past, the story of the "other" belonged solely to Orientalists, who basically imposed their colonial view of the "other." Much of that still goes on, but I hope with all the policing, we are enforcing more quality control, perhaps. So that you can't just claim yourself "expert" when you don't speak the language, or hardly had been to the place, etc. So in fact, the general public can in fact inform themselves more thoroughly and resposibly these days, if they care to.
It's really important to me personally. I believe the wealth gap in 2017 is a big load of bullshit and I don't want anyone working here to feel so far removed from me that we can't relate to each other anymore. No one is so valuable that they should make 100x what their average staff does.
By the same token if someone isn't pulling his or her weight, I'm not slowing down the bus..
We believe in hard work and being rewarded for it.
Hi! Which do you like writing more? Nonfiction or fiction? Do you consider yourself a writer of "Korean-American" literature or does that tag/category bother you? I thought The Interpreter was a great novel; one of my favorites.
I think the "mugging" was a pretty bad day for Jerry. He knew that if they found out what really happened (dropped a burrito in the creek) that he would take hell for days. I love how he came up with the mugging story. To think that he thought he could get away with it kills me. :)
I am always torn between the two genres. But if I really had to choose, I guess my heart is with fiction. But nonfiction makes my brains flow perhaps in a really exciting way. And my nonfiction in general is literary that I get my fiction angst/fill through that way. I don't know which I "like" writing better. Writing is so torturous for me that it's only after finishing it or nearing the end that I can enjoy it:) No, I do not consider myself a Korean-American literature writer. That genre is an odd one for fiction writers. I guess one cannot help that in coming up with genres, but especially fiction, to be limited by my nationality or immigration history is uncomfortable. I guess I just want to be a "writer", period. Yes, The Interpreter -- so many years later, I myself still have a real soft spot for Suzy Park, so thank you.
I think Berkel holds the record for most expensive stuff broken... He got out of his chair, which caused the air shock to spring up, knocking over a 34" LG Ultrawide back when they were brand new (about $1500US iirc).
I was also (somewhat) responsible for taking our Sony FS700 out for a shoot in the rain (Brandon LET me do it, so it's partly on him). It didn't work for a few days and we had to disassemble it to the greatest degree we could to dry it out.. Scary times. That was in the early days when we couldn't have afforded to replace it :p
I was watching Star Trek Voyager this week and came accross an episode in which you made a brief appearance playing a character that is the quintessential Jerry/Terry/Larry, and it left me feeling oddly uplifted for the rest of the day.
Is this type of character one you especially enjoy acting, or do you feel that you've been typecasted?
Hello Ms. Kim.
I enjoy your Twitter posts and found your Guardian piece comparing the political chaos in Korea to the U.S. very enlightening. In your experience, what are the biggest misconceptions Americans have about either North or South Korea?
Any recommendations for best cable management practices? Zipties? Velcroes? Twine?
I love playing a Jerry type character. I'm sure it will be something I'll do forever. The problem in Hollywood is that they can easily put you in a certain box. Typecasting like you mentioned. It's just the nature of the biz. The gift of Middle Man is that I get to step out of that box and really dig into a deeply disturbed character. :)
I think the biggest misconception goes back to the basic premise. Most Americans have no idea why there are two Koreas, or why there are 30,000 US soldiers in South Korea and why North Korea hates America so much. That very basic fact has been sort of written out of the American consciousness. By repackaging the Korean War as a civil war, it has now created decades of a total misconception. The fact that the US had actually drawn the 38th Parallel that cut up the Korean peninsula, not in 1950 (the start of the war) but in 1945 at the liberation of Korea from Japan is something that no Korean has forgotten -- that was the beginning of the modern Korean tragedy. That the first Great Leader (the grandfather of the current Great Leader) was the creation of the Soviet Union (along with the US participation) is another horrible puzzle piece that Americans have conveniently forgotten.
Yes. I highly recommended Linus brand cable ties. They are available in any colour and style you want as long as you want orange with my face on it.
At one point in P&R, it is referenced that your character has a very large penis. Does that take any method acting on your part?
Anyone know where can I find information regarding how the first great leader was a creation of the USA & soviets? I'd love to read about it
Can you make one more computer with your son?? The earlier one was really cute
Great question. From what I understand one of the writers were standing next to me at the urinal and thought it was time to mix real life and TV life. Made perfect sense to me. lol ;)
That would be taking it out of the context to claim that first Great Leader was "created" by US. He was a soldier (protege of the Soviet), while US participated in that set up handpicking the US educated South Korean first president. US had drawn the 38th Parallel, and that division was trumpeted by the Cold War, two separate gov't formed by 1948 & war broke out in 1950. That is a very simplified version of the history of the two Koreas which most Americans don't remember and now wonder why they are in South Korea today and why is North Korea mad at them. If you are genuinely curious, there are many many books on this topic by serious historians.
Got a father-daughter build planned :)
Who was the funniest cast member on Parks and Rec and who was the most fun to work with?
Also how similar is Nick Offerman to Ron Swanson? (in my head they're the same person)
How long did it take between the time you had this idea and actually going through with it? (Apologies if you covered that in the book, it's been a while since I read it.)
Hi LTT, what's the progress on those 3 computers running behind the walls? Or is it super secret? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5r58fGVaaDQ
They were all funny. What a lot of people don't know is that after every scene we did a "fun run". That's where we got to play around and do whatever we wanted while telling the same story that was on the page. Most of us had an improv background so it made sense to let us play together. We did that EVERY DAY. I think it's one of the reasons we stayed so close as a cast. That being said...Chris Pratt is so off the cuff funny that it's crazy. Really really funny. I had fun working with each and ever one of them. That's not Hollywood bullshit. I loved them all...and still do. :)
The whole idea for the literary nonfiction on North Korea came in February 2002 when I first went to Pyongyang for the 60th Birthday celebration of Kim Jong Il & wrote the NYRB cover essay. I realized then that an essay was just not enough, and there was just so much more I felt about this topic, also given my family background etc. From then on, it was trying to study the topic as thoroughly as I could, by literally researching it from afar and close, i.e. following defectors through the defection route, interviewing separated families, and situating myself in places where I could either go to North Korea or learn more in-depth stuff about it. Even my Fulbright research grant which allowed me to live in Seoul for 14 months in 2009 was for this book. As well as each visit that allowed me to get a different perspective. Understanding it from all sides was a key, and I felt that I had exhausted that by the time I lived there in 2011. So all in all, I would say about a decade.
I was listening to an interview with him and Ron was based off nick but everything is greatly exaggerated.
How much did u make as a teacher? Easy thing to get into (teaching English in N Korea)? Last one - any dangers associated with just teaching in N. Korea?
It was an unpaid job. I believe every teacher was sponsored by their church. There is not a danger in teaching in North Korea, but this is a gulag nation, and America is their enemy, and there is no diplomatic relations between them, so if you are a teacher from the US, then, yes you are in danger, as evidenced by the recent hostage crisis where two American detained by North Korea (currently still held there) are from the university where I taught.
We're gonna wait the full year :)
Jerry/Kerry/Larry/Terry/Gary Gengurch was one of my favorite characters. I can relate to being the clumsy one who's always the butt of the jokes. You never failed to make me smile while portraying him.
What are your dog's names, and can you tell me a bit about them?
In '92-93 I taught English in Prague in the Czech Republic. Eastern Europe had just been opened up from the communists. The sense of euphoria among the people was palpable. Hope exuded from everyone.
I taught businessmen and women who for the first time in their lives had freedom for their entrepreneurial spirit. They came to me every day with hopes and bottles of champagne.
I'm curious about the demeanor of your students. I cannot imagine 'hope' was anywhere around. How can one teach without hope? Thx and best wishes.
I wasn't there to teach, so that was not what I was looking for. My students were so busy, every hour of their day was mapped out, so it leaves no time for thinking. I found that world to be without hope. That does not mean that there is no joy in moments. There are because human beings are resilient, and my students were very, incredibly humane and lovely and their youthful spirit was sparklingly beautiful. But there was no real time for them to celebrate any of it. They would relax a bit but the immediately hauled off to their many duties that all had to do with regime & great leader. There was no hope there. So I wrote down what I saw. But I do not know about other teachers who were there to teach, but if you read my book, you will see that the other teachers weren't mostly there to teach but there as a part of their fundamental evangelical missionary purpose.
Linus' status was changed to: It's complicated
With this being described as a "black comedy", how was this role different for you in comparison to past roles, and how do you feel audiences will react?
What are the reasons for sock and sandals?
It's totally different than any other role I've played. My character Lenny starts out in the same vein as Jerry from Parks. A sweet, nice guy. Unfortunately for Lenny he makes one terrible mistake and on his way to Las Vegas he picks up a hitch hiker (played by Andrew J. West). This turns his life upside down. From that moment on we slowly watch the mental unravelling of an otherwise normal dude. Playing the character was terrifying because if I didn't make it work the film doesn't work. From what I hear I did it justice. :)
they're the ulltimate.
I read somewhere that you initially auditioned for the role of Ron Swanson. Obviously, Nick was the perfect Ron and you were a fantastic Jerry/Garry/Larry/Terry. So, how did that audition go?
Hey Linus, I'm a long time fan! I've got your Noctua fans in my system and I'm a floatplane pilot. It's been mesmerising seeing you jump from height to height, going from NCIX to where you are today and it's truly inspiring.
My question to you is, how do you unwind and relax at the end of the day after working so hard for so long?
When the word came out that Amy Poehler was doing a show it was something everyone wanted to be involved in. Amy had just come off of an amazing run on SNL as well as a couple of awesome films. My agent called and said that I had an audition for the show for the role of Ron Swanson. I found out later that most male actors in LA audition for the role. The thought of anyone playing Ron Swanson other than Nick Offerman is ridiculous. I think Nick was always who they wanted but the studio made them read tons of people. That is what helped me. Though I didn't get the role of Ron they did see something they liked and brought me back in for Jerry. The producers tell the story that after my Jerry read they just said "He's funny. Let's put him at a desk. It'll work itself out".
As far as my audition for Ron Swanson I don't remember exactly what I did but for I do remember being very stern. Probably too stern. As much as Ron was a ballbuster he was also a softy. I should try and see if I could get a copy of my audition. I'm sure it's horribly embarrassing but it would be a great to see. :)
reading positive, supportive comments like this one.
I also love spending time reading stories to my kids and playing with them and playing badminton.
Was it difficult playing such a wholesome and naive character, when a lot of your other work is so dark and twisted? It's great you have such a wide range.
How often do you work with other tech YouTubers like Kyle Jay, Paul, and them? Is it more a business relationship or do you all text and talk often?
I love when I get to different types of characters. That's what actors do. Like I mentioned earlier it's hard not to be typecast but it's part of the challenge of being an actor. :)
Being up in Western Canada makes collaboration a little tougher.. and I'm pretty asocial by nature so I haven't generally gone out of my way to "collab" - especially because many collabs are just blatant subscriber swaps
"hey sub to me and sub to him/her and get a chance to win"
But I've also known a lot of the people in the tech tuber scene for YEARS and really enjoy spending time with them. So it's nice to have an excuse to hang out and make a video.
I'm not like sending them dick pics on snapchat or whatever though.
First Aubrey played a character named Lenny in 'Legion' and now you're playing Lenny in 'Middle Man'.
Who do you think the next one from Parks and Recreation to play a Lenny...?
Personally, I'm hoping it is Li'l Sebastian.
What upcoming product are you and the team most excited to get a review sample on?
You nailed it. Li'l Sebastian will be starring as Lenny in "Of Mice and Men". Can't wait to see it. :)
Nick Offerman as Lenny in "Of Mice and Men" would be interesting
How do you balance your personal time with your wife and kid against work time?
Damn. Should have read this before my previous comment. I guess Nick and Lil' Sebastian are going to have to fight this one out. :)
I suck at it :p
But seriously, I have no social life, so it's just work/family, which makes it a bit easier. I get one night a week to go out and play badminton and other than that I go home and spend time wiht the kids. I've also SIGNIFICANTLY cut back on the time I spend working on the weekends. So it's not too bad at this point.
Hey Jim! Big fan of your work, my dad was actually one of the people that invested enough to be an extra in Middle Man so we are super excited to see it in theatres! My question to you is, who has been your all time favorite actor/actress to work with? Thanks so much!
Given unlimited Budget, what would be a video that you would like to shoot? Most interested in answers from Linus and Brandon.
Tell you dad thanks from me. Without our Kickstarter campaign we would not have been able to make the film that we did. I'm still blown away that strangers gave us their hard earned money to help us make our dream project. It's very humbling.
I mentioned earlier that I have too many all time favorite actors to mention. I'm been blessed by being around not only amazingly talented people but also amazing good people. For me that's more important.
Getting to work with Andrew J. West, Josh McDermott and Anne Dudek on Middle Man was an unexpected treat. I didn't know any of them and they came with their A games. Really amazing people and actors. :)
I want to make a movie trailer.
Not a movie.
Just a trailer.
But with BADASS high production values so it would be a TON of fun to shoot. It'd be basically a bunch of sketches back to back without having to deal with the boring parts of making a movie like real dialogue and a story arc and character development.
I just can't figure out how to fund it other than stealing $100,000+ from the LMG coffers and putting it in a firepit...
Was the cast of Parks and Rec overly nice to you off camera to make up for how Jerry was treated on camera?
Hi Linus, how much of your time actually goes into making content nowadays, compared to how much of it is needed for managing the business?
I wouldn't say overly nice. We were all just good friends doing good work and laughing our asses off every day. :)
It's not that I'm not spending time making content, it's just that I'm involved in OVERSEEING the process rather than actually DOING it.
Hi Linus, would you ever take your ear piercings out/get any more?
This is definitely the most important question I will answer today. The answer is Rob Lowe. I only say that because he has his own fragrance line and it would make sense that he smells better than the rest of us. :)
one of them is literally fused in there.. I"d have to cut it off. So... no...
Who was your favourite director and actor that you've worked with?
Is there something that you have always wanted to do on YouTube (maybe as a fun challenge) but didn't really fit on any of your channels so you decided against it?
My favorite director was a guy who started as our editor on Parks. He had also worked on The Office. His name is Dean Holland. He really understood all of our characters and knew how to get the best out of us.
My favorite actor that I've worked with is too broad of a question. I've fallen in love with so many people I've worked with over the years. By "love" I mean I loved being around them. :)
LOTS of things... If I ever stop making tech videos, you'll see them.
How often do you pull a classic Jerry move?
Also: I remember seeing you in a Castle episode, and I swear it was the most amazing thing I've ever seen, as I decided that your character (who was a butcher with anger management issues, if I recall correctly) was Jerry Gergich trying to process everything he was put through in Parks and Rec.
What is the one video you regret making?
LOL That's a great analogy. I'm not sure that's what I was thinking at the time but who knows?
As far as pulling classic Jerry moves....every day. We all do.
I won an Emmy last month and as I was walking up the steps to get the award I just kept thinking "don't fall...don't fall". If I had fallen it would have been another "Jerry" moment that I would hear about forever even though I won the award for a different show. lol :)
I don't regret making the video where we simulated Ryzen 5 performance, but I regret titling it in a deceptive manner..
Other than that the only video I've ever actually taken down was a detailed tour of my house. I was trying to show the reception issues with some early ASUS tablet and had inadvertently shown a lot of personal details that didn't belong on the Internet.
I'm also still not sure how I feel about some of the videos that feature my kids. They LOVE making videos with Daddy (especially my son) and they only appear once in a while so I don't think I'm going to be destroying their lives or anything, but they're also too young to really understand what it means to be on the Internet, so I don't know how they'll feel about that down the line.
Would you rather fight 100 Aziz-sized Li'l Sebastians or 1 Li'l Sebastian-sized Aziz?
Credit to /u/GodDamnNameDoesNotFi for the tweak to my original question
In what year will you finally admit that spiky gel hair is a relic of the past?
I've thought about this question many many times so credit for the question goes to me. ;) The answer is ... 1 Li'l Sebastian-sized Aziz. :)
I'll admit it today. Still gonna rock it.
If you could be anything other than an actor, what would you be?
I thank God every day that the acting thing worked out. Otherwise I have no idea what I'd be doing. I guess because I'm a talker and a bit gregarious that I could have gone into sales but honestly I don't know. A lot of my family around me are in the trades...like pipe coverers and fitters. I'm too damn uncoordinated and lazy to do that so again...THANK YOU GOD FOR LETTING THIS WORK OUT!!!!! :)
Was the makeout-fest on Late Night planned between you and Aubrey or just improvisation?
Totally thought up by Aubrey during the last commercial break. My favorite part when watching the video is how the other cast members reacted when they realized what was happening.
Aubrey is a super funny person. She knew it wouldn't be funny to make out with Pratt or Scott. She knew it had to be with the old fat guy to get the real laugh. I was happy to oblige. :)
I typed "please bring me to a site on the interwebs called reddit that will let me answer questions". ;)
I get my pizza with sausage, onion, extra sauce and crispy. mmmmm Now I've got to have pizza today. :)
Ask you anything, eh?
Okay. Let's put this question to bed: Is the reason that Gayle was with Jerry/Terry/Larry/etc., was because of his massive penis?
According to Dr. Harris (whom Chris Traeger said was literally the meanest person he's ever met), it's the biggest penis he's ever seen. I mean, he didn't even know if you had mumps. He forgot to look. He was distracted. By the largest penis. He had ever seen.
YES! Put it to bed. ;)