Seeing as how you’re reading this review in this particular rag, you’re already well aware of Nardwuar the Human Serviette. The crazy Canadian has been interviewing celebrities and politicians and other random freaks for many years now. In the ‘90s, Much Music (aka: the Canadian MTV) hired Nardwuar to… well, continue being Nardwuar. He continued to interrogate rock stars and actors, videotaping every second. And now, thanks to Much Music, Alternative Tentacles, and the man himself, you can watch these interviews, spread out over two DVDs, equaling over five hours of footage! What a deal!
The thing that becomes most apparent when watching these interviews is just how brilliant of a journalist Nardwuar is. He’s always incredibly well-prepared, with lots of questions that most interviewers wouldn’t ask. His demeanor is infectious, making his subjects open up in a way most people never see (for better or worse). Above all, the man is fearless, going to great lengths to ask the most incredible questions. Even when celebrities hate him, they respect his in-depth research, and so will you!
Disc One features the first two Nard Wars specials commissioned by Much Music. Nard Wars I is basically a compilation of snippets from a number of his interviews, hosted by Chris Murphy of Sloan. The interviews run the gamut, featuring Kelly Osbourne, Gene Simmons, Marilyn Manson, Peaches, Ian Mackaye, Vanilla Ice, Busta Rhymes, Timothy Leary, Josh Homme, Rob Halford, and a bazillion others. These little snips are rounded out by Nardwuar’s top five favorite interviews, which get a bit more screen time. It’s all fast paced and hilarious as you watch some people “get” Nardwuar, and some people who just want to beat the shit out of him.
Nard Wars II is less exciting. It’s basically a half hour of Nardwuar preparing for his third interview with Snoop Dogg… collecting info, calling his manager, waiting in the hotel for Snoop to show up. It’s kinda interesting to see how these things unfold, but it’s a little boring. Luckily, the last twenty minutes with Mr. Dogg is pure Nard magic.
The first disc is rounded out with performances from Nardwuar’s bands, Thee Goblins and The Evaporators, including live performances and music videos! The quality varies, but it’s all a lot of fun to watch.
Disc Two is basically just unedited versions of the bits shown on disc one. They’re even funnier this way, as you can watch the reactions of the interviewees get more and more annoyed, disturbed, and ultimately confused by Nardwuar’s consistent prodding. His interview with Wesley Willis is bizarre, yet touching. His numerous Jello Biafra encounters are edited down to a thirteen-minute compilation, highlighting some pretty hilarious moments. The full length Henry Rollins, Gwar, and Michael Moore interviews are priceless. The second disc also has a few extra tidbits, and both discs feature bonus Easter eggs hidden about (I found at least five).
As Michael Moore once said, Nardwuar is “a national treasure.” If you like reading his interviews, you’ll love watching him in action. My only complaint is that I wish there were more interviews! Maybe there will be a second volume down the road (hopefully with the infamous Sonic Youth and Lydia Lunch interviews). Until then, this one is highly recommended. –Russell Lichter (www.nardwuar.com)