Tag Archives: Where the Hell is Matt?

Matt Harding Travels Happy

For the past 10 years, Matt Harding has been dancing around the world.


Mongolia, Cambodia, Antarctica, Machu Picchu, Namibia, New York, Fiji, Iceland — he’s been there, done that. (That = dancing.)

The Staples grad (Class of 1994) is no Ginger Rogers, but he makes up for his goofy moves with a broad smile.

Matt is always happy.

He makes audiences happy too. His 5 major YouTube videos — plus 2 outtakes — have been viewed hundreds of millions of times.

Now Visa is happy too. They’ve just released an ad featuring Matt, as part of their “Travel Happy” campaign.

(Click here if your browser does not take you directly to YouTube.)

Shot in Budapest and Prague, it’s airing in Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

That must make Matt very happy.

Not to mention his accountant.

April Fool’s: The “Where The Hell Is Matt?” Edition

Monday’s “06880” post on removing 80% of Westport’s traffic lights was my little April Fool’s joke.

(What? You JUST NOW realized it wasn’t true? Holy crap!)

Meanwhile, YouTube posted its own — more intricate but (IMHO) less funny — April Fool’s prank.

YouTube “announced” that the past 8 years have been an elaborate contest. As of midnight Monday — April 1! — they’d shut down, review every video ever uploaded, and pick one ultimate “winner.”

What makes this blog-worthy is that YouTube gives 2 shout-outs to Matt Harding — the 1994 Staples grad whose videos of himself dancing poorly, from Macchu Picchu to Mongolia (and every place in between) made him an early YouTube sensation. (Later, it earned him corporate contracts.)

First, the April Fool’s video shows a brief clip of Matt in mid-dance.

Later, he’s “interviewed.”

YouTube April Fool - Matt Harding

“I better win,” he snarls. “Otherwise, all those years of traveling the world were a waste of time.”

You can watch the video below. (Click here, if your browser does not link directly.)

And for those of you who are easily snookered, remember: It’s a joke!

Astronomy Picture Of The Day

Every morning, NASA posts an “Astronomy Picture of the Day.”

Each one highlights a different image or photograph of the universe, with a brief explanation from a professional astronomer.

Yesterday, the photo of the day featured a panorama of Mars. The day before there was a volcano and aurora in Iceland; before that, a “gravitational tractor” that could intercept an earth-threatening asteroid.

Today’s “Astronomy Picture of the Day” shows Westport native (and Staples graduate) Matt Harding dancing in Afghanistan.

The text reads:

What are these humans doing? Dancing.

Many humans on Earth exhibit periods of happiness, and one method of displaying happiness is dancing. Happiness and dancing transcend political boundaries and occur in practically every human society.

Matt Harding traveled through many nations on Earth, planned on dancing, and filmed the result. The video, the latest in a series of similar videos, is perhaps a dramatic example that humans from all over planet Earth feel a common bond as part of a single species. Happiness is frequently contagious — few people are able to watch the above video without smiling.

Last month — the day after it was released — “06880” featured Matt Harding’s now-viral video.

It’s pretty cool that NASA — with millions more viewers “all over planet Earth” — has finally done the same.

To view Matt’s complete video, click the arrow below.

Where The Hell Is Matt? (The Sequel)

Matt Harding sure gets around.

The 1994 Staples graduate was an early YouTube sensation. His videos — of himself dancing “badly” (his word), from Macchu Picchu to Mongolia, and every place in between — drew hundreds of millions of viewers. He wrote a book. Corporate sponsors threw money at him.

And through it all — from his first impromptu dance (Hanoi, 2003) to today — Matt kept dancing.

Matt Harding in New Guinea, from his 2008 video. (He’s 4th from the left, wearing a dark blue shirt.)

His latest video was released yesterday. It could be his best yet.

In less than 5 minutes, Matt busts out new moves. He waltzes in Vienna; does a tribal dance in South Africa; gets down with firefighters in Texas, and underwater at the Great Barrier Reef.

He does whatever dance they do in North Korea — and what other Westporters (except Alan and Brian Hershey) have ever been there?

And Matt dances everywhere else too, hopscotching from Idaho to Scotland to Rwanda, all to infectious music he helped compose.

Sure, it’s hot and humid here. Yeah, there’s a million things to do before we can relax for the summer. And watch out, someone might give your kid a cupcake when you’re not looking.

But forget all that. Click the link below. Crank up the speakers, and enjoy the video.

It could be the most enjoyable 5 minutes you’ll spend all week.

(Click here to learn more about Matt Harding, and see his other videos, at his actual website.)

Where The Hell Is Matt? (And Why The Hell Did He Write A Book?)

During a recent library talk on technology, a well-connected Westporter invoked the name Matt Harding.

blog - Matt Harding TurkeyMatt is an Internet sensation.  His homemade videos — showing him dancing long-limbedly, spastically, poorly — have been viewed 75 million times.  He’s danced in Mongolia, Cambodia, Antarctica.  Machu Picchu, Namibia, New York. Fiji, the DMZ and Iceland.  And everywhere in between.

During the Q-and-A, I asked the library speaker:  “Did you know Matt is from Westport?”

He had no idea.

If you think about it, it makes sense.  Staples — from which Matt graduated in 1994 — is a place that has long given students the sense that a great world awaits them.  Staples students often indulge their wanderlust — and it helps that many have families that can support great post-college adventures.

Yet Matt wasn’t one of those.  As a junior, his father advised him not go to college; Matt just wasn’t ready.  So he worked in video games — as a magazine editor and game designer — and eventually landed in Australia.

That surprised him.  Unlike many peers, he was not a traveler growing up.  But now he was ready to see the world — and see it he did.

Since 2002 he’s danced his way across the planet.  He’s danced on the Trans-Siberian Railway, on top of Kilimanjaro, and on “Good Morning America.”

He’s picked up a corporate sponsor too.  And now he’s an author.

Where The Hell Is Matt?Where The Hell Is Matt?  Dancing Badly Across The World tells Matt’s backstory.  He describes almost indescribable adventures on every continent, with an honesty his parents no doubt cringe at.  There are plenty of photos too.   They’re not National Geographic quality, but then again those photographers didn’t dance in Timbuktu.

These days, Matt calls Seattle home (not that he’s there a hell of a lot).  But it’s safe to say he wouldn’t be there — wouldn’t be anywhere, let alone a worldwide Internet sensation — if he hadn’t had a bit of Westport in him, way back when.