Matt Harding, a 31-year-old video game developer from Connecticut, is probably experiencing the same emotions Anthony Bourdain did when his book, Kitchen Confidential, hit the big time and the media came knocking.
In Matt’s case, he achieved notoriety by doing a goofy little dance all over the world that became an Internet sensation in pre-YouTube 2005. It caught the attention of Cadbury Adams, makers Stride gum. As a promotional stunt, they offered to bankroll his second trek to do more of the same.
In 2007, Matt successfully persuaded Cadbury Adams to let him film his dancing again in 39 countries on all 7 continents – with hundreds of partners.
Basically, Matt gets paid to go wherever he wants and dance. The parallels to Bourdain’s path to stardom are striking, although Matt’s schtick is much more low-cal and aerobic.
However, when it comes to snarkiness, Matt’s the anti-Bourdain – a thoroughly nice guy. He has followed in Tony’s footsteps to many places, but managed to avoid dining on warthog butt in Namibia.
He also shares travel tips.
Anthony Bourdain, if you’re reading this, rest assured that my devotion hasn’t wavered. I’m just telling you to watch your back. Your aversion to eating family pets probably spawned Andrew Zimmern. Now your well-known loathing for dancing with the locals may compel the Travel Channel to fill that void with Matt Harding.