Q&A: Carson Daly

Who exactly is Carson Daly? Why is he famous? How did he get the coziest job in show business? Why does he deserve the hordes of fans, the web sites, the raging cult of celebrity? We left these questoins to the man himself:

The Harvard Crimson: "When you were asked the Backstreet Boys or N' Sync question you replied, "Sometimes I'm in the mood for a hot dog, other times I'm in the mood for a hamburger. The real question is: Do you like beef?"

Carson Daly: Yeah, I'm down with beef . No problem. Everyone is always trying to pick out my personal opinion, because its rare that a show can really be successful in such a format. People always ask, do you like Korn, Britney Spears, or some other far off analogy. I'm such a music fan, and I appreciate good pop music, good rap, good rock music. I have a genuine interest in it all.


THC: Is TRL a Carson Daly show like Singled Out was a Jenny McCarthy show? When you leave does the show die?

CD: No, not at all. Defintiely not. I don't actually really do a whole lot, I don't bring all that much to it. I try to keep the show about the videos, and keep the show fresh every day. The stars of the show are the ten videos, the guests, the viewers really. I'm actually one of the viewers really. All the celebrity that I have is through osmosis.

THC: Harvard students tend to think its cool to hate mainstream stuff for the sake of not being mainstream. Is pop culture uncool nowadays?

No, I think people are the ones getting uncool. I think that we're over going against the grain only for the sake of going against the grain. We're at a time now when we have the courage to try different things. It's like the song Mmmm Bop by Hanson. Anyone who hears that song is going to think its catchy and they're going to bounce and bop if they hear it on the radio, no matter if they go to Harvard or Junior College. It takes real balls to admit a good song. If you've had a hard day, or if you had a tough exam, Britney Spears might put you in a better mood than before you heard her. It's a cop-out to go against something that's mainstream, and it's incredibly lame and cheesy to think otherwise.

Do you think that the people buying Mariah Carey records are buying Kid Rock and Eminem? Or is it fractured fan bases competing?

I do. I think there is a large group of people now who really are buying the other types of music. The music is also just getting a lot closer to the people. Mariah is a great example; we're not looking at a "someday" Mariah. She's in the studio dropping dance beats, rapping with Jay Z. Kid rock has a got a guitar and some great beats. All the types of music are really influencing each other now, hip-hop and pop, rap and rock. It's all a lot closer to the people. Pop is sounding really progressive now, intergrating new beats and tech. Lots of kids can own Backstreet Boys and a Limp Bizkit CD, and defintiely Blink because it's right in between. It's a lot different from when I was in high school in '91, when if you were into Soundgarden and Seattle grunge, you wouldn't be caught dead listening to pop like Michael Bolton, Mariah Carey, Color me Badd.

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