TEDx At Drexel University Gets Trolled

TEDx at Drexel University gets masterfully trolled by comedian Sam Hyde, but did that trolling cross the line?

I’m not going to rag on TED. It’s too easy a target, and I’ve been mocking the conference since 2011. It’s actually getting old, plus, even though the main TED conference is much deserving of ridicule, the same shouldn’t be said for TEDx. They’re totally separate from the (elitist snobs) who run TED. The only thing connecting them, besides the name, is that they have to play this stupid video at the start of the TEDx event and follow a bunch of draconian rules. That’s where the similarities end.

This past weekend, Drexel University held their TEDx event and they were trolled pretty magnificently by Sam Hyde, a Brooklyn-based comedian. You can see said trolling in the video above. And yes, although I’d like to think it’s almost immediately apparent a trolling is about to occur, the TEDx organizers were not in on the joke. So much so that they and Hyde had a pretty nasty exchange after the event.

I’m a little torn on this. On one hand, someone should take down the general concept of TED, but it’s been done so much better by The Onion (Exhibit A) and College Humor (Exhibit B) that I don’t know if this particular trolling crosses the line. Does it go from “Its funny” to “Man is that guy being a dick”? I’m leaning more toward the latter. As easy as it is for us to sit here and laugh about the video, you gotta remember how much work actually goes into putting on a TEDx event, and the simple fact that, again, TEDx is not TED. So you’re pretty much taking a dump on a bunch of (mostly) well meaning people. And that’s not ok.

Look, I’m a comedian, and every comedian is different, but for me comedy works the best when you’re targeting the people in power. A bunch of college kids who are probably going to be in debt for the rest of their life? They don’t really qualify in my book as having any sort of power worth mocking.

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What do you think? Did Hyde cross the line or was this the massive trolling that TED deserved?

(Story Credit: Philadelphia Magazine)