Single Grunt From Random Actor Makes AT&T Spot Explode

The 'Huh?' heard around the world

AT&T's "Responsibilities" ad, for the BlackBerry Torch 4G, offers a twist on the ubiquitous wacky-office-hijinks trope with, of all things, honesty. The spot, in which employees are encouraged to use their new phones to continue goofing off, is more New Yorker cartoon funny than the "remarkable fit of understanding" CNET claims it to be, but it's also an example of an idea being given just enough time it needs to be effective, as opposed to being drawn out forever. But that's not why it's gotten more than 700,000 views on YouTube since Monday. No, that would mostly be the work of Nate Dern, a writer and performer with the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater and a former finalist on the CW reality show Beauty and the Geek. This is Dern's first commercial after three years of auditioning—a fact he mentioned on Reddit, where people seem to love that all he gets to say is "Huh?" and have embraced him as a folk hero. Dern (at right in the image above) has now become "The Huh? Guy" on Reddit, with endless follow-up posts devoted to him. He says he's "honored and humbled to be a momentary vessel for some of the Reddit collective effervescence to bubble around." AT&T should give him a sequel, maybe even with more than one syllable to say. Though as one Reddit commenter says, "You should see his Hmm . . . !"