Archive for Thursday, November 13, 2003

Gross-out gag wins — by a nose

November 13, 2003

He wasn't nervous, but the other kids -- now that's a different story.

Singers might call it performance anxiety. Actors may use the more common expression, stage fright.

Dustin Anderson, a Basehor teen-ager, can't relate to any of those terms because he was cool as a Frigidaire while performing on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" last week in Los Angeles.

"I thought I was going to be nervous, but I wasn't," Dustin said. "I drank three Red Bulls (an energy drink) before so I was just really hyper."

Dustin, 16, a sophomore at Basehor-Linwood High School, performed his trick of snorting a wet noodle up his nose during a "Tonight Show" segment called "Teen-Age Wasteland."

Fellow wastelanders were a bit more jumpy than Dustin before going on-stage.

Two other teen-agers --one who could twirl a hunting knife and handgun simultaneously and another who could catch his own spit (pause for a moment if you need to) -- caught their own brand of pre-show jitters.

"The guy who caught his spit was all freaked out because he was afraid he wouldn't be able to catch it," Dustin said.

OK, and the cowboy who twirled his weaponry?

"He was coughing and I thought he was going to puke," Dustin said. "We asked him if he was going to be OK, and he said yeah."

On stage, in front of the lights, cameras and not to mention the millions at home watching on television, Dustin performed his part-man, part-strainer act to a resounding applause from the audience.

Well, almost everyone liked it.

Leno stood by Anderson, holding his cup of noodles, as the teen began his vacuum-like absorption of the noodles. The first noodle went down (or up) without a hitch. The second, though, that's where Dustin got greedy.

A piece of the second one flew out of Dustin's mouth and landed somewhere it wasn't supposed to.

"It hit Jay on his foot," Dustin said.

Leno, in a good natured "do you believe this guy" kind of way, booted Dustin from the stage and called out the next performer.

So long, 15 minutes of fame, it really didn't, uh, suck.

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