Mental Break

Still Talking About Chatroulette

Since we last talked about it, Chatroulette has continued to grow. The service has ballooned from 109,000 unique visitors in Jan. to just shy of one million in Feb. As its numbers have increased, it has started to pop up in the mainstream.

First there was Jon Stewart, who took to the random video chat site to satirize his television news colleagues. Stewart's "Tech Talch" segment plays on the infamous "dark side" of the service: the likelihood of encountering less than appropriate behavior while browsing.

Chatroulette's latest high profile user is singer-songwriter Ben Folds, who also recently took to the Web for a YouTube contest that called for a cappella submissions of his music. His Chatroulette use was spurred by a video that popped up of Merton, a man who bears a striking resemblance to the popular artist and performs free-style numbers in real time.

Folds' publicist denied rumors that the two were one-in-the-same, but it didn't end there, as Folds performed an improvisational number to a live audience in Charlotte, N.C. and simultaneously to an unsuspecting audience via Chatroulette.

Check out Ben Folds in "Ode to Merton." (Disclaimer: the video does contain some profanity)

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.