In our continued effort to bring you the best interviews with today’s top talent, I’m happy to present my recent conversion with “East Side” Dave McDonald. He’s an up-and-coming inventor who can be heard on “The Ron and Fez Show” every weekday, 11am to 3pm, on Sirius XM. He also occasionally co-hosts a show, “Special Delivery,” along with “Prime Time” Sam Roberts (yes, that Sam Roberts) on Sirius XM. He’s also quite funny.
CrunchGear: First I wanted to congratulate you on your Star Wars trivia victory from the other day. [Dave beat “Ron and Fez” co-host Fez in an epic trivia challenge earlier this week, avenging his earlier loss in the Batman trivia challenge.]
East Side Dave: Thank you, thank you. I appreciate that.
CG: It was a big day in radio history.
ESD: I know. Well, I’m a champion’s champion. I thought I was going to be victorious, and I proved that I have the heart of a Wookie.
CG: OK, let’s get right into this. Knissors—can you tell me what they are and what was the inspiration behind them?
ESD: Okay. Knissors are two knives—two knives—that can bolt together to act like a pair of scissors. The inspiration came when one day I needed to open several boxes. Some of the boxes I thought, “you know, I need a knife,” but then for some of the packaging I needed strong scissors, and I didn’t want to keep reaching—here’s a knife and here’s a scissor, and here’s another knife and here’s another scissor. And all of sudden there’s 40 knives and scissors, and there’s a pile of knives and scissors, and you can’t even see anymore! So I thought, “no. No, that’s where the shit ends. I will take two knives and bolt them together.” They can act like serious, perfect knives, and then what happens is, if you want to cut some meat you just take ‘em apart.
CG: Now have you made an actual working prototype, or is this still in the design phase?
ESD: I have duct tapped two knives together, but that has not been a successful model. I also nailed two knives together with the wood handles, but that, too, has failed, so I’m going to go a different route with my knissors. I’m going to try and figure out—maybe someone who’s actually good with their hands, as opposed to me, maybe they can help me figure it out? But once I have figured out how it will work—and I don’t think it should be that complicated—then I feel like knissors will take America by storm.
CG: They will. There’s no doubt about knissors being the next big thing in America. They’re gonna be as big as Beanie Babies were. Everyone will have ‘em, it’ll be crazy.
ESD: I agree. I mean, think about the popularity of the Ginsu knife back in, what, the 80s or whatnot. Now imagine if with that same Ginsu knife you could easily make paper dolls, you could easily cut hair. All of that stuff you’ll be able to do with knissors.
CG: That’s good. It’s a recession, nobody has any money, you get one product and it does 1,000 things, you’re all set.
ESD: That’s right. And I’m not going to be selling it for $49.95. I’m not going to be selling it for $29.95. Hell, I’m not going to be selling it for $19.95. You’re going to get one pair of knissors for $9.95, and I might even throw in a second pair for the first 10,000 people who buy knissors.
CG: You’re a gentleman. You’re a gentleman, Dave.
ESD: Thank you very much.
CG: Now besides the knissors, do you have any other inventions that you’re particularly proud of? I know on the show you’ve talked about several.
ESD: My other one that I was very proud of was the Uncle Davey Mac’s Travel Chopper. This, of course, is going to be a gigantic helicopter that will come complete with your own room, your own bed, and your own desk. You can take a nap, you can do what you want. For first class people I’m even going to put televisions in their rooms. It’s just going to make your commute a heck of a lot better. Now the second travel-oriented invention I have is the Davey Mac Walking Boat. I’m going to put a giant boat on one side of the Hudson River, on the New Jersey side. What will happen is you’ll walk from the rear of the boat to the front, and the boat will stretch all the way across the Hudson and the front of the boat will touch Manhattan. So by the time you’ve ended your walking on the boat you’ll be in Manhattan.
CG: Did you receive any formal science or math training in school, or is this just from the heart?
ESD: I received no training. I did get above average grades in science and astrology. I got below average grades in physics and calculus, and I got average grades in spelling and phonics.
CG: And when you were growing up did you have any math or science guys that you looked up to?
ESD: I looked up to—what’s that’s guy’s name, Don whatever—Mr Wizard. I looked up to him, and I looked up to Asa Aarons from NBC. He had a little segment called “Ask Asa,” and I never had a chance to ask him anything. But I wish I had.
CG: Now are you constantly thinking of ways to improve this product or that product? Do you look at something and say, “Well that’s wrong”?
ESD: I am, I am. I always try to evolve. I understand how things work. I mean, look, knissors or the first iPhone—there’s gonna be kinks in the armor, you know? And yeah, I’ll put my shit up against Bill Gates. Any time that [expletive] wants a war he’s got one.
CG: Well Steve Jobs is the iPhone, not Bill Gates.
ESD: Whoever it is. If it’s Steve Jobs or Bill Gates. What does Bill Gates do?
CG: Nothing. He’s a bum.
ESD: Anyway, yes, I’m always thinking of ways to improve products. That’s just how my mind works. It’s how special people like myself, our minds work. What can I do? I can’t help the fact that I’m advanced in the mental department.
CG: Fair enough. I wanted to get your opinion on the TV pitchmen shows. Do you think it’s too circusy, or is that just another part of the business?
ESD: You know what, I’m for the shows because I feel like the shows represent my peers, my colleagues, and represent who we are as inventors and pitch people. Sure, some of the folks are a tad enthusiastic, but you know what? That didn’t hurt anybody. Did that hurt Moses when he was getting shit done? Absolutely not. Enthusiasm is a good thing, so I like those shows.
CG: Ron said the other day that he’s a little concerned that the best and brightest minds in America are so devoted to trivial things like figuring out how to download old Foghat songs. Do you feel that America’s inventive spirit is sort of going to waste?
ESD: I do, I do. I think that not enough people are being introspective, and as a result products such as knissors and Davey Mac’s Travel Chopper are not coming to fruition. If you start looking inward you can see what problems exist in the world, and how you can solve them. Me? I solve problems through knissors.
CG: Do you pay any attention to the gadget world? I would think that as an inventor you’d keep on top of the latest BlackBerry or iPhone or whatever.
ESD: Well, I just bought my first BlackBerry last week, and I joined The Twitter a few months ago. And I also just got a wireless remote control for my television. And I have a Discman, so the answer is yes.
CG: Speaking of Twitter, the other day there was a study that showed that 40 percent of all tweets are just useless babble. What do you think: is Twitter a waste of time, a world saver, or something in between?
ESD: I like The Twitter, and I’ll tell you why: I can post little videos—little vignettes, if you will—and for a split second not only am I the great inventor you see before you, but I’m also a mini Stanley Kubrick. That’s who I also aspire to be: the world’s greatest pitchman and the world’s greatest film maker.
CG: Did you grow up in the 80s? You’re in your early 30s, I think.
ESD: I was born in ’77, so I guess you can say I’m an 80s child and a 90s teenager
CG: Is there one piece of technology that’s out there today that, if you could go back in time somehow and give it to Young Dave, what would it be?
ESD: I would give Young David my Digital Video Disc player and the four or five discs inside that. Those discs inside it right now are: There Will Be Blood, The Empire Strikes Back, Raging Bull, The Big Lebowski, and Suck My Ass Volume Seven
CG: Oh, Volume Seven, that was your favorite of the series?
ESD: Yes it was. It had a little bit more punch than Six.
CG: My last question Dave is, if you could snap your fingers and invent anything, anything at all, what would it be?
ESD: A really, really, really big shirt that you could wear as a shirt and pants and shoes and hat.
CG: Wow, that needs to happen. I don’t know who you need to contact, but that needs to happen.
ESD: And I want to make that happen. It will happen eventually, but one thing at a time. I need to have the knissors out there first.
CG: OK, thanks a lot, dave. I know you’re busy with the show and everything.
ESD: Take care.
Photo: Some dude’s MySpace (I realized too late, “Oh, I should have just gone down to the studio to take a few professional-looking photos.” Next time.)