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Unburying The Buried Life

Bryan Talbot / The Arbiter

The Buried Life is a project created by four guys: Ben Nemtin, Duncan Penn, Jonnie Penn and Dave Lingwood. The project started in 2006 with a cheap camera and a list of 100 things they had all wanted to accomplish before they died. What these boys set out to do was prove anything is possible, and no dream is too big. And in that process, they caught the attention of MTV.

On Wednesday, Feb. 20, Ben Nemtin and Duncan Penn of “The Buried Life” came to Boise State to talk about their project and motivate people to go out and do something amazing with their lives.

Their show featured them tackling the list items. But they took it a step further. For every item they crossed off of their list, they would help a stranger cross something off of theirs.

Their accomplishments so far? Streaking, playing basketball with President Obama (or attempting), asking Taylor Swift on a date (she said yes), crashing the Playboy Mansion (by jumping out of a wooden cake wearing oompa loompa costumes), kissing the Stanley Cup and being on Oprah. And that’s just to name a few.

The boys have accomplished about 85 things on their list and continue to add things as they go.The speech was awe inspiring. The crowd was laughing, crying and gasping at the stories and video clips the duo shared.

One video clip they showed was a Harry Potter parody of Jonnie being confronted by Voldemort and was saved by shielding himself with the book the four of them had written. By the end of the speech, the energy was electric and people were excited.

There were microphones at each end of the stage where people went up and shared their bucket list items with Ben and Duncan. There were tears, laughter, proposals and even a couple of kisses.

There was only one question left by the time the show got out: Boise State, what do you want to do before you die?

“I want to be a U.S. Naval Doctor. Travel the world,” said freshman biology major Cameron Pernich.

Amy Elliott, a sophomore English/ creative writing major, said, “I want to go to all 50 states, and meet someone in all 50 states.”

“I want to go to a world cup game,” said senior biology major Jade Weeks.

Sophomore Melinda Smith, a communication major, was one of the lucky individuals who made it to one of the microphones on the side of the stage. While waiting in line for the meet and greet, she told us about her
exciting night.

“I made a poster, and I was going to ask Duncan, one of the cast members, to my sorority formal, and when they had questions, I asked him and he told me to come talk to him after about it! So, now I’m gonna wait,” she said.

Arbiter staffers Madison Killian and Lauren Hooker talked to Ben and Duncan after the show and they answered some questions.

Arbiter: You guys mentioned that Jonnie went to Hogwarts. If you went to Hogwarts, what house would you guys be sorted into?

Duncan: Gryffindor. Because that’s where the heroes are.

Ben: Syltherin. Because I’m eeeeeviiillll.

Duncan: Hufflepuff! No one’s ever in Hufflepuff! Have you guys noticed that?

Arbiter:  Or Ravenclaw.

Ben: Ravenclaw is even worse than Hufflepuff.

Duncan: I don’t think there is even one important character from Hufflepuff.

Arbiter: Have you guys finished your list, or are you guys still crossing things off?

Ben:  We haven’t finished it, we’re still crossing things off, and we’re still adding things to the list.

Arbiter: What is your favorite item that you guys have crossed off? Either your own list or helping someone with theirs.

Ben: My favorite was make a TV show because it took so long, and we put so much into it. My favorite help was four guys that were in their 60’s that we reunited after like 30 or 40 years.

Duncan: My favorite was streaking, probably. That was the most exhilarating. And my favorite help story? Hmmm. I have a bunch of favorites. But, I drove across Florida with this girl who wanted to spread her father’s ashes. We drove across Florida on a motorcycle trip, finishing the trip that he had wanted to do with his daughter. And spread his ashes.

Arbiter: What is one thing you think that every college student should do before they leave college?

Ben: I think you should definitely go on a road trip with your friends. And throw a raging party.

Duncan: Threesome. (laughs) No, I’m just kidding. …No, I’m kind of kidding. His (Ben’s) was a pretty good answer for both of us.

Arbiter: You guys said you’re on the road a lot. What do you guys do to occupy your free time? Do you have a lot of free time?

Ben: No, not really to be honest, we’re developing our next show and we’re actually developing other shows as well. And, we do stuff like, we wrote a book and we make clothing and, you know, make videos for online and produce other things. We’re pretty busy.

Duncan: When we do have the time, we like to go to music festivals. Concerts, things like that.

Arbiter: What are your favorite artists?

Ben:    Uh, Picasso

Duncan:    Van Gogh.

Ben: Monet.

Arbiter: You guys know what I meant…

Duncan: I like A$ap Rocky right now. Jay-Z, obviously Kanye.

Ben: I think Macklemore, I’m really enjoying it. Local Natives, and Eric Clapton.

Arbiter: What would your last meal before you die be?

Ben: Probably like a Jiro Dreams of sushi meal. Like, a really best of the best sushi.

Duncan: Just a raw steak. Basically, real rare, and perfectly done. Filet mignon probably.

After a couple pictures were taken and thank you’s were exchanged,  the Arbiter staffers were on their way with the story of the century: Ben from “The Buried Life” was a Slytherin and Duncan was promoting threesomes. The world may never

be the same.


“But often, in the world’s most crowded streets,

But often, in the din of strife,

There rises an unspeakable desire

After the knowledge of our buried life.”

—Matthew Arnold, 1852

Check out a video from The Buried Life at Boise State here.


About Madison Killian (0 Articles)
Madison Killian is the assistant Arts & Entertainment editor for the Arbiter, and a junior at Boise State majoring in Communications. She enjoys loud rock music, coffee and long walks on the beach. When she isn't jet setting around campus or interviewing your favorite band, she enjoys spending time with her pets: a dog named Jake and a cat named after Janis Joplin.