This guy Shingy has the world’s best job. AOL pays him a six-figure salary to go around being Stefon from Saturday Night Live by way of Richard Simmons. From the New Yorker‘s short, acid profile of AOL’s self-styled “digital prophet”:
In 2002, AOL had more than twenty-five million subscribers; it now has fewer than two and a half million. Shingy calls it “a company in transition.”
“There is no typical day for me,” Shingy, who is forty-four, said. “Which, if you think about it, means that today is pretty typical.” He arrived at AOL headquarters in the Village wearing black nail polish and high-top sneakers with leather wings. His jacket, T-shirt, and pants were black, and he had decorated them with wide stripes of white paint. He wears his hair up and out, like Phyllis Diller or Beetlejuice. “You’d be surprised how easy it is to get it to stay like this, actually—a blow-dry and then a quarter-size dab of product,” Shingy explained. “It’s all in the cut, not the styling.” He ran into a Ward Cleaver-ish advertising executive named Jim Norton. “My man!” Shingy said, offering his trademark three-part handshake, ending in a hug.
Next, Shingy stopped by the office of Erika Nardini, the chief marketing officer of AOL Advertising, and handed her an iPad Mini. “Wanted to show you a little brain fart I had on the plane,” he said. It was a cartoon he had drawn of a bear wearing zebra-print pants and a shirt covered in ones and zeros.
“Love it, love it, love it,” Nardini said. “I’m thinking of the bears more as a metaphor.”
“A thousand per cent,” Shingy said.
“Shingy is my muse,” Nardini said. During this conversation, Shingy was distracted by his phone, but he looked up and smiled every few seconds. “I lean on him really heavily for the feel of what’s happening in the here and now. There is something so polarizing about Shingy, but also so unifying.”
I love this Shingy story so hard!
UPDATE: A reader posts a video of Shingy doing that hoodoo that he do so well. Awesome.