Is This the Most Boring Man In the World?

Late last year Randy Smith got a text from a complete stranger who thanked him for putting her to sleep. Smith was shocked to discover that he was a YouTube star. The Ormond Beach, Fla., retiree was even more surprised to learn why: It’s because of a tutorial he recorded and sold as a VHS tape in 1989 on how to use Microsoft Word. The video has been dubbed “the most boring video ever made,” with 3.1 million views and close to 11,000 comments so far. “I can’t remember the number of times that this Video has helped me sleep,” one gushes. “I want this played at my funeral, so people don’t forget how interesting I was,” says another. Smith, a former motivational speaker who taught presentation skills, has a voice that isn’t so much boring as comforting. It turns out that his silky-smooth delivery, combined with the now-irrelevant subject matter, makes his video perfect……...for hitting the sack. He has lots of competition, too. From footage of late TV painting instructor Bob Ross to 5-hour loops of the BBC shipping forecast, dull recordings are all the rage as slumber hacks in a sleep-deprived nation. Smith is puzzled as to why someone who has no interest in Microsoft Word would be watching the video, especially an old version. The answer is simple: while white noise like rain showers or ocean waves help some people, others find it easier to nod off to human yammering.