MTV’s “The Buried Life” crosses SDSU off bucket list

Noah Brown

Dave Lingwood and Jonnie Penn of MTV’s “The Buried Life” were on campus Oct. 18. They laughed and joked about their various experiences of traveling around the country and crossing items off their “bucket list.”

Dave and Jonnie are half of the “Buried Life” crew and aimed to inspire the roughly 500 students at their presentation in the Performing Arts Center. They shared the story of how four bored Canadians, ready for a change in their lives, decided to take a road trip and cross some items off their bucket list. They also decided to cross an item off a stranger’s list for every one they accomplished. Little did they know how that road trip would transform their lives forever.

Helping others has become a staple of “The Buried Life” — Dave and Jonnie talked about their experience in helping a father find his son who he hadn’t seen in 20 years.

They also talked about the very first time they helped a man cross something off his list. He wanted to give back to the homeless shelter where he had lived for two years by buying pizza for the whole place. When they went to meet the man they discovered that his life was on the brink of falling apart: his truck, and only way to work, had just broken down. So they decided to try helping him get a new truck. They called everyone they could think of, and eventually convinced an auto dealer to sell a $2,800 pick-up for only $400. This was a transformational moment for the group, and they knew that this was what they wanted to do for the rest of their lives.

Shortly after this first trip and the media attention it produced, the group received many offers for their own television show. But there was one problem: the shows would not give creative control to the group, which is something the “Buried Life” guys wanted nothing to do with. So they decided to hold out until they could make something that they had control over. Then they got a call from MTV.

MTV was offering a model where the guys had full creative control over the content of the show. This had some pretty hilarious consequences, from crashing the Playboy mansion, to streaking a soccer match and almost playing basketball with the President.

Last week the “Buried Life” guys found themselves in Brookings — probably not the most exciting place they have ever been. But they made the most of their time and seemed to have fun doing it. They signed books and took photos with many in attendance afterwards.

At the end of their show they shared a secret hidden video from the White House of the guys actually shooting a few hoops with President Obama, a surprise that shocked the audience, proving that absolutely anything is possible if you dream big and go after it.