David Zed – Robot Comedian, Songster, and more.

by Nathan Stout (of AccordingToWhim.com)

Ladies and gentlemen I present to you: David Zed

It’s probably a good bet you don’t know who David Zed is (if you are American, that is). I didn’t know who David Zed was until I stumbled across him last week.

I was browsing Kraftwerk music at work. If you don’t know who Kraftwerk is… you need to go search for them. I suggest you look for their 2004 concert videos. Kraftwerk is a German Electronic band from the 70’s. These dudes INVENTED Electronica. Their song Radioactivity is particulary topical (even after all these years thanks to the Japan Nuclear crisis). As I was browsing I saw one of the ‘suggested’ videos by a group called The Rockets. You probably haven’t heard of the Rockets either. They are a 70’s & 80’s pop/electronic band from France that dressed like silver spacemen. I found their song Galatica and fell it love with it. I soon found out that The Rockets have a tribute band called The Universal Band which does a cover of Galatica that rocks.

Where was I??????

Oh yeah! I was browsing Kraftwerk, The Rockets, and The Universal Band and saw some song called ‘Robot’ by a guy named David Zed. It was a 80’s Italian top 40 hit. It’s pretty catchy (even if you can’t understand what the hell he is singing about). He was also VERY good at doing ‘the robot’ (titled in Italian: Balla Robot). He really looks like an automaton. I did some more searching and found that David Zed also had a couple of other songs but I didn’t really like that (sorry Dave).

On the same search results was this robot-themed comedian called Zed. I watched his clips (from various US shows like Regis and Kathylee). He does the whole ‘comedian robot of the future’ act. The strange thing is that I kept seeing this robot song mixed into the search results for this comedian.

I then started doing searches for name of the guy in the music video. I found his real name: David Kirk Traylor… Once armed with name I was able to discover so much more (including the Italian Wikipedia page).

Wait a second that robot song guy from the early eighties is this VERY American speaking Robot comedian??? Now I am really confused. The guy doesn’t look like the robot guy (and vice versa). I did some more searching and yes, it is him. David Zed = David Kirk Traylor = Zed The First Robot Comedian. Thanks to the interwebs you can translate languages so I read the Italian Wikipedia page and the enigma known as David Zed unfolded before my eyes.

David Kirk Traylor moved to Italy in the 70’s and found unexpected success and fame there. He made some songs (one being Balla Robot) which broke into the Italian top 40. At some point he gave up on the singing and made the transition to Robot comedian. That’s where the real confusion happened for me. At first glance I wouldn’t have thought someone to start out as an Italian singer then suddenly he is a comedian on American TV.

David became a household name in Italy and all across the globe with appearances on television including a show of his own on a satellite network. He appeared on many shows here in the US as a stand up comedian guest but never caught on.

Despite his lack of household name status in the US, he has done quote a lot of work. Check out his Internet Movie Database page. Pretty impressive list, huh.

So here is to you, David Zed. Thanks for the mini-mystery you presented to me!

Here are some more interesting links about David Zed:

  1. An Italian program that talks about when Zed performed for the Pope!
  2. Zed’s Official website.
  3. Zed’s act on a different show.
  4. David in an Italian show (without makeup) but he does a bit of his old song too!

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