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Teach English? TV On The Radio Drummer Says, 'Will Do'

When people on TV shows run into celebrities in New York, it’s usually not in Brooklyn. But there are more people worthy of starring in a celebrity English lesson than you might think on the other side of the East River. On a recent visit to Union Pool to see Reverend Vince Anderson, a friend pointed out that the guitarist in the band was none other than Jaleel Bunton, drummer for Brooklyn-based, world famous band, TV On The Radio. In fact, Jaleel has DJed before at the bar where my friend works.

“Do you think he’d do a lesson for English, baby!” I asked?

“We can check,” he said.

So at the intermission, we edged our way through the crowd toward Jaleel. He immediately agreed to help us teach spoken English to fans overseas and suggested the alley behind the bar as a quiet place to do the interview.

I handed my friend my iPhone and asked Jaleel to talk about the title of a recent TVOTR song, “Will Do,” and explain how this phrase can be used. The result was this English lesson. He did a great job. You can’t even tell that he had no warning. Note the cars on the freeway overpass in the background.

Jaleel was happy to contribute to our mission to help people around the world learn slang, but after he explained the idiom “will do,” he took a moment to question its usefulness in present-day America. This didn’t make the final edit of the lesson video, but enjoy this outtake in which Jaleel expresses some concern that if ESL students from China come to New York and use “will do” in a conversation, it may not go well for them.

I may not be from Brooklyn, but I really think you’ll be fine if you use this expression anywhere in the US. And certainly, your girlfriend or boyfriend won’t mind if you use it like in the TV On The Radio song.

One Response to “Teach English? TV On The Radio Drummer Says, 'Will Do'”

  1. MovingOn Says:

    Great video; I love how you got the interview from a chance encounter. And “will do” is an interesting one to discuss; I wasn’t even really thinking it was an idiom at first.

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