Dynamic duct tape duo preach the power of patching

| Thursday, Sept. 23, 2010

It won't be hard to spot the Duct Tape Guys at this weekend's Fall Home Improvement Expo.

Just look for the big guys with the funny hats made of the silvery, sticky stuff. The ones who look like the Tin Man crossed with Z.Z. Top.

"What we do on stage is duct tape stand-up comedy," Tim Nyberg says. "It's prop comedy. It's bizarre. It's kind of surreal. It's a 'Dumb and Dumber'-type deal. Maybe Bob and Doug MacKenzie meet Bob Villa and Carrot Top."

Nyberg and his brother-in-law Jim Berg have made a career out of devising uses for duct tape, from the practical to the outlandish. They've written seven books, including "The Jumbo Duct Tape Book" and "Duct Shui" as well "Duct Tape Page-A-Day Calendars."

They tout "The ultimate power tool" at home shows, comedy clubs and conventions and radio. They've also appeared on the Discovery Channel, the History Channel and Fox.

"We're duct tape evangelists," Nyberg says. "We're humbly sharing the gospel of duct tape."

That gospel teaches that anything can be fixed with duct tape, which Nyberg says was first used by the military during World War II to keep moisture out of ammunition cases. He and Berg conceived their tape franchise during a power outage on Christmas Eve 1993. The two began compiling a list of the applications for duct tape -- and "The Duct Tape Book" was born.

Their last book, "Stump the Duct Tape Guys" (Andrews McMeel Publishing) even said that duct tape could help a student choose which college to attend. Simply duct-tape the ceiling and toss all the catalogs up.

"Most of the catalogs will stick to the tape but then eventually fall again, one by on," they write. "The last one remaining on the duct tape is the college you should attend. This will probably be the lightest catalog, usually meaning fewer classes and more party time."

Nyberg and Berg have served as judges for the Stuck at Prom Duck Brand Duct Tape Scholarship Contest, in which students designed a prom tux or gown out of duct tape.

At this weekend's home show, they'll emcee a duct tape fashion show at 3 p.m.Saturday. Contestants are encouraged to wear their most inventive outfits made from duct tape. Winners receive iPod Nanos. Nyberg says they'll offer hints on using duct tape to design Halloween costumes.

"I think duct tape in itself is kind of intrinsically funny," Nyberg says. "You walk along and see something fixed with duct tape and it tells a story about the ability to repair things correctly or not by the person who fixed it."

When they're not saving the world as duct tape superheros, the two live in Door, Wisconsin, where Nyberg is a graphic designer and advertising/marketing consultant and Berg is an educational consultant for families with special needs children.

Additional Information:

The Duct Tape Guys

When: 4:30 and 7 p.m. Friday, noon, 2, 3 and 7 p.m. Saturday, noon and 2 p.m. Sunday

Expo hours: Noon- 9 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday. (The Steelers/Tampa Bay game will be shown Sunday on multiple 72-inch TV screens.)

Admission: $8, $7 military, police, fire and EMT personnel; children 10 and under free. Free Saturday to contestants in Duct Tape Fashion Show

Where: Fall Home Improvement Expo, Monroeville Convention Center

Details: pitthomeshow.com

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