The man in the can

Shelley Blundell

Crazy Kent spends his days taking his picture in a trash can

Kent Seaver has been touring the country with his trash can since 2002. Seaver travels to famous and historical monuments and then poses for pictures in front of them with his can. He said he sometimes gets celebrities to pose in his trash can, too.

Credit: Andrew popik

Getting “trashed” is all in a day’s work for local entrepreneur Kent Seaver.

Known to friends and fans across the nation as “Crazy Kent,” Seaver now makes his living from a trash can — literally.

“It all started when I was at King’s Island in Cincinnati in 2002,” Seaver reminisced. “I was walking past this big trash can, and I said, ‘Hey, wouldn’t it be funny if there was a guy in there?’”

The idea grew into the Crazy Kent phenomenon.

Seaver, who already owned his own Web site and was looking to give the page more focus, used the site as the start-up point for his concept.

“The more I played with the idea, the more I liked it,” he said. “I wanted to do something the people who knew me would be interested in.

“Also, because I still live at home, my number one goal was it could not be offensive.”

So Seaver began traveling and getting pictures of himself in his green trash can. Sometimes friends would go with Seaver on his various journeys. But as his interests grew, so did the trips, often excluding friends who had other commitments.

“I had a few jobs, and I would save up money for a while and then just go,” Seaver said.

“But not everyone could do that — there were times when I was a thousand miles from home thinking to myself, ‘This isn’t funny. I do this all the time,’ but then I take my shots, go home and everything works out.”

And while Seaver and his various friends and photographers find the experience fun, they have encountered a few malicious moments.

“There was one time when we were walking downtown in Canton, and this guy in a white van yelled ‘F— you!’ out his window and then flipped us the bird,” said John Johnson, a Crazy Kent photographer and Seaver’s long-time friend.

Seaver noted he hates the state of vulnerability he’s in while in his trash can but loves the experience as a whole.

“My fifth Crazy Kent trip was to New York City — when we were there, I said to my friends, ‘I’m going to be on MTV.’ I didn’t go there hoping. I went there knowing,” Seaver said.

While Seaver didn’t make it into the actual studio, he did appear briefly in a shot outside the TRL studios. The clip is now on his Web site,

Seaver has managed to coerce a few celebrities into his trash can, such as Bobcat Goldthwait, Henry Rollins and Jim Breuer.

But Seaver said, without a doubt, his favorite canned celebrity was Andrew W.K.

“There’s times where he’s spotted me first at various concerts — he yells, ‘Hey, Crazy Kent!’ and pulls me over to whatever group he’s with,” Seaver said.

When asked why he is willing to accompany Seaver on so many of his ‘Crazy Kent’ journeys, Johnson explained it was because he was up for anything.

“I can drop stuff on a dime and go, and it’s always guaranteed to be a crazy good time,” Johnson said.

Seaver also provides incentive for his Crazy Kent photographers by way of awards — there is the “five-plus cities” award, the “tri-state” award and the most coveted award of all, the “speed bonus.”

“It’s the purple heart of all the awards,” Seaver explained. “A photographer gets the award, if he gets a speeding ticket on the way to or from a shooting locale.”

The idea started on a trip to Washington, D.C. Racing down with friends to catch a free Andrew W.K. concert — and a few Crazy Kent shots, Seaver received a speeding ticket. Now, any photographer who shares this honor receives the speed award.

Seaver said he hopes to someday take his trash can to the international level and has been corresponding with a fan in Austria who is currently selling Seaver’s merchandise in Europe.

But for now, Seaver is “relocating his headquarters” to Florida, where he is moving with his family Friday.

As a final farewell, Seaver will be DJing as Crazy Kent at Thursday’s Lounge in Akron Thursday, starting at 9 p.m.

Contact general assignment reporter Shelley Blundell at [email protected].