John Austin has been delighting people his whole life with a talent for talking backward.
Since the age of five, when he accidentally played the Mary Poppins record backwards and learned to sing with it, this 51-year-old has been speaking apparent gibberish—but now with smartphones, he can play it backward so others can confirm that his translation is spot-on.
For instance, instead of ‘How are you doing?’, he says it backward: “Gniod uoy era woh“?”
Austin uses an iPhone app, Reversercam, and records himself saying something backwards. When anyone hears the playback, that’s when they become true believers.
Living in Charlotte, North Carolina, he created a name for himself, Backwords Dude, on YouTube, and has captivated audiences on TV and the internet with his incredible ability to take phrases—and even entire songs—and flip them around in his brain to recite them backwards.
Like Elon Musk, John says he has Asperger’s, which is on the autism spectrum: “I have always been ashamed of this talent because it shows I am different and I was told that was bad by family, teachers, friends, and peers,” writes Austin on his YouTube channel.
But then he typed ‘talking backwards’ into a google search and was “shocked” at what he found: A couple of guys in Hollywood were doing the same thing, and becoming known for their talent.
So John started making his own videos, and now his YouTube channel has over 16,000 subscribers.
In this video John visits New York City where he shows off his skill for people in Union Square who are stunned and amazed…