"Talk Show Host" as written by Thomas Yorke, Colin Charles Greenwood, Jonathan Richard Guy Greenwood, Edward John O'brien and Philip Selway....
I want to
I want to be someone else or I'll explode
Floatin' upon this surface for the birds,
The birds
The birds

You want me?
Fuckin' well, come and find me.
I'll be waitin'
With a gun and a pack of sandwiches,
And nothin'
Nothin'
Nothin'

You want me?
Well, come and break the door down.
You want me?
Fuckin' come and break the door down.
I'm ready, I'm ready, I'm ready,
I'm ready,
I'm ready


Lyrics submitted by mo0stah

"Talk Show Host" as written by Thomas Yorke, Colin Charles Greenwood, Jonathan Richard Guy Greenwood, Edward John O'brien, Philip Selway

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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Talk Show Host song meanings
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  • +8
    Song MeaningI believe the song is one of a person's transition from loss soul turning corrupt through their own narration of events.
    The first verse shows someone who is struggling with themselves and is almost begging to be another person then who they already are. The last line to me means that he's given up hope and is "food for the birds." He has died on the inside at this point

    The next line is where this lost soul is given up following the rules of society and almost entered into insanity. The first line shows anger and that he is taunting his enemies to come get him, losing all hope previously has allowed him to not care anymore about his actions and feels no limitations or consequences to his actions. The last line with a gun and a pack of sandwiches to me shows that he is not bounded by his conscious to act within a reasonable manner (the gun) but that he is almost insane by this new freedom that he doesn’t realize how far out of the realm of society he has fallen (the sandwiches, a very abnormal thing to carry along with a gun, and almost adds an innocence to his gun and actions because he no longer has any grip to the extent of what he is doing) the last line also stresses the loss of hope he has had and that nothing can affect him anymore. He has no soul and does not care what happens to him


    The last verse is the consequences of his actions and the deep hole that he has lead him to. Its almost as this verse is the consequences to his actions in the second one. He has ultimately destroyed his enemies and this is almost society now fighting at him for what he did. He is "hiding behind a door, waiting for it to be broken down" almost as if this is authority coming after him. He just keeps repeating this showing that he is not afraid, but just waiting and is "ready", showing again that by hitting bottom previously that he is ready for what ever comes to him because it doesn’t matter to him anymore. He had already died on the inside at the start of the song, therefore he is not scared of anything else befalling him, even death its self
    angel221on May 11, 2011   Link
  • +4
    General CommentYou can’t have me. I am so beyond your scope of reality there is nothing between you and me besides this gun and pack of sandwiches. LOUD everything. Nothing abounds on this frontier. No reservations. Death has no beginning. I am that leech. So come at me if you dare break that door down. I’m ready. Are you?
    vickytoria623on February 22, 2014   Link
  • +3
    General CommentWell, good for everyone else's interpretations, which are all basically the same (except for that Carlito's Way one, interesting). But he's a brand new one for ya.

    Yes, we all want to be someone else and whatever, i get that. But my point is from the second and third verses, if you call them that. It seems like a strained, violent relationship. Like, you want them (you want me, fuckin come on and break the door down, I'm ready...), but the violence is sort of a turn on, get me?

    I don't know about everyone else, but the whole concept of telling someone to break the door down if they want you, sounds erotic in a way. I can't really see past that.
    Evil Fentoozleron March 30, 2005   Link
  • +3
    General CommentThis song makes me cry. It's just... it's everything I can't explain, all this hidden up anger put into words. My dissatisfaction with myself, with the world, with everyone else. It's everything.
    razzberrryon October 24, 2013   Link
  • +2
    General CommentSongs mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. At certain points in my life, when I heard it, it meant something to me that is somewhat different from some of you. I think that, that is the important and valuable thing about music. It doesn't really matter what the author meant. You can derive any meaning from the song that you want.

    For me, the first verse was very literal. "I wanna be someone else or I'll explode." I can't stand who I am and if it doesn't change I will just explode. The second and third verses, to me, were (for me) a plea to god, if you want me, come and get me. It was about not knowing what god's intentions were. Did god want me to be miserable? Did god want me to kill myself? Did god want me to take a certain path before he'd let me be happy? Whatever the case may have been, "if you want me, fucking well, come and find me, I'm waiting." It was saying to god, "What the fuck do you want from me?!"
    ENEMYACEon November 28, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentTo me this song is about a guy in a particularly stressful situation that he wishes he could escape, and he begins to change his attitude from wishing to be someone else to a come and get me attitude it's as though he'd rather hide from the problems than face them even though he says he's ready he's still hiding with sandwiches and a gun.
    kaisuteon May 30, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentOne of the most infulential and meaningful songs iv'e heard in a while, Talk Show Host is seriously a song that reaches out to fans. i mean come on the depth of the lyrics illustrates how someone wants to "be someone else" yet that im "ready" to fight off anyone who tries to.

    this is clearly seen in Romeo + Juliet (awesome movie) when Romeo is in 'love' with Rosalie and is denial to the fact that she doesn't feel the same way. Talk Show Host was played throughout this scene where Romeo is writing in his journal expressing his feelings about Rosalie. point is, its a mad song that literally creates mixed emotions from anyone. we need more songs like this!
    Aliqueon November 28, 2008   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationWow... This song is like my life. Wishing I was someone else but still taking the shit that everyone throws at me.. And wanting someone I cant have.. But telling them to fucking well come and get me anyway Coz I wont give up!
    Also, Was Watching Romeo and Juliet in English, (and quite enjoying it) Then Radiohead came on!!
    One way to make 30 teenagers pay attention!
    My Friend Reckons this song is about sex. The chord progression actually does sound quite erotic.. :P
    mscalmbeforethestormon December 15, 2010   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningSomeone that is perhaps very restless and crazy in their minds to the point they want to explode. That is perhaps due to a great amount of sanity. I am on this earth, laying on the surface of this earth just for the brave birds and I am ready to be eaten by scavengers like yourself. I AM HERE, I am meat, I am your potential prey. You want me? Come n get it. I'll be very casual in nature, however. You want me? Come on and fight for your meat, for your dinner. You want me? How badly? Break the door down if you have to. I am ready to see how badly...I'm ready....
    marynoyoon March 23, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Commentpersonally, i loev this song, i heard it in the romeo and juliet movie and i feel in love with radiohead. it seems to me this is about someone crawling inside their skin wanting to be someone else but also in like a survival mode state..just sayin "you want me, fuckin come on and break the door down, im ready" taking all the shit the life brings even though he can't be someone else.
    Ava Adoreon April 14, 2002   Link

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