Despite carrying around multiple toppings on the 14-inch-wide brim of his hat, Kenny Reed isn’t a fan of any of them. “I only like cheese pizza,” said Reed, also known as “the pizza hat guy” across campus.
Over the last four weeks, along with lugging new textbooks, Reed has carried around a fake pizza on the top of his head. “I just expected to get a few funny looks for the hat. I didn’t expect everyone to be talking about it,” said Reed. “People like this. I better get more of this.”
During his time at the college, Reed said, students can expect him to wear other food-related hats such as a hot dog or hamburger hat. The 18-year-old CIS student is considering making a pizza hat Facebook page in the future.
Reed became a Twitter user after hearing that people around campus were commenting on the pizza hat across social media. “I actually had it for a while but I never used it, so I guess this whole pizza hat thing got me into Twitter,” said Reed.
He has owned his pizza hat for a while but seldom wore it over the summer. Knowing Reed had an interest in silly hats, his grandmother bought him the hat as a high school graduation present. “When I got the pizza hat, I was like, ‘Oh my God, this is perfect,’” he said.
Despite walking from class to class with velvet material on his head in temperatures exceeding 80 degrees this month, Reed said, the hat only becomes an inconvenience when he needs to put headphones on. “I hardly notice the heat. If anything, it shields my head from the sun,” said Reed.
So far this semester, Reed has left his pizza hat at home twice, a mistake he wishes to avoid in the future. “Hopefully that number will be as low as possible,” said Reed about forgetting his hat.
In high school, before his pizza hat days, Reed would tell jokes around school in a deadpan voice, inspired by comedian Steven Wright. “I was quite well known for being goofy and off the wall,” he said. Some teachers even allowed Reed to tell a new joke in front of the room before class started every day.
Reed, who graduated from Columbia High School in East Greenbush, used entering high school as an opportunity to start over. ”I was actually a very different person before [high school]. I took everything too seriously,” said Reed.
Growing up with Asperger’s Syndrome, Reed had difficulties socializing. He said that he would often get depressed from having a hard time socializing with other people. “In high school, rather than being upset about it, I embraced it and become known for being kind of goofy and not the way normal people are,” he said.