What's a world without heroes? As the great Gene Simmons once explained, it's "like a world without sun," a place so dark and sad not even Kiss' 'Music from the Elder' makes people chuckle. In a sense, asking, "What do Daft Punk look like without their helmets?" is akin to willingly visiting this dreary world. The French duo of Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo are larger-than-life dance-pop superheroes -- funky android avengers sent back from the future to give us a taste of how humans get down in the 23rd century, after they've abolished war and achieved sweet singularity with the machines.

And yet you clicked here, so that must mean you want to see Bangalter and de Homem-Christo sans robot masks. Scroll down to see Daft Punk without their helmets, but first, know this: You're only hurting yourself. These dudes haven't always rocked the costumes, and it took them a long time to cultivate the kind of mystique you're about to piss away. Initially, Daft Punk were a rock trio called Darlin' -- drummer Laurent Brancowitz now plays guitar for Phoenix -- and they apparently weren't very good, because the name Daft Punk comes from one unimpressed critic's assessment of their music.

Daft Punk's robot gear came after they'd ditched guitars for synths and computers and dropped their first album, 1997's 'Homework.' Their sophomore effort, 2001's 'Discovery,' made them superstars, and if 2005's 'Human After All' didn't exactly get the world grooving, this year's 'Random Access Memories' -- featuring the summer jam to end all summer jams, 'Get Lucky' -- sure as hell did.

In a 2006 Mixmag interview, Banglater said the robot masks originally stemmed from shyness but then came to mean more. "It's the idea of being an average guy with some kind of superpower," he said. OK, now you're ready to see Daft Punk without their helmets. Scroll down, ruin the magic, and then go open all your Christmas presents early and push the Easter bunny down a flight of stairs.

Daft Punk without helmets

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