Stand-up comedian and podcaster Chris Hardwick is taking his show to the Boulder Theater on Friday with “Nerdist Podcast: Live.” Hardwick, along with co-hosts Jonah Ray and Matt Mira, are taking the famous Nerdist podcast, which has made 173 episodes in the past two years, out of the office and across the country. They are entertaining their fans in person with comedy and conversation. Chris Hardwick was able to talk to the CU Independent about the live show, being a nerd in today’s culture and more.
CU Independent: This Boulder show seems to be the start of a string of “Nerdist: Podcast Live” shows. Why did you decide to take the podcast on the road?
Chris Hardwick: Well, we’re all stand-up comedians, so we felt like it made a lot of sense. I’ve been doing stand-up shows for years, so it seemed like, ‘oh, why not do a full live show experience and really make it more than just stand-up.’
CUI: Do you have anything special planned for the live shows?
Hardwick: For Boulder, we have a friend of ours, Phil Plait, and he’s a super great guy, really funny … And he writes for Discover blogs and he’s based in Colorado so we’re going to have him on.
CUI: Who has been your favorite guest on the show, the best interview?
Hardwick: The best interview? Oh, that’s hard. We don’t really interview, we have conversations with people. Some are more energetic, some are more low-key. The one we just did with Conan O’Brien was really fantastic, Bryan Cranston was great, Penn Jellite was fun, the Muppets were fun … It really has been just an incredible experience to meet these people and interact and find out what makes them tick. To really just talk to them on a very human level, about what they like and what they’re into. It’s great.
CUI: A lot of your career is based around being a nerd and nerd-humor, which has been this huge force in pop culture recently. How did you decide nerd-empowerment was your path?
Hardwick: I guess it really started with me wanting to talk about and covering the things I cared about. And while I was doing it I realized, ‘we’re at a time in our culture where this is okay, it’s acceptable.’ Because it definitely wasn’t when I was growing up. It was still very niche and when I thought back I remembered a time when you were not really ashamed of the stuff you were into, but you weren’t super public about it. Because, you just didn’t want to get ridiculed … So now I feel like this culture is powerful and we should celebrate the things we love. We should be happy about it and not ashamed or afraid to be open about it. That’s one of the reasons we’re doing this big Light Saber Run at ComicCon in July, to sort of celebrate the stuff that we love, publicly.
CUI: You do stand-up, you act, you MC events, you write, you do the podcast … Is there anything you haven’t done that you want to try?
Hardwick: I would love to do a chess-based show.
CUI: A chess-based show?
Hardwick: Yeah, I was in chess club, and I would love to do something chess related.
CUI: That’s kind of awesome. What would it be? Writing about chess or a chess podcast?
Hardwick: It would probably be a show for the YouTube channel. I just don’t know … I haven’t figured it out yet. But, I’m thinking about it.
CUI: So, what’s coming up next for you? Any new projects or more podcasts?
Hardwick: We had Tim & Eric (of Adult Swim) on today, that will go on soon. Tenacious D is coming up, Neil Patrick Harris … We just had Willem Dafoe. Rob Riggle is coming up.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Isa Jones at Alexandra.firstname.lastname@example.org.