Founder, CEO and creative head of Nerdist Industries, Chris Hardwick literally does it all. When he’s not hosting the new nightly comedy-game show @Midnight, he’s breaking down the latest episode of “The Walking Dead” on his show “Talking Dead,” or recording his wildly successful Nerdist podcasts, or doing stand-up comedy, or voicing a cartoon character on Nickelodeon’s “Sanjay and Craig.” (Are you exhausted, yet?) And to top it all off, he just got engaged to Lydia Hearst.
So when he challenged me to a bowling showdown (which I won), I had to hear first-hand about the guy who revolutionized what it means to be a “nerd.” In fact, being a nerd is the new cool.
“It’s funny when I was growing up, being called a nerd was a terrible thing to say to someone,” Chris told me. “And now, the worst thing you can say to someone in our world is you’re a fake nerd, you’re not a real nerd.”
For years, Chris has been ahead of the curve and it seems like everyone is noticing. His Nerdist podcast has attracted everyone from Tom Hanks to Bill Gates. But, of all the guests to star on Chris’ podcast, his favorite and most memorable was his father who passed away suddenly a year-and-a-half after they taped the podcast.
Chris has publicly discussed his struggles and shared his experiences, hoping his story will help benefit others. And that’s the whole point of everything Chris does; to talk to interesting people and build a community to help him and others improve themselves.
“Nerds made the technology that operates our culture now. So I wanted to start something that just reflected what I was interested in, and that’s why I started Nerdist, and it taught me the value of pursuing things that you’re passionate about.”
Modern culture is truly the ultimate revenge of the nerds. The nerds won.
Catch Chris’ ‘@Midnight’ every Monday through Thursday night on Comedy Central and ‘Talking Dead’ every Sunday night on AMC, plus check out the latest action on Nerdist.com
Watch our complete interview: