March 16, 2012 was a day that will live in infamy. I stealthily slithered into the Anaheim Conventions Center’s 3rd Floor Ballroom, like a nerdy ninja, during the horrendous The Secret Circle screening, and lurked in the shadows praying for it to end. My Nerdist-loving brethren, who filled most of the seats, shared my distaste and greeted the close of the episode with thunderous applause and sarcastic comments. I grabbed a seat in the front row and, after a few moments, Chris Hardwick, of G4 and AMC’s Talking Dead fame, took to the stage…
He then screened a video that officially announced the launch and lineup of shows to be featured on YouTube’s Nerdist Channel complete with a faux press conference featuring puppets asking him questions.
Hardwick then introduced some of the talented people that will be featured in several of the shows, which included; (from left to right) Matt Mira (Nerdist podcast, Just Cos), Chloe Dykstra (Just Cos), Emily Gordon (Indoor Kids), Kumail Nanjiani (Indoor Kids), Steve Agee (The Sarah Silverman Program, Indoor Kids), Justin Donaldson (Tournament of Nerds), Alison Haislip (Attack of the Show, Four Points, Course of the Force) and Alex Albrecht (Four Points).
Some of the shows announced were;
- Ain’t It Cool with Harry Knowles
- Chris Hardwick’s All Star Bowling
- Comic Book Club Live
- Cute Things Exploding
- Face to Face with Weird Al Yankovic
- Kids in the Hall
Those are just a sampling of the shows that will premiere when the channel goes live on April 2nd. A few more future series will premiere at a later date, such as;
- Four Points with Alex Albrecht
- Hero Complex with Geoff Boucher
- Just Cos
- Neil Patrick Harris’ Puppetopia
This enterprise is not just a pet project for Chris Harwick, as his company, Nerdist Industries, has partnered with Broadway Video and The Jim Henson Company to bring it to fruition.
This was a fun panel but I wish some clips of the actual programming had been shown. Most of the banter that went on was just funny people riffing on geek-centric topics and while I laughed, I was also a bit disappointed. The panel did reach a high note, however, when an audience member asked Hardwick if he agreed that it was cool to be a nerd these days.
“I definitely think it’s more widely accepted, when I was growing up it was not a cool thing to do and we were socially ostracized…now, I think what happened is, my generation (and) the generation before, they grew up and became super geniuses who created all the things that run our culture now…nerds make the shiny things that distract mouth-breathers and that’s why the movement is powerful. There’s money in what nerds do, which means it’s political and there’s power…certainly, it’s comparatively way cooler than it was before (to be a nerd). Some people say, “Oh, is this just a fad?” It’s not a fad because we still love the things that we love and a nerd’s true superpower is to try to understand something and live it more than any other living creature. And that’s never going to go away so, the “fair weather” nerds that are just trying to take advantage of the things that we love, (they) can’t fake it for too long, they will fall off! So you guys just stay strong and it’s not going anywhere. You’ll be fine…”
The room was abuzz after that and Hardwick then handed us lightsabers and we all took the city of Anaheim by force while chanting, “Nerds! Nerds! Nerds!” Many lives were lost on the glorious battlefield that fateful day and…
…actually, we all just dispersed in an orderly fashion and exited the ballroom but can’t a boy dream?!