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                               “Nerdist” YouTube Channel Launches Today

Spinning off from Chris Hardwick’s podcast, a “Nerdist” Youtube channel is launching today, featuring original programming 5 days a week from Hardwick and his friends. Mondays are new episodes of “Chris Hardwick’s All Star Celebrity Bowling”. Tuesdays will alternate every other week between interview show “Face to Face w/ “Weird Al” Yankovic” and the videogame-oriented “The Indoor Kids”, starring stand-up comedian Kumail Nanjiani and his wife Emily Gordon. Wednesdays will be the self-explanatory “Comic Book Club”, while Thursdays will be “Aint It Cool”, an offshoot of the movie web site with site founder Harry Knowles. Fridays will feature “Weird S#!t From Japan” and classic “Kids In The Hall” episodes with bonus cast interviews.

You look great. Have you lost weight?

There was a new episode of Comedy Bang Bang today! Host, Scott Auckerman, aka Chak Taw, aka Hot Saucerman, invited his friend Greg Proops on the show to talk about SXSW and the podcast he has of his own called “Smartest Man in the World”. Check it out. Other guests were Paul F. Tompkins as Ice-T, and James Adomian as Jesse Ventura.  They tried out a scene for Ice-T’s new television program which combines his love for playing a police officer with his love for sci-fi and fantasy. Sounds like prime time to me.

For many, Danica McKellar played a pivotal role in their adolescence and pubescence as Winnie Cooper on “The Wonder Years”. Danica joins The Nerdist bunch to talk about even nerdier things than Paul Pfeiffer. She talked about being a mathematician. The sitcom girl-next-door has written 3 books on the subject of math, geared towards middle school and high school girls. Because smart girls can be hot, too! Host, Chris Hardwick is no stranger to math and recited pi to the 150th digit. Then they talked about nerdy song-writer Tom Lehrer, who’s written silly songs about the Table of Elements and adverbs. The nerdiest episode, to date.

This week’s episode of The Thrilling Adventure Hour starred Marc Evan Jackson, Jenny Wade, Joshua Malina, Annie Savage, Craig Cackowski, John Ennis, and Colin Hanks. The episode was titled “A Date with Destinos” and featured our old pal Sparks Nevada. He was going on his first date with Miss Rushmore and is confronted about his issues with commitment, before being confronted by Los Bandidos Mutantes. Dah DAH DAAAH! 

Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally are the cutest acting couple, in my opinion. They were both on WTF with Marc Maron today and had a lot to say about their stage acting backgrounds, their taste in music, and how they enjoy sharing the screen. You may know Megan Mullally from her many years spent on “Will and Grace” or her short time on “Party Down” or from her current role on “Children’s Hospital”. Nick, is best known as Ron Swanson on Parks and Recreation (a handsome fellow with deep-rooted convictions). Both are well-known television stars, but have their hearts in Broadway and have been together since 2000. If you’re a romantic at heart, listen to this episode.

What’s your sign?

Paul Gilmartin, host of The Mental Illness Happy Hour podcast, and Marc Maron are two very disturbed individuals that have made quite illustrious careers utilizing their neuroses. Put the two of them together on WTF with Marc Maron and you’ve got a conversation that, at times, was at the height of self-loathing. Subjects that were touched upon include: alcoholism, suicide attempts, psychotherapy, and depression. They also talked a little about comedy. It was HILARIOUS.

There was a common thread amongst the improv scenes today on Improv4Humans, which was semen and the consumption, nay, guzzling of said bodily fluid. Chad Carter, Katie Dipold and Gil Ozeri were guests and as always, Matt Besser took improv story suggestions from Twitter. There were a couple of scenes that went nowhere, but on the whole, this episode was great. It made me want to look further into my family history.

I was most excited to hear The Nerdist’s Writer’s Panel today because of Vince Gilligan, creator of Breaking Bad. And as I hoped, he provided a treasure trove of wisdom about writing and directing. The panel also included Julie Plec (developer of Vampire Diaries), Josh Friedman (developer of Sarah Connor Chronicles), and Jeff Greenstein (Desperate Housewives; Will and Grace). They all had a lot of interesting things to say; Vince Gilligan fessed that he doesn’t have Twitter or Facebook in order to avoid comments from his fans. And then a couple writers on the panel admitted that they hate writing. Listen to the ep to find out who.

Superego had a huge group of guests with Greg Proops, Patton Oswalt, Paul F. Tompkins, Chris Tallman, Jeff Davis, Susan Burke, Emily Maya Mills, Lizzy Cooperman, James Bladon, and Amanda Lund. Patton Oswalt as Richard Dawson on Family Feud was really the highlight of the show. Even though his impression is not quite the likeness of the game show host, he painted a super funny picture of what it would be like if Family Feud had a bunch of dullards on it. Paul F. Tompkins played a few of those numskull contestants like Vanessta and Dotchard. 

For many years, I was devoted to The Paul F. Tompkins show at Largo and also when he came to San Francisco. Now that I live far away from his staged comedy, I appreciate every moment with him on the Pod F. Tompkast. His openings are off the cuff and a lesson in how people used to speak in an older day. He’ll then go into his impressions on “The Great Undiscovered Project”. Today’s ep featured Werner Herzog, Cake Boss, and Arianna Huffington. Then he’ll play a recording from The Paul F. Tompkins show; this one was titled “Lice Capades”, featuring Judy Greer (recorded live at San Francisco SketchFest). As always, he has a phone conversation with his bestie, Jen Kirkman and today, “Community’s” Gillian Jacobs visited The Internet.


I have a friend who would be perfect for you.

The Nerdist cast had a fun get-together today to talk about Walking Dead, comics, and running into Lamont Dozier (writer of pretty much every Motown song you’ve heard). They also got a bit serious about bowling and how long they want to keep podcasting. Chris Hardwick says, “Until it stops being fun.” Jonah Ray thinks it might have to end when no one wants to come on the show anymore. Which made me think, while I was listening in the shower, ‘Are podcasts going to be around forever?’ God, I hope so.

If you don’t know who Hannibal Buress is, first- you’re uncool, second- this week’s ep of You Made It Weird is a great introduction to the stand-up prodigy. I’ve always enjoyed Buress’ comedy, since the first time I saw him at UCB on Halloween in ‘09. And since learning more about him as a person in his interview with Pete Holmes, I enjoy him even more. He is just naturally funny in conversation and his dedication to stand-up is admirable. 

James Adomian, comedian and impersonator, joined Kulap and Howard on Who Charted? this week. They went through the charts, mimicking Leonard Cohen and contemplating what Dub-Step Bluegrass would sound like. Howard threw out goofy scenarios to James Adomian and he acted them out the best he could, including an impression of Denzel Washington, which just sounded like a generic black man.

Nice Weather We’re Having.

The Marc and Tom Show (aka WTF with Tom Scharpling) was a change from the usual WTF programming. There was no beginning rant, instead they went right into the discussion, which was a classy conversation about how their bodies handle stress. It’s no surprise that Marc suffers from a bevy of anxiety-related physical disorders.

This week on Who Charted?,  Dave Holmes, famed MTV VJ was on the show. And although Kulap and Howard had a music savvy guest with them, the charted songs they played are easily the most unheard of songs they’ve ever heard.

Affirmation Nation with Bob Ducca is indeed a fun program, and not just because it’s always less than 5 minutes. It’s a mix of Daily Affirmation With Stuart Smalley and Beat poetry. The host Bob Ducca, played by Seth Morris, is a hypochondriac from Chicago who always wears some sort of bandage and has many undocumented illnesses and anxieties. His goal in this podcast is to vocalize his insecurities and help the listener learn self-love. Since the episodes are so extremely short, from now on, I will just provide links to the episode. All you have to do is press play!

I’ve really been enjoying Pete Holmes’ You Made It Weird, even though there’s nothing particularly different about it from other interview based podcasts. I think it’s because Pete Holmes has such an innocence about him, which seems refreshing in the comedy world. Mr. Paul F. Tompkins was his guest, whom I never tire of, despite his repeated appearances on every podcast in the networks. The seasoned comic, actor, and sometimes singer, went into detail about his time spent on the film There Will Be Blood, which he was forced to go into detail about because Pete Holmes is obsessed with that movie.

I’ll be honest, I tend to skip over The Nerdist episodes that don’t have special guests. As much as I love Chris Hardwick, the eps without guests make me feel like I’ve stumbled upon a private conversation, mumbling banter and all. But I listened to it today, okay? It was about Chris taping his stand-up special on Comedy Central called Mandroid. Look for it. It’ll come out one day.

Tonight during Doug Loves Movies, I, the listener, was at home cooking dinner and laughing uncontrollably. The not-heard-before combo of Brett Gelman and Brody Stevens was really magical. Their random outbursts were always unexpected, but seemed to be timed perfectly. Other guests included Sean Cullen and Brad Williams, self-proclaimed midget.

Oh, hello.

WTF with Marc Maron is a favorite of mine, because I think Maron is an incredible interviewer. Few of his guests have been hesitant to open up or answer honestly about otherwise, sensitive subjects. This week, he was talking to Big Jay Oakerson, whom you may know from his many television appearances and/or the nautical stars tattooed on his forearms. I enjoy Maron’s rants in the beginning of the podcasts, because they help me realize that I’m not the only person who over-analyzes day-to-day minutia. But for those who don’t like to commiserate about society’s idiosyncrasies, the monologue ends at 15:44. For the next hour, Oakerson discusses what keeps him in stand-up, despite wanting to quit the biz several times. His wild road stories sound like reason enough. Next episode is this Thursday, Feb 23— Guest will be Diablo Cody.

There have been dozens of episodes of The Nerdist thus far, so it saddens me to start blogging about it so late in the game. But, it’s no disappointment that the first Nerdist guest I get to cover is current SNL star, Seth Meyers. In today’s ep, Chris Hardwick talks with Seth Meyers about SNL (duh), his take on fame, and Lana Del Rey. Query: Is Lana Del Rey being hilariously ironic or is she really obsessed with fame and taking herself seriously? Discuss. Also, they were recording this episode in the SNL green room, so Sleigh Bells can be heard in the background doing rehearsal for their appearance on the show (2/18/12). Coincidentally, the music ends right as Chris and Seth finish the interview…ooOOOooh.

For those who don’t know, Comedy Bang Bang is an interview based show that holds up a non-structured mix of improv, made up games, and malarkey. This week on Bang Bang, host Scott Auckerman welcomed David Wain to the studio, along with his real life father, Norm and his real life son, Henry. The not-so-real life Gary Busey stopped by the studio as well to talk about his collection of birds and his faith in the Holy Spirit. In case you were curious, David Wain explained how he balances work and family (Spoiler: he’s a successful writer/director who makes the time) and reminded us all that his new movie Wanderlust comes out this Friday, Feb 24. Check out his web series “Wainy Days”, because it’s funny and easy to watch. http://www.wainydays.com/