Chris Hardwick is synonymous with nerd. Founder of Nerdist, “a place,” he says, “where we nerds come together and share the nerdery that we find,” a home to what he calls “the various elements of the Nerdist Empire.” He and these “various elements”—Nerdist.com, the Nerdist News daily e-newsletter, a premium YouTube channel, the Nerdist Podcast–have been much the major force in the Nerdist revolution, a revolution from which the nerds would seem to have emerged victorious taking no prisoners. To listen to Chris Hardwick: Mandroid the uncensored and extended CD from Comedy Central there is no “seeme”d about it: it is an hour of standup that exults in Captain Picard and the Atari 2600, and rubs the noses of jocks in Quidditch, of hipsters in ComicCon.
Previously aired on Comedy Central in November, the set was recorded in New York City at the Skirball Center for Performing Arts before an audience of nerds, nerd lovers, relatives, and nerd “wannabees.” These were Hardwick’s people eager for the word from the nerd in chief, and he gave it to them. Whether he was riffing on his early failures with the fair sex, shark anatomy, or his “success” with a randy hamster, he was preaching to the choir, and they, had he not had a few choice words to say about science and religion, would have been more than happy to give him a standing amen.
Nerdism aside, Hardwick is a truly clever comic with some really creative material. His observations on underwear branding especially for men and not for ladies are classic. His take on sex in the old days when you couldn’t just do a control-z and fingering was all the rage is priceless. Whether he is suggesting possible uses for a bishop topped chess trophy, explaining his teasing John Mayer tweets, or delivering a diatribe on the difficulty of getting out of Facebook , he knows how to work an audience. And his bit about the vampire and his girlfriend may be in bad taste, but it will get you laughing through the groans.
Although Hardwick’s appeal may not always extend to older audiences, those of us who have trouble getting aps on our iPhones and programming VCRs let alone DVRs, there is no denying he speaks to an audience with a demographic much more greatly prized. Hardwick is theirs; Mandroid is for them.