By Nicholas Eskey
If you label yourself a “nerd” and wear it with pride, undoubtedly you already follow Chris Hardwick’s Nerdist News. The quick witted comedian and mega-nerd took heads the podcast driven news network for nerds with a wonderful collection of colleagues and special guests, discussing everything from the current state of all things in popular culture. Collected to join in the discussion were Jessica Chobot, main-host and producer, Adam Rymer, president, Rachel Heine, editor and chief, Dan Casey, entertainment editor, Malik Forte, gaming editor, Kyle Hill, sites editor, Matt Grosinger, music coverage, and Alicia Lutes, managing editor.
The majority of the Nerdist News panel was in the form of a question and answer discussion, but Chris Hardwick made sure that he spent some time addressing Nerdist News in whole, with particular emphasis on the community that surrounds the site. As a reflection of some of the best and worst of said community, is the comments section.
“Sometimes when sites get bigger, the comments sections become dick magnets,” said Chris. He further explained that the community needs to stay a positive collective, but this sometimes is difficult with the few that decide to cause nothing but trouble. “If you continue to be a dick, you get banned. And if you don’t like it, you can suck it,” added Chris with an uproar of laughter and applause by the crowd. He then acknowledged the person they have designated to read all the comments, and offered his condolences to her. “And some of them are not nice.”
Having a place in popular culture, both in the nerdy and non-nerdy community, sports play a large role (and I’m not just talking about the fantasy variety). Adam Rymer talked about how the site is continuing work on “Nerdy Sports” and a section called “Kicking and Screaming.” To this Christ Hardwick admitted that he doesn’t follow much of sports, “but it’s obviously not going anywhere.” Adam then redirected the focus back to the website and spoke about how they have people working on a “new technology that will allow everyone to connect with these guys on stage, and with each other.”
“It’s really about you guys,” said Chris Hardwick. “I hate seeing sites that were a lovely conversation ground turn into the river of slime from the Ghost Busters  movie.”
Asked what he’s recently been working on, Dan Casey said, “Super hero movies, super hero movies, super hero movies,” commenting on how much there has been and still more to come in the super hero franchises that have been so hot lately.
It was Jessica Chobot that had the most to say with new, up and coming podcasts. “Nerdist News ‘Bizarre States’ is doing surprisingly well,” she said. “Soon we’ll be doing on site podcasts at haunted houses, murder sites… UFO sightings, ghosts, murders… If it’s weird, we want to talk about it.” She also mentioned that they’ll be getting back to their video game podcasts.
Also, keeping up with the scientific discussions on the website, Kyle Hill discussed some nerdy scientific issues. Kyle likes to explore the validity of the science in science fiction movies, books, comics, and etc (like how a Star Destroyer lands on a planet still much intact). “A great one recently was if Kylo Ren could lift Thor’s hammer, whether with the intent to wield it or with the force?” This elicited “ows” from audience and from the fellow panelists. “Superman, do you even lift bro?” quipped Chris Hardwick.
My personal favorite moment of the panel was when the question came up whether Nerdist News will get involved with programs or podcasts dealing with the education of children. Chris Hardwick, never missing a beat, went into a full on sung rendition of “The Children are our Future.” His performance, complete with hand gestures and pregnant pauses, was met with cheers and applause. After he had finished, he immediately said “Yes, you were saying?”
Nerdist News is a wonderful website that offers a wide array of podcasts and boasts a very active community. I do agree, that it is unfortunate when certain individuals decide to act as a chaotic entity and disrupts the harmony. It’s great that Chris Hardwick and the others are willing to keep the community together, active, and healthy. If you haven’t already, check them out at www.nerdist.com.
The Beat Staff is an elite group of trained ninjas.