Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Podiwan Review 5 – Nerdist

The totally plugged in and constantly available on every podcast known to man nerdist himself, Chris Hardwick ( @nerdist ) is a charming host and an expert snark. He knows everybody in the business including Weird Al Yankovic @alyankovic and Thomas Lennon @thomaslennon (Officer Dangle from Reno 911) and, 'get of gets', he got Stan Lee on a recent podcast doing a Q & A at the NAB in Las Vegas. He does especially well with quick witted people whose minds are razor sharp and amphetamine fast and willing to go way down the path to make a premise pay off. EPs run about an hour and are sitting in the living room comfortable with one or two guests.

True to Nerdist ideals the talk centers on tech but quickly devolves to comedy, popular culture, food, pitch meetings and the issues of writing comedy. My favorite episode was Adam Savage @donttrythis from the Mythbusters TV show. This EP was done in front of a live audience (at UCB, I think) and Savage did his first ever stand up and killed. I was never not interested. Least favorite was the Muppets. It seemed staged (duh) and lacked the rapier repartee that I enjoy most about Hardwick.  However, it was interesting enough to listen to all the way through.

Hardwick also tours doing stand up, recently opening for Joel McHale (the Soup). There are days when the nerdist earns the Explicit warning label at iTunes willingly using marine style language to bludgeon the conversational subject into submission, but mostly, his command of the language allows him to work only slightly blue. He’s a sharp guy and the podcast educates and challenges the listener.  Then, as a payoff for the work, it also makes you laugh.

There are only 14 podcasts in the library at this point, but the venture is new and a fresh podcast goes up every week. Sometimes there's an extra bonus podcast.  All EPs are available at iTunes and on the Nerdist website.

My rating scale
Is this podcast entertaining? - Yes
Am I likely to listen to the next podcast? – Yes
Do I recommend this podcast to friends? – Regularly

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