Despite never claiming the crown in a fancy reality TV competition, Chris Hardwick (aka @Nerdist) could rightly be called King of the Nerds. A stand-up comic, Hardwick burst into our consciousness as the guy who stood next to Jenny McCarthy on Singled Out. Later, he would contribute to Attack of the Show, travel the country MCing panels at various Comic Cons and start the Nerdist podcast. Now, Hardwick is working as the host of AMC’s Walking Dead aftershow, The Talking Dead and his new show, The Nerdist, is about to kick off on BBC America as a part of their Supernatural Saturday’s lineup.
Given the chance to talk to Hardwick on a conference call this afternoon, we asked about his late night ambitions, which Doctor he’d like to bring back for the 50th Anniversary, and the chances of a Singled Out Kickstarter. Before we get to that, though, take a look at what Hardwick had to say when a some of the other writers on the call asked about his new show and whether he would choose The Walking Dead or Doctor Who if forced to make a choice.
Hardwick on The Walking Dead vs. Doctor Who:
The only difference between the two shows is… there are many, many, many seasons of Doctor Who, so I guess just for having more content to watch over a period of time… But then, see if I take Walking Dead and I’m only allowed one thing, then it reminds me that I’ve been in some kind of apocalypse, basically watching a drama about the apocalypse.
I don’t know, but then I feel like, if the TARDIS just popped up in Atlanta then the doctor might find the source of the zombieism and cure all the walkers somehow. Its probably some sort of an alien virus that he could change the frequency [of] with a sonic screwdriver and manipulate it and then cure everyone.
On his new BBC America show, The Nerdist, and how it’ll differ from his previous BBC America specials:
Its similar but different […] The set’s more casual and there are sketches and games on the show and its really kinda like a big hangout. The last act of every show is stand-up, because I really feel like theirs not enough stand-up comedy on television and I know a lot of really funny people. We got amazing comics that I love.
On the guests that we can expect for this season of The Nerdist:
We aimed really high with the guests this season […] We got most of the people that we shot out for — Seth Rogen, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Zack Galifianakis, Buzz Aldrin, Katee Sackhoff, Morena Baccarin, Gillian Jacobs, and Guillermo del Toro. Its been an insane lineup. I would put the guest lineup against any network late night talk show, and its really just a hangout chat. I don’t think it feels like an interrogation with the guests.
I think it kinda has the soul of the podcast but [its] structured a little more like television, so in the end, I think we wound up with a a nice, fun relaxed Saturday night show.
Around the middle of the call, we got a chance to ask Mr. Hardwick a few questions. Here’s what he had to say.
Nerdbastards: Could you see taking The Nerdist format and expanding it to a nightly, late night talk show at some point? Is that a goal?
Hardwick: Well, I mean, I would love to do… I had done a pilot for Comedy Central last year that was for a late night strip show and I don’t know whats goona happen with it or whatever. But I do know that I would… you know, I loved working on Attack of the Show. Attack of the Show on G4 was such a fun, great show and I would love to do a version of that kind of show late night. Its just kinda the right culling of information and sort of like, I think a good kind of a late night show to glide people into their beds at night. I would love to do a version of this show as a strip show. I don’t know if… I think we’d probably have to do some tweaks to Nerdist now and make it a little more day in day informational. The show is now somewhat evergreen as a weekly show, but yeah, that’s something that I would love to do. I’d be lying if I were to say I didn’t always want to host a late night talk show.
If you had a say, which past Doctor would you put alongside Matt Smith in the 50th Anniversary Special?
Hardwick: Just one?
You can only pick one.
Hardwick: Well, I mean, I would love to see Matt and Tennant together. I think I would love to see their energies together. I just, you know, I mean, I don’t know if that’s going to happen, I emailed Tennant months ago and I was like, “Okay are you doing anything for the 50th? Just tell me, I wont tell anyone.” and he was like, “I haven’t heard anything.” So I don’t know whats going to happen, but I mean, I would love to cram as many in there as possible. Throw Peter Davison in there and Tom Baker. I don’t know, I’d love to see… even throw Paul McGann in there.
It’s Kickstarter mayhem right now, is there any show you’d personally want to see resurrected via Kickstarter? Also, should we rule out a Singled Out Kickstarter campaign or is that a possibility?
Hardwick: (Laughs) I think the Kickstarter campaign for Singled Out would be like a thousand dollars (laughs) Not an expensive show to produce.
Lets see, what show would I want to Kickstart. Well, I would have said Arrested Development but Netflix got it. So, um, there is a really fun show from the 80s that I loved, called Misfits of Science, but I don’t know if they would be able to raise the money to make that show again that no one else remembers (laughs).
Oh! No! But Leslie Nielsen;’s not alive anymore, I would have said Police Squad.
Its like fantasy baseball, you just try to pick, you know, try to think about which show could come back. Its so much fun, sadly its so hard to make it actually happen.
Hardwick: I know, you’d unfortunately have to Kickstart Leslie Nielsen and I…
I would pay for that, I would put money towards that.
You can see Chris Hardwick’s The Nerdist this Saturday at 10pm on BBC America and every Saturday thereafter for 10 weeks.