Chris Hardwick, multimedia auteur
April 20, 2010 8:06 AM   Subscribe

Known today mainly for hosting Web Soup on G4 (and MTV's Singled Out back in the mid '90s), Chris Hardwick also blogs at Nerdist and has recently started a podcast featuring long-form (hour-plus) interviews with such funny-smart characters as Andy Richter, MetaFilter's own Adam Savage, and his Soup-master/nemesis Joel McHale. Fresh Air this ain't.

He also has a band (previously); their latest opus, the '80s-inspirational-sports-movie theme song homage "Go For It" is so far only available at the end of the Mike Shinoda podcast, but is well worth the wait.
posted by kittyprecious (25 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
The (MeFi's own) Adam Savage podcast was particularly good. There's a joke in there about a house party Penn Gilette threw that had me laughing for a good 10 minutes. Good post.
posted by penduluum at 8:21 AM on April 20, 2010 [1 favorite]

Note to all comedy podcast hosts: When you're interviewing a comedian, would it kill you to play the straight man?
posted by Sys Rq at 8:25 AM on April 20, 2010 [7 favorites]

The Drew Carrey show is hilarious. The Adam Carolla show is painful to listen to as a female since he clearly gives off misogynist vibe (while being noticeable piss drunk)... because Kelly Osbourne at 18 years old is clearly an example of all women to generalize upon.

Some shows are laugh out loud, some meh. Notable as an iTunes free podcast, not sure it's exciting enough outside that. Looking forward to Savage though, loaded it last night for today.
posted by eatdonuts at 8:37 AM on April 20, 2010 [2 favorites]

Note to all comedy podcast hosts: When you're interviewing a comedian, would it kill you to play the straight man?

Word. I like Chris Hardwick. I think he's funny. I also think a lot of his guests are funny but you'd never know it by all of the over-talking by Chris and whatever stooge/zoo-crew sidekick he was sitting in with him. Despite all that, Chris is a shit-ton better than that bag of dicks podcast Adam Carolla does.
posted by Kskomsvold at 8:37 AM on April 20, 2010 [2 favorites]

I really like this podcast, too... the Drew Carey one is extra special, but they're all pretty interesting.
posted by ph00dz at 8:39 AM on April 20, 2010 [1 favorite]

I like chris harwick personally, tho ive never met him. he made singled out good, which was a miracle, primarily by looking disturbed by the madness of crowds/jenny mcarthy. He is a great writer and a smart guy, especially as a semi-serious guest like on Sound of Young America or other podcasts.

But as a host, both of WebSoup and this podcast, he is often annoying. He shouts his punchlines and overtalks his guests. Chris, calm down. Let the jokes and other people speak for themselves. Please o please! For America! BWAH now i'm shouting
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:08 AM on April 20, 2010 [1 favorite]

I just started listening to these on Monday and had such a good time with the Adam Savage one I tried to grab his whole stable this morning. Tom Lennon is great. What I like is finding out what type of nerd these people are. I would also argue that long-form interview is sort of a mis-characterization, it's more three dudes chatting style podcast with guest host. Also Adam Savage is a terrific stand-up in that podcast.

But then again re: Hardwick I am a fan of spazzy yelling in comedy, given that it's my bad habit.
posted by edbles at 9:15 AM on April 20, 2010 [1 favorite]

I've enjoyed Hardwick on Jordan, Jesse, Go! and have been meaning to listen to his podcast. Thanks for the reminder!
posted by brundlefly at 9:20 AM on April 20, 2010

I started listening to him after hearing him on Jordan, Jesse, Go! too. The live show linked in the post is excellent and so was the Jim Gaffigan episode. The Gaffigan was a little more low-key but an interesting discussion of comedy writing, plus I learned that Chris Hardwick's dad was a professional bowler.
posted by gladly at 9:46 AM on April 20, 2010

Okay I admit it: I had the biggest crush on Hardwick when he was on MTV (in my defense I was what, thirteen?). I guess maybe because he resembled Carl Steadman? Gee I don't know. But it always pained me Jenny McCarthy seemed like the bigger success from that run.
posted by ifjuly at 10:11 AM on April 20, 2010

Currently in the middle of the Drew Carey episode with Hardwick and I have to say this in the defense of his overtalking and yellyness. He gives a fuck. One of my favorite things to do is listen to nerdy people nerd out loudly and passionately about something that they care about. Listening to Hardwick talk about things that he cares deeply and passionately about is relieving. One of the most frustrating things in my life right now is that I’m constantly being forced to meet new people and they are always super guarded and super blase about anything and everything. In fact, a test I’ve developed for new people situations is to ask people what they are nerding out about right now. If they pull a weird “what? Huh?” face, I no longer need to bother with the conversation. If they respond in a Hardwickian manner with way too much enthusiasm and start telling me about a book they read about subway rats, I GET A NEW FRIEND.
posted by edbles at 12:02 PM on April 20, 2010 [4 favorites]

I was in the audience for the Adam Savage podcast. Absolutely one-hundred-percent entertaining. Hardwick and Savage (and Grant Imhara and Tory Belleci, who were in the audience and came out for the meet-n-greet afterwards) are amazingly kind to their fans, very genuinely enthused people.

posted by fairytale of los angeles at 12:39 PM on April 20, 2010 [2 favorites]

When you're interviewing a comedian, would it kill you to play the straight man?

I think so, yes. Comedians naturally tend to use bits – jokes they’ve done before, or at least topics that they’re used to being funny about. Bits are reliably funny. But if you wanted bits, you’d be listening to one of their performances, not an interview. I think Hardwick does a really good job of keeping his guests awake and challenged, and they’re much funnier than they would be if they were just monologuing.
posted by vruba at 12:40 PM on April 20, 2010

Yes, I assumed that horrific cackle dominating every other waveform of laughter in the audience came from Grant Imahara. Unendurable.
posted by joeclark at 1:22 PM on April 20, 2010

I've been really digging Chris Hardwick's podcast, especially the Andy Richter/Joel Mchale ones. It was the first Andy Richter interview I had heard, and somehow he was totally different than I expected.
posted by drezdn at 1:49 PM on April 20, 2010

I'm listening to the McHale one; who's the third guy on the podcast?
posted by bluefly at 2:57 PM on April 20, 2010

The other two guys are Jonah Ray and Matt Mira-- Matt fixed Hardwick's computer for him at the Apple Store and got the sidekick gig, Jonah's a standup comic.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 4:29 PM on April 20, 2010

There were four people on there?!?! I couldn't tell.
I dislike a lot about the Sound of Young America podcast, but the one thing going for it is Jesse Thorn's distinctive radio voice. Is that why NPR people all have those distinctive exaggerated voices and dulcet tones? To differentiate them from the rest of the world they are interviewing?
posted by bluefly at 4:36 PM on April 20, 2010

I adore Chris Hardwick and am lucky enough to have gotten to actually hang out with him - he is absolutely one of the funniest people I've ever met, and I know some goddamned funny people.

His podcast is wonderful, and he loves comedy so much, it makes me really happy to listen to such a hardcore comedy nerd.
posted by tristeza at 4:49 PM on April 20, 2010

*adds to iTunes podcast library*

Thank you for alerting me to this, kittyprecious - I am about halfway through the Tom Lennon show and I am loving it.
posted by cerulgalactus at 8:50 PM on April 20, 2010

Little known fact, Chris was Wil Wheaton's college roommate.
posted by Megafly at 11:02 PM on April 20, 2010

He had me at Extreme Office Parkour.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 2:58 AM on April 21, 2010

I've been devouring these over the last week after Hardwick was on TBTL. I think it's a terrific podcast, already a favorite among the twenty-odd I listen to, and it may well supplant Never Not Funny as my podcast of choice for long runs.

In fact, a test I’ve developed for new people situations is to ask people what they are nerding out about right now. If they pull a weird “what? Huh?” face, I no longer need to bother with the conversation.

I get you, and I struggle not to act this way sometimes, but I figured out that it's better at least for me to be more open minded about new people in conversations. People don't like to be tested, and not everyone worth being friends with wants to be BFFs immediately, and it's better if people like you even if you don't like them that much-you don't have to rub it in their faces.
posted by Kwine at 4:50 PM on April 21, 2010

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