A few weeks ago on Facebook, my old friend Jonathan Callan (a fantastic writer in Los Angeles) responded to a comment of mine with the words, “Andrew: I love you but you’re lame. Get a role model with an actual skill.”
The “role model” whose praises I had been singing in my own comment is Chris Hardwick, the comedian who made the unexpected transition from being a punchline himself, as the host of the successful but reviled MTV show Singled Out, to the mastermind behind the acclaimed Nerdist Podcast and the accompanying Nerdist Industries website.
Naturally, as a fan of Hardwick’s I took offense to this remark, but the writer in me wanted to produce a more thoughtful reply beyond “he does so have actual skills!” Thus, I got to thinking, and the answer came during a listen to one of my favorite episodes of the Nerdist Podcast (#204, “Gersberms”). It suddenly struck me how much Hardwick resembled one of his own heroes, and this resemblance made me further realize what precisely Hardwick’s greatest talent is.
I would argue that Chris Hardwick is the 21st Century equivalent of Johnny Carson.