This was a good week at Nerdist, but I’m distracted. See… okay, I have a confession. You’ve heard Chris and Jonah give Matt a hard time on the podcast about his being a sports fan, right? Well, I get it: A lot of nerds hate sports. I understand. Jock culture seems diametrically opposed to nerd culture; jocks were the ones beating up nerds, or dumping them head first into trash cans. They were the bad guys.
And I was a nerd, and I was a victim, and then I realized that while I couldn’t play baseball and basketball very well at all, I COULD enjoy watching the pros do it. And because I was the kind of fan who could rattle off stats and opinions like today’s sports radio loudmouths, I went from victim to… ignored. From junior high school through high school, I didn’t get beaten up anymore. I was left alone, because at least I was a nerd who knew sports. A boring, boring nerd who knew far too much about sports. They didn’t want anything to do with me. Mission accomplished.
So I’m a baseball fan, and the regular season opened on Thursday, and my favorite team — the Philadelphia Phillies (don’t judge) — opened today, and it’s like Spring is officially here, even though it was cold and miserable at the game and I live on the opposite coast where it’s always at least Spring-like and it was hot and sunny today. Baseball’s back, and I’m happy. There, I said it.
But I know a lot of you aren’t baseball fans, whether by childhood trauma or a matter of taste or you live in a country where they don’t play baseball. So I’ll keep my distraction to a minimum while we review The Week That Was at Nerdist:
1. We saw the vintage video game version of “Faces of Death.” It was both nostalgic and sad, which also describes what it’s like to be a fan of the Pittsburgh Pirates, who last won a World Series in the heyday of the Atari 2600.
2, The cast of Invader ZIM read some unproduced scripts, sending a roomful of fanboys and fangirls into uncontrollable squeeing, kind of like me when the Phillies came back in the ninth to win Friday. No, come to think of it, I didn’t squee. I’m not really the squee type. I’m the undemonstrative type of fan. I’m sure that’s not healthy.
3. Christopher Coleman picked the winners of his contest to see who’d accompany him to see Our Beloved Leader at the Wilbur Theatre on Boston on April 9th. Speaking of Boston, can we put this “Red Sox Nation” thing to rest already? It’s not a nation. There are two kinds of Red Sox fans, the kind (like Matt) who have followed the team since long before they won the Series and who suffered through enough heartbreak to have earned a little smugness now that the Sox are consistently good and The Curse is gone, and the “nation” bandwagon-jumpers: “Hi, guess where I am? I’m at Fenway! I’m sitting on top of the Monstah! Yeah, the boss got me the tickets. Turn on NESN and look for me, I’m waving! It’s wicked cool, brah. I got Cathy a pink Sahx hat, and we’re gonna go to… what? The game? Oh, I don’t know, Cahl Crahfid hit a single or something.” Saving grace: They’re not Yankee fans.
4. We got to see Jim Henson’s “Wizard of Id” pilot from 1969, back when newspaper comic strips were huge and just before “Sesame Street.” 1969 is also the Holiest of Years for New York Mets fans, and something they often wistfully recall while avoiding any discussion of the team’s current state, which involves both losing on the field and entanglements with Bernie Madoff off the field. It is not fun to be a Met fan now. It is always fun to be a Muppet fan.
5. The podcast was welcomed into the home of “Four Hour” guy Tim Ferriss, who talked a lot about his “Four Hour Body” book, which has helped Matt lose a lot of weight. I don’t know whether the Giants’ Pablo Sandoval — “The Panda” — used the book to lose all the weight he took off since the World Series, but he did knock off a lot. C.C. Sabathia and Prince Fielder, on the other hand, might want to talk to Tim.
6. Chris pointed us to an amusing parody of “Lie to Me,” and I noted that I’ve never seen the original, which drew a bunch of comments from people who really like it. If they do an episode where Cal tells us who’s lying at the Barry Bonds trial, I’m in.
7. Chris also added another appearance at WonderCon and will be signing autographs on Saturday while, as previously announced, also hosting the Doctor Who panel with Neil Gaiman et al. on Sunday. I used to try for autographs at ballgames when I was a little kid, but I learned early on that ballplayers aren’t always the nicest people. I’m confident that you’ll have a far more pleasant experience with Chris.
8. First, AMC announced that they’d renewed Mad Men, but we’d have to wait until 2012, and, oh, yeah, they hadn’t signed Matt Weiner and that might be a problem. But then we got the news that they’d signed Matt after all for two and maybe even three more seasons. Did you know Jon Hamm is a St. Louis Cardinals fan? Now you do.
9. Matthew B. gave us the video of the guy using a dog as a skateboard and the picture from Mercury that looked a little like something unpleasant splattered on the surface, and celebrated Robert Bunsen’s birthday (and neckbeard). Danny caught Damon Lindelof summarizing Lost in a tweet, which struck some of the show’s committed viewers as a little flippant. Rachael showed us somebody’s banana… no, not that. They had etched Doctor Who drawings in the peels. Mindy went back to basics to show you how to approach making stuff, in her case showing how she made a claymation video without prior knowledge of HOW to make a claymation video. None of these were related to baseball in the least.
10. A guy got Donald Glover to join him in a rousing version of Community‘s “La Biblioteca” rap. Donald Glover hit .284 in 21 games for the Mount Vernon Kings of the Mississippi-Ohio Valley League in 1949. A different Donald Glover. Unless Childish Gambino has a TARDIS and went back to the 40’s. And plays baseball.
12. Web Soup is back! With a real set and everything! From the season opener: Casual Vomiting! I’ve seen people puke at baseball games, but I’ve seen worse at football games (you know the cover of “Who’s Next”? That was the back wall at the top of Veterans Stadium for football games. It was a long walk down to the restrooms).
13. Kyle came down forcefully against the idea of rebooting movie franchises, especially in light of the news that Warner Bros. is already planning a Batman reboot before Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises is even finished. I’m with Kyle on that. Sometimes, you have to clear the roster, start over, and bring guys up from the farm system, but the movie people are working a little TOO fast these days.
14. Chris shared the new Fleet Foxes video. There is no baseball team called the Fleet Foxes, although there should be.
15. A surgical robot made and threw a paper airplane, because it could. So it probably can do Tommy John surgery, too.
16. Someone mapped all the tweets and retweets in London for one day. I would assume none were about baseball, but a lot were about Premier League soccer. “Come On You Spurs!” leaves plenty of room in a 140-character tweet.
17. Chris announced that he’ll be in Minneapolis performing his humorous dialogues and parlor tricks at the Varsity Theater on May 6th. The Twins aren’t home that night, so you have no excuse but to buy tickets to see Chris.
18. And Nerdist Theater at Meltdown has quite a lineup coming up. If you’re in L.A., go there. Beats Dodger Stadium, where, if you’re wearing San Francisco Giants gear, you’re taking your life into your hands. Also, as I wrote this, Chris posted the new Hostful Podcast, so you have something new to listen to for the weekend.
Now, that’s a good week. Converse amongst yourselves in the comments below, and enjoy your burrito while watching a ballgame this weekend. Okay, maybe you’ll skip the game, but everyone loves burritos.