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Episode 139: Nerdist Podcast
Neil deGrasse Tyson
Nerdist PodcastNerdist Podcast

Nerdist Podcast #139: Neil deGrasse Tyson

Matt and I ventured to New York to chat up one of our favorite people, Neil deGrasse Tyson, who is always the smartest person in the room. Any room. Dr. Tyson is the Frederick P. Rose Director of the Hayden Planetarium at the Rose Center for Earth and Space. He also hosts NOVA scienceNOW on PBS and the ever enthralling StarTalk, which Mira and I were lucky enough to sit in on for the episode posting November 13th. Beyond all that, HE IS FUNNY. Like, actually hilarious.

This ep covers everything from Cosmology to quarks with a side of space sex. We had damn near unhealthy amounts of fun and I hope to con Dr. Tyson to coming on again in the near future.

What If THOR: RAGNAROK Were Actually Made in the 1980s?

What If THOR: RAGNAROK Were Actually Made in the 1980s?

The First TOMB RAIDER Movie Poster and Teaser Trailer Are Here

The First TOMB RAIDER Movie Poster and Teaser Trailer Are Here

IT Deleted Flashback Scene Featured a Pre-Clown Pennywise, Could Wind Up in the Sequel

IT Deleted Flashback Scene Featured a Pre-Clown Pennywise, Could Wind Up in the Sequel



  1. Remster says:

    Ooooooh! OOOOOH! UUUUUNGH! Aaaaaaah… I just nerdgasmed. #unnecessarilygraphic

  2. Eric C says:

    This episode is so good that it finally prompted me to actually type on my multi-key input device to register my approval with a bunch of complete strangers!

    Side note: unless he did more than one show with Provenza while he was there, the podcast Neil was on at TAM was the “The Ardent Atheist”. They did two or three episodes from there, and all are pretty worthwhile listens if you’re of the skeptical bent. Come to think of it – Chris, you should do that podcast!

  3. Scully says:

    100 points awarded to Neil for his average day stats joke but this is coming from someone who though it would be hilarious to spend an afternoon thinking up ridiculous statistically themed pickup lines with friends.

    Some of the favorites included…
    “Girl your legs are like a logarithmic distribution, they just keep going.”

    “What’s the probability that I can be the area under your curves?”

    Or perhaps the nicest thing you can say to a stats nerd “You’re average”

  4. Liz says:

    Holy crap I am in love with this episode. I’m going to listen to it a million times.

  5. Peter says:

    My brain hurts, too much science

  6. duey says:

    Giddy, giddy with joy to hear Neil and Chris’ unique interview style. Superfun. New word, kidz…Superfun.

  7. Ian Prettyman says:

    Nevermind. I found it.

  8. Ian Prettyman says:

    Would it kill you guys to get some volume control on this podcast? Do I really have DL the mp3 for that?

  9. Mike says:


  10. Will says:

    This guy is freaking awesome!

  11. gladly says:

    I learned about Star Talk from an early Hostful when Matt mentioned it, and I have a crush on NDT, so I was bound to love this episode. But! I think I loved it even more than I expected. So glad you guys made this one happen, despite the tricky scheduling.

  12. Kylie says:

    Been listening since the begining and this is my favourite episode thus far. Is it weird that the three guests who have made me tingly in my lady places are Jon Hamm, Neil Gaiman and Neil deGreasse Tyson?

  13. Amanda says:

    I cried when I watched the Endeavor launch back in 2009, and there was totally another shuttle on the next launch pad. It’s really more about the majesty of being able to take 7 people, put them in a giant hunk of metal, and send them off the earth’s surface and potentially onto another planet/moon/something’s surface.

    Science. It makes me weep with joy.

  14. Gail says:

    I was a little surprised to hear Matt flew in just for this show – until I heard the show! Great show, great guest.

  15. Brian says:

    This is the greatest thing that’s happened in a long time!! Neil DeGrasse Tyson is the shit!!! The shit, I say!!!

  16. BobbyFJtown says:

    I wanted to make one with a movie poster kinda feel but didn’t have time. so this happened.

  17. Sarah says:


    Also, Radiolab has a badass episode on space with Ann Doyan, Carl Sagan’s widow, NDT, and Brian Greene. SO GOOOOOOOOOOOOD.

  18. rocksteady says:

    This is great, he really relates scientific concepts in a totally cool, friendly and tangible way.

  19. Jennifer says:

    LOVE Neil!!!! Thank you so much for getting him on your show! Loved this podcast!!!!

  20. agirlyman says:

    My brainpan done blown!

  21. PGCB says:

    Love the podcast and the new site layout, but where is the volume control? Chris just nuked my eardrums.

  22. Kass says:

    Columbus counts because he was more diseased than Vikings- NDT

    This one made me laugh out loud A LOT. I loved it.

    BTW, trans-Pacific ~10,000 BCE tribal migration= totally a public sector endeavor.

  23. Scott S says:

    Now this seemed more like the Nerdist, rather than the Comedist. Entertaining and educational.

  24. Daryl P says:

    I listened to the podcast basically blindly. I had no idea who the guest was, but I listened on the way to work and it was fascinating! It honestly was and I will be listening to his Startalk as well. He has a nice way of explaining the extremely, impressive “space stuff”!

  25. Amanda says:

    I had to listen to his description of four dimensions three times before I could even begin to understand what he was saying. So incredible! Thanks for bringing this to us.

  26. MetaMike23 says:

    You mentioned the symphony of science… This is the newest one just released today…

  27. Tessa says:

    I can’t wait for Ascent of the Cube!!!

  28. Gabrielle says:

    1. Get more physicists/astronomers on the show.
    2. Unleash Chris.

    (And don’t censor yourself – the mind-bending issues and questions are the most fascinating. You won’t alienate your listeners 🙂

  29. Zach Coty says:

    Holy shit this is such a good episode. When you guys tweeted that picture a week or so ago I got super pumped for this and the episode has exceeded my expectations. I’m sending this episode to all of my friends. You guys have to have him on again at some point.

  30. MetaMike23 says:

    I AM SO INTO THIS STUFF!!! Dr. Tyson is articulate and damn funny. This is now my favorite episode replacing another Neil (Neil Gaiman) for the Crown.

  31. NERDISTS! I was avoiding studying for tomorrows physics test all day because I hate physics. But after listening to this episode with Neil… I’m not to sure about my hatred for physics. I might even like physics. Hm.

    Btw, you should have a live show in Kenya. You have lots of dedicated listeners at the Swedish boarding school and we would totally pay for that. Just sayin’.

    Go Team Matt.

  32. Summer says:

    Doctor Who “The Empty Child” (2005)

    Rose Tyler: What’s the emergency?
    The Doctor: It’s mauve.
    Rose Tyler: Mauve?
    The Doctor: Universally recognised colour for danger.
    Rose Tyler: What happened to red?
    The Doctor: That’s just humans. By everyone else’s standards, red’s camp. Oh, the misunderstandings! All those red alerts, all that dancing.

  33. Megan says:

    Yay! Great way to celebrate Carl Sagan’s birthday today. More science nerds please!

  34. MichaelH says:

    This was a really fun and informative episode! However, the best part was the reverese to the ‘reverse earth’ film, since it’s one I’ve occasionally recalled tiny bits of. I hadn’t recalled it ended happily though – I thought the polarity isue had blown the ship up, and at the end the survivor saw a mirror and threw something at it (sicne they should have thought of the reversal thing). I was young when I saw it, so I must have misremembered the ‘sad’ ending all this time!

  35. Taylor says:

    Possibly my favorite Nerdist podcast yet! And speaking about measuring time…I feel like I only recently came to the podcast and that was around podcast #80…and now you’re almost to #140! That’s insane!

  36. ignoramus012 says:

    I’m having the exact same problem as Aticus, above. I’m also an android user.

  37. Jason says:

    I can’t even begin to explain how awesome this episode is. NDT is such a great guest on anything I’ve ever seen him do. Perfect fit for nerdist, can’t wait to go check out you two on Startalk !!

  38. Simona says:

    I loved this episode; it was the perfect combination of fun and science!
    Thank you for metioning Tom Leher’s “New Math”, it’s been a while since I listened to his songs and you gave me a reason to do it again.
    Now I’m off to download all the episode of StarTalk! ^_^

  39. Patrick says:

    For android users – Subscribe to the RSS Feed with google listen. downloads directly to the phone!

  40. Ross says:

    Never miss a chance to hear Dr Tyson talk–passion

    _and_ facts are almost never seen in our public discourse now. I love the original “Cosmos”, and can’t wait until his reinterpretation airs.

    When you described the most recent TAM, with him and Bill Nye(who’s no slouch at comedy, himself), et al., all I could picture was the episode of “Stargate Atlantis” they both did(as well as some other science heavyweights), where the audience for a big tech unveiling gets trapped in the hall & has to figure out the science to save the planet.

  41. JonMc says:

    This was a truly excellent podcast. I’d certainly love to hear more scientists on in the future.

  42. Capain Planet says:

    for all the android users: just download a podcatcher from the market and add the rss feed. it’s really easy.

  43. Mr awesome says:

    I’m a android user and this is the first time I’ve been able to download directly to my phone thank you for the website change

  44. -Di. says:

    This was my favorite Nerdist episode to date. I’m like totally going to download the episode of StarTalk because I was left with wanting MORE. 🙂

    Thank you very much for the delightful podcast!!

  45. Aticus says:

    Chris, I love everything you’re doing with Nerdist lately. *here comes the eh part* But ever since the new layout I can’t download the podcast directly to my phone by just using my phone. Yes, I know I see that the button is there but for some reason the touchscreen on my phone doesn’t register a “click.” And being an Android user the itunes way doesn’t work for me. When clicking on the rss feed button it just brings up a page of weird text. Mind you I’m not very computer savvy and this is only a problem while trying to download while on the go but before the site face lift this never happened. I hope I explained this well and its not a huge deal because I’ll go to any lengths to listen but I hope to help in any way I can and for any other fans that might come across this minor problem. (For the record, now I wait til I get home, download to my pc, then use the usb cable to download to my phone.)

  46. Ben says:

    Finally!!! Luv ya, Mattsronaut.

    Next stop, Brian Cox!

  47. Andy says:

    Neil Degrasse Tyson rocks! Can’t wait to listen.

  48. Justin says:

    I love Neil, everything he says comes out interesting. I know Matt was pushing to get him on as a guest and I’m incredibly glad it worked out.