close menu
Episode 99: Nerdist Podcast
Nerdist PodcastNerdist Podcast

Nerdist Podcast #99: GEEKDAD

Happy Father’s Day! In celebration, here is a bonus ep for geeky dads and lovers of geeky dads alike! WIRED‘s Geekdad, Ken Denmead, drops by to chat about being geeky with your kids in celebration of his new book The Geekdad’s Guide to Weekend Fun, which is available here!

Now go geek it up with your kids! (this includes you too, nerds)

*Minor note for tiny ears: I believe there are one or two swears in here, as well as a conversation about steampunk vibrators that I, of course, instigated…

See Gillian Anderson as David Bowie in Bonkers AMERICAN GODS Scene

See Gillian Anderson as David Bowie in Bonkers AMERICAN GODS Scene

CatNani Robot Guards Your Countertops Against Your Cats

CatNani Robot Guards Your Countertops Against Your Cats

It’s Official: [SPOILER] is Really Out of the ARROW-Verse

It’s Official: [SPOILER] is Really Out of the ARROW-Verse



  1. Ross says:

    First, very entertaining podcast(even for someone like me, who’s not really in your target audience–I start smelling burnt toast when the tech talk starts).
    Second, I find this whole geek vs nerd debate a little absurd(if sometimes entertaining). No offense, but your generation(in true nerd/geek fashion) has managed to simultaneously over-think the whole thing while being wilfully ignorant of the answer you could just look up. It’s as if we were watching some guys c.10, 000 years ago, grousing about how they wish there was a way to make hauling a monolith easier, pausing occasionally to tell the guy off to the side to stop interrupting them with his jabbering about this new “wheel” contraption he came up with.
    It doesn’t matter how you or the other kids in your neighborhood used or misused the terms, “nerd” had never meant anything worse than an egghead or someone whose interests are a little too outside those of the majority; “geek” goes beyond someone’s hobbies to their possible mental health. The geek at a carnival sideshow performed startling/violent/bloody tricks for shock value, continuing the traditions that led people to pay to watch inmates at asylums(the most notorious being, of course, London’s Bedlam–Bethlehem Hospital). The point was to suggest to a sideshow audience that the geek was, to put it bluntly, batshit. Thus, they get the illicit thrill of watching the bizarre behavior of the abnormal in a purportedly controlled situation. No doubt the tradition, whatever it’s modern practitioners would like to believe, began as a way to make a buck off of those too far gone to claw out even a “village idiot” sort of place in society.
    Even in its watered-down, diminutive use popularly(from the early years of the last century onward) as a taunt to anyone who looked or acted mentally challenged(whether entertaining or not), it’s perfectly clear thatthe term has always indicated social retardation at the creepy/disturbing/scary end of the spectrum–not just boring or eccentric interests, no matter how all-consuming that interest is to the nerd. (Think Indiana Jones’ remarks about his father, and how other people, even academics, felt about him. That’s actually a pretty accurate description of the real-life traditional view of medieval scholars among other, supposedly more “relevant”, academic disciplines. If that guy’s conversation always ends up in his specialty, or he’s socially awkward, that’s a nerd. If that same medievalist twitches/mutters to himself and doesn’t bathe regularly–that’s a geek.)

  2. Jen says:

    Thanks for the bonus episode.

    Check out episode 97.
    Geek dad was a guest. & Guy Kawasaki.

  3. Clementine says:

    Adam Scott should star in the feature presentation of Geek Dad!

  4. Westholt says:

    Nice Stargate SG 1 reference. “Replicators” lulz

  5. adamjford says:

    Why is the Nerdist Munchkin card not found in this poooooooooost

  6. Big D says:

    This was one of my favs so far. GREAT guest!

  7. Matthew Cole says:

    NJ, ftw!

  8. Scott S says:

    It’s nice to get a guest that isn’t a comedian now and then. The comedy talk can get a little boring after a while, with some guests.

    I’ve always thought nerds were more into math and worrying about schoolwork, and geeks were more about cultural things like video games and comics and such. I think you can be a geeky athlete more easily than a nerdy one, nerd holds a small and weak connotation, to me, that geek doesn’t necessarily.

  9. Wade says:

    Like Ken, I actually contributed to a few of those turn based email Star Trek RPGs back in the mid-90s. Fairly fun and a good way to write for people.

  10. M.C. says:

    And thank *you* for taking the time to respond, Chris…

  11. jima says:

    I liked how Ken was totally playing the absent father figure here by jetting into town with a bunch of cool presents for the Nerdist crew & then heading back home after spending too little time with you.

  12. Johnny Mckerney says:

    iTunes may not necessarily be a “failure” but it’s far from a perfect delivery service, especially if you’re the type of person who listens to a lot of pay-what-you-want music, ala

    Thnx for the Father’s Day podcast. I got to listen to it this Monday before going to work for a change.


  13. Gabe says:

    I’ve always considered a geek to be way into tech, and a nerd to be into more traditional nerdery, like tabletop gaming. Honestly, until you mentioned it, I thought that was the definitions of those words.

    Oh, and @Dangalf – Humble brag!. CA-CA-CALLBAACK!!

  14. gladly says:

    So, bonus Nerdist, plus Jonah on JJGO? Yay!

  15. Dangalf says:

    CE: the nerd/geek thing, here’s my opinion. I’ve always considered a nerd to be actually smart, whereas a geek just likes nerdy things and not necessarily smart. I myself consider myself a geek, i’ve never been all that inteligent, at least not in school/college, I did write basic code for the Commodore 64 thought when I was 6…so I guess there’some hidden Nerd in me. Looking forward to Nerdist #100


  16. Shaun says:

    Hey! Big C! Yonah! Progressively getting smaller Matt! My girlfriend and I talked to Chris at one of the Zanies shows in Chicago, during C2E2, we were the couple that had twins, and told you that we would take you, Matt and Jonah out for foods and a free place to sleep in St. Louis. Anyway, I’ve listening to the podcast since the very first episode, and wanted to say thanks for all of them, and especially the Father’s day bonus podcast with Ken Denmead. Since, my girlfriend bought me his first book….for Father’s day!! How awesome is that? Pretty fucking awesome. So if you go on an assuredly awesome nerdiest podcast tour, come to St. Louis! We’ll feed you! Do nerdy stuff!……..that’s all I’ve got. Thanks again! Keep up the amazing work.

  17. Ben says:

    Awesome bonus podcast! To touch on the whole “The 5” vs. “5” road addressing debate, I am from Denver (whatup Big C!) and the solution here appears to be to replace the word “the” with “Highway”. So that way you are still giving a precursor to the road’s name but not giving it more respect than it actually deserves. In this case, perhaps you can start a new trend of referring to it as “Highway 5”. …or not, really. I can’t imagine there’s a huge group of people looking down their noses at the “the 5” addressing. But what do I know, I live in the middle of the country. Ok…I’ve gone on ad nauseum…cheers and enjoy your burrito!


  18. Wommy says:

    forgot to say, you are f’n awesome. I absolutely love Nerdist

  19. Wommy says:

    Hey, @Chris Hardwick, If I say something shitty to you Matt or Jonah, will I get personal attention too?

  20. Chris Hardwick says:

    Why thank you, MC! Your kind words are much appreciated! I love doing the show. It’s not just a work thing for me, it’s been truly an honor to get to know so many cool people in addition to becoming closer friends with Matt & Jonah.

    Thanks for being a part of it!

  21. M.C. says:

    A Father’s Day edition with Geek Dad? Well played! 😉

    And while I’m at it, I’m giving myself leave to write a little treatise here, Chris, in honor of the almost-100th ep. I’ve consumed most of the Nerdist podcast archive over the last month or so, and it’s becoming clear that you are quite the producer. I’m looking forward to seeing you expand and spin those skills out with the TV show.

    Also, thank you. Thanks for sharing *your* process with your audience, week by week: the way you think about your work and your life and the people and experiences in it; the results you’re getting; your talks with Jonah and Matt, each of you at a different stage in exploring his potential; the way you are friends to one another, accepting and valuing and calling out one another’s strengths and foibles—and your own… You let us look into your lives for a little bit each week, to see your yearning, your aspirations, and I so respect the courage that takes. So thank you, congrats, and KUTGW…

  22. TC Neal says:

    The Apple Bandai Pippen

  23. Chris says:

    Wow, talk about prescience! I was going to leave a quemment the other day about how Mr. Denmead should be on the show and what to my wand’ring did appear? Coolness topped with awesomesauce.

    Good job, Big C.

  24. Ben Clarkson says:

    The amount of role playing game talk in this episode gave me a sweet dice boner.

  25. Germ says:

    Haha I critique because i love

  26. Sarah says:

    It seems like lately I am having a problem hearing Matt. He seems off mic? I think he completes the nerdist trio and it is important to hear everyone. Please do a thousand bonus episodes next week to make up for this sound tragedy.

  27. Sawyer says:

    I’m still confused by people like Germ who seem to want Hardwick to ream out every guest that appears on the podcast. Is the only other interviewer they’ve listened to Bill O’Reilly, or do they not believe in pleasant conversation with people you like, or something else? What is it that drives people to always say “hurr Chris always fellates the guests hurr durr”?

  28. anncoultersadamsapple says:

    I like it when you guys find your nerd stride. Very good episode.

    The next Nerdist is 100!

  29. (((d(–__–)b))) Hey Chris.

    I have got my NERDIST Shirt yesterday. Awesome stuff.
    It looks great.

    Keep up the good work

  30. theRealBigC says:

    Thanks for the amazing podcast! Good way to start my Fathers Day!

    Got a lot of great ideas to spend time with my nerdy daughter besides just watching Doctor Who and Star Trek. Thanks

  31. JetpackBlues says:

    Happy Father’s Day to all you motherfuckers!

  32. Chris Hardwick says:

    Germ: You’re right about not chiding Jonah. Also, fuck yourself in the face.

  33. todd says:

    Thanks Nerds- this is the sweetest Fathers day gift ever I randomly checked Nerdist even though there is usually not much over the weekend and BAM I get my first fathers day gift!! I have a 5 year old little girl and an 19 month old baby boy both future nerds for sure, and I will be stoked to jack into the headset and spend an hour with my nerd friends on Sunday. I may even hit Chipotle and enjoy a burrito whilst I listen.

    Thanks again B===D

  34. Germ says:

    You shouldn’t chide Jonah for “being a hipster.” Without his comedic edge it would just be Chris slobbering over the guest for an hour. Interviews are much less interesting than getting the guest to participate in sharp banter.

  35. Nic says:

    To me, there is a distinction between geeks and nerds. I think nerds obsess over the more socially acceptable subjects, such as music movies and comedy, while geeks like the more obscure things, i.e. Robots, D &D, and Larping. I don’t think one is more socially awkward then the other, however. I for instance am a huge music nerd, but can hardly speak about it, while I find geeks entrancing jocks with stories of D&D, and vice versa.

  36. joe non says:

    makerbot revolution taken to maximum

  37. Steven Arellano says:

    Awesome podcast! Gotta say that I also want to see a scan of the Munchkin card. And looking forward to reading the book. I already have the first one. To quote the great one “Excelsior!”

  38. Mivalu says:

    Munchkin is *such* a great game. I got to play Munchkin Zombies before it came out at PaxEast, and it rocked.

  39. Nick F says:

    Nerdist Munchkin card? scan plz 😀

  40. Beth Kaelin says:

    Yay a bonus episode! Always look forward to these. Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there. 🙂