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Episode 219: Nerdist Podcast
Billy Hardwick
Nerdist PodcastNerdist Podcast

Nerdist Podcast: Billy Hardwick

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!!! It’s a special episode with Chris’s dad (and Hall of Fame professional bowler), Billy Hardwick! It’s a longer episode, but a great and personal one full of stories about the pro bowlers’ tour, Hardwick family origins, overcoming anxiety, pursuing passions and more!

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  1. J-Rod says:

    Nerdist Youtube Channel – ‘Life Lessons with Billy Hardwick’
    But also a Billy Hardwick commentary over an all star bowling Season 2 episode would be a treat.

    How about a sequel to this podcast – Chris’ Grandma’s alive?

    Happy Father’s Day Y’all.

  2. Joseph C. says:

    This was an awesome, touching episode. Thank you, Chris and Billy.

  3. Bryan says:

    Thanks for sharing this glimpse into you and your dad’s relationship. To have sat at the table with you and have relived some of those memories. I had some good laughs!

  4. xlcranium says:

    The BEST, most Sincere, Sweetest, funniest, PodCast Yet.
    Billy Hardwick is an amazing man. Stories of Hooking up-over
    seas.. Loving his grandkids, and being Sweet to Chris. Favorite Yet.

  5. John G. says:

    Thanks for this, Chris.

  6. Pagesbs says:


    Thank you so much for this episode. Like everyone who has already commented, I was tickled, touched, and charmed by your conversation with your Dad. He’s such a sweetie! And you are lucky to have a father that is vocal about his life, lessons learned, and love for his son. My father’s birthhday was 6/7 and he would have been 78. He passed 4 1/2 months after his 70th birthday, and was more like your grandfather than like your Dad. This kind of conversation was not one that we would have had.

    I’m so glad you took the time & opportunity to have this conversation with your Dad. Have more!! (We don’t need to hear those.) In 15 years you will not remember if it was inconvenient to make time to see him (but you will remember the conversations). The welcome you are sure to recieve will be worth the effort.

    And I know it feels really weird and kinda creepy to put up something this personal, but that is where real connections are made. That’s where understanding happens. And now we all feel a little closer to you. (Don’t be scared! We like you!) 😉 Thank you for being brave and sharing your Dad and your relationship with him with all of us.

    A very happy Father’s Day to your Dad!

  7. Mats says:

    Loved this episode. Great to hear how you two can talk like two friends even if you are father and son. Again, great episode. / Mats (your fan in Sweden)

  8. KevinInChains says:

    YAY! Chris finally did it with his dad! Wait….that doesn’t sound….OH GOD.

  9. Mary says:

    Wow Chris that was really special. My father’s from the same generation (he’s 73) and while he doesn’t talk about it much I have a feeling his own father was a lot like your grandfather. You really gave me some insight. Thank you.

  10. Chuck W. says:

    This made me cry. I really miss my dad. Chris thank you so much for sharing this with us.

  11. Nyte (Mandi) says:

    This was quite possibly one of the best podcasts I’ve had the privilege to listen to. (And I listen to a LOT of podcasts.) There were at least 4 spontaneous “Awww!”‘s , a couple of “How sweet!”‘s and many…many laughs.

    Thank you for sharing this with us, Chris. This lowly nerd appreciates it.


  12. Matt Grandis says:

    To be fair, Anthropomorphic Animated Bowling Pin, you had it coming. The way you stood there, all “come on and take me down, if you dare”. Don’t deny it, you wanted it. You *relished* it when Billy’s ball came at you and steamrolled you. Admit it, it’s never been the same since that day in ’69.

  13. OnmyojiOmn says:

    Was anyone else surprised that Chris’s dad doesn’t sound anything like Chris’s stock “old guy” voice? I always assumed he was just doing his dad.

  14. Anthropomorphic Animated Bowling Pin says:

    Ohhh sure, you can all celebrate and enjoy the whimsical dialog betwix Chris and his father. But do any of you care about me and all my bretherin that Billy beat on all those years?!? We were innocents. Merely hired to stand in a triangle formation, 10 to a group, and nightly guard our area of a wooden floor. Our work areas were easily defined and separated by security waterless moats known as gutters. Alas time and time again we failed as the evil Billy H would break through our ranks with heavy cylindrical artillery. The Horror. The horror. Me, known by my brothers as Terry TenPin,
    normally felt pretty safe when other theives would take out my friends but leave me and Sara SevenPin standing strong. But not with Billy. He’d take us down and then mockingly drink some beer as if on camera for a commercial. The horror. The horror.

    Antrhopomorphic Animated Bowling Pin (#10)


  15. Scott S says:

    Chris’s dad sounds like Sparks Nevada. He didn’t seem as old-timey as Chris makes him sound sometimes, though. And he’s right about Chris being a good listener, hearing him chat with people is much better than, say, Adam Carolla, who used to listen more, but has taken to just running over his guests all the time. We get a lot of interesting information out of Chris’s guests.

  16. Dustin says:

    this is the 117th episode of the Nerdist Podcast that i’ve downloaded and listened to. out of those 117 (all hostfuls, all live “on the road” episodes, and guests that i’m familiar with), this is one of the best ones i’ve listened too. my parents split up literally just a few months after i was born, and to this day, 24 years later, i’ve never met my father or hardly have any memory of him. it’s so great to see you two have such a great relationship with each other. great podcast. keep up the awesome work!

  17. jamison says:

    I did not expect to like this as much as I did. I didnt think i would dislike it, I just didt expect to be as interested… here’s an idea a pod cast where comdians interview their fathers… maron, jesse thorn, jonah, pete holmes etc

  18. Gail says:

    Great podcast, thank you to both Hardwicks.
    I only hope I remember a tenth of those stories to ask my dad about when next I see him – he is in his eighties and has bowled all my life. Local leagues, not tournaments, but I remember when he bought his bowling ball (and bag, and shoes), so I now know he started when it was cool.
    It’s amazing that while you are sharing your life, I also get light into some of my own history.

  19. Tom Prestigiacomo says:

    Well played young man. When your father was “Billy the Kid”, he was one of my heroes. Who could have guessed, years later, he would be my friend. Thanks for reminding everyone to love the people in your life while you have them.

  20. +AdamB. says:

    Really enjoyed this one. I know Chris hates to share personal stuff, but when he does, it’s really his best work.

  21. Steven says:

    What a really lovely episode! It reminds me of the Story Corps project. So, so good.

  22. Cal says:

    Very Cool Episode. Thanks very much for sharing this with everyone.

  23. Shane says:

    Just wanted to chime in and say this is a wonderful thing you’ve done Chris. I’m sure you’re glad you’ve done it but there’ll come a time when you’ll really appreciate it. This is going to get sappy but about 6 weeks ago I lost my father and with him, the ability to have that conversation. It’s weird when you think about it. They’re arguably the biggest people in your life for a large part (if not all of it) but you’ll sit down with strangers and dig deep into their past/motivations and never think to do the same with your parents. I’ll cherish the ones I do have and will hear second hand but to have a 2 hour conversation recorded, that’s special. Well done.

  24. setlasmon says:

    Chris Hardwick has raised the stakes! he has made it verrrrry difficult for people to complain that this isnt a hostful!

    hahaaa… havent even listened yet and im already touched. im sure its great… cheeers to you and your pops, Big C!

  25. clivodimars says:

    Chris this was excellent. I know it musta been hard to put this out here for the world to judge but trust me and your fellow nerds ^ it was some great and touching podcasting.

  26. Matt Grandis says:

    Sometimes a meme seems appropriate.

    Oh, btw — you WILL get Billy to challenge you in season 2 of Celebrity Bowling, won’t you?

  27. Gene says:

    What a fantastic podcast. I think we all got to know Billy Hardwick just now.

  28. Michael says:

    Great episode, Chris. Really terrific stuff.

  29. Derek Harju says:

    Chris, I’ve listened to every single episode since you guys started. This is possibly the VERY BEST of them all. It was really awesome of you and your father to share all this with us. Absolutely riveting and compelling, I could listen to your dad just tell bowling and growing up stories for hours. Way to raise an already high bar.

  30. DrG says:

    I’m a new listener – the last 5 minutes had me bawling – then laughing (re: Chloe “alright, take it easy…” = LOL!!)….You’ve got me hooked Hardwick!! 😉

  31. Clay says:

    This amazing! I loved hearing this episode having the father-son dynamic and I have ALWAYS wondered what Billy Hardwick is like considering he spawned (well okay Mrs. Hardwick did most the work there) the amazing Chris Hardwick. Great Episode!

  32. Matt Grandis says:

    Not much talking involved, JetpackBlues. I can’t believe this was 11 years ago …

  33. JetpackBlues says:

    Oh, and I’ll echo the sentiments of others — Happy Father’s day to all you motherfuckers!


  34. Megan says:

    Wow…just wow. What a great episode. Thanks for sharing Chris

  35. JetpackBlues says:

    @Matt Grandis – If you go Silent Bob on people that kinda defeats the purpose because, you know, he’s SILENT. 😛

    I wanna listen to this, but in reading the reviews I’m a little reticent. My father made his way to the firmament 24 years ago this week.

    I’ll give it a go. For Dad.

  36. Curtis says:

    I was very glad that I was on the road this morning for work as opposed to in the office because I cried a few times. What a great episode.

  37. Les Sterling says:

    This is one the the best podcasts ever. Actually made me a little misty-eyed. Nice work Mr. Hardwick…

  38. Michael Noble says:

    Oh…And Happy Fathers Day EVERYONE!!! 🙂

  39. Michael Noble says:

    Hi Chris! THIS is the best podcast you done! Thanks for sharing!
    (yeah…i shed a tear 🙂 )


  40. Brian Hunter says:

    It’s a long one, so I expected to listen to it over a few sessions. Played it start to finish. Was a really fantastic episode – Billy Hardwick sure has a great story to tell! It’s one of the best episodes you have done.

    It certainly makes me want to talk to my dad and find out who he is, so mission accomplished!

  41. Gavin says:

    Nice work Chris. Your dad is really charming and you are lucky to have him. This has been a nice gift for the Nerdist listeners.

  42. Jake says:

    Thank you for this, just, thank you.

  43. David Smith says:

    I agree — such a beautiful thing to share.

    It reminded me of what Charlie Rose said earlier this year about his biggest regret. He regretted not having used his interviewing skills to record conversations with his own parents, conversations such as the one shared here.

    (Rose’s quote is here and the video here

  44. Patty Marvel says:

    OMG!!!! I’ve been so eager to hear this episode since I found out about it! Now to press PLAY!

    Oh, and Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there!

  45. Eric O. says:

    “Now can I have a beer?”. What a great way to end an amazing episode! Makes me want to fly the 3 hours to go see my dad and just talk with him. If you ever were to have a bowling night at All Star Lanes I’ll drive over from Nashville just to hang out with you and your dad.

  46. Brian says:

    Lost my dad when I was 14. Makes me wish he was here so I could ask him a bunch of questions. You are very fortunate Chris.

  47. Joe says:

    Thank you for sharing this with us. As someone who also has problems expressing myself and talking about “serious stuff”, it truly means a lot that you are willing to open up a part of your life to the rest of us. You are a good man Chris Hardwick.

  48. Chris says:

    Chris,does your father know jack winters,a pro bowler from the sixties in father was good friends with him

  49. MJ says:

    This episode is amazing. Very insightful. Thank you!

  50. Matt Grandis says:

    I’ve been reloading the page over and over, waiting for this to get posted. What a beautiful, beautiful episode! I’m dead serious, if anyone gets shitty in this comment thread, I’m going Jay and Silent Bob on them. Hide in your basements all you want, I’m gonna find you.

    And now somebody please give me a hug.