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Episode 401: Nerdist Podcast
The National
Nerdist PodcastNerdist Podcast

Nerdist Podcast: The National

Matt Berninger of The National invites Chris and Matt into his home to talk about what bands the internet pairs with The National, deciding what to wear onstage, and the making of their documentary Mistaken For Strangers!

Find out more about their documentary Mistaken For Strangers and get their new album Trouble Will Find Me!

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  1. Amanda says:

    So glad my husband has a huge crush on you and has me hooked on @midnight and now your podcast. What a bounty of treasure! I LOVE The National and was so elated to find this podcast and am in love with the Exile Vilify! Thanks for mentioning it. Keep being awesome Chris! Congrats on 11 years this week. 🙂 

  2. Cassie says:

    Exile Vilify is my absolute favorite song. I first heard it on The National’s pandora station and I listened to it everyday for almost a month. It’s so beautiful so don’t worry people are still hearing it even if they aren’t very good at video games!

    Thanks for this!!

  3. Pedak says:

    Good for you Mike.

    Love what you Love.
    Hate what you Hate.
    Comment on whatever the fuck you want to comment on.

    Don’t let the Nerdist Bullies get you down.

  4. Gayle says:

    After listening to this, there was only one comment. The one from “Mad” Mike. That’s not his name, but how I like to think of him since he could not have listened to it! The part about the documentary was SO extraordinary; it left me stunned and teary and then — mercy — the song. It was one of the most mature conversations I have ever heard (on Nerdist) and I have listened to every single word of every single (Nerdist) podcast. Love you guys. You’re the teenage brothers I never had. Now I need to rub a booger on you.

  5. jessie says:

    Now do a sun kil moon podcast pretty pretty please!

  6. todd says:

    This was awesome! very smart and insightful. I don’t listen to the National but I am going to give them a second try. I LOVE when the podcasts focus on creativity. Thank you.

  7. Anna says:

    It’s really great that you guys have bands on here! I love hearing new music, but I have a tendency to stay within the rock genre. That song was amazing! I definitely need to look them up!

  8. RandomListener says:

    I cannot wait to listen to this ep! Just had to say thanks for podcasting this dude, Nerdist lads.

  9. Evan says:

    Oh great… now I think I’m a fan. I should have listened to Mike! Now I have to go buy The National albums because I let this man (Matt) get into my head with his talent and good personality. Never again sirs, never again.


    Good day…

  10. CAFcomics says:

    I don’t know who this gentleman is and I thought this episode was fine. Chris, you seemed to endeavour pretty hard to bring us an insightful show which… I’m thankful and grateful for as a solid Nerdist fan in the UK.

    I found this chap to be largely guarded and standoffish… he did open up towards the end maybe but, he never ‘won’ me upon talking alone.

    The song however was gorgeous and I definitely played it more than twice before searching for it online.

    Sometimes artists are good at what they do… and bad at most everything else.

    PS: who cares what any of us think about any of this by the way? Things that are created for enjoyment purposes alone are subjective by nature… and what we think and feel about them is both… all that matters — and — completely irrelevant.

    all at once.

    Thank you Nerdist.

    and fuck you internet. I hate you and I love you… and love that I hate and love you…

    and I hate that.

    When’s Gaga on?

  11. Jon says:

    It’s funny that Chris kept chiming in with the Pandora stuff, I first discovered the band on Pandora a few years ago when the song About Today came up on one of my stations. I still get chills listening to that song. People should definitely check out everything from the album Boxer forward. I like a lot of their older stuff too, but the last 3 albums are amazing.

    I thought it was fun that Matt was aware of the “grower” label that a lot of people put on the band. It was true for me. The music doesn’t have the in your face hooks, but there’s sort of a hypnotic quality that sucks you in if you let it.

    Nerdist fans who don’t know the band should look up Rains of Castamere which they did for Game of Thrones season 2.

  12. Julia says:

    @Molly, I think you’re on to something. It’s interesting to see positive reinforcement in action every other weekday in the comment section. Like clockwork.

    I was hesitant to listen to this episode, but I’d say give it a shot. It’s actually a good discussion. There’s always the option to bail out.

  13. jhg says:

    I’ll be honest. I had no clue who the national were. I thought it was going to be a podcast about hotdogs. oh well, music is cool too. Though i was looking forward to a dissertation on the best hotdogs in the world via Mira.

  14. Billy says:

    I don’t mean this to sound bad, but I listen to this podcast right before bed and sometimes fall asleep to them. I’ve listened to every episode at least one time, if not multiple, and while I have favorites I think each has something to offer. Personally I’ve screwed my mind up to the point I don’t sleep as well unless I’ve heard Chris’s Hard-Witt, Mira’s surliness, and Jonah’s jabs before I get to sleep.

    San Dimas High-school’s MATHLETES!!! 3.14159265359 Rules!!!

  15. Molly says:

    Yeah, and I was just kidding Mike. I don’t think you’re a troll 🙁

  16. Justin says:

    Loved it!

  17. alanso says:

    Thanks to Mike’s Basic Bitch for suggesting other podcasts to listen to (srs) and taking away listeners from the nerdist podcast, just like Mike 1 did (not srs).

    Fuck, this is like the olden days of the internet, we’ll be using smileys again soon with all the misunderstandings up in here.

    Oh yeah, going to listen to this podcast too. It is free entertainment, folks. But I can see how the needier nerds are getting their panties in a twist, Nerdist has clearly sold out to the normies. winkface.gif

  18. Ben says:

    I’ve been (weirdly) waiting for this podcast for a couple of years now, never believing that it would actually happen. The National is my absolute favorite band so hearing them on my favorite podcast is like a giant early Christmas present. Thank you.

  19. all this flak for mike but i thank him for posting wat he did. look i have to deal with petes podcast, who charted, todd barry, dlm, and totally married TODAY!! and if someone can save me an hour+ i appreciate it.

  20. Nichole says:

    Would have liked to hear Matt B talk about how they got involved with D&D of GoT and doing Rains of Castamere

  21. BenJay says:

    I wasn’t going to listen to this episode because I know nothing of the national and am scared of trying new things.

    But after reading these comments(something ive never done before either(Day of firsts)) I’ve decided to give it a go.

  22. Mojo says:

    I personally am happy for this episode and can’t wait to listen to it on the drive home and fun fact to those that didn’t know, Matt Berninger sings “The rains of Castamere” on GoT 🙂

  23. matt (not mira) says:


  24. Ethan says:

    No, O’doyle rules

  25. Kristoffer says:

    Mike is a top bloke.

  26. solaris says:

    I turned my pandora on and on my personal radio station the song Abel was playing.

  27. Christopher says:


    Man, atrocious spelling errors in that comment

  28. chris hardwick says:

    @Mike: I know you didn’t mean any disrespect. In fact, I really believe you were trying to help out other listeners by giving them a heads up. Going out of your way to tell people you don’t know to skip something just reads kind of weird, that’s all. When you turn your opinion into a universal truth I think some folks just kind of scratch their heads and think, “Well, maybe I can make my own determination?” People know how the podcast works. If they haven’t heard of someone they are grown up enough to decide if they wan to listen. Also, I think others would take offense merely because part of the thing of this show is exposing them to artists or creators they hadn’t heard of and giving them new things to be fans of (long clunky sentence there). I’m sorry I teased you! I wasn’t serious or mad about it in any way. I just wanted to give you a modicum of shit.

    San Dimas High School Football is just okay.

  29. Christopher says:


    I think that’s that right attitude to have. Even if you think it may not be your thing, give it a shot. Don’t shut it down and post a blanket, “SKIP THIS ONE, BROSKI.”.

    However, don’t apply that attitude to everything, specifically drugs, speciffically heroin.

  30. Mike says:

    Thanks Tyler. I really wasn’t trying to troll. I have written in a rational respectful way. It’s ok if people disagree.

  31. Tyler says:

    It sucks everyone is being so shitty to you Mike, I totally get what you meant. I have listented to most of the band episodes in the past, and I noticed that if I wasn’t familiar with the band I didn’t really enjoy the episode. I wasn’t sure I was going to listen to this episode for that reason. I’ll still probably give it a listen though.

  32. Molly says:

    I’m gonna start trolling every episode so I can get Chris to talk to me. Jk, of course.

  33. Mike says:

    “If you don’t like it you don’t have to listen!”
    -Chris Hardwick

    I’m fan of yours Mr. Hardwick. No disrespect was intended.

  34. chris hardwick says:

    Yeah guys, follow @Mike’s advice. Never expand outside of your current sphere of influence to potentially discover new things. Recently, a friend of mine gave me links to a couple of shows I had never watched and I was all like FUUUUCK YOU DUDE. I ain’t got time in my super busy life to not be bored by things I don’t already know. He was all like “but maybe you’ll learn something you didn’t know before or possibly discover something you can apply to your own craft” and I just meh-ed in his dumb face. The point is NEVER EXPAND YOUR HORIZONS and if other people want to do so, try your best to talk them out of it!!!


  35. Christopher says:

    Can’t get over how much he sounds like Jian Ghomeshi…

  36. mistletoe says:

    I wouldn’t call myself a fan of The National, but I’ll happily acknowledge that they’re a great fucking band. I suggest that anyone who isn’t familiar with them watches their NPR Tiny Desk Concert (

    By the by, the musician/band episodes are all easily among my favorites, and my musical tastes are pretty different from Chris’s. Not only do they bring a different energy as guests, but they bring a different energy out of the hosts. I was actually a little disappointed Jonah wasn’t there just because of how fun it is to hear him open up and show his music-nerd side.

    In addition to that, as someone who makes and listens to a lot of music, it’s REALLY nice to be able to count on Chris getting into the creative process.

  37. Mike says:

    I’m not being dismissive. When a podcast is centered around a specific guest ones interest in that subject will vary from person to person. If you’re not a fan of this particular band then it won’t interest you. I’m not slamming Chris or Nerdist and I am looking forward to future podcasts.

  38. Mike Sacunt says:

    Hey, Mike. Great feedback. One note: Can you try to be more of a shitty, dismissive asshole?

  39. Mike says:

    Unless this happens to be your favorite band, skip it. As is the case with any band centric interview. Not much here for most listeners.