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Episode 34: Nerdist Podcast
Nerdist PodcastNerdist Podcast

Nerdist Podcast #34: BILL MAHER

Bill Maher and I sat down (standing podcasting is weird) and had a terrific chat about comedy, finding your voice and Johnny Carson.

This episode was generously sponsored by Squarespace, the fast and easy way to publish a high-quality website or blog. For a free trial and 10% off your new account, goto and enter the code NERDIST.

*Image artwork originally created by Canyon Design Group

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  1. Fedor says:

    So convenient! Came here, clicked the download button – the we go! Like that!

  2. anna says:

    dear christopher of hardwick-tonne,

    when i heard there were commercial breaks on this episode, i thought, “oh, that’s great. i hope they make some $ for the streams of hilarity generated daily on nerdist.” and then when i actually heard them, i was delighted at your funny take on their presentation. i might have “TRANSITIOOOONNNN” hissing through my head for the rest of the day, and that’s just fine by me.

    so poo on people giving you crap about monetization. keep up the great work 🙂

  3. nako says:

    Dear Chris Hardwick, mayor of N3rdtown:

    You are awesome at this and presumably most things. Thanks, from me and everyone that has been a passenger in my car since episode 1 of The Nerdist. Also, thank you for Anamanaguchi, they are amazing and I actually PURCHASED their album from iTunes. Good ear.

    Dear Bill Maher, Town Crier of No-One-Cares…Town:

    No one cares. Chris Hardwick was trying so hard to keep the show funny and entertaining, but you were negative the entire time. Something was clearly bothering you. And then finally you just went off on your tirade about your fringe political issue that no one wanted to hear about. I don’t even remember what it was it was so irrelevant and not related to any of the themes of this podcast. “Global Something Something”, or something. Anyways, see you on HBO, but probably not because you failed to incorporate me, a young impressionable mind, into your small, aging, probably-also-irrelevant fanbase.

  4. Scott Sigler says:

    Awesome episode. Always good to hear about how long and hard (heh-heh-heh) people have to work to achieve their goals. I listened right up to the political agenda!

  5. Rich DeBarba says:

    BTW. Congrats and thanks for stalling him out for 40 minutes before he got to his political agenda. I was able to listen to quite a bit of good interview before he reverted to annoying.

  6. Rich DeBarba says:

    So Bill said that the Tonight Show does not help careers, but then named 3 jobs he got because he was on the tonight show…
    I’m not “in the show business” or anything, but that sounds like it helped his career.
    Maybe I’ll call my citified cousin from Cal-if-orn-I-A. and get him to teachify me on it.

  7. Active Agressive Loyd Of The Non-Gaps says:

    I thought the funniest part of the podcast was when Bill Maher asked you for the time. And I mean it in the “meh”, 1-dimensional model of expectations way.

  8. Magnoliafan says:

    Not the biggest fan of Bill Maher, so this podcast was not as enjoyable to listen to as all the other ones. But still appreciate all the work you put into it Chris!

  9. rhys says:

    Wow man, glad to hear you have so many projects going besides the ones I even know about. I am very happy for you.

  10. smartbunny says:

    Not Dan, try being a not jerk.

  11. my-name-here says:

    What’s so bad about commercials? I don’t understand all the hate about it… they are completely bearable, more than I would say, and you expect these guys to do all this work for free forever?

    Pishaw i say! PISHAW!

  12. dbtopper says:

    Is it just me or did Bill sound like an old man chewing on a piece of hard candy for about the first 5 or so minutes? Did he then later put in his dentures?

  13. Jung says:

    @Not Dan – the commercials were totally fine. These podcasts are long, I don’t mind a commercial thrown in now and then, if its going to help us get more podcasts from Chris.

  14. Not Dan says:

    The I turned to podcast off after the second commercial. Thanks for the great ones you had previously. I wish you the best going forward.

  15. Chris Hardwick says:

    For earlier in the thread, I fucking loved “Also Dan” and “Yet another dan”. Who could have predicted this thread would be so Dan-heavy?

  16. Chris Hardwick says:

    Lloyd, you’ve won me back over with your actually non-hipster ways.
    I never took it seriously. I thought we were “busting each others’ balls” as the East Coasters say.


  17. Lloyd Christmas says:

    You sure do talk fancy, Chris.
    For the record- I did laugh out loud when he asked for the time… I find awkwardness funny. Sorry?
    And you definitely pegged me correctly as a hipster: Married w/ children, blue-collar grease monkey. Lucrative, no. Happy, yes.
    Totally HIP.
    I’ve listened to all 34. Keep the (unintentional?) comedy coming.

  18. Acid Mothers of Nerdery says:

    It would be great if Lloyd Christmas genuinely found something bizarrely hilarious about that.

    Love the show!

  19. Annecoultersadamsapple says:

    Between this and Marc Marons interview with Judd Apatow I’m slowly starting to realize I have no right to write off Jay Leno the way I do.

  20. Kristina says:

    All that end of the world talk kind of got me down, but then again, I was working on a poster for a class called “Kafka to Kraftwerk”, so that probably didn’t help.

  21. Chris Hardwick says:

    HO HO HA GUFFAW! I see what ya did there, Lloyd Christmas! You picked a normally UNFUNNY thing to state that the bar of comedy was only THAT high! I sure hope you’re not wasting this hipster-based “meh” ability only on message boards! I’m sure being dismissive on 1-dimensional models of expectation is highly lucrative, so thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to throw us one pro bono!

    Whoa, Nellie! …”asked for the time”…man o man alive!

  22. Jung says:

    Bill Maher doesn’t even try at all anymore. He’s no longer a “comedian”, he’s a commentator. He’s still awfully likable for an old guy.

  23. Lloyd Christmas says:

    The funniest part of this interview was when he asked you for the time.

  24. Danny Damore says:

    Great episode. Always and still a big fan of Bill Maher.

  25. Dan Jammin (aka Yet another dan) says:

    @Christina Aww, only on Fridays does the rest of my office leave early. Most days they’re there till 5, and when stuff is real funny I have to do the breathing in short gasps instead of actually laughing. It may sound more like I’m crying or something, but at least I’m less likely to get fired for that (that’s the way I try look at it).

  26. Christina says:

    @Yet another dan hehee I struggle not to laugh uncontrollably while I’m listening at work, but by 5pm the only other people here are janitors

  27. DefconDan says:

    I’m still catching up on your ‘casts and now you got Bill M?! Awesome stuff dude…

    PS Still pissed you were in NY while I was in LA for the first time … catch you next time you hit the Big Apple

  28. Liana S says:

    I did 65 girl push-ups while listening to this podcast. Thank you Chris.

  29. tina says:

    GREAT ep! And good job making advertising not irritate me 😛

  30. Chris Hardwick says:

    rhys – no, it’s not! but thank you.

  31. Todd Mason says:

    Before they picked up Letterman and Co., CBS latenight in the latter ’80s and earliest ’90s was a weird mix of drama (CRIMETIME AFTER PRIMETIME, which launched SILK STALKINGS (which migrated to USA cable) and FOREVER KNIGHT (which went into first-run syndication) and ran the incredibly bad NIGHT HEAT endlessly and a remarkably pervy-for-broadcast Stephen Cannell anthology show…one of the several series called SCENE OF THE CRIME over the decades, iirc…and that last one was gone in about five weeks (again, iirc)…I suspect the Standards and Practices folks finally screened an episode. But a Whole Lot of CBS stations in those years were running THE ARSENIO HALL SHOW, which was in syndication, at 11:30p ET/PT, etc., and so were pre-empting or pushing back the CBS offers an hour…that would be the period that Maher got to do his CBS proto-PI.

  32. Samantha says:

    This is like the “very special episode” of the Nerdist podcast.

  33. rhys says:

    I assume the pilot you are referring to is the Hard ‘N Phirm animated sh0w. Good luck with that.

  34. Yet another dan says:

    Woo-hoo, time to look like I’m working for an hour. Oh snap, for 2 hours (I haven’t listened to last week’s yet…)

  35. Also Dan says:

    Bill Maher? SWEET! This should be a good one!

  36. smartbunny says:

    I guess the Tonight Show has different effects on different careers, but everyone knows that back in Ye Olde Days, if you were called to the couch it was a big effing deal. Show business is uncertain, but so is being a regular human person, unless you’re a civil servant. We are all unsure.

  37. Bill Maher is one of those people who is so iconoclastic that it’s easy to find stuff he says that you love and stuff he says that you hate, pretty much everyone I know has mixed feelings about him.

  38. Dan says:

    Interesting guest. I look forward to having you guys talk into my ear hole.