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Episode 180: Nerdist Podcast
Nerdist PodcastNerdist Podcast

Nerdist Podcast: Baratunde

Baratunde Thurston, co-founder of Jack and Jill Politics and Director of Digital for The Onion, sits down with Chris, Jonah and Matt to talk about Baratunde’s book “How To Be Black,” Matt tells us how much caskets cost, and everyone talks political activism!

Check out Baratunde’s website for his book and more!

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  1. shheeenaa says:

    So happy that I found this dialogue. Baratunde is now one of the many wonderful minds that the nerdist has introduced to my little world.
    Thank you nerds.
    We are many.

  2. Kevie says:

    Wow, fantastic episode. I have gone thru 180 episodes without feeling the need to pick a favorite, but it has now been chosen. What a wonderful brilliant person.

  3. Carl says:

    Is it just me, or is Baratunde a sound-alike for Baron Vaughn from Fairly Legal?

  4. Danielle says:

    I really enjoyed this episode. A really great guest with possibly the coolest job ever.

  5. Brent says:

    I think Baratunde coined a great slogan for Barnes & Noble:

    “Books. They’re like blogs, only longer.”

  6. Wow! If there were or will ever be a Nerdist Podcast Awards, this one definitely is a nominee. I literally laughed out loud at my desk at work several times during this podcast. Thank you for introducing me to Baratunde, and thank you guys for doing what you do.

    One more thing. When Baratunde was talking about his conversation with his friend in the Army, it gave me pause. Wow. I am still trying to process that. Fascinating.


  7. ADDYC says:

    Best Podcast guest yet!! I have to get his book now.

  8. Tanya says:

    This is one of the best nerdist podcasts you’ve done. I heard Baratunde on Fresh Air, and it was the 1st time I’d heard of him. He was so comfortable and natural on this podcast. Maybe you can offer to make him a regular, or be a fill-in host! I look forward to reading his book as a white woman from Iowa.

  9. gabrielle says:

    this was an amazing episode.

  10. JW says:

    Great episode ! Thanks.

    Northern Dispensary : 35 Christopher Street, NY ? Looks abandonned from street view.

  11. totvornottotv says:

    the name of the african american character Baratunde mentioned from battlestar was Anastasia Dualla

  12. Alec says:

    It’s really to fall into that bubble. Psychologists performed an experiment where they showed their participants a fake news clip that had included an objectively false statement. Then asked their subjects to fill out a questionnaire about the clip’s subject.

    Then they played a second clip, where the ‘anchor’ retracted the false statements from the first video and asked for their opinions again. *More* participants believed in the untrue thing after seeing the retraction than before.

  13. Lila says:


  14. rhys says:

    I think Baratunde is correct that people will be more willing to watch high quality video content on the web as the lines between the web and TV blur more. For me, the wall between the two is practically non-existent already because I use my Xbox to stream a ton of content to my TV already. Aside from Netflix, I also have Hulu Plus, going to get the HBO Go app soon for Xbox and I also already subscribe to a couple of YouTube channels that I regularly check in with. In my brain, I don’t really differentiate between pulling up a show on my Comcast On Demand or pulling it up on Netflix or Hulu (and eventually HBO Go). Additionally, I watch some of the shows on IGN’s YouTube channel “START” regularly and I have been watching the Hulu original show “Battleground.”

    The fact that it is on my TV instead of a computer monitor makes all the difference. Watching substantial content on my computer is not something I care to do because I am used to watching stuff on my big TV while sitting on my couch. With Xbox’s YouTube App (which still needs work, but is mostly workable) watching something from YouTube is not really any different to me then watching Netflix Instant or Hulu Plus – which both primarily contain fully produced, high quality entertainment already. The trick will be getting the rest of the world to start utilizing YouTube and it’s channel subscriptions as a regular channel for high quality content.

  15. Brod Pete says:

    I really enjoyed and appreciate this episode. Eased my mind a bit about all the craziness that is the internet/world.

    Anyway, thanks for doing how you do, Nerdist entity. I’m enjoying my fucking burrito so hard right now.

  16. Tony Bullard says:

    OH man, PLEASE have Baratunde back on the podcast soon. This was an AWESOME episode. As the last 5 minutes came up I was thinking “”No! This conversation should go on for another hour!” Super interesting stuff.

    I especially like what he said about the media “The focus is on the conflict, not the resolution.” It’s the perfect summation of modern media!

  17. epemitreus the sage says:

    Please, Columbia Heights is still a hell hole. There were several brutal attacks there recently. Everyone I know who’s lived in Washington DC has HATED it and they’ve fled that place as soon as they could. DC doesn’t deserve statehood.

  18. I really enjoyed this episode. I found Baratunde delightful and engaging!!

    It would have been nice to hear more of Matt and Jonah!!

  19. Diego says:

    Cut off/edited out at 33:20 to 33:26ish?

  20. Ben Z says:

    In response to people accepting/watching hi-quality stuff on the web, here’s my take. I have a TV with a DVR that doesn’t need to rebuffer when watching, and it includes a guide where I very lightly have to surf to watch it. To try and find something worth watching online requires significantly much more work. Even if there are great programs out there on the web, there’s SOOOOOOOOOOOOO much crap, videos with cute kittens, and videos with people suffering groin injuries that it’s so difficult to find.

  21. Amy says:

    Brilliant podcast! This is exactly why I frakkin’ love the Nerdist Podcasts!

  22. Peter says:

    I haven’t been relating to the last few guests that well, but that changed with this episode: probabaly one of my all-time favorites, and I hadn’t even heard of the guy before. Please bring Baratunde back for a follow-up!

  23. billlwoo says:

    I wrote a research paper on district 9 and its relation with race and what not. It was a fun time. Glad to hear you guys talk about it for a second.

  24. David Clay says:

    This was a great episode! Awesome-sauce!

  25. Reed says:

    Even if you aren’t interested in politics, everyone should listen to the last bit of this episode, on the topic of “outrage addiction.” There are some great thoughts about why people build bubbles around themselves to reinforce their personal ideologies. Instead of getting outraged at a foreign viewpoint because you’re so sure you’re right, just taking a minute to think about being in that person’s head never hurt anybody.

    For instance, if more people shared Baratunde’s tact about the religion issue, there would be much less rage in the world (heheh… not to mention, much less rage when religion is brought up on this podcast). He was totally uncompromising about his own lack of religion, but without getting holier-than-thou (no pun intended) or dehumanizing anyone. I admit that, as a nerd of certain faith, I still cringe when ya guys bring up the topic; it’s hard not to be brought down when it pops up in the midst of an otherwise-fun conversation, because I know so well where most people stand on it (statistically, the world is less religious than ever, but the jerkhole minority is also more vocal than ever). But, Baratunde coolly diffused that topic with a good bit of wisdom, and I can cringe less in the future with the hope that the Nerdist heathens (COME ON, I’M KIDDING!) will take that to heart. 😀

  26. Baratunde says:

    I CARE! thanks for the gif. Now the podcast is compete

  27. jenni says:

    hey guys. great podcast. I grew up in a Maryland suburb of DC during the crackhead mayor years and I agree, DC’s being screwed! Isn’t that why the colonialists, or continentalist, broke from England? Taxation without representation? hello?

    p.s. the Smithsonian museums are amazing. like Baratunde said, after growing up with them in your backyard, it’s hard paying for museums in California.

  28. Chris Wormley says:

    “You can call me Baratunde or Mr Big Stuff, it’s your choice.” I loved this podcast. Been a fan of the Nerdist podcast since the time where most of the guests were “Community” cast members, and i been a fan of Baratunde since he was on Fresh Air. I was so happy to hear this podcast, and was not disappointed. It was great to hear the political side of Chris Hardwick. FIGHT THE POWER CHRIS! lol

  29. Rick C says:

    I also miss the hostful episodes too!! But this was a very good and funny podcasts nonetheless. Of course I JUST find out about this podcasts a couple weeks ago (I caught up on all the hostfuls and all the interviews of people I think are interesting) and really want to go to a live one BUT they are nowhere in L.A. where these awesome dudes are from 🙁 Come back and do one here soon please!!!

  30. Baratunde says:

    this baratunde guy sounds interesting

  31. MichaelH says:

    Weird, just listened to Bullseye today. and as above just found about him Ok, not so weird if he’s going on a few podcasts. Baratunde was funny there, and great to see him engage in such a facinating and wide ranging discussion here too. Cool new discovery! I hope Chris can juggle one hundred projects and two hundred guests enough tto maybe have a second interview at some point!

    Of course, the dream would be a Nerdist round table discussion on anything and everything with some of the smartest Nerdist alums…Neil Degrassi Tyson, Xeni Jardin, Baratunde Thurston…

  32. Ray P says:

    Chris are you talking about 5 Beekman Street? Also check the history of the original New York Cancer Hospital. The place was abandoned for thirty years and only renovated 5 years ago.

  33. Missy says:

    So, if Jonah’s there, I don’t think he’s made a sound in 56 minutes

  34. Matthew says:

    This episode is a perfect example of why I love the Nerdist podcast. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of Baratunde before this episode, but now he’s my new favorite person.

  35. aidan says:

    i wish that hostful episodes would return. i miss them