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Episode 517: Nerdist Podcast
Ben Acker and Ben Blacker
Nerdist PodcastNerdist Podcast

Nerdist Podcast: Ben Acker and Ben Blacker

It’s a Nerdist/Thrilling Adventure Hour mix! Ben Acker and Ben Blacker hang out with Chris to talk about how they started The Thrilling Adventure Hour, how they branded the show to make it what it is today and their careers in writing!

Get tickets to The Thrilling Adventure Hour in NY this Saturday May 10th!

Photo by Mindy Tucker

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  1. Carlos Perez says:

    Always good to hear Good Ben (Blacker) and Evil Ben (Acker) together. At least that’s how I think of them. They complement each other very well. Thanks for the podcast!

  2. Ashtan says:

    Listen here, Mister Hardwick, all the cool people knit and/or crochet. And we are all badasses. We can make you something wonderful, or stab your eyes out. So don’t be ragging on us.
    P.S. I love you and everything you do! 😀

  3. Natter says:

    Can I listen to podcasts in order? Say, for instance, I’ve recently discovered TAH and would like to listen in order without scrolling through 300 episodes to get to number one. Thanks

  4. Gary Bravender says:

    Wow,Chris I’m surprised and a little disappointed with your reply.Considering how vicious comments are on other sites these criticisms are pretty tame.Further more they’re correct, the podcasts are jumbled and hard to navigate.What I don’t understand is why is it so hard to have it look correct from the get go.You guys aren’t breaking new ground it’s a fucking web page. C’mon Chris you’re better than that, time to thicken up that ain’t all unicorns and rainbows.Make it work correctly the first time and you won’t have to go on the defensive…..We still LOVE you!

  5. grim says:

    @JGalley, you gave Chris a shit sandwich and when he became upset that you gave him a /shit/ sandwich you became upset that he didn’t appreciate the fact that you gave him a /sandwich/ disregarding the /shit/ part.

    That being said — The tiles are a little jumbled and hard to navigate. I only came across this episode at the bottom of the Jennifer Morrison episode (I didn’t notice the episode number.) I caught the Thomas Tull episode and then only saw this episode next.

  6. BassBone says:

    This podcast episode is fantastic. I love TAV and Acker and Blacker and they’re so much fun to listen to.
    At the risk of sounding critical, having lived a few days with the new, I am finding the site really difficult to navigate. The image tiles don’t make a whole lot of sense and it’s really hard to find the newest content. Also, on the podcast page, there’s an ad for Godzilla that looks just like one of the podcast tiles, and that’s really misleading and kind of rude. Overall I am not a fan of the new site. I’m sorry.

  7. Brandon says:

    I’ve spent a couple days with this new site now, on my pc, and I imagine that it’s probably works incredibly well with mobile devices. Like really really well. My only issues are the same as I had with Windows 8 Metro Station and their tiles: It’s a little difficult to navigate until you get used to it, and there are a few more steps required to get where you want than before. It looks really nice, but before I got the hang of it I was unsure what was new and old. I love everything that this site produces but there are almost always going to be issues when you design with mobile devices in mind first. People using those, however, are almost certainly the larger audience so it’s an understandable thing to do. The thing to keep in mind is that Chris and everyone at Nerdist remade this website because they wanted to make a better experience for everyone, so obviously they will try to fix any problems that seem to recur. Gotta say though, I think a subscription feature would be pretty cool since the collection of podcasters is still growing, it might eventually become difficult to find out when one you like has uploaded. Just a thought. TL;DR: They’ll probably fix any major issues, they redesigned the whole website because they wanted to make a better product, they obviously care about these things.

  8. Bubbowrap says:

    @jgalley – Saying something that probably an entire team of people have been working hard on for months is a ‘complete cluster fuck and has to go’ reads pretty harshly, and anytime you use quotes when they’re not needed comes off as extremely condescending.

    That said you’re right about the clusterfuck thing. The homepage is a bunch of ‘what the heck do I focus on’ right now. The image tile trend isn’t for me, but I don’t know if that’s a personal thing or not. I admittedly bypass the homepage entirely and go straight to the podcasts because I feel a bit overwhelmed with the amount of stuff.
    I think adding dates to tiles would be cool because I have a weird thing about not wanting to read week old news, and maybe moving the categories (games, movies, television, etc.) to the top left because that’s where the eye goes first would help but a regular user will learn to look at the bottom left for the category first after a few days. 
    Also a slight line-height adjustment to the text in the qemment input box would be cool, it feels a little tight compared to the rest of the site’s more open feel.
    Hope that helps!

  9. jgalley says:

    Remember everyone. When Chris tells you to “let us know what you think” what he really means is only if you have positive things to say.  Because if you have ANYTHING’re just part of our “dismissive” culture and need to give it time.
    Reminds me of a comment from another comedian (that escapes me) about an Artist using the trite “you don’t understand it then” when someone says they don’t like their artwork as an excuse for bad artwork….
    I made a couple positive comments about the site and liking it’s “look” but said it was a cluster fuck otherwise and hard to navigate…so of course I’m just “dismissing” it because I’m part of a culture that has become “so dismissive” that I apparently don’t have the intelligence to tell when something isn’t very good in a short period of time.  Giving the site a couple months (unless changes are made) isn’t going to change anything I said.
    But whatever, remember…only let them know if you’re blowing them over it.  Because Chris, as usual, really can’t take criticism despite what he claims.  Unreal.

    • neotenous says:

      You sound like a real condescending asshole. Get over yourself. 

      • jgalley says:

        I’ll pretend I was talking to you and care what you have to say.  But it’s always good to get criticized by someone who does the same shit, or in your case even more insulting, than what they’re criticizing you for doing…aah..hypocrites..

    • Jake says:

      Generally, when someone says “Tell us what you think”, they don’t mean in bitter, non-constructive terms. Notice how a few others of us told Chris things that we were having issues with and he responded with a kindly, “We’ll look into it!”? That’s what happens when you have civil discourse rather than jumping to insults. Give it a shot sometime and I bet you find life starts running smoother.

  10. TipsyMongoose says:

    I discovered Thrilling Adventure Hour by hearing Chris mention it multiple times in other podcasts, and now it’s one of the only things that gets me through the day at work. The writing is so clever and multi-layered that you can listen to the same episode several times and still catch new things that you didn’t get before.
    As for the new site, I agree it has a few usability issues, but I think the overall design is great. Like they say about old houses, “It has good bones.”

  11. Alex says:

    I listen to the podcasts quite regularly but am bewildered by the new design. Anyone know how to access the older podcasts?

    • Jake says:

      From what I can tell, you click Podcasts on the top right of the page, then scroll down until you see “View Full List”, where you will be able to select Nerdist Podcast. I, too, would like a link to the Nerdist Podcast page from each individual episode.

    • Sandy says:

      To the right of the spy glass is three lines. Click on that and select Podcast and then select Nerdist.  From there you can see all of the previous podcasts.

      • Baes says:

        On the podcast page there is also a button that says ‘see full list’ and that pulls up the list of all the different podcast shows that you can then go to full the full lists.

        But I agree, organization needs work. The menu button needs to be more clear since not everyone knows that the three lines is trying to become the universal symbol for menus.

        I like the design overall but needs more work.

  12. JGalley says:

    I’m all for changing the site.  The old one looks just that..old.  And it does need updated.  I kinda like the “look” of this new one…Buuuut.
    That said, this actual site is a complete cluster fuck.  It’s hard to tell what’s what and old shit get’s jumbled in so it’s not even clear what’s fucking new. 
    Please, update the site.  But this “version” has to go.  It’s a complete and total mess.  Ever since discovering Nerdist and ti’s podcasts I caught up and kept up with each new one that interested me.   Now I don’t even want to bother with the total mess the site has become.

    • JESUS IT’S BEEN A DAY. Are we THAT dismissive as a culture??? I mean, one look and you’re just DONE? Give us a chance, man! You have to let shit tons of people start using the site before you solidify too much because you don’t know exactly how it’s going to handle it. We had to get it up and running and now we can start sorting the content. TONS of people are working around the clock (and have been for a while) to try to make you happy. I’m not sure if you are aware how condescending your comment came off, but that “version” of it is pretty harsh.

      • jgalley says:

        You tell us to tell you what we think THEN attack those that do.  I don’t need to give it more than a day to tell you it’s a fucking cluster fuck…I spent time messing around with it before I even made the goddamn comment.
        Growup Chris.

        • This isn’t about me growing up. Your initial comment is far more deserving of that command. Criticism is a-ok in my book! But you were rude. One of the above commenters was right. People like you are a bummer to deal with on the Internet. There’s a complete lack of awareness on your part regarding your communication skills. You come at people aggressively, rudely and condescendingly. When they come back at you with the energy that YOU brought to the table in the first place, you act like they just can’t handle your truth juice. Nope. It’s your attitude they can’t handle, and I’d be willing to bet you find yourself in situations like this often. So is it all of us who just don’t get it? Or do you think that MAYBE you might have something to do with it with the tone you set? Criticism is good–VITAL even–but only when delivered respectfully and politely. The priority should be to create a better product, not tear someone down because you’re so smart. People are never going to take you or your notes seriously which is a shame, because I don’t disagree with you about the poor organization of content. The site is a mess at the moment. But it’s brand new. We had to get it up and running to see if it could handle the traffic, and the next several weeks will be all about fine tuning. Please try to be more aware of how you communicate to other human beings who usually aren’t going out of their way just to piss you off with the stuff they’re making. We can all play nice, offer suggestions for improvement and grow together as a community. Thanks, everyone else! We’re working our best on it!

        • jgalley says:

          Except I didn’t personally attack anyone until I was attacked.  Again, grow up chris.

        • jgalley says:

          And on one last note.  I’ll make more of an effort to not bother commenting with info/etc you ASK for..because you don’t want to hear anything negative..despite claiming you want OPINIONS.  But it’s whatever.  Keep on that high-horse, Chris.  I’m not the one that personally went after someone for giving me info I asked for because it might have been worded with “potty mouth” words.  Oh and, text..internet..typing..good job lacking the ability to realize tone and intent are not easy (if not impossible) to pick up in a typed message (my original about the site.)  It wasn’t done in an attacking way, even if you want to say the choice of words was bad.  But it hurt your feelers..I understand.

      • jgalley says:

        really dude…the only one being “dismissive” is you.  Don’t attack someone for being “dismissive’ when you are doing the exact same fucking thing by just dismissing my comments about the site entirely because you didn’t like them.  Hi Pot..I’m kettle

        • Browncoat27 says:

          jgalley, you’re completely missing the point.  if you’re going to give criticisms, make sure they’re constructive, otherwise you just come off looking like another mindless tool who thinks his two cents the end all be all, you my friend, are (almost) all that is wrong with the internet

  13. We’ll look into all of this, gents!

  14. Wesley Marshall says:

    Mobile issue. On the player I can’t select to listen via libsyn on iphone. It may be my phone but I want to help cause nerdist is my favorite! 

  15. Jake says:

    Constructive Criticism:
    I didn’t even know this was the most recent episode as you still have the Thomas Tull episode listed first on the main page. 
    The Podcast page needs to be clearer. Having just a ton of tiles with the most recent and/or most popular of every podcast is confusing.I think it is much cleaner to just have the tiles of each separate podcast instead of having to go to the bottom and then click again to get a simple list.
    Also, the “trending section” should look somewhat different from the rest as right now it just blends in and clutters the page.
    Finally, the image headers for everything are way too low res and look quite blurry.
    NOTE: This is all from someone who uses Nerdist almost entirely on a computer, not a mobile device.
    Great episodes, by the way!