“I was just the snarky white guy who used to be on MTV. With the explosion of broadband and hundreds of channels, the media industry flipped from “a top-down to a bottom-up culture of niche consumers,” he added.“I had an unusual combination of qualifications–stand-up, hosting, and I loved science and technology.But his outer hipster clashed with his inner gaming, chess-playing computer enthusiast.That’s when the insomnia set in.“When you first start working, you take whatever job is offered, because you have to build your resume. Then I had this epiphany: ‘Why not pursue the things I cared about, like science and technology?”I used to see nerds in the front row, and the rest were rednecks,” he says.“After a while, the nerds slowly overtook the audience–like a zombie outbreak.“Although the Nerdist site was flourishing as a promotional and branding platform, Hardwick needed greater expertise to grow it into a moneymaking venture.website and podcasts, but it was an unexpected look back at his early '90s days that was truly the highlight.Near the end of the Television Critics Association's winter press tour session Saturday afternoon, Hardwick -- also host of AMC's with a revealing anecdote.
For Hardwick, the landscape has shifted dramatically for "nerdy" content making its way into the pop culture conversation.
He hopes to spotlight some of his favorite stand-up comics/comedians, as he believes there isn't much space for it on television at the moment.
“Don’t send me out for anything that isn’t science related.”“I really thought he was crazy,” laughs Alex Murray, his manager at Brillstein Entertainment Partners, who nevertheless indulged his client’s whimsy.
There are advertisers on all other Nerdist media offerings and Levin expects to have them on soon.
Upcoming Nerdist ventures include Hardwick’s summer Comedy Central comedy special, televised versions of the podcast for BBC America, a U. comedy tour, a film and TV production company, and publishing imprint.