Who’s that adorably energetic fast-talking nerd who takes over your TV screen after The Walking Dead ends on Sunday nights? That’s Chris Hardwick, host of AMC’s post-show analysis Talking Dead, and previously host of Breaking Bad’s equivalent, Talking Bad. Do you feel like you kinda know Big C from somewhere but you’re not sure where, or maybe you just want to know more about him? Read on!
1. He Really Is the Ultimate Nerd
Chris, who looks about 25 but is really 41, is the son of a professional bowler — top that for cool nerd points! He’s also a stand-up comedian who’s appeared several times on Comedy Central, and is a writer for Wired Magazine. In 2008 he founded Nerdist, his popular website and podcast "devoted to all things nerd related." He's currently this close to 2 million Twitter followers @nerdist, so go follow him so he can feel even more special.
2. You May Remember Him From Singled Out
If you're a '90s kid, you probably remember him as one of the original hosts of MTV's Singled Out, along with Jenny McCarthy. He also hosted MTV’s Trashed, Weird Science on PBS, and G4's Web Soup.
3. Sometimes He Acts Too
Chris actually has a ton of TV and even a few movie credits. He was on UPN's Guys Like Us, which had a 12 episode run from 1998-1999. He was in a couple of episodes ofMarried ... with Children in 1996, one episode of CSI in 2006, the movie House of 1000 Corpses, and even Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines. He also does the voice of Craig in Nickelodeon's Sanjay and Craig, which also features one of his old Guys Like Us co-stars, Linda Cardellini.
4. He Has a Girlfriend
Sorry! Chris is still apparently dating cosplayer Chloe Dykstra, who is a cool nerd herself. The 25-year-old actress/model hosts Just Cos on the Nerdist Channel and she's featured on SyFy's Heroes of Cosplay. Interestingly enough, Chris was once engaged to Jacinda Barrett — remember her from The Real World: London? They met when he was hosting Singled Out.
5. He Immediately Lost 20 Pounds When He Stopped Drinking
Chris quit drinking in 2003, and in 2011 Wired shared an excerpt from his book The Nerdist Way: How to Reach the Next Level (In Real Life), in which he described his problem and how he turned his life around.
"Curious answer-seekers ask me how I was able to quit drinking. The truth is, it started as vanity. I wasn’t working. I was overweight. My skin was bad. I looked like death puked on a turd. One fateful evening, I was watching The Daily Show —as I was wont to do — and my old Singled Out co-host Jenny McCarthy was a guest. Near the end of the interview, Jon Stewart goes, 'It’s funny, Chris Hardwick works here now.' 'That’s right!' Jenny responded. Stewart quickly shot back with 'He does the coffee.' (Big audience laugh.) Fu. Cking. Balls. I had just gotten called out on one of my favorite shows for being a loser. And the worst part was, Stewart was right."
After he quit drinking, he wrote, "The first thing I noticed about sobriety? I lost about 20 pounds within a couple of months. I started getting compliments. This was highly motivating. Years later, and through much therapy, I would come to discover all of the really bad things (as opposed to weight gain) alcoholism caused, like anxiety, paranoia, and perpetual emotional infancy." Read more of the excerpt. It's honest and inspirational, for anyone battling addiction, alcohol or otherwise.
Are you a Big C fan? How could anyone not be?
The Talking Dead airs at 10 p.m. ET on AMC.