Nerdist Industries (lost/unreleased media from blog; 2010-2013)
Nerdist began as a blog by comedian and host Chris Hardwick in 2007 and, since then, has grown into a many-headed beast.
The blog spread to a podcast, The Nerdist, in 2009, and, as of 2014, Nerdist Industries includes a premium YouTube channel, a network of about 40 podcasts (both active and inactive), a news division, TV productions (including The Nerdist on BBC America, the planned Chris Hardwick's All-Star Celebrity Bowling on ACM, and @midnight on Comedy Central), The Nerdist School (an LA-based improv and sketch comedy training program), and NerdMelt (a performance space located inside Meltdown Comics in LA).
Throughout the history of Nerdist Industries, various pieces of work have been gone missing, or have been talked about but not released.
NOTE: This list does include recordings that have been deleted or are now unrecoverable. Due to the digital nature of podcasts, it's possible, and likely, that most of these recordings no longer exist. And, though written as if there's this grand conspiracy to only release the episodes with good guests, the most likely reason for the shelving and/or deletion of this media is most likely due to audio issues and Chris Hardwick's drive for quality.
Here are the various videos either shot for the Nerdist YouTube channel, but not released, or released but later taken down.
"Shitzy the Christmas Moose"
Sometime in 2012 or 2013, a video of a stuffed Christmas moose named "Shitzy" (???) (voiced by Chris Hardwick), making fun of various film trailers, was uploaded to the Nerdist YouTube channel. According to Hardwick in the "Honestly 2013" episode of The Nerdist, the origin of Shitzy started in a comedy club:
: "It was a Christmas moose that was at Zanies in Chicago that had been hanging behind the stage, and he had these pants -- 'Cause it was filled with birdseed -- that looked like he had filled his pants with shit. So over the course of five days, I kept referring to 'Shitzy the Moose,' and his mythology grew wider and wider. So, for Christmas that year, Chloe [Dykstra, Chris' girlfriend at the time] had gone back after I had finished the last show, and the club gave her the moose and she gave it to me as a present. So we had Shitzy the Moose come on."
Chris went on to explain why the video is no longer available, saying:
: "It was so hated, that I was like 'Well, the people have spoken!' and I took it down. So the Shitzy voice became the Pierre the Pelican's voice."
When "the failed moose" was originally brought up during the episode by girlfriend Chloe Dykstra, Hardwick jokingly feigned anger and said, "Never speak of him again!"
The video has not yet resurfaced, and it is unknown if anyone has archived it.
The Nerdist Podcast
Premiering on February 10, 2010, The Nerdist Podcast is hosted by comedian/host Chris Hardwick, comedian/actor Jonah Ray, and comedian/writer/former Apple genius Matt Mira. (Though originally featuring all three hosts at all times, and always featuring Hardwick, Ray and Mira now appear on the podcast when their schedules permit.) The podcast also frequently features appearances by comedian Kyle Clark (who can usually be heard in the background laughing as he jots down notes for Hardwick) and podcast producer Katie Levine.
Primarily featuring interviews with actors, comedians, and celebrities, the podcasts also features live shows and "Hostful" episodes, which feature just the three hosts (though a few hostfuls have featured guests, only one, the episode "Sick Ray," features only two of the hostfuls; a very sick Ray was replaced by Levine for the duration of the episode.)
Though Hardwick has joked that he has to release every episode at this point, no matter the quality, because he's too busy to let content go to waste, there have been various episodes recorded that have not been released, for one reason or another. This may include audio problems or problematic CDs. (For a time, the podcast was recorded at the E! Studios building, which recorded onto physical CDs.)
Episode 29: Todd Barry
On July 27, 2010, the 29th episode of The Nerdist was released, featuring guest Todd Barry. However, soon after, it was pulled and its page on the Nerdist website was deleted. When asked about it during various live shows and hostfuls episodes, the hosts would joke that they were oblivious to what they were being asked before Hardwick would quicky reply that it was pulled because of "audio problems".
On April 4, 2014, a full explanation was finally given with the release of episode 501, again featuring Barry. When Hardwick mentioned to Barry that he was "the infamous Nerdist Podcast number 29," Barry replied, "Oh yeah, what happened there?" Hardwick explained:
: "You were the very first podcast that I did with a remote set-up [...] and I don't know what happened, but the audio was so inconsistent and bad, and I couldn't save it, and a bunch of people were like 'I can't hear this.' It was the first time that I had that problem, so I felt really bad, but I -
- BARRY: "Did you scrap it?"
- HARDWICK: "I just it down. And then, for a while, it was really fun to just have this invisible podcast, where people were like 'What's podcast number 29?' and I was like 'I don't know what you're talking about.' [...] The podcast was great, it's just the audio was so unfortunately terrible. But, I learned a lot after that, about how to, I mean, you know --
- BARRY: "Well, I'm glad I could help you learn how to do it right for the next guy who was on, who's album sales spiked."
The contents of the episode are not known, though Hardwick did mention that Barry's early career was talked about.
Though the episode was released, and it's fairly possible that somebody still has it downloaded, the episode has yet to resurface.
Kevin Pollak First Appearence
During Kevin Pollak's appearance on the November 15, 2010 episode of the podcast, it was revealed he had actually recorded an episode a few weeks before. However, Hardwick was unable to find the recorder usually used for remote podcasts and decided to use the voice memo function on his iPhone. Propping the phone up against a telephone system, Hardwick reviewed the recording later that night and, to his dismay, found that there was electrical interference through much of the episode. He deemed the recording unusable, and no excerpt has seen the light of day.
It's probable that the audio file was deleted soon after recording.
On April 3, 2013, Christopher Titus tweeted the following:
- "Just did @nerdist podcast great guys but Kyle is as damaged as I am. My spellcheck wrote 'nerdfist' which I think is a tech porn site"- @TitusNation - 3 Apr 2013
Since then, however, the episode has not been released or even mentioned. A reason for its shelving has not been given.
Rod Roddenberry and John Champion Original Recording
On August 17, 2012, co-host of the Star Trek centered Mission Log podcast John Champion uploaded four photos (pictured below) onto his Facebook account in the album, "The Nerdist Podcast," showing that he and Rod Roddenberry (son of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry) had recorded an episode of The Nerdist with Hardwick and Mira. He went on to share one of the photos's on the official Mission Log Facebook page with the caption:
- "Rod and I talked up 'Mission Log' today with Chris Hardwick on the Nerdist podcast (episode coming soon). Had an excellent time geeking out with fellow fans. (Only thing missing here is an appearance by Ken Ray)."
On May 10, 2013, an episode with the two was finally released. However, this is most likely not the original recording from the previous year. The most obvious piece of evidence for this is the talk of "the new movie" Star Trek Into Darkness, which Mira had stated he had been to an advanced screening of and which would be released six days after the podcast. Hardwick also thanked the two for "coming back."
It is unknown why the original recording was lost, though it's possible there were technical/audio issues making it unusable, or the CD was not able to be saved.
The Greatest Hostful Ever! Lost February 2012 Hostful
According to the February 10th, 2012, Hostful episode "Sound Board", a different Hostful had been recorded the previous week. According to the three hosts, as Hardwick was running late, Mira and Ray started to record the podcast, and recorded roughly 15 minutes before Hardwick arrived. Hardwick joined in the recording, and, according to him:
- "I had the headphones plugged into the board, everything sounded fine when we were recording -- I could hear everyone fine in the headphones. I don't know what happened, but when I got the recording back, you could not hear me at all, and what I realized was 'Oh, my mic was dead the entire show.' I was kind of being picked up by your microphones, but not really. [...] It would've been so irritating and maddening for people to hear you stop and then hear '[mumbles softly]', 'Yeah, that's right!' [...] There was no way to fix it."
Throughout "Sound Board", the trio referred to the lost Hostful as the best one they had ever recorded.
Though the idea of releasing just the first 15 minutes, with just Mira and Ray, was considered, it wasn't acted upon. Currently, it has never been released in any form.
"The Disc Was Bad" Lost January/February 2010 Hostful
On February 13th, 2013, Hostful Hardwick revealed to Ray and Mira that the previous Hostful episode recorded wouldn't be released, much to the duo's shock. Hardwick stated, "The last one that we recorded, the disc was bad." Mira wondered if the disc was really messed up, saying "Sometimes, those will just play in here and I can record them onto the computer. I can save that, probably. If you want it saved."
Much like the lost hostful from two years before, Mira stated: "We had so much fun." Though not much is known about this hostful, it was stated that Jonathan Coulton Vs. Glee controversy was discussed and the character of Pussy Talkin' Jonah made an appearance.
Apparently, the Hostful could not be saved, as it has not been released to the public.
Nerdist Live Shows
Throughout The Nerdist's four years on the air, the trio has done countless live podcasts around North America, both as gusted episodes and Hostfuls. However, the majority have not been released. According to Hardwick, this is due to a combination of technical, audio, length, and format issues, though it's possible a few have simply been forgotten (during the intro to the live Minneapolis episode with Doug Benson, released almost a year after its recording, Hardwick openly admitted that he had saved the show for a release at a later date and just simply forgot about it).
New York Live Show with Jim Gaffigan
On the April 11th, 2012 episode of the podcast, with guest Jim Gaffigan, it was revealed that a live show had been recorded in New York with him as a guest. According to Hardwick, there was a constant clicking noise through the entire recording, "like a click track," for unknown reasons. (Mira speculated that it might have been a result of an ungrounded cable.) Hardwick called the incident "heartbreaking."
Though the show has been mentioned by Gaffigan in every subsequent appearance, and the file still, at least for a time, existed (Hardwick telling Gaffigan he could have sent it to him), the show has yet to be released, and the contents of the episode are largely unknown.
San Francisco Live Show with "Drunk" Dan Harmon
On January 28th, 2012, in San Francisco during the comedy festival SF Sketchfest, a live episode was recorded at the Regency Ballroom with guest Dan Harmon. According to the Hostful episode "Sound Board," Harmon was mistakenly given the wrong time. Arriving hours early (perhaps not realizing how early he actually was), Harmon drank to kill time. Additionally, the three hosts performed stand-up for an hour before bringing Harmon out.
During the fifth episode of his own podcast Harmontown, "Confessions of An Alcoholic Mars Rover" (in which Hardwick was a guest), Harmon described the night, saying that, as a joke, he feigned anger at stand-up comedy as a whole, and started lampooning the "black people/white people" trope. According to Harmon, "When I was growing up, it was a big deal [in stand-up]. You come out, point out the differences between black people and white people. It was very celebrated; Very funny. And I picked the wrong decade to lampoon that, and I picked the wrong substance to lampoon it on."
According to Harmon, when he asked Hardwick about why the episode hadn't been released -- Fully expecting something along the lines of "because you're a big, sloppy drunk shit-head and it's unairable" as a response -- Hardwick told him, "By the time that we started being ready to release it, the whole Chevy Chase thing happened, and we waited for that to cool out, and then you got fired [from Harmon's show Community]. There was no point in time I thought 'We're doing this guy a big favor by airing this episode.'"
Once brought out on stage, Hardwick himself explained the show further, saying:
- "You were making fun of stand-up, which I know as a comedian. And the audience was on board. [...] It was not at all about race. Nothing you were doing was actually about race. But when the Chevy thing broke, I didn't want it to be another, TMZ or someone goes [sic] 'LOOK AT THIS OFFENSIVE THING HE'S DOING OVER THERE!'
- We did stand-up up top of the show, and then you came out. And I love that you were making fun of us, and you were making fun of stand-up, and it was a great dynamic on the show. But we always want people to feel fun and celebrated and positive and supported and safe. You know, I just didn't want the wrong person to take something that they read in a headline out of context and say 'Oh, that Dan Harmon did this!' And it's like 'No! You weren't there! It wasn't about that at all!
- When you're making fun of stand-up comedy, you say things like 'Men and women are like this, and New York and San Francisco are like this, and flying is like this, and black people do this.' [...] So, that is a classic stand-up / making-fun-of stand-up joke. But I just didn't want people to misconstrue what it was actually about."
He went on to explain the shelving of the show, saying:
- "But the truth of the matter is that the audio on live shows is very, very difficult. We do get alot of complaints on that because four mics are set on the table, and people lean back, people lean forward, the audience is mic'd seperatly, and audio levels on live shows are just very hard to normalize. So, that was actually the other issue. So it really was a couple things, but it was a really fun show and I'm really glad that you did it and we will have you back on."
Harmon returned to The Nerdist on September 29, 2014, along with Neil Berkeley (director of the documentary Harmontown). The unreleased episode was discussed at length and, among other things, Harmon thanked Hardwick for not releasing it, admitting that he was shocked that so much thought had been put into its shelving as the two didn't know each other very well at that point.
Though Harmon has regained his job on Community, and controversy surrounding him has died down, it's unlikely that a release of the recording will happen.
Dallas Live Show with Doug Benson
In July 2012, Doug Benson guested in a live show in Dallas, TX. According to Jenna, the moderator of the LittleNerdistThings Tumblr blog who was in the audience at the show, it's possible that the show wasn't released "because the loud and shitty techno show happening next door kept getting in the background of the audio."
Currently, not much more is know about this show.
Lost Episodes of Other Podcasts in the Nerdist Network
The Nerdist Network of podcasts includes almost 40 podcasts, including both podcasts in production and podcasts that have ended their run. Popular podcasts on the network include the video-game themed The Indoor Kids (hosted by actor and comedian Kumail Nanjiani and his wife, writer Emily V. Gordon), You Made it Weird (with comedian Pete Holmes), Jonah Raydio (with Nerdist co-host Jonah Ray), and FEaB: Four-Eyes and Beard (with Nerdist co-host Matt Mira and SModcast co-host Scott Mosier).
The Indoor Kids: "The Spank Bank" - Matt Mira's First Appearence
First hinted at in Matt Mira's first released appearance, December 23, 2011's "Everything + Christmas (with Matt Mira)" -- with Mira stating "Come see us in Massachusetts November 30th, assuming this airs, I don't know if it will. Whatever. There's one other one you never heard cause Kumail sat on it for so long" near the end of the podcast -- it was revealed during The Indoor Kid's first live show, recorded at NerdMelt and released on January 23, 2013, that Mira has appeared earlier. After being brought up by Mira, the episode was breifly discussed:
- EMILY V. GORDON: "Let me tell you. This unreleased podcast - Which will never see the light of day -- we talked about your sisters for about an hour, and then we talked about -- No mention of games! - And then we talked about -
- MIRA: "Separate from the jerking-off conversation, I have to say."
- GORDON: "Yes, very separate. Then we talked about your idea for a show called The Spank Bank, where you just interview girls -"
- MIRA: "Kumail and I would just have a podcast where we interview women we used to beat-off too. We figured we could get one guest."
After some more discussion and material based around the topic, guest Blair Butler revealed amazement at the podcast not getting released, saying "The episode I was on, there was a point in the conversation where Kumail revealed a horrifying story about [Emily's] mother and you specifically said, 'Well, we're gonna cut this out.' And then I listened to the podcast and it's still in there, including you going 'We're gonna cut this out.'"
This lost episode has since been discussed in Matt Mira's subsequent episode, "Everything Bond with Matt Mira."
It was implied in both discussions that, though unreleased, the audio file still exists.