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Everyone’s A Critic

Hey, it’s your editor here. BBC America asked me to do some more posts over at their Anglophenia blog as part of a week of special stuff to herald the arrival of The Nerdist: Year in Review, the television special that will air on Christmas Eve (9/8c). Specifically, they’d like me to write about the top 5 Nerdist Podcasts of the year 2011. It’ll be a good way to introduce some of the readers over there to the joys of Chris, Jonah, Matt, and podcasts guestful and hostful. I could pick MY favorites, but what fun is that?

Tell me, in the comments right here on the site or on the Facebook page, which was YOUR favorite podcast of the year, and, critically, why. It’s not a vote so much as it’ll give me a good feel for the mood of the electorate, so to speak, and I’d like to use some of your quotes to illustrate the Final Five. No prizes for this; It’s just a little referendum of sorts.

So, please, channel your inner critic and give me your picks and your pithy, witty quotes about them. Remember, it’s for 2011, so start with the Marc Maron podcast (number 52, if you’re counting) and go forward from there.  And I need them ASAP- post by Friday, December 16th, ’cause the BBCA posts start Monday.


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  1. Chuck W. says:

    Hola Mindy would show just how freakin sweet the show and the nerdist audience are.

  2. Dot.d.y. says:

    Neil Gaiman, for his ability to make people slow down and listen to him tell a story at his pace.

  3. Chris says:

    My Top Five (twice):
    x. Nathan Fillion
    ix. Aisha Tyler
    viii. John Hodgman
    vii. Marc Maron
    vi. Jimmy Pardo
    v. Ben Folds
    iv. Patton Oswald
    iii. Simon Pegg
    ii. Kevin Smith
    i. Wil Wheaton

  4. Gavin says:

    I hated the Tim Ferris episode. I hope that isn’t one of your top 5. I would vote for Dr. Tyson, Mattstronaut, Simon Pegg, Wil Wheaton, the first Hostfull #60

  5. Charlie says:

    I really loved the Kevin Pereira episode.

  6. Diana says:

    My top few podcasts (in no particular order):

    Aisha Tyler – She was funny, smart, gross, and honestly felt like she was just one of the guys. I didn’t even notice how long the podcast was because I was so entertained.

    Tom Wilson – He told great stories, had a great sense of humor and seemed more relaxed with the format than most.

    Neil DeGrasse Tyson – For the same reasons most have mentioned. He was one of the few guests who after the podcast ended I wanted to learn more about him and all the references he made.

    Ben Folds – I loved his sly sense of humor and the way he and the guys bounced their crazy ideas off each other.

    SDCC ’11 w/ Doctor Who cast plus Wil – A completely funny, sweet, energetic episode. Wished it could have gone on for another hour.

  7. stevi ferg (@steviferg) says:

    My top 3:
    1. The SDCC panel with Wil Wheaton, Matt Smith and Karen Gillan. I actually had to pull off the side of the road at one point to wipe the tears from my eyes and get my breathing under control.
    2. Neil Gaiman. Chris asked all the right questions, and Neil gave thoughtful and entertaining answers. I read my first Gaiman book as a result. And I’m still waiting to meet John Hodgman in the street…
    3. Hostful Live in Portland. The guys were really on a roll. The audience was rockin. And hey, bonus marriage proposal at the end.

    I know there were others, but after a while all the awesome begins to blur together.

  8. KristenW says:

    Tim Ferris — even though I was eating a super fatty lunch at Texadelphia while listening and it kind of made me hate myself a litte when he started talking about dieting.

    But my all time favorite episode was the Alison Brie episode, runner up being Donald Glover. Now that Community needs to rally fans to descend upon NBC like winged monkeys, it’s high time to have these two back on the show!

  9. I’m going to echo what a lot of people are saying here and go with Nerdist Podcast #139 with Neil deGrasse Tyson. I learned so much from this episode. I had a hunch that Superman’s time travel antics would kill us all, but I had no idea that ejaculating in space would cause recoil. That’s the kind of quality information that you can only get from the Nerdist, and that’s why I tune in to every episode.

  10. JE Smith says:

    Okay, I guess you *do* say Hostful or Guestful, I guess I just skimmed that a little too quickly the first time. :-/

  11. JE Smith says:

    You don’t make a distinction between Hostful and non-Hostful, and they are slightly different animals (and I enjoy them for slightly different reasons), so most of my pics are for NH pods, even though I hugely enjoy the Hostfuls. My pick for 5 best in ascending order would be:
    #65 – Wil Wheaton – Wil’s always funny, but the obvious bro-love he and Chris share makes this one a real joy.
    #95 – Jeri Ryan – Around this time, there were several ‘hot babes’ on the Podcast, and all of them seemed sweet and nice, but Ryan seemed like a RAZOR sharp lady, and her intelligence and wit really shine through.
    #108 – Zachary Levi – I love CHUCK, and Levi really comes across as a ‘regular joe’ you could totally hang out and be nerds with. I’d love to get to meet him in person someday
    #125 – Tom Wilson – Just one of the most flat-out INTERSTING guys you’ve ever had on the Pod. REALLY glad he’s doing his own podcast now.
    #126 – HOLA Mindy – Since this pod, I’ve become friends with Mindy and find her even more delightful and cool in everyday conversation than she is on this utterly charming episode.

  12. Andrea says:


  13. Chris says:

    Definitely the podcast from SDCC with Matt, Will and Karen.

  14. Kim says:

    My top three podcasts of this year were (in no particular order) Neil deGrasse Tyson, Zach Galifianakis and Kevin Smith.

    If we are talking about hostful podcasts I loved hearing about the last shuttle launch on Mattstronaut! and Live in Portland.

  15. Kait R says:

    Neil deGrasse Tyson! Not only because I loved it, but I made at least 15 other people listen to it 🙂 Also the whole bit about superman was just incredible.

    I loved the Jenny Wade episode as well.


  16. todd says:

    Ben Folds……….with all hostfulls as runner up.

  17. Cassandra says:

    Tom Wilson because I went from “who’s this guy” to “omg <3 him!" and I really didn't want the podcast to end…and Wil Wheaton, cuz frankly they f*cked the snake out of the cage. 😀

  18. Chuck W. says:

    Dr. Tyson’s episode. NdGT would show that we on this side of the pond might actually have a brain cell or two to rub together.

  19. Jason says:

    I would have the say, Kevin Smith! I still use the term “Vader Pussy” in daily conversation.

    However, I guess because this is going over to BBC America…. Wil Wheaton at the SDCC podcast with Matt Smith and Karen Gillan was classic.

  20. Brent says:

    Wil, Matt, and Karen at SDCC.

  21. itsamichael says:

    Dismiss my last comment 😀

    My favorite episode of 2011 is the Tim Ferriss episode. I’ve listened a many times over the course of year. It’s informative, funny, and I didn’t need to read 4 hour body anymore.

    The Damon Lindlelof episode is a very close second. Ya know?

  22. Itsamichael says:

    My vote is for the Ben Folds episode.