June 10, 2016 Chris Hardwick Gets Personal At The Paramount Huntington, NY 6-4-16
Chris Hardwick is a man of many talents; he is a podcaster, TV show host, voice artist, writer, producer, DJ, musician, and a stand-up comedian. The MTV show, Singled Out, kicked his career off in the mid 1990s, and from there he has been on many other shows and in the movies. Currently he hosts his own nightly show on Comedy Central, @midnight with Chris Hardwick, which he won a Primetime Emmy Award for Original Interactive Program in 2014. He also hosts the show Talking Dead, which airs directly after each new episode of The Walking Dead and Fear The Walking Dead. In addition, he is the voice of Craig on Nickelodeon’s Sanjay and Craig, and he has been a contributing writer to Wired magazine since 2007, as well as wrote a self-help book in 2011, The Nerdist Way: How To Reach The Next Level (In Real Life).
Having little down time, Hardwick managed to find a small crack in his schedule to go out and do something he is very passionate about, his stand-up comedy. With that in mind, he is currently embarking on The ID10T Tour, which began on June 2nd at Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, New Jersey. Then, two days later, on Saturday June 4th, he made a stop on Long Island to visit The Paramount in Huntington, New York for a rare area apperance. With such a vast body of work, Hardwick’s brand brought out so many fans from all walks of life, from the geeks to the apocalypse warriors, and from pre-teens to seniors, eager to see the compelling personality of Hardwick work.
The evening started off with Comedian Mike Lawrence, a South Florida native who now lives in Brooklyn, New York. Lawrence is no stranger to Chris Hardwick as he has made several appearances on @midnight as a recurring guest. He is not only an accomplished stand-up comedian, he is also a writer, in fact, he is a staff writer for the upcoming season of Inside Amy Schumer and had contributed to the 2015 MTV Music Awards, as well as the 2015 Webby Awards. With his stand-up, he has made appearances on Late Night With Seth Meyers, Conan, Totally Biased and the New York Stand-Up Show. Those interested can also find him as the co-host on the podcast Nerd Of Mouth on Cave Comedy Radio.
Coming out onstage in a pair of jeans and a black t-shirt featuring several Comic Book characters, he started right off with his observation of current politics in this general election year. Commenting on how the choices may go and how he may be forced to vote, he also spoke about how he hopes that Bernie Sanders will still be in the race. When he said a choice for Sanders would make him most happy, the audience burst out in cheers in his support. Moving right into the next subject, he asked, “How many of you are happy that Full House, Fuller House, was back on the TV?” Some of the audience raised their hands, some cheered. He continued with saying that how in reality we did not want the show back, we wanted our lives back at the time the show aired; back when, “I was eating meals I didn’t have to pay for and before my body fell apart!” There were lots of cheers and laughter.
Lawrence kept the laughs coming, touching on many everyday subjects. He did not miss a beat as he belted out joke after joke. Ending his set, he exclaimed, “I had the worst job ever, I worked for McDonalds for seven and a half years.” He talked about how deeply he was bothered by them announcing the all-day breakfast, “When I used to tell people that we were out of breakfast, that would be the only happy moment of my day!” After the laughter subsided, he continued with how he had said this at another show, “After I said I served for over seven years, a women stood up in the back and said Wendy’s for eighteen, mother fucker!” A soldier in the audience at that time stood up and saluted them both. The audience burst out in laughter while cheering and clapping.
Ending his set, Lawrence swiftly announced, “Are you all ready for Chris Hardwick?” A heavy Dance beat began to play over the PA and soon Hardwick came running out from the back of the stage, dressed comfortably in black jeans and a faded jersey. He was fist-pumping to the beat and cracked his first joke of the evening about his smooth dance moves, “You pretend that your surrounded by thousands of dicks and start punching away,” starting his show off with screaming joy and laughter.
After cracking several more jokes, his show became very interactive as he started talking with the audience members, asking a few individuals what their names were and what they did for a living, as he was dropping funny tidbits and finding humor all along the way. One person he questioned was a high school student and when Hardwick asked him what year he was born, the young man answered, “1999.” Hardwick responded, “Ah man, dude you just missed Grunge! You don’t even know about dial-up!” With the fans now feeling they were now part of the show, the laughter was even more intense.
Hardwick wanted to jump off the stage to be with the audience, but the stage height is almost five feet. An audience member walked over to the stage and Hardwick got a piggyback ride down to the floor. Continuing with meeting audience members, now face to face, he was given a present by a female audience member, while thanking her, he ran over to the stage and frantically ripped off the wrapping. He exclaimed, “It’s a Dr. Who coloring book! Thank you so much!” After nearly fifteen minutes of getting to know his fans, he wanted to get back on the stage, and in one attempt, he tackled the five-foot wall.
Now back on the stage, he took a pole, “How many of you are dog people?” With cheering and raising hands, some audience members replied. Then he asked, “How may are cat people?” It seemed the cheering was a little louder, but Hardwick immediately replied, “Your wrong!” He went on to explain how he is a dog person but now lives with his fiancés cat, Anubis. Apparently, he and the cat are currently in a tiff, as the cat had vomited on his feet several days in a row. When asking his fiancé, Lydia Hearst, what the problem was, as he explained he did nothing to the cat, she explained that was the problem; you have to pay attention to him. Hardwick explained how he is just baffled by this, then added, “Cats are monsters!” He then sat down on one of the stage monitors and began to ask several more of the audience members what their names and professions and interests were.
Hardwick then talked a little bit about all the things he is involved with and then invited the audience to ask him questions. Not surprisingly, the first questioned pertained to the season finale of the sixth season of The Walking Dead, his reply, “No, I don’t know who dies. I am a fan just like you and I never now what is going to happen until the show airs, that is why I am often emotional on the Talking Dead.” Another question pertaining to The Walking Dead was if he will even be a Zombie on an episode of the show and he replied, “Yes, its in the plans.” He answered questions about his show @midnight, and when asked about his podcast, he said that it is going strong, saying, “In four years, the year 2020, it will be ten years old!” When asked who his favorite guests have been, he started with, “My Dad,” and the crowd gave him many cheers. He continued with a long list of names, but elaborated on the time he had Tom Cruise on.
One audience member blurted out, “How did it feel to win an Emmy?” Hardwick noticed this man was writing down what he was saying, he proceeded to jump off the stage again and go over to him. Finding out this person was writing a review, he told him, “It felt fucking great!” When a fan offered him a shot, Hardwick replied, “Thank you very much but I don’t drink.” He continued to explain that he used to, but he is now thirteen years sober, gaining another round of cheering from the crowd. When asked what his favorite Sci-Fi movie is, he hesitated to reply as there were so many, but ultimately settled on answering, “Back To The Future.”
A female audience member yelled from the upper mezzanine, “We have questions too!” With a surprised look on his face, Hardwick exclaimed, “With the stage lighting, I didn’t even know there was seating up there!” Taking a run on over and then climbing the wall, he joined the fans up there, running up to greet the people all the way up in the Skybar. After spending several minutes up with those fans, he came back down to the main floor via the stairs. A young man then asked what the name of this current tour stood for, and Hardwick smiled and said, “It’s computer customer service code, for example, when someone is having an issue and are asked, ‘Is your computer plugged in?’ and the answer is no, that’s an ID10T code.” He laughed along with the audience.
As it seemed, Hardwick was rounding up the question and answer session as a man called for his attention. He started by saying that he has been a fan of Hardwick since he had done the show Singled Out, and was wondering if he would accompany him in asking his girlfriend a question tonight. Hardwick was more than happy to go over to him, and in the wink of an eye, the man was down on one knee proposing to her. After she said yes, Hardwick said, “Let’s do Talking Wed!” With the audience cheering away for both the couple and the impromptu Talking Wed, he spent several minutes talking with the couple. Hardwick returned to the stage once again to finish out his show. With much gratitude, he thanked his fans and said, “It was just so much fun to talk to you guys. Thank you, thank you New York!”
Chris Hardwick was very warm and charismatic throughout the whole show. He did not put on a typical stand-up comedy show; instead he incorporated that style of performance with his own flare of being a show host. The ID10T tour may have been a short one as it ends soon, but everyone will be able to get a glimpse as he will be doing it as a Nerdist Podcast Live on July 23rd. Be sure to catch his show, the talented comic will have viewers laughing all the way through.