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Disco “Doctor Who,” Cottage Cheese Comics, and the Gathering Storm: What We Learned at Nerdist This Week

Six years ago today, I was wandering around Fort Lauderdale, slightly dazed, observing the aftermath of a hurricane for which I happened to be right in the path of landfall, holed up in a hotel on the beach. The road by the beach, A1A, was covered in sand, as if the beach had reclaimed it. Huge palm trees were uprooted, power lines were down, and power was out everywhere. Almost nothing in the area was open for business; the supermarket was open for non-perishables only. It was like someone had blasted the city with a water cannon for a few hours.

We were in town for a wedding. We knew there was a hurricane approaching, but we took our chances, because they were saying it would “only be a category 1″ and the wedding hadn’t been called off (and we had nonrefundable plane tickets; so I’m cheap). We got lucky: The storm created havoc there but our hotel was the only place in the region that had power (and food) throughout. But it was a reminder that, when you hear there’s a hurricane coming, you’d best get out of the way.

Oh, right, the hurricane’s name: Katrina. You know what happened once it hit the Gulf.

All of that is to say to everyone back east, take these things seriously. Don’t panic, but don’t be crazy and venture out in 100 mph winds, and if it turns out not to be so bad after all, don’t assume that’s how it always turns out, because it doesn’t. If it means you’re stuck in a darkened apartment for a couple of days, well, there are worse things.

While we’ve been waiting for the storm to hit, a lot of good stuff happened around here this week, like:

1. The spectacular Aisha Tyler stopped by the Nerdist Podcast and talked about comedy and her nerd credentials. And it made us want to subscribe to her own podcast.

2. The Intrepid Girlbot and her raccoon had a meal. Well, the raccoon did.

3. A Jane Espenson script got Kyle back into Torchwood: Miracle Day. It had more action, more Jack, and a trip to 1927.


4. Thanks to Mindy, I caught Nike and YesYesNo’s project that turned running routes into art, tracking runners on maps. I’m not sure what’s gained by it, but it sure looked cool.

5. Jake continued his analysis of comedy by asking why we have to categorize standup into alternative vs. mainstream flavors. Can’t we just categorize things into funny or not funny?

6. Danny posted the result of Improv Everywhere’s experiment in which they set up a podium and bullhorn in Manhattan and told people to “say something nice.” People did. Would you? Or would the temptation to have a little snarky fun be too great?

7. This marker and highlighter animation based on (mostly) Arnold Schwarzenegger movies was… well, just plain creative and cool. And a little a-Ha-ish. (Google it, kids. “Take On Me.” When MTV played music videos)

8. We got to see the video for OK GO’s cover of the Muppet Show Theme. The ending sequence(s) is (are) the good part.

9. Jay reviewed Fright Night. He thought it was amusing enough. I haven’t seen it, but, you know, I really liked that Roddy McDowall was a washed-up horror movie host in the original, because I loved the old horror movie and kiddie show hosts of local TV back in the day. But I’m old.

10. The Nerdist Podcast live edition with Thomas Lennon and Ben Garant showed up, and I really can’t recommend their new book “Writing Movies For Fun and Profit: How We Made a Billion Dollars at the Box Office and You Can Too!” too highly. It’s hilarious whether or not you’re interested in writing for movies, but if you have even a glimmer of interest in how movies are made, especially bad movies you can’t believe anyone thought would be good, you HAVE to read their book. As they say, it’s a miracle GOOD movies are made.

11. Kyle tipped us off about Sentinels of the Multiverse, a card-based game based on the world of comics. Some people who resisted the charms, such as they were, of Magic: the Gathering might like this one.

12. We finally saw Jonah’s pilot for Comedy Central. Consensus: Shoulda been picked up.

13. It seemed appropriate, considering we’re Nerdist and all, to say a few words on Steve Jobs’ resignation as Apple CEO. So we did.

14. Kyle dissected the trailer for The Darkest Hour. He seemed to kinda like it, relatively speaking. Partially in Russian, no less.

15. We enjoyed the 1978 sounds of the discofied Doctor Who theme. Can the Doctor go back in time and prevent it from being recorded?

16. Chris reviewed a 43-inch Samsung 3D plasma TV. Team Plasma!

17. Chris’ cottage cheese meltdown on the Hostful Podcast was turned into a Twilight Zone homage in a webcomic by Joel Watson of Hijinks Ensue. Jonah gets the last word(s).

18. Chris had a message for Emma Stone. Note the TARDIS on the couch.

19. Becca’s Music Geek Track of the Week was the James Blake/Bon Iver collaboration. That explains the exploding heads over at Pitchfork.

20. Just now, Chris posted the latest Hostful Podcast with the title “Vajonah.” I haven’t heard it yet, but I am VERY AFRAID.

21. Podcasts from Nerdist Industries!: The Indoor Kids welcomed Moshe Kasher and Brent Weinbach to talk about the music on SNES games. Riki was joined by comic Anthiny Jeselnik about his career parh. Sandra talked about handies with Dave Ross. Ben hosted Veena Sud, Gary Lennon, Sarah Watson, and Bob Kushell on the Nerdist Writer’s Panel. I was going to make a joke about Veena and the ending of the first season of The Killing, but, ah, no. And Todd Glass and not-permanent-sidekick Daniel Kinno hosted Henry Phillips.

22. And the Podcast Posse is hitting the road for Nerdist Podcast Live, coming to New York! Portland, OR! Northampton, MA! BUY TICKETS NOW!

Okay, that’s it for the week. Check in over the weekend for Girlbot and whatever else might pop up, and, above all, stay safe. If you can’t get out for a burrito, that’s okay; enjoy whatever you happen to have with you.

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