Episode 219

Nerdist Podcast

Billy Hardwick

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Nerdist Podcast: Billy Hardwick

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!!! It’s a special episode with Chris’s dad (and Hall of Fame professional bowler), Billy Hardwick! It’s a longer episode, but a great and personal one full of stories about the pro bowlers’ tour, Hardwick family origins, overcoming anxiety, pursuing passions and more!

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  • @Matt Grandis – If you go Silent Bob on people that kinda defeats the purpose because, you know, he’s SILENT. :-P

    I wanna listen to this, but in reading the reviews I’m a little reticent. My father made his way to the firmament 24 years ago this week.

    I’ll give it a go. For Dad.

  • This amazing! I loved hearing this episode having the father-son dynamic and I have ALWAYS wondered what Billy Hardwick is like considering he spawned (well okay Mrs. Hardwick did most the work there) the amazing Chris Hardwick. Great Episode!

  • I’m a new listener – the last 5 minutes had me bawling – then laughing (re: Chloe “alright, take it easy…” = LOL!!)….You’ve got me hooked Hardwick!! ;)

  • Chris, I’ve listened to every single episode since you guys started. This is possibly the VERY BEST of them all. It was really awesome of you and your father to share all this with us. Absolutely riveting and compelling, I could listen to your dad just tell bowling and growing up stories for hours. Way to raise an already high bar.

  • Chris this was excellent. I know it musta been hard to put this out here for the world to judge but trust me and your fellow nerds ^ it was some great and touching podcasting.

  • Chris Hardwick has raised the stakes! he has made it verrrrry difficult for people to complain that this isnt a hostful!

    hahaaa… havent even listened yet and im already touched. im sure its great… cheeers to you and your pops, Big C!

  • Just wanted to chime in and say this is a wonderful thing you’ve done Chris. I’m sure you’re glad you’ve done it but there’ll come a time when you’ll really appreciate it. This is going to get sappy but about 6 weeks ago I lost my father and with him, the ability to have that conversation. It’s weird when you think about it. They’re arguably the biggest people in your life for a large part (if not all of it) but you’ll sit down with strangers and dig deep into their past/motivations and never think to do the same with your parents. I’ll cherish the ones I do have and will hear second hand but to have a 2 hour conversation recorded, that’s special. Well done.

  • Well played young man. When your father was “Billy the Kid”, he was one of my heroes. Who could have guessed, years later, he would be my friend. Thanks for reminding everyone to love the people in your life while you have them.

  • Great podcast, thank you to both Hardwicks.
    I only hope I remember a tenth of those stories to ask my dad about when next I see him – he is in his eighties and has bowled all my life. Local leagues, not tournaments, but I remember when he bought his bowling ball (and bag, and shoes), so I now know he started when it was cool.
    It’s amazing that while you are sharing your life, I also get light into some of my own history.

  • I did not expect to like this as much as I did. I didnt think i would dislike it, I just didt expect to be as interested… here’s an idea a pod cast where comdians interview their fathers… maron, jesse thorn, jonah, pete holmes etc

  • this is the 117th episode of the Nerdist Podcast that i’ve downloaded and listened to. out of those 117 (all hostfuls, all live “on the road” episodes, and guests that i’m familiar with), this is one of the best ones i’ve listened too. my parents split up literally just a few months after i was born, and to this day, 24 years later, i’ve never met my father or hardly have any memory of him. it’s so great to see you two have such a great relationship with each other. great podcast. keep up the awesome work!

  • Chris’s dad sounds like Sparks Nevada. He didn’t seem as old-timey as Chris makes him sound sometimes, though. And he’s right about Chris being a good listener, hearing him chat with people is much better than, say, Adam Carolla, who used to listen more, but has taken to just running over his guests all the time. We get a lot of interesting information out of Chris’s guests.

  • Ohhh sure, you can all celebrate and enjoy the whimsical dialog betwix Chris and his father. But do any of you care about me and all my bretherin that Billy beat on all those years?!? We were innocents. Merely hired to stand in a triangle formation, 10 to a group, and nightly guard our area of a wooden floor. Our work areas were easily defined and separated by security waterless moats known as gutters. Alas time and time again we failed as the evil Billy H would break through our ranks with heavy cylindrical artillery. The Horror. The horror. Me, known by my brothers as Terry TenPin,
    normally felt pretty safe when other theives would take out my friends but leave me and Sara SevenPin standing strong. But not with Billy. He’d take us down and then mockingly drink some beer as if on camera for a commercial. The horror. The horror.

    Antrhopomorphic Animated Bowling Pin (#10)


  • Was anyone else surprised that Chris’s dad doesn’t sound anything like Chris’s stock “old guy” voice? I always assumed he was just doing his dad.

  • To be fair, Anthropomorphic Animated Bowling Pin, you had it coming. The way you stood there, all “come on and take me down, if you dare”. Don’t deny it, you wanted it. You *relished* it when Billy’s ball came at you and steamrolled you. Admit it, it’s never been the same since that day in ’69.

  • This was quite possibly one of the best podcasts I’ve had the privilege to listen to. (And I listen to a LOT of podcasts.) There were at least 4 spontaneous “Awww!”‘s , a couple of “How sweet!”‘s and many…many laughs.

    Thank you for sharing this with us, Chris. This lowly nerd appreciates it.


  • Wow Chris that was really special. My father’s from the same generation (he’s 73) and while he doesn’t talk about it much I have a feeling his own father was a lot like your grandfather. You really gave me some insight. Thank you.

  • Loved this episode. Great to hear how you two can talk like two friends even if you are father and son. Again, great episode. / Mats (your fan in Sweden)

  • Chris,

    Thank you so much for this episode. Like everyone who has already commented, I was tickled, touched, and charmed by your conversation with your Dad. He’s such a sweetie! And you are lucky to have a father that is vocal about his life, lessons learned, and love for his son. My father’s birthhday was 6/7 and he would have been 78. He passed 4 1/2 months after his 70th birthday, and was more like your grandfather than like your Dad. This kind of conversation was not one that we would have had.

    I’m so glad you took the time & opportunity to have this conversation with your Dad. Have more!! (We don’t need to hear those.) In 15 years you will not remember if it was inconvenient to make time to see him (but you will remember the conversations). The welcome you are sure to recieve will be worth the effort.

    And I know it feels really weird and kinda creepy to put up something this personal, but that is where real connections are made. That’s where understanding happens. And now we all feel a little closer to you. (Don’t be scared! We like you!) ;-) Thank you for being brave and sharing your Dad and your relationship with him with all of us.

    A very happy Father’s Day to your Dad!

  • The BEST, most Sincere, Sweetest, funniest, PodCast Yet.
    Billy Hardwick is an amazing man. Stories of Hooking up-over
    seas.. Loving his grandkids, and being Sweet to Chris. Favorite Yet.

  • Nerdist Youtube Channel – ‘Life Lessons with Billy Hardwick’
    But also a Billy Hardwick commentary over an all star bowling Season 2 episode would be a treat.

    How about a sequel to this podcast – Chris’ Grandma’s alive?

    Happy Father’s Day Y’all.

  • Your best podcast yet.

    I really identify with your father’s struggle. Bad dad, 18 year-old son died, drank a shitload. It was very cool to hear his perspective. Coincidentally, his positive words are realizations that I have come to on my own over the past year or so, finally.

    They say “what does not kill you makes you stronger”. In that case I should be soaring through the skies fighting crime with a red “S” on my chest.

  • So touching and wonderful. I always enjoy all the Nerdist podcasts, but this one is super super special and amazing. Anyone who shits on this podcast officially seriously has no soul.

  • Holy craps you guys!!! I figured people might be mildly interested in a “hey your dad how bout that” kind of way, but the response is super special to me. THANK YOU. This means a lot to me. And it would to my dad, too, if I were able to get him to understand what a podcast is.

  • Hey Chris, (I listen and watch you so often, we are on a first name basis)

    This podcast kept me company on a drive today and really, your dad has an amazing story. The podcast was inspiring and made me really want to call each of the three men I call dad and hang out more with my granddad. Not to mention inspire me to be the best dad I can be to my two rug rats. Thanks for sharing this with us.

  • Hey Big C,
    This episode is amazing. Thanks for sharing this. So many good moments and interesting idiosyncrasies. My favorite is hearing you refer to “my mom” instead of just “mom” even though you’re talking to your dad. I think I sort of get it because of the extended nature of your family. You mentioned coming to Atlanta soon. I hope you use that as an excuse to go see your dad again since you’ll be in the neighborhood, relatively speaking. =)

  • Wow. This episode was beautiful. I really can’t think of any other word. Other episodes are hilarious, fascinating, entertaining, all that jazz. But this episode? Beautiful.

    Billy Hardwick is a dude who seriously did his effing best to enjoy his burrito, and is seriously enjoying his burrito now. That story of the man who overcame the asshole father and became an awesome father is my dad’s story too. How awesome is it that your success, and your amazing personality, is your dad’s triumph! I agree with everyone: Thanks so much for this. Completely, totally, undeniably, incredibly, amazingly awesome.

    Oh, and as one of the probably many dads listening to the podcast, thanks for the ‘Happy Fathers Days’ y’all! Happy Poppa’s Day to all you other brothers of fatherhood!