Episode 223

Nerdist Podcast

James Gunn

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Nerdist Podcast: James Gunn

James Gunn comes on the podcast to talk about his new video game Lollipop Chainsaw, everyone talks about their coffee addictions and all their favorite TV shows right now!

Follow @jamesgunn on Twitter and check out more about “Lollipop Chainsaw”

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  • Two sentient zombies negotiating a door only wide enough for one of them: “AAAAAARRRRGHWAAAAGH RRRRRRAAAAAAGHYYYOOOOEEE *ahem* After you. No no, I insist. … AAAAAAARRRRRRRRUUUUUGH”

  • It was a very good interview, he has really matured in recent years and is more interesting to listen to.

    I’m a little confused as to why he doesn’t try to become a writer for a quality tv show given how much newfound respect he has for the medium.

    I second those who say he would be a good one to try to get doing a regular podcast under the Nerdist banner. Something like “Oh the horror! with James Gunn”. I’d subscribe.

  • Mucho amor for James Gunn. Although, He sounds remarkably like Ray Romano, freaked me out a bit. If that’s my only observation I’m dumb. Great Podcast.

  • @Tip I was getting more Alan Alda from James.

    As long has the pod is double dipping w/ the greatest guests, I think we’re all ready for Donald Glover #2. What say you??

  • I always pictured James Gunn as a jerk for some reason. This podcast proved that wrong. He seems like a really nice down to earth guy who doesn’t put up with shit. Thanks for another great podcast.

  • Can only listen to this podcast in bits at the moment, but so far I’m loving the “behind the scenes” info, such as how long a screen play should be and how a video game script is written. The latter sounds like one of those “Choose Your Own Adventure” books – if A happens, go this way but if B happens, then THIS will occur. Neat. I love learning this kind of stuff! Keep it coming!

  • Great, once again you made me laugh out loud in public. Thank you so much. But I don’t care. I wasn’t raised catholic, but I’m still convinced I’m a piece of shit and deserve no more. So fuck what other people think.

    About people giving you shit on Twitter et al: I think sometimes they don’t really intend on giving you shit. After listening to about 250 hours of podcasts, it’s hard not to think of you guys as our buddies. We think we know you. When you playfully riff on each other, we think we can play along. Jonah giving Matt shit? Awesome, let’s make fun of Matt like Jonah does. After all, we’re part of it. Only, we’re not. And sometimes we forget that. We don’t always notice we’re only strangers on the internet talking to you like we’re pals. Which often times sounds disrespectful at best, insulting at worst.

    So, I for one want to tell you — I’m sorry if I ever talk to you in a way I’m in no position to do so. I am very guilty of overstepping boundaries at times. I’d like to think of myself as not just another stranger on the internet, but I am. And I should act as such. If I ever forget this (and I do, constantly), know that I’m simply trying to act like one of your buddies and not like some disrespectful asshole. This is something that’s so, so fucking hard to get right on the internet.

  • Sentient Agreeable Apologetic Zombie: GHUUEFGETEEEIUTOGHGS me too DEEEFGTHPHJUCEEAA agree with @MG & @Doc above FFFHEEAAOUGHTVCAAAUUCKACKACK


  • Same guilt, just, you know, mostly from my mom.

    How many Yiddisha mamas does it take to screw in a lightbulb? None. *sigh* I’ll just sit here in the dark.

  • FOR THE LOVE OF GOD! Please stop bitching about people who are mean to you on Twitter. This seems like it comes up every podcast and I am sick of hearing about it. On behalf of all the peoples of the world I apologize for every mean thing said to Chris Hardwick on Twitter. Now get over it.

  • Cool episode, some great riffing.
    On the subject of 3D puzzle games; Starship Titanic actually was written by Douglas Adams, & was one of the BEST point/click puzzle games of the 90’s.

  • Funny Gunn should mention that a person needs to see/hear fourteen positive comments to counteract one negative comment. When I got engaged, I found a “Psychology Today” article that says the happiest marriages tend to be ones where the spouse says/does SEVEN “good” things to tamp down the effects of any one “bad” thing, which is why Hubby and I will say “Have I told you yet today / this morning / this evening how much I love you” and I’ve created a reoccurring “I WUV YOU” message that gets sent to his inbox twice a month. I wonder if positive reinforcement from your sweetie is just more effective than if it’s from strangers?
    In light of Gunn’s comments and the negative things that are said on the internet, we should each say at least ONE nice thing to someone to help inoculate them from the crap. I’ll start.
    @James Gunn – You are a funny and insightful person and I will now follow you on Twitter.
    @Chris Hardwick – Enjoyed the interview you did with Donald Faison on “Attack of the Show.” Well done, you! And nice hair. And please tell Matt Mira he looks very nice without his glasses and should consider getting contacts.
    @Bryce Schoening – Thank you for the zombie flick recommendation! “Dead and Breakfast” is now in my Netflix queue.
    @Doctor Quemmento – You have a seriously cool screen name and you make me laugh!
    @Josh – Nice zombie dialog and you have a cute pink icon.
    @Matt Grandis – You are a gentleman and have a very nice face.
    That’s it for now. “The Daily Show” on the DVR awaits…

  • @Patty you are so funny — thanks for the positive reinforcement! I and my self-loathing ego certainly appreciate it! Mama Marvel, that’s what you are! Pink Hippo Bat says thanks as well.

    @8-Bit Ave I don’t mean to come across as a pathetic sniveling Nerdist apologist loser super-fan or anything, but clearly shittyness on the internet makes ol’ CH crazy — sick to his stomach as he’s said. I love how honest the hosts of these podcasts are — it’s real, you know? The guy’s been a celebrity for ever, and yet it still really matters to him when people are nasty. Don’t you find that kind of endearing? At least a little?

    This was a great episode, by the way. Love the insider baseball stuff — fun conversations to listen in on. Sorry for not mentioning that earlier. (c:

    Oh, here’s a sentient, politically minded, vindication oriented zombie: RRRHGAAAFBLAYYYAYYY didn’t I say we shouldn’t trust the Euro-zone? GRRRRREEEETHPHKLAKLA

  • @8-Bit
    Hi, Twitter Jesus. Although it’s very noble of you to take on the Twitter sins of all of those Twitter people, I think you might be missing a larger point. Tell you what. Follow these five simple steps and then, perhaps, the perspective of the person you’re criticizing might come into a bit of a sharper focus for you.

    Step 1: Become an obsessive-creative personality and pour your heart, soul, passion, time and energy into your work

    Step 2: Place that work in a public space, like the internet, for all to witness, consume, judge, and (you hope beyond all hope) enjoy

    Step 3: Get a million followers on Twitter

    Step 4: Have a few thousand of them say shitty things to you, all day every day, about every single thing you do for a few years

    Step 5: After doing all of this, THEN criticize what other people complain about

    Hey, maybe you can start right now! What’s your Twitter handle?

  • @8BitAvenue: I may not be able to adjust the show to suit your specific needs. In light of this, please leave a mailing address so that I may forward your full refund of $0.00. I deeply apologize for this travesty of justice. How you were able to get through that 2, 2 1/2 minutes a handful of times can only be described in one word–bravery. You are a true hero. (Parade forthcoming)

    With deepest sympathy,

  • Woo! I fuckin’ love parades! *waits patiently for parade to start*

    @Patty Thank you! You are also extraordinarily cool and funny! I’ve used your “clue-by-four” reference in everyday conversation several times now and intentionally failed to cite you! I’m not sorry! I’d do it again in an instant!………OK, I am sorry. But I’d still do it again in an instant.

  • @Doc: DA DAAA DA DA DAAA DA DA DAAAAA! DA DA DAAAA DA DA DAAAAA DA DA —- damn it. I think maybe my comments on this thread work better aurally. Anyway, that was supposed to be a parade … looks more like an Erik Satie party.

    How many dadaists does it take to screw in a lightbulb? THAT rabbit fixes TRACTORS!!!?


  • @Josh
    Nah, I got it. Stars and stripes forever. It wouldn’t be a real parade without it. You are, as ever, a witty and hilarious ray of sunshine in an otherwise drab and shitty world. Don’t ever change, sir!

    Unless your clothes start to smell. Then, by all means, change immediately.

  • I’m still playing Lollipop Chainsaw, and I know how some creators are very free with spoilers, so I’m gonna have to wait to listen to this one.

    But great pick for a guest!

  • @Doc @Patty @MG @CH @et al non-trolls You are ALL rays of sunshine and a whole entire shit load of fun for me to interact with — hilarious and interesting and genius as all get out!!! Virtual group nerd hug everyone!

    P.S.: Dada Yo Mama — Yo mama is so fly swatter, hat salt applesauce!

  • I feel like Chris responds better to negative feedback than either positive feedback, constructive criticism or offering a solution to a perceived problem. I get that we all have our buttons and Chris is SUPER busy, but it makes me wonder if people will have to use insults just to get his attention. At the Iowa City show, Chris rewarded a guy who admitted just tweeting something that would get the biggest negative reaction. He seems to read plenty of emails that have the insults flying, and comment on why they would even keep listening. I’m sure it is tough to ignore, but at the very least, don’t give them a reward by mentioning them on the podcast.

  • Just to clear things up, that post wasn’t a, “Why is Chris always complaining about negative feedback?” post. It was a, “I can understand that negative feedback affects you, but try not to reward the a-holes” post. I don’t want every message to Chris being, “You unfunny, 90’s reliving d-bag… Love the show!” just to get his attention. The Nerdist podcast, YouTube channel and website are wonderful. Look at the amazing feedback from the Billy Hardwick episode. I would just hope that Chris holds onto those feelings when he reads negative feedback or insults.

  • @BenZ — CH and this really nice guy named Joe had a great exchange on this topic (do or don’t respond to negativity?) just recently on the Ghost Lube comment thread. I wonder if CH didn’t address your concerns there? Anyway, you’re one of the good ones, BenZ!

  • @BenZ
    Correct me if I’m wrong, but you appear to be victim blaming again. Your attitude seems to be that if Chris responds to trolls, then he deserves to get trolled (or that if Cara Santa Maria is vocal about her atheistic views then she deserves to get threatening letters from fundamentalist Christians). I call shenanigans. The people who go out of their way to be immature assholes are just that, people, who are responsible for their own reprehensible actions.

    If somebody smashes through your living room window and robs your house, are they any less guilty of the crime of stealing from you because you didn’t have bars placed on the window? Does the fact that you never installed an alarm system somehow justify their crime? You simply can’t logically or ethically come to the conclusion that victims of a crime somehow deserve a portion of blame.

  • @CXRengel – It isn’t what Chris said but what he saw. CH tells Gunn that he (CH) has heard that Sarah Michelle Gellar is a nice person and there was a…pause…followed by CH laughing. You can hear him say something about facial expressions, so apparently JG made some sort of face at the assertion SMG is a swell person.

  • Any SUPER fans who care to see the animated series idea I pitched to James Gunn and IFC can view it here:
    I STILL think it would make a GREAT original animated series. I’m about to start production on a web series for a major producer, but there’s still time to consider this before I’m TOO rich and famous! TICK TOCK, PEOPLE! Let’s bring back BOLTIE!!!

  • ZOMG: The best things on this page:
    1) Twitter Jesus I <3 Doctor Quemmento, you are too awesome for words.
    2) A parade…nice. with deepest sympathies just made me laugh.
    3) BenZ I totally get what you are saying. CH does seem to positively reinforce bad behavior. But let's remember this. Until cloning technology is perfected, there is only ONE Chris Hardwick. He's been a bit busy lately.
    4) Patty you are awesome!

    In fact, this is the only comment section I will read on the internet ! You guys are always entertaining.

  • @Josh
    Thanks for the info, I will go look.

    @Doctor Quemmento
    That’s not what I’m saying. I’m saying that by responding to and harping on trolls, he’s going to get more trolls. This is what I don’t want to happen. The issue with Ms. Maria is not that she’s vocal about atheism, it’s that she attacks people and wonders why she gets attacked. Chris isn’t attacking people. He’s responding to trolls with more ferver (and showing people that it reaches him more) than he does with compliments. That makes people think, “Oh! To get noticed, I need to troll Chris!”

  • @Diane
    That cloning bit made me laugh. That was something I was trying to stress. I realize he’s SUPER busy with everything, but that just means the more he positively reinforces the trolls, the more the trolls will troll to get noticed. Chris will read 3-4 positive quemments and be grateful, but read one troll and just go on and on. I think it would reduce the trolling if he didn’t positively reinforce it (like I saw happen in Iowa City). If he read it, said it was from Person X and said, “You’re now blocked, Person X,” that would maybe help too.

  • @BenZ: I’m a comedian. I’m conditioned to respond to hecklers. Also, I posted HUGE thanks on the thread of my Dad’s podcast. Don’t worry…I notice all the positive comments and I appreciate the shit out of them!!!

  • @Chris Hardwick
    You make an excellent point. It never occurred to me that as a comedian you’re trying to make jokes out of the trolls. Not being a comedian myself (but rather a very analytic person that works in a very analytical job), I wasn’t seeing that. Your thanks on your Dad’s podcast was awesome! Like I said over there, I wish I could have that relationship with my Dad. Using my analytical brain, next time I will see if I can recognize you tearing into them vs. them affecting you.

  • @Ben Z
    I don’t think that Cara Santa Maria attacks people and then wonders why she gets attacked. I think that she attacks ideas and then knows full well why she gets attacked. And I fully understand what you’re saying about Chris responding to trolls causing more trolling, but not only do I disagree with it, I don’t think that your premise is sound.

    Your premise is that if you stir a hornet’s nest you’re going to get stung. I understand that. But people aren’t hornets. Hornets are creatures of instinct that sting to protect themselves. People are creatures of reason that possess brains that, when used, will tell them when it’s appropriate to sting and when it’s not. I’m well aware that people don’t always use their brains, but if you drop the expectation and don’t hold people accountable for their words and their actions, if you don’t challenge people to explain themselves and reflect on what they do and what they say, you set a dangerous precedent in which people feel comfortable acting without thinking because they know they’ll never be called to the carpet.

    Furthermore, I’ve seen the way Chris handles trolls. When they’re challenged to examine the way they communicate they end up coming back and making it right more often than you would think. Even the Howard Stern guy Chris mentioned in this very episode came back a few weeks later and apologized. I don’t know this for a fact, but I would think that seeing that pattern of resolution probably deters more trolling than it creates.


    Documentary on the NES Tetris World Championships… A fantastic movie that should be in wide release soon. (w/ a brief cameo from
    Alexey Pajitnov – who now owns the rights to the game and does fine for himself)

    Old games are fantastic, so long as you play the faster paced games. Space Invaders is too slow in today’s standars… Robotron 2084, Kaboom!, and Dragonfire are classics that hold up just as well as Tetris.

  • @BenZ Fun little discussion here — thanks for starting it! As usual, I agree with Doc — jeez that guy is smart… Personally, for those of us who take a little time to take those crazy trolls on, I love that CH comes on every now and then to join / settle the scrum. I feel like CH’s anti-troll messages are more for the troll fighters than the trolls themselves, which is super cool. He could just as easily leave us hanging to battle the trolls ourselves. but he doesn’t. He joins in and says, “Yup, trollism and douchbaggery is not okay with me either.” Don’t know about the other guys, but CH’s anti-troll comments emboldens me to continue fighting the good fight. And hey, a couple of us even got our science-y yo mama jokes read on a hostful — how cool is that??? Now THAT’s what I call positive reinforcement! (c:

  • Hey guys, very insightful conversation. Loved what you said about putting out fires, focusing on the positive and negative self perception. I was raised atheist and I do computer science research for a living, and I feel the same way all the time. I think it’s pretty common for people in challenging, stressful situations. Might be interesting for folks who feel this way to check out impostor syndrome: