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Chris Hardwick (American stand-up comedian) Bio, Facts. 

Chris Hardwick

Birth name: Christopher Ryan Hardwick
Born/Date of Birth: November 23, 1971
Place of Birth: Louisville, Kentucky, United States
Medium: Stand-up, podcast, television, film
Alma mater: University of California, Los Angeles
Genres: Observational comedy, blue comedy, sarcasm, musical comedy, self-deprecation, satire
Subject(s): Human behavior, pop culture, current events, politics
Spouse: Lydia Hearst (m. 2016)
Parent(s): Billy Hardwick, Sharon Hills
Christopher Ryan Hardwick (born November 23, 1971) is an American stand-up comedian, actor, television host, writer, producer, and podcaster. He hosts Talking Dead, an hourly aftershow on AMC affiliated with the network's zombie drama series The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead, as well as Talking with Chris Hardwick, a show in which Hardwick interviews prominent pop culture figures, and The Wall, a plinko-inspired gameshow on NBC. From 2013 to 2017, he hosted @midnight with Chris Hardwick, a nightly comedy-game show series on Comedy Central. In June 2018, Hardwick was accused of emotional and sexual abuse by his ex-girlfriend Chloe Dykstra. AMC suspended Hardwick from its shows while conducting an investigation. AMC concluded its investigation and allowed Hardwick to resume his positions in August 2018. Dykstra refused to participate in the investigation.

Hardwick originated the role of Stacee Jaxx in Rock of Ages during its premiere run in Los Angeles (2005–2006). In 2011, he began hosting Ministry of Laughs, a BBC America Britcom block, and Talking Dead, a live hour talk show on AMC following episodes of The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead. In 2013, Hardwick hosted Talking Bad, a live half-hour talk show on AMC following the final eight episodes of Breaking Bad, and in 2016 he started to host Talking Saul for Breaking Bad's spin-off, Better Call Saul. He is also known for performing with Mike Phirman in Hard 'n Phirm, hosting Singled Out, Wired Science, Web Soup, and as the voice of Otis the Cow in Back at the Barnyard, replacing Kevin James.

He also created Nerdist Industries, operator of the Nerdist Podcast Network and home of The Nerdist Podcast, which later left the network with Hardwick and was renamed to ID10T with Chris Hardwick. His podcast has broadcast 999 episodes as of April 2019.

Early life
Hardwick was born in Louisville, Kentucky. He is the son of professional bowler Billy Hardwick (1941–2013) and Sharon Hills (née Facente), a real estate agent in Pasadena, California. His maternal grandfather was Italian American, and opened a bowling alley where Hardwick's parents first met. Hardwick was raised in his mother's Roman Catholic faith. At age 4, he met the then-struggling comedian and television personality Joan Rivers and became lifelong friends with her. Hardwick grew up in Memphis, Tennessee, where he was the 1983 Memphis City Junior High Chess champion. He later attended St. Benedict at Auburndale high school, and later moved to Regis Jesuit High School in Colorado and spent his senior year at Loyola High School in Los Angeles.

Hardwick studied philosophy at UCLA, where he was a member of the Chi Phi Fraternity during his freshman year and graduated in 1993. He was roommates with Wil Wheaton for some time. They met at a showing of Arachnophobia in Burbank, California.

Career
Hardwick was a DJ on Los Angeles radio station KROQ-FM during the mid-1990s. In the fall of 1998, he starred in the UPN comedy Guys Like Us; the show aired 12 episodes before it was cancelled in January 1999.

Hardwick appeared in Rob Zombie's horror films House of 1000 Corpses and Halloween II. He also made a small appearance in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines. In 2010, he was featured in the film The Mother of Invention. He made guest appearances on such shows as CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Married... with Children, Boy Meets World and Zoey 101, and was a guest commentator on VH1's I Love the '90s, which aired in 2005. He appeared as a television host on hip hop group Little Brother's 2005 album, The Minstrel Show.

Hardwick is a contributing writer for Wired (since 2007), wrote for Web Soup and Back at the Barnyard, and he made regular appearances on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson and Chelsea Lately. As part of what Hardwick calls his "nerd media empire", he runs Nerdist Theater, an entertainment space at Meltdown Comics in Los Angeles. He entered into an equity partnership with GeekChicDaily in June 2011 to form Nerdist Industries.

Hardwick published a self-help book, The Nerdist Way: How to Reach the Next Level (In Real Life), with Penguin Publishing, in late 2011. In February 2012, GeekChicDaily fully merged with Nerdist Industries and became Nerdist News, with Hardwick operating as Chief Creative Officer.

On July 10, 2012, Nerdist Industries was acquired by Legendary Entertainment. Hardwick was given the title of co-president of Legendary's digital business.

In February 2018, Hardwick announced that he would be rebranding The Nerdist Podcast to ID10T and that he would be leaving Nerdist since the contract with Legendary came to an end in 2017.

Voice-over work
Hardwick voiced Alexander Hamilton in The Radio Adventures of Dr. Floyd and Otis in the Barnyard series (the character was originally voiced by actor Kevin James in the movie Barnyard: The Original Party Animals).

He provided the voice for Green Arrow/Oliver Queen on The Batman and Lego Dimensions, Glowface in The X's, and Sokka in The Legend of Korra, as well as voice work for The Minstrel Show from the rap group Little Brother, and narration for the introduction video for the Flash animation game George Plimpton's Video Falconry. Between May 2013 and July 2016, he voiced "Craig the Snake" on Sanjay and Craig. He also voiced the character Vaughn in Telltale Games's Tales from the Borderlands, reprising his role in the Borderlands 2 DLC Commander Lilith and the Fight for Sanctuary and in Borderlands 3.

In 2017, Hardwick guest voiced as the villain, Klaxxon, for the special podcast episode of Futurama released on the Nerdist podcast.

Hosting
In 1993, Hardwick hosted the MTV game show Trashed, in which contestants would answer trivia questions or risk some of their belongings being destroyed. From 1995 to 1998, he co-hosted with Jenny McCarthy the MTV dating game show Singled Out, in which the main contestant selects from a pool of 50 people based on their attributes without seeing them. While working on Singled Out, he met fellow MTV personality Jacinda Barrett, to whom he became engaged but never married. Later, he hosted the syndicated dating show Shipmates.

From October through December 2007, Hardwick hosted the weekly series Wired Science on PBS, while writing for Wired magazine. On June 7, 2009, he became the host of G4's Web Soup, a spinoff of E!'s The Soup. Hardwick had previously guest hosted The Soup's predecessor, Talk Soup.

Since February 2010, Hardwick has been producing the "Nerdist" podcast, which he hosts with Jonah Ray and Matt Mira. The podcast was named one of 2010's best by The A.V. Club and one of the 10 best comedy podcasts by Rolling Stone.

In May 2011, Hardwick signed a contract with BBC America to host a pilot of a panel talk show for the network based on the podcast. The pilot also included Hardwick doing intros and outros for BBC America's new Saturday-night Ministry of Laughs comedy block of Britcoms.

In 2011, Hardwick began hosting Talking Dead, a live half-hour (later expanded to one hour) aftershow to AMC's series The Walking Dead. Hardwick interviews celebrity fans of The Walking Dead as well as members of its cast and crew, interacts with the studio audience, re-airs clips of the episode, plays games with and polls the viewers via the Internet, and offers exclusive clips of the next episode. In August 2013, Hardwick began hosting Talking Bad, a live half-hour (later expanded to one hour on the final episode) talk show companion series to the final eight episodes of the AMC series Breaking Bad. In February 2016, Hardwick began hosting Talking Saul, a live one-hour talk show companion series to the season two premiere and finale of the AMC series Better Call Saul.

On December 24, 2011, BBC America aired The Nerdist: The Year in Review, a comedy special hosted by Hardwick in Los Angeles. In August 2012, he hosted a special episode of The Nerdist on BBC America to "debate" the effects of time and space with other friends and celebrity nerds. The episode was really an effort to promote the network's upcoming September 1 seventh-season premiere of the series Doctor Who.

On April 30, 2013, Comedy Central announced that Hardwick would host a half-hour comedic panel show called @midnight with Chris Hardwick. Thomas Lennon and Robert Ben Garant, formerly of Reno 911!, served as executive producers/showrunners. It premiered on October 21, 2013.

On November 7, 2014, he hosted the "Talent, Art, Movie and Costume" section of the BlizzCon gaming convention.

Stand-up comedy
Hardwick is also a stand-up comedian and performs with Mike Phirman in the music comedy duo Hard 'n Phirm, whose half-hour comedy special Comedy Central Presents: Hard 'n Phirm premiered in January 2008.

In 2004, Comedy Central used some of his material for an animated series called Shorties Watchin' Shorties. He has toured as a featured comedian for Joel McHale. In 2010, he appeared as a stand-up comic on John Oliver's New York Stand-Up Show twice. In the same year, Hardwick performed on the Comedy Central show The Benson Interruption.

On February 17, 2012, Hardwick filmed Mandroid, his first one-hour stand-up special for Comedy Central in New York City. Jonah Ray was his unaired opener. The special aired on Comedy Central on November 10, 2012 and was well received. Extended and uncensored DVD, CD, and digital versions were released January 22, 2013.

Influences
Hardwick has said his influences include Steve Martin, George Carlin, Richard Pryor, Sam Kinison, Rodney Dangerfield, Bill Hicks, Emo Philips, and Bill Cosby.

Personal life
Hardwick was previously engaged to model/actress Jacinda Barrett and was in relationships with Andrea Savage, actress Janet Varney from 2004 to 2011, and with model and actress Chloe Dykstra from late 2011 to July 2014. He became engaged to model, blogger, heiress and actress Lydia Hearst on September 12, 2015, and the two married on August 20, 2016, in Pasadena, California.

Hardwick is a recovering alcoholic; he says he has been sober since October 2003. A former co-worker has said that Hardwick has "replaced his alcoholism with workaholism".

Abuse allegations
Hardwick's ex-girlfriend Chloe Dykstra published an essay on Medium on June 14, 2018, in which she alleged that she had been subjected to emotional and sexual abuse by an ex-boyfriend; in retaliation for ending the relationship, she was allegedly subject to career blacklisting. The essay did not name the abuser, but the timing and several key details, such as the abuser's being nearly 20 years her senior and having gone from "a mildly successful podcaster to a powerhouse CEO of his own company", led readers to conclude it was Hardwick.

In response, Nerdist removed all mentions of Hardwick from its website and released an official statement saying, "That type of behavior is contrary to everything we stand for and believe in [...] The company has removed all reference to Mr. Hardwick even as the original Founder of Nerdist pending further investigation." In addition, AMC announced that further episodes of Talking with Chris Hardwick would be pulled. Furthermore, Hardwick stepped away from moderating all AMC and BBC America panels at San Diego Comic-Con.

Hardwick has denied Dykstra's allegations, saying, "Our three year relationship was not perfect—we were ultimately not a good match and argued—even shouted at each other—but I loved her, and did my best to uplift and support her as a partner and companion in any way and at no time did I sexually assault her." Three former girlfriends and his wife all say that Hardwick has never been abusive with them. However, several anonymous industry professionals corroborated the descriptions of emotionally abusive behavior, with one unnamed source stating: "Nobody’s surprised. Everyone can think back to incidents with Chris that line up with something in that story." Another unnamed source stated that he "witnessed incidents in which Hardwick or those in his circle would make it difficult for those who crossed him to find work in the future."

Days after Hardwick's dismissal from AMC, unverified text messages from 2014 and 2015 were revealed by TMZ in which Hardwick penned a lengthy breakup message to Dykstra as she pleaded with him to reconsider. The messages reveal that Dykstra had also been involved in another romantic relationship with a man named "Sam" despite her pleas to reconcile with Hardwick, and include an admission by Dykstra that she handled the situation poorly. In the text exchange, Hardwick tells Dykstra that "(w)hat you and Sam did was — no hyperbole — the worst thing anyone has ever done to me". Hardwick referred to Dykstra's apparent desire to reconcile as "just a way for you to have an emotional safety net to feel ok (with) what you were doing whenever Sam wasn't in the room with you".

On July 25, AMC announced that a comprehensive investigation failed to confirm Dykstra's allegations and that Hardwick would return as host of Talking Dead and Talking with Chris Hardwick. A statement released by AMC read as follows: "Following a comprehensive assessment by AMC, working with Ivy Kagan Bierman of the firm Loeb & Loeb, who has considerable experience in this area, Chris Hardwick will return to AMC as the host of Talking Dead and Talking with Chris Hardwick. We take these matters very seriously and given the information available to us after a very careful review, including interviews with numerous individuals, we believe returning Chris to work is the appropriate step." Dykstra, who refused to cooperate in the investigation, stated two days later on Twitter that she "chose not to participate in the investigation of the person I spoke of. I do not believe in an eye for an eye." She also stated that she "originally wrote my essay so I could move on with my life, and now I intend to do so." On July 31, NBC announced following its own investigation that Hardwick would return as host of The Wall for a new season. On August 10, Hardwick's name was returned to Nerdist's website after their own internal investigation found no evidence of wrongdoing. Nerdist's official statement said "Following an internal investigation conducted with the assistance of outside employment counsel into Mr. Hardwick's conduct while employed at Nerdist, we have made the determination to restore the reference to Mr. Hardwick as a founder of Nerdist".

Following AMC's decision to reinstate Hardwick, several staffers and the co-executive producer Jen Patton, who had worked on the show Talking Dead and worked with Hardwick for five years, quit the show in protest of his re-hiring. The staffers and executive producer "... felt they couldn't stay after (Dykstra) was not part of the investigation". Dykstra, however, had chosen not to participate in the investigation, stating:

I have been adamant since I came forward with my essay that I never set out to ruin the career of the person I spoke about [...] I could have provided more details on the matter but chose not to. I have said what I wanted to say on the matter and I wish to move on with my life.
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