I know, Chris Hardwick didn’t get married, but ‘Nerdist co-host Jonah Ray Ties the Knot’ just doesn’t sing. On episode 350 of the Nerdist, Ray, Hardwick, and Matt Myra break down what sounded like a delightful ceremony, complete with ’80s icons and comedy big wigs. Here’s to a lifetime of happiness, and productive compromise. Mozel tov, Mr. Ray!
Now back to the actual podcast. It was one of the trios’ celebrated “hostful” episodes, and it was great, but it started off, well, really, REALLY awkward, and not just for comedic effect.
It seems Ray has an aunt, as many of us do, who has a drinking problem. A drinking problem that escalates into a people problem, as many of them do. Well, apparently she targeted Hardwick after she’d surpassed her cocktail limit, and a certain Talking Dead host was assaulted. Really just a palm plant to the forehead, but for a non-confrontational person that can feel like a suplex.
Hardwick brought it up, and it instantly got uncomfortable. Ray seemed to understand an event of that magnitude could drive discussion for an entire episode, and didn’t overtly try to tamp down the incident. Which may’ve been a bad decision, because Hardwick was relentless. Devoting 20-plus minutes to something I’d imagine Ray would’ve happily skimmed over, and put in the bygone bin.
After a certain point Ray began running interference, chalking the slap up to a specific personality type bent on denying a person his or her fame. You know, the “well I’ve never heard of you” woman. He tried several times to steer away from the wedding debacle and talked about his own experiences. But Hardwick didn’t take the bait.
Then, in one simple question, all was revealed. Hardwick basically asked if he was to blame, in any way. Ray said he wasn’t, and Myra took the helm, exposing this incident for what it was, a colorful story that probably made the wedding more memorable. Ahh, the power of guilt. After it was over, and the awkward went away, I looked back on it with admiration, not only for Hardwick exposing a little of his neurosis, but for the show in general. That kind of exchange is what makes Nerdist so popular. Nerdist, you make awkward fun.
I won’t spoil the best parts, but I’ll give you hint: Biff happens.