Chris Hardwick – biography, fact, career, awards, net worth and life story

IntroAmerican stand-up comedian
A.K.A.Christopher Ryan Hardwick
Is Actor 
Internet personality 
Stand-up comedian 
Film director 
Film producer 
Voice actor 
Television actor 
From United States of America 
Type Entertainment 
Film, TV, Stage & Radio 
Birth 23 November 1971, Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky, U.S.A.
Age:48 years
Father: Billy Hardwick

Christopher Ryan Hardwick (born November 23, 1971) is an American stand-up comedian, voice actor, television host, writer, producer, podcaster, and musician. He is the chief executive officer of Nerdist Industries, the digital division of Legendary Entertainment. He currently 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; @midnight with Chris Hardwick, a nightly comedy-game show series on Comedy Central, and The Wall, a “plinko” inspired gameshow on NBC.

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 Bads 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 Nerdist Podcast, and as the voice of Otis in Back at the Barnyard, replacing Kevin James.

Early life

Hardwick was born in Louisville, Kentucky, on November 23, 1971, 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 his parents first met. Hardwick was raised in the Roman Catholic faith of his mother. At 4 years old, Hardwick met struggling comedian and television personality Joan Rivers and became lifelong friends with her, until her death in 2014. 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, later moving to Regis Jesuit High School in Colorado, and then spending his senior year at Loyola High School in California.

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


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 2. 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 magazine (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.

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.


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 the MTV game show Singled Out, where 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 was 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 Soups 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 deal with BBC America to host a pilot of a panel talk show for the network based on the podcast. The deal 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 hit 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. Talking Dead is currently in its fifth season. 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 its 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!, serve 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. In 2007, both his solo standup and duo act were featured on the comedy compilation CD Comedy Death Ray. Hard ‘n Phirm completed several songs for the 2009 Rob Zombie animated movie The Haunted World of El Superbeasto. Hardwick announced plans to do a live stand-up album from his 2009 tour. 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, Chris 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.


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 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 talks openly about being a recovering alcoholic and has been sober since October 8, 2003.


  • Horses and Grasses (2005)
  • Mandroid (2012)
  • Funcomfortable (2016)



1997Courting CourtneyTim
1998Win a DateEvrettShort film
1998Beach HouseRoss
1998Art HouseWeston Craig
2000Jack & DianeJackShort film
2002Jane White Is Sick & TwistedBurger
2003House of 1000 CorpsesJerry Goldsmith
2003Terminator 3: Rise of the MachinesEngineer
2004SpectresSam Phillips
2004Johnson Family VacationArson investigator
2005Life Coach, TheThe Life CoachMilos
2009Mother of Invention, TheThe Mother of InventionDrake Wooderson
2009Halloween IIDavid Newman
2010Lego: The Adventures of Clutch PowersBones (voice)Direct-to-DVD
2013Booker, Catch!BookerShort film
2015Me Him HerCulk Didip
2017The Lego Batman MovieReporter #3 (voice)Cameo


1991ThirtysomethingYoung manEpisode: “Closing the Circle”
1994TrashedHimself (host)50 episodes
1995–98Singled OutHimself (host)130 episodes
1996Boy Meets WorldHimselfEpisode: “Singled Out”
1996Married… with ChildrenDan InwoodEpisode: “Spring Break (Parts 1 & 2)”
1996MADtvHimselfEpisode: “1.16”
1998–99Guys Like UsSean Barker13 episodes
2001The Zeta ProjectRo’s Brother (voice)Episode: “Ro’s Reunion”
2001–03ShipmatesHimself (host)
2005Zoey 101Garth Berman – Executive ChairmanEpisode: “Spring Fling”
2005–06The X’sGlowface (voice)20 episodes
2006CSI: Crime Scene InvestigationMikey ShoemakerEpisode: “Rashomama”
2007WIRED ScienceHimself (host)11 episodes
2007–08Batman, TheThe BatmanGreen Arrow/Oliver Queen (voice)3 episodes
2007–11Back at the BarnyardOtis / Additional voices (voice)52 episodes
2008Comedy Central PresentsHimselfEpisode: “Hard ‘n Phirm”
2008The Radio Adventures of Dr. FloydAlexander HamiltonEpisode: “407”
2008–13Attack of the Show!Himself (correspondents)73 episodes
2009–11Web SoupHimself (host)53 episodes
2010John Oliver’s New York Stand-Up ShowHimself2 episodes
2010The Benson InterruptionHimselfEpisode: “1.1”
2010–11McBustersMorgan Spurlock (voice)2 episodes
2011–12Scooby-Doo! Mystery IncorporatedAdditional voices2 episodes
2011–presentTalking DeadHimself (host)Also producer
2012Legend of Korra, TheThe Legend of KorraSokka (voice)Episode: “Out of the Past”
2012Chris Hardwick: MandroidHimselfStand-up special
2012–13The NerdistHimself (host)18 episodes
2013Video Game High SchoolAnchormanEpisode: “Loopholes”
2013Talking BadHimself (host)8 episodes
2013–16Sanjay and CraigCraig (voice)Lead role
2013–present@midnight with Chris HardwickHimself (host)Also creator, executive producer, writer
2013–15Comedy Bang! Bang!Himself3 episodes
2014Garfunkel & OatesHimselfEpisode: “Rule 34”
2014MaronHimselfEpisode: “Marc on Talking Dead”
2015Family GuyJohnny Lawrence (voice)Episode: “Once Bitten”
2016–presentTalking SaulHimself (host)2 episodes; also executive producer
2016–presentTalking PreacherHimself (host)2 episodes; also executive producer
2016Chris Hardwick: FuncomfortableHimselfStand-up special
2016Critical RoleHimself/Gern BlanstonEpisode: “Cindergrove Revisited”
2016Force Grey: Giant HuntersHimself/Wil Wee-TawnWeb series, cast member
2016The Jim Gaffigan ShowHimselfEpisode: “No Good Deed: Part 2”
2016–presentThe WallHimself (host)Also executive producer
2017Talking with Chris HardwickHimself (host)
2017America’s Got TalentHimself (Guest Judge)

Video games

2014–15Tales from the BorderlandsVaughn / Additional voices
2016Lego DimensionsGreen Arrow

Awards and nominations

YearTitleNominated workResult
2014Spike Guys’ Choice Award for SmartacusWon
2014Primetime Emmy Award for Original Interactive Program@midnight with Chris HardwickWon