Christopher Ryan "Chris" Hardwick is an American stand-up comedian, actor, writer, musician, podcaster, television personality, and voice artist. He is best known for performing with Mike Phirman in Hard 'n Phirm, hosting Singled Out, Wired Science, Web Soup, and The Nerdist Podcast, and the current voice of Otis in Back at the Barnyard. In 2011 he began doing intros and outros for a new BBC America Britcom block, and hosting a live half-hour talk show on the AMC network, Talking Dead.
Hardwick was born in Louisville, Kentucky, the son of former professional bowler Billy Hardwick and Sharon Hills, a real estate agent in Pasadena, California. He was named after American sportscaster Chris Schenkel.He grew up in Tennessee, attending St. Benedict at Auburndale K-12 School, then attended Regis Jesuit High School in Colorado, and then Loyola High School for his senior year.
Hardwick studied philosophy at UCLA, where he was a member of the Chi Phi Fraternity during his freshman year. Hardwick was roommates with Wil Wheaton for some time. They met at a showing of Arachnophobia in Burbank, California.
Hardwick was a DJ on influential 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.
He 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. Hardwick was in episodes of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Married... with Children, Boy Meets World and Zoey 101. He was also a guest commentator on VH1's I Love the 90s series which aired in 2005.
He appeared as a television host on hip hop group Little Brother's 2005 album The Minstrel Show.
Hardwick plays the melodica, notably as part of Hard 'n Phirm.
Currently, Hardwick is a contributing writer for Wired magazine (since 2007), writes for Web Soup and Back at the Barnyard, and makes regular appearances on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson and Chelsea Lately. As part what Hardwick calls his "nerd media empire", he runs Nerdist Theater, an entertainment space at Meltdown Comics in Los Angeles.