It’s not controversial to say that the 21st century is ruled by nerds – we control the technology, after all. But it’s still a surprise to learn about celebrities who were – or still are – nerds but rose to fame anyways. Here are ten comedians with a geeky side.
10. Dara O’Briain
Irish funnyman Dara O’Briain is an admitted nerd, structuring whole chunks of his standup routine around video games.
9. Brian Posehn
When you name your first record Live In: Nerd Rage and do voice work for video games like Brutal Legend, your nerd cred is undisputed.
8. Jackie Kashian
Jackie Kashian both mocks our hobbies and embraces them – she once did a whole bit about one of the Game Boy Final Fantasy games.
7. Nick Swardson
The star of Grandma’s Boy got kicked out of high school for smoking too much weed, but one listen to his standup proves he’s a geek at heart.
6. Demetri Martin
Packing a peanut allergy and a bowl cut, offbeat funnyman Demetri Martin often needs to bring a pad of paper on stage to illustrate his jokes.
5. Kumail Nanjiani
Pakistani comedian Kumail Nanjiani is such a nerd he titled his first album Beta Male and riffs off of the Xbox Live usernames of audience members at his shows.
4. Donald Glover
Community star Donald Glover hasn’t been shy about his love of video games and comics, even lobbying for the role of Spider-Man.
3. Jessi Klein
New York-born comedienne Jessi Klein is a self-proclaimed geek who has done political comedy on CNN and appeared on Chappelle’s Show.
2. Patton Oswalt
When you can improvise an eight minute monologue about Star Wars that will never be aired, you’re true nerd royalty.
1. Chris Hardwick
Kentucky-born Hardwick got his start making scientific comedy videos as part of duo Hard & Phirm, and his geek bonafides are on display at Nerdist.