Top 15 Champions of Geekdom
Even though we as geeks have always known that being a geek is awesome, the rest of the world is only just now starting to catch up. We can probably thank the recent rise in geeky movies and TV shows for that, with shows like Big Bang Theory and the hugely popular superhero genre in movies this past decade. But we also can thank several celebrities who have admitted to being geeky and helped people realize we are not all a bunch of mouthbreathing shut-ins (and it's ok that some of us are). In fact, many of us are amazingly talented, funny, and creative people! So let's take a look at some of the greatest champions of geekdom who have helped us gain the respect we deserve :)
Article by: Geek Girl Zelda|
Geek Girl Zelda made this list of her 'Top 15 Champions of Geekdom'...
15. Weird Al – Weird Al was a nerd way before it was cool. And to be honest, he's still not particularly cool. But I love him anyway. As if writing geeky parodies of songs wasn't enough, he does it on the accordian, several of them in the terribly nerdy polka style. Admit it, once you hear a Weird Al version of a song you can never go back to hearing the original the same way. And with songs like White and Nerdy, The Saga Begins and Craigslist, and his movie UHF which parodies tons of geeky cinema, Weird Al is clearly our champion. He's also had cameos in tons of cartoons and TV shows like The Simpsons, The Brak Show, Space Ghost, Robot Chicken, Johnny Bravo, Ren and Stimpy and more. I saw Weird Al once in concert when I was younger and even though I mostly attend metal shows, I will admit this was still one of the best concerts I've seen. He did 100 costume changes during his set and it was a blast to go and watch. Weird Al is one of the geeks that helped pave the way for the rest of us, so show some respect to your elder!
How many other geeky celebs can you spot in this video?
14. Brian Posehn – Brian Posehn is not a household name by any means. You may think of him as “That geeky standup comic with the nasally voice.” I love him not only for his work as an actor and a standup comedian (I knew him originally from his work on Mr. Show and News Radio a million years ago), but his work in comics as well. He's always been unapologetically who he is – His standup includes bits about being a nerd, getting picked on, and things like Star Wars. He also, like me, is one of the rare geeky metalheads – I've seen him around both Comic Con as well as metal shows in the LA area, and he's always incredibly gracious and nice. He actually has done work in comics as well, co-writing the series "The Last Christmas" with his friend Gerry Duggan, which tells the story of Santa Claus confronting a post-apocalyptic world and his growing antipathy towards Christmas. And now, Posehn is writing for the Deadpool comics – he admits that he identifies with the character, having grown up as an ostracized metal nerd who later turned his angst and unique interests into a writing and stand-up comedy career. Way to be true to who you are and turn it into something awesome, Posehn!
13. Aisha Tyler – Aisha Tyler breaks the geek stereotype mold by being beautiful, successful, and an amazing gamer. She's gotten attacked both from inside and outside the geek community, constantly having to fight allegations that “She's not a real nerd!” Aisha is not only an incredible gamer, but also a writer and blogger and podcast host/guest who speaks extensively on behalf of geeks and gamers everywhere. Aisha has been known to speak out on behalf of geeks of all types – especially girls, and black geeks. She also does the voice of Lana on the always amazing Archer cartoon, and attends events like Comic Con and E3. And let's not forget her awesome Facebook post awhile back that shut everyone up once and for all – Keep on keeping on, Aisha Tyler, and thank you for your service and being a badass in the face of adversity!
Read Aisha Tyler's awesome "Dear Gamers:" note here.
12. Bill Gates and Steve Jobs - Yes, I'm cheating and doing a duo. Bill Gates and Steve Jobs both helped show the entire country, and the world, that being a nerd is cool in the most American way possible - by making shitloads and shitloads of money. They both built products that are hardwired into our society and culture and people no longer seem to be able to live without. Their respective companies, Microsoft and Apple, have essentially changed our entire way of living and have helped move technology forward in leaps and bounds. Nobody can argue that being a nerd is cool in this case. Their products have helped an entire generation of people turn into tech geeks, swapping specs on their newest gadgets and phones. They are proof that nerds run the world now, and their success helps console downtrodden geeky high schoolers everywhere. Why do I put them so low on the list?
"Thanks for making our society into a bunch of mindless, socially inept automatons, you jerks. And as for you geeks with your phones, you didn't invent it, you just bought it. Anyone could do that. Shut up about all the stuff your phone does. Am I off topic here?"
11. Vin Diesel – Best known for his work in Fast and Furious and the Riddick series, Vin Diesel is seen as a posterboy for “jocks” everywhere. But lo and behold, he's a not-so-secret geek himself. He admits that Dungeons and Dragons was the “training ground for his imagination” and was one of the things that helped get him interested in acting originally. He's even written the forward to a Dungeons and Dragons book. And really, he's exactly the kind of spokesperson we need in geekdom. He breaks nerd stereotypes and goes to show you that you can be both athletic, cool, handsome, AND still enjoy some fantasy roleplay. Lead by example, Vin Diesel! And thanks for not being afraid to admit who you really are and what you love. That's what being a geek is all about, after all – not being afraid to be passionate about something.
10. Donald Glover – Known for his work as Troy on Community and also as a writer for the show 30 Rock (with many geeky references and stars itself), Donald Glover is also a steadfast champion of geekdom. Like Aisha Tyler, he also grew up with the struggle of being one of the lone black geeks. Besides being an amazing comedy pair with Danny Pudi as Troy and Abed, he's also personable and lovable, and exactly the kind of person we want playing for our team. Let's not forget how amazing Community has been for geeks as well, with episodes featuring cast members as 8bit video game characters as well as one of the best homages to Dungeons and Dragons.
Six seasons and a movie!
9. Christopher Lee – Besides playing Saruman, Christopher Lee is a total history buff as well as being a musician. Those of us who love metal know that the power metal fans are the biggest geeks of them all - Christopher Lee has released 2 metal albums that focus heavily on ancient European history. As if being the evil wizard Saruman wasn't enough, seeing him in his 70's singing power metal while dressed as Charlemane has to be. Not only that, but here's something you may not know about him – He was one of the original members of MI6, the group that James Bond was based upon. He told Peter Jackson as he was making the movie the correct sound it should make when someone gets stabbed in the lung – yikes.
8. Tina Fey – Tina Fey represents us socially awkward geeky girls everywhere. She's best known for her work writing for and acting in Saturday Night Live and 30 Rock. She considered herself a "supernerd" during her high school and college years. She's even did voices for the pinball game “Medieval Madness” which every pinball fan should remember.
One of my favorite geeky jokes from the run of the TV show 30 Rock.
7. Felicia Day – It almost seems like old hat to toot Felicia Day's geek horn, nowadays. It's impossible, as a geek, to not know who she is. One of the most outwardly geeky actresses in the world today, Felicia has written for and starred in several nerdy TV shows and webseries. Work includes The Guild, Supernatural, Eureka, Dragon Age: Redemption, and Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog – and she's even done voices for video games like Fallout: New Vegas and podcasts and webseries that all focus on geekdom. How much more geek cred can you get? She also talks about tabletop and gaming online extensively (which of course is how she writes so much awesome nerd content for her shows). She's beautiful, talented, funny, and smart and makes all of us look good by association!
Oh, and she's musical, too.
6. Seth Green – Seth Green has been one of my favorite people ever since I saw him in movies like Austin Powers and Can't Hardly Wait. He's a geek in pretty much every sense of the word and has done a ton of work as an actor, writer, and producer that targets a nerdy audience. He's been a voice actor on Family Guy, writes and produces Robot Chicken (which has constant nerd references and is basically the grown-up version of what we all did with our action figures growing up), voice acted in the Star Wars cartoon, and acted on shows like Buffy and Angel back in the 90s and early 2000's. He also makes appearances in other geeks work, like Weird Al's White and Nerdy and his wife's video “Geek and Gamer Girls” from Team Unicorn. I've met Seth Green at several conventions over the years and he is the most patient, humble, and gracious celebrity you can ever hope to encounter. I can't think of anyone better to have on our team.
Now that's one adorable geeky couple.
5. Wil Wheaton – Wil Wheaton has been a geeky celebrity ever since his portrayal of Wesley Crusher on Star Trek: The Next Generation. But in recent years he's gone on to be so much more within the geeky community, and I love him in everything he does. He's voice acted in everything from video games, to anime, to Western cartoons. He plays the sexy, hilarious, geeky arch nemesis of Felicia Day in the webseries the Guild. He plays himself as the sexy, hilarious, geeky arch nemesis of Sheldon on the Big Bang Theory – Wait, I'm seeing a pattern here. He also acted in the show Eureka, and is well known for his excellent blogging and writing around the internet and also is a well-known advocate for Dungeons and Dragons, playing it in front of a live audience with other geek celebs at PAX 2010.
But here, let Wil Wheaton tell you in his own words why it's awesome to be a nerd.
At least look at that adorable friggin' face.
4. George Takei – Besides being well known for his work as Sulu on Star Trek, George Takei has also provided voiceovers for Godzilla, and acted on the show Heroes. But nowadays Takei is known best for being an internet and Facebook personality. Let's be honest, how many memes and status updates have you shared from George Takei? I am going to guess most of you will say at least one. He's been an amazing source for getting geeks the attention they deserve and has never shied away from discussing the hard issues. He's an incredibly kind, genuine and wonderful man who has helped promote geekdom, as well as the LGBT community, in a constantly positive way. Ohhh myyyy.
3. Stan Lee – How can anyone anywhere not love Stan Lee? He is like everyone's adoptive Grandpa. Besides being the arguably most influential comic book writer in history, creating and writing series like Hulk, The Fantastic Four, Iron Man, Spiderman, Thor, Daredevil, Avengers and X-Men since the 40's, he continues to do good work for geekdom into his 90's. He now helps run Comikaze, Los Angeles' largest comic book convention, and makes several hilarious cameos in comic book movies based on his work (Uatu the Watcher? You decide). He also has his own charity, The S tan Lee Foundation, which was founded to focus on literacy, education and the arts by supporting programs that improve access to literacy resources, as well as promoting diversity, national literacy, culture and the arts. He's also responsible for the single greatest image to ever come out of the internet.
Yes, I'm talking about this one. Stan Lee with little girl cosplaying as Stan Lee. BEHOLD THE CUTENESS.
2. Jamie and Adam of Mythbusters – Jamie and Adam have pretty much the greatest job any geek can ask for. All those people who thought science was stupid when we were growing up? Hard to argue with how incredibly badass science is when you get to see some of the things the Mythbusters use it for. Besides using science and experiments to tackle some of the greatest questions the have plagued mankind for years, let's face it – there are also just a lot of big explosions and demolitions. And that's something even non-nerds can get behind. They helped make science cool and make people care about it who wouldn't normally, and that's one of the greatest things a person can do. Besides being an intelligent and funny geek, you may have also seen Jamie at San Diego Comic Con in the past – but you'd never know he. He goes deep undercover in costume every year, dressing up as characters like Hellboy, a ringwraith, Admiral Ackbar, The Rocketeer and more so he can attend the convention as a fan. But seriously, every cosplay he has put together looks damn good, too.
Damn you, you stealthy science man.
1. Simon Pegg – Most people will probably disagree with my choice to put Simon Pegg as my number 1 on this list. But I love Simon Pegg and everything he has done for us geeks. Besides writing and acting in some of my favorite movies of all time, like Hot Fuzz, Shaun of the Dead, Paul, and The World's End, and taking over the role of Scotty in the new Star Trek series, he's been a positive, outspoken proponent of geekdom since the beginning. The reason Simon Pegg made this list (although Nick Frost is also hilarious and awesome) is for his single quote which sums up being a geek so perfectly, so succinctly. Thank you Simon Pegg. You get it. Thanks for helping the world get it, too.
Well said, Simon Pegg.
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December 11 2013