BLOG Geeks vs Nerds in Canada
Blogger Kell Harker investigates what exactly this Canadian comedy/improv show is all about
Fan art by Ben O'liari.
Have you ever resorted to hair-pulling when arguing with a friend over who is the more repenty vampire, Angel or Edward Cullen? Have you nearly started a food fight with your roommate because you feel that strongly that Batman is the bigger badass than Boba Fett? Have you ever found yourself debating with a co-worker by the water cooler that Indiana Jones is a more action-packed archaeologist than Lara Croft?
Geeks versus Nerds is a hilarious comedy/improv show in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada where two teams face-off live on stage to settle the most common of geek arguments once and for all. With each team passionately representing their champion, it’s a debate showcasing participants’ wits, humour, and geek expertise until only one side is declared victor over the other.
When I learned from the HAL-CON organizers that David Bradley will be taking part in the Geek versus Nerds debate on the Saturday afternoon of the convention (30 October, 2010), I was compelled by the Force to contact Host/Producer of GvsN Andrew “PigMonkey” Dorfman to find out more about this very unique show. Here, Andrew is kind enough to explain how Geek versus Nerds was born, what it’s all about, and how a person can get involved:
“Geeks versus Nerds – also known as GvsN – was not a new idea, but it was new to me. The first influence for Geeks versus Nerds was from watching Deadliest Warrior on Spike TV. I know, I know, it’s a horrible show but it is like staring into the sun – you know you shouldn’t do it, but for some reason you just can’t look away. Half way through the season I remember thinking, ‘This is kind of cool, but I don’t care who wins between a pirate and a knight. What I care about is who would win between Batman and Boba Fett.’ I took that idea, and half merged it with a radio show on CBC [Canadian Broadcasting Corporation] called The Debaters, and threw in a dash of Lewis Black’s Root Of All Evil. That Frankenstein cocktail churned out a show concept that would eventually become Geeks versus Nerds. I brought this to my friends Jennie, John Roy, and Mel, all of whom got really excited over the idea, and wanted to do it. Without them, it is likely that GvsN would have died in the concept stage. We formed our little band of nerds, called Geeksploitation.”
“Now, I am a geek. I have lived the geek life, in geek basements, having geek arguments with other geeks. I have heard the ‘who would win in a fight’ arguments many, many times. They were always hilarious, and on more than one occasion I wished that I had a way to record it. It needed to be more than just a fight, though, because there are a lot of great matches but if the only criteria is ass kicking than you might as well just watch Deadliest Warrior. Originally the idea was just to get a few friends together for an afternoon of beer and pretzels and record the inevitable arguments, edit them, and then podcast them up on the internet, but after listening to a few other shows like The Debaters, we decided that a live audience would make the show more fun. It was a bit of a risk, but we all felt it would make the show. We were right.”
“I approached Jokers, a local independent comedy club here in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and organized a night to do the show. It was on a Monday night and there was a blizzard. Sixteen people came out to the first show, and we considered that a victory. We got feedback from the venue and did it again the next month.”
“Our ‘on stage geeks and nerds’ are all volunteers, all people who have a passion for the character they are arguing for, and a passion for arguing. Geeks like to debate – it’s a mental wrestling match – and they tend to be pretty smart and well read. The passion and intellectual mix makes for comic gold, so they don’t have to be professional, just sincere. We hold auditions for people who want to get involved on stage or off stage.”
Jennifer Lambe, Traverse Davies and PigMonkey. (Photographer: Andrew Dacey)
“The HAL-CON crew has been awesome. They have arranged a show for Saturday afternoon of the convention, and we will be doing our two regularly recorded shows, an hour break for dinner and then a special show.”
“There is some talk of a guest panel during HAL-CON, and as I understand it some of the celebrity guests from the convention will be a part of the show. I can’t confirm who just yet other than David Bradley will be scheduled to take part, but I imagine we will know soon. We’re all for it – it’s very exciting! We don’t usually use professional actors because we can’t afford to pay them. Using any likeness without doing so means the Actors Union sends lawyers to eat our brains. It’s not pretty.”
Thanks everyone! (Photographer: Jennifer Trevors)
Thank you, PigMonkey! I’ll be clawing my way for a seat in the front row for that special HAL-CON show cheering David on the best way I know how: with a peppy series of R2-D2 inspired beeps, fweeps, and whoops.
Are you familiar with this comedy/improve show in Nova Scotia? Will you be alongside blogger Kell Harker at the show on October 30 cheering our Editor-In-Chief on to victory? You can find out even more about GvsN by visiting their website which hosts podcasts of the shows. Or you can also join the Geek versus Nerds group on Facebook.
This is a personal article by Kell Harker, one of our site contributors. Have you seen any of the GvN debates? Are you going to HAL-CON in October? Let us know!