Childhood & Early Life
Christopher Ryan Hardwick was born on November 23, 1971, in Louisville, Kentucky, US to Billy Hardwick, a professional bowler and Sharon Hills (née Facente), a real estate agent. He has a younger brother, Peter.
He was raised in Memphis, Tennessee, as a Roman Catholic following his mother’s faith. As a four year old boy he met famous American comedian, actress, television host, writer and producer Joan Rivers at that time a struggling TV personality and comedian. Since then the two remained friends till Joan’s demise in 2014.
In 1983, he became Memphis City Junior High Chess champion. He studied at St. Benedict at Auburndale High School in Cordova, Tennessee. Thereafter, he attended Regis Jesuit High School in Colorado and later spent senior year at Loyola High School in California.
He attended University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and graduated from there studying philosophy in 1993. While in his freshman year there he became a member of the Chi Phi Fraternity.
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His acting endeavours started in the early 1990s that saw him doing a bit role in the popular award-wining American drama television series ‘Thirtysomething’ (1991). In the mid-1990s he performed as a DJ on the commercial alternative rock radio station KROQ-FM.
He became host of the MTV game show ‘Trashed’ that ran for 50 episodes from February 14, 1994 to July 23 1994.
He formed a comedy/parody musical duo ‘Hard 'n Phirm’ with Mike Phirman. They started performing at UCLA in 1994, but broke up in 1997. They again reunited in 2004 and remained active till 2009. Their work includes solo album ‘Horses and Grasses’ (2005) and half-hour comedy special ‘Comedy Central Presents: Hard 'n Phirm’ (2008) among others.
In June 1995 he began hosting MTV dating game show ‘Singled Out’. The show ran till May 1998 and garnered him popularity as a host.
In 1996, he forayed into films with the movie ‘Beach House’. This was followed by other films including short films ‘Win a Date’ (1998) and “Jack & Diane’ (2000).
Moving on, he made guest features in single episodes of TV series like ‘Married... with Children’ (1996) and ‘Boy Meets World’ (1996). Le landed up starring role of Sean Barker in the UPN aired American sitcom ‘Guys Like Us’. The series aired from October 5, 1998 to January 18, 1999.
His next notable hosting project was the American syndicated TV dating show ‘Shipmates’ that ran for 2 seasons from 2001 to 2003.
He continued featuring in other movies including ‘House of 1000 Corpses’ (2003), ‘Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines’ (2003) and ‘The Mother of Invention’ (2009) among others.
He delved into voice acting playing Glowface in the Carlos Ramos created American animated TV series ‘The X's’. The series aired on Nickelodeon from November 2005, to December 2006. In 2005, he also played Milos in the mockumentary ‘The Life Coach’.
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One of his notable voice roles was that of Otis in the Nickelodeon computer-animated TV series ‘Back at the Barnyard’. He also wrote in the series that aired for two seasons for 52 episodes from September 29, 2007 to November 12, 2011.
From October 2007 to December 2007, he hosted the PBS aired weekly TV program ‘WIRED Science’, a show on modern scientific and technological topics. From that year he started contributing as writer for the Condé Nast owned American monthly magazine ‘Wired’.
He featured among correspondents of the American live television program ‘Attack of the Show!’ in 73 of its episodes from 2008 to 2013.
The G4 aired American weekly infotainment series ‘Web Soup’ that ran from June 7, 2009 to July 20, 2011 once again saw Hardwick in the host’s seat apart from contributing as a writer.
He has been hosting the weekly interviews show ‘The Nerdist Podcast’ since February 2010 along with Matt Mira and Jonah Ray. It became the flagship podcast for Nerdist Industries founded by Hardwick and Peter Levin in February 2012. Nerdist Industries was taken over by Legendary Entertainment as part of its digital division on July 10, 2012. Hardwick presently serves as CEO of Nerdist Industries.
Meanwhile in late 2011, he came up with The Nerdist Way: How to Reach the Next Level (In Real Life), a self-help book. He also runs the entertainment space, Nerdist Theater, at Meltdown Comics in Los Angeles.
Since October 16, 2011, he hosts ‘Talking Dead’, a live TV afters how of the hit AMC series ‘The Walking Dead’. In the show he discusses episodes of ‘The Walking Dead’ and its spin-off ‘Fear the Walking Dead’ with celebrity fans, studio audience and cast and crew members of the series. He is also a producer of the show.
He filmed ‘Mandroid’ on February 17, 2012, marking his first one-hour stand-up special for Comedy Central in New York City that was aired on November 10 that year and garnered decent popularity.
He added another feather to his cap as voice actor playing one of the titular characters of Craig, in the American animated comedy adventure slapstick TV series ‘Sanjay and Craig’. The series aired on Nickelodeon from May 25, 2013 to July 29, 2016.
Other voice roles of Hardwick include ‘Lego: The Adventures of Clutch Powers’ (2010) and ‘The Lego Batman Movie’ (Cameo, 2017); and TV series like ‘The Legend of Korra’ (2012) and ‘Family Guy’ (2015).
From October 21, 2013 to August 4, 2017 he appeared as host of the popular American Internet based late night panel game show ‘@midnight with Chris Hardwick’. He also contributed as creator, writer and executive producer of the show that aired on Comedy Central and fetched him two Primetime Emmy Awards for Original Interactive Program in 2014 and 2016 respectively.
Other notable hosting endeavours of Hardwick include ‘Talking Saul’ (2016–present), ‘Talking Preacher’ (2016–present), ‘The Wall’ (2016–present) and ‘Talking with Chris Hardwick’ (2017).
He was earlier engaged to model/actress Jacinda Barrett and romantically associated with actresses Chloe Dykstra and Janet Varney.
On September 12, 2015, he got engaged to American fashion model, actress, heiress and lifestyle blogger Lydia Hearst and married her in Pasadena, California on August 20, 2016.
He is a recovering alcoholic who has remained sober since October 8, 2003 and is quite candid on the subject.