“It’s kind of weird and exciting to have this award,” admits Chris Hardwick as we chat via webcam (watch above) about winning an Emmy Award last year for Best Creative Achievement In Interactive Media for Comedy Central’s “@Midnight.” “By the way, the wings are viciously sharp! When I went to grab the award, I sank my thumb into the wing. It is a deadly weapon. You could totally kill a walker, but you’d have to stab the wing in the brain or crush its skull.”
Hardwick’s “Talking Dead” was also nominated at the Emmys last year as Best Interactive Program, though it lost out to “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.” “The truth of the matter is, the whole night was kind of a blur because that was the night that I got engaged,” he reveals. “So, these two things sort of balanced each other out. I couldn’t be too nervous about the Emmy stuff because I was thinking about the proposal.”
For Hardwick, two highlights from this season of “@Midnight” are the Donald Trump/Bernie Sanders spoof debate and the Fozzie Bear episode. This year’s political season has been “such a reality program s***show, we are mining comedy out of it,” he laughs. As for Fozzie, Hardwick reveals that he invited the Muppet legend to the show via Twitter. “I sent him a direct message, ‘I am not kidding, you have to come on the show.’ So I had a conference call with the Muppet folks and it happened.”
Hardwick also hosts “Talking Dead” on AMC, which this year is on the Emmy ballot for Best Informational Series. “I really do love doing it and it’s silly to me that a show where we talk about another show can be one of the highest rated shows on cable television,” he remarks. “People need a little bit of therapy after a show that’s drama-heavy. I like being a part of the community. I realized recently that I’m ‘Walking Dead’ customer service. People are passionate about the show. That’s a sign of a good thing.”
“Most comedians are usually working toward a special,” Hardwick says about how “Funcomfortable” came to be. As for the controversial jokes about his late father on this Comedy Central special, he explains, “Comedy is a defense mechanism and comedy is also a way for humans to be communal. It just started coming out and it was very cathartic for me and also a way for me to keep him alive longer.”
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