Yahoo! TV Q&A: 'Revenge of the Nerds' stars Robert Carradine and Curtis Armstrong on 'King of the Nerds'
They are the kings of the nerds, the godfathers of geeks, so who better to host TBS's new reality series "King of the Nerds" than beloved "Revenge of the Nerds" stars Robert "Lewis" Carradine and Curtis "Booger" Armstrong?
But the co-stars and friends are more than the show's hosts; they came up with the idea for a reality competition revolving around nerds, so they're doing double duty as hosts and executive producers on the series.
"King of the Nerds" details: Eleven male and female geeks move into a tricked-out pop culture palace -- dubbed Nerdvana -- and compete in various nerd-friendly challenges (more on those below, but giant chess pieces and cosplay are, of course, involved) with the goal of winning a $100,000 grand prize and the chance to sit in the Throne of Games and be called the King of Nerds.
The contestants have serious nerd cred: Nerd girl Alana owns thousands of Batman comics and is an expert on all things Caped Crusader, MIT grad student Hendrik is researching the mechanical properties of the Martian polar ice caps, and Virgil is a hacker who was called the "Internet Man of Mystery" by the New York Times. Guest judges throughout the season will include Jay and Silent Bob (aka Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith), "Star Trek" star George Takei, comedy/folk duo Garfunkel and Oates, and cosplay queen Yaya Han.
Lewis and Booger – er, Bobby and Curtis -- talked to Yahoo! TV about their inspiration for the show that celebrates nerdom, the fun challenges we'll see, and whether there's a difference between a nerd and a geek.
Congratulations on the show! It's fun, and we're hooked after the first episode.
Curtis: Thank you! It seems to have that effect on people.
What is the reaction that you're getting from people?
Curtis: It's been really great, actually. We've had a lot of people who've seen the initial episode -- in the press, at least -- who have been really surprised by it. There were a lot of expectations that as soon as you say "reality show," certain things pop into your head, and you assume it's going to be something sort of mean-spirited or along those lines. Everybody seems to be really pleasantly surprised that it isn't that.
Bobby: Our mandate was to celebrate nerds, not to put them down.
The show absolutely celebrates nerd culture. But do you think that people even see that term, or the term "geek," as a negative thing anymore? Is that even a pejorative term?
Bobby: It doesn't seem to be, because of the celebration of some of the biggest names in the computer world -- Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates and people like that. It does make it cool now instead of a negative thing.
Curtis: We always go back to the moment in the original "Revenge of the Nerds" movie, to Bobby's speech at the climax of that movie, where we're at the pep rally. We've got all of the alumni there, and Bobby's character, Lewis, says, "Whatever they called you when you were here, whether it was 'dork,' or 'spazz,' or 'geek,' or 'nerd,' or whatever it was, come and join us."
That whole idea of "We are nerds and we are proud," all of those things have seeped into the public consciousness, in a way. Not exclusively as a result of that movie, although I think it had a lot to do with it. Now, people don't look at nerds in quite the same way. There are things about nerd culture, for all I know about it, there are elements to nerd culture I'd never dreamed of. I had never heard of the expression "cosplay" until we started ("King of the Nerds"). That's probably generational, but my point is that, while we don't have to work really hard to make people realize that being a nerd is a good thing and a positive thing, what the audience is going to be getting from this, in some degree, is going to be, "Oh my God, look at all these different things that these people do." I think that a lot of people are going to find themselves being drawn to nerds, to sort of coming out as nerds themselves when they realize that they have all these other interests in common.
Watch a clip from "Revenge of the Nerds":
It's also cooler to not be just like everyone else now … these contestants stand out in their own ways, even from each other, from other nerds …