If you’re a sports fan (like me) and you had a habit of flipping channels late at night between 2004 and 2006 (also like me), then you should be familiar with the Sklar Brothers, whose Cheap Seats show provided four seasons of good laughs on ESPN Classic. That series examined sports with a pop-culture minded, MST3K-styled attitude; now, the identical twins have returned with new show that does exactly the opposite. Randy and Jason Sklar are the hosts of Nerd Down and Ten, a new show on Nerdist that examples Internet culture using the production style of a sports talk show.
As this linked commenter notes, the show is almost an exact copy of ESPN’s Pardon The Interruption, the long-running show where two hosts discuss a list of sports topics in a rapid-fire manner. Nerd Down even has a third analyst who corrects the main duo’s errors, just like in PTI. However, instead of talking about sports, the witty brothers discuss nerdy news stories, such as this one about a guy named Darth Vader and this one about a poll regarding which actor would be the best fit for the role of Jesus. The first episode of Nerd Down has been released, with new ones coming every week.
The Sklars, who make the show work with their incredible chemistry, are attempting to bridge the gap between sports and nerd culture. “What we realized from having [Nerdist founder Chris Hardwick] on our podcast and going on The Nerdist podcast is that there is a certain element of the population that’s kind of nerdy and we attack the world of sports in almost a nerdy way.” explained the brothers. “If you’ve ever played fantasy football, it’s almost like Dungeons & Dragons with real people. And less wizards. Unless you’re playing fantasy basketball and you’re the Washington Wizards. Then you’re all wizards.”
After Nate Silver‘s second straight successful run predicting elections and last year’s successful Moneyball movie, the market for nerdy sports fans has never been higher. As someone who considers himself among that number, I’ll definitely keep an eye on Nerd Down as it rolls along on Nerdist.