I’ve had a constant companion on my commute into London for the past 8 or so years. Three companions in fact. Well actually a whole army of companions. But, let me back up.

It’s always sad when something has to end. The Nerd Lunch podcast has been an ever-present force in my life for the past 8 or so years. If I could create a perfect podcast for my interests this would be it. I loved it from the first episode that I heard. So let’s not be sad that it’s ending (see below for the true definition of ‘ending’). Let’s celebrate the awesomeness they brought to our lives for the last almost-decade. 

Here were three guys who liked to talk about movies, comics, old tv shows and general nerdy stuff. Right up my alley. Their imagination knew no bounds. They had so many great episode styles such as… ‘The Extendables of…’, Nerdstradamus, The Star Wars Panels, Down The Rabbit Hole, Real Life Scenarios, Ninja Day, Listbusters, Replicators Are Broken, Hip Hop Shows, Ned Lurch, Drill Downs, Pop Culture Drafts, Sweet Sixteen, Fourth Chair Army Invasion, Movie Menus, Give That Guy Some Work, Create A Toyline, Film and TV tropes, Pop Culture Eraser, Extra Helping, Kill Me Now, ‘The Trial of…’, Nerd To-Dos… the list goes on.

Let’s take a quick look at the hosts that made this all happen.

Carlin ‘CT’ Trammell – The hair behind the podcast. CT was an intern at Marvel. He got a letter read out on Letterman. But in my mind his greatest achievement is masterminding and leading the Nerd Lunch podcast. You could just feel his energy at times, as it was obvious he had so many ideas for new fun things to try on the show. His impressions and acting skills shone through on a few of the Lab episodes. Thanks CT for filling in that spreadsheet and writing all those notes over the years.

‘Jeeg’ – I feel honoured to know the real name of the man that is known as ‘Jeeg’, when I got my peak behind the curtain. Jeeg has missed a few episodes over the years due to #RealLifeProblems, but I always loved it at the start of an episode when you learnt whether or not Jeeg was on that week. I loved the episodes he was on because he brought a wit as sharp as any, and a coolness that was impressive. It was even better when those episodes contained talk about wrestling or kung fu movies or other areas that Jeeg was particularly knowledgeable about. Thanks for all your input and outstanding one-liners, Jeeg. 

Paxton ‘Pax’ Holley – I’ve gotten to know Pax the most over the years as our interests tend to lie very much ‘in the same wheelhouse’ (an American phrase that I think I actually learnt from Pax on the show!). Hip-Hop, Time Travel, Ninjas, Star Wars, Movie Novelisations, Running, Whisky/Whiskey. I could go on. His blog is very aptly named the Cavalcade of Awesomeness. I’m very pleased to hear that Pax is not going anywhere and will still be heard on the airwaves on his hundred other podcasts including The Cult Film Club, Hellbent for Letterbox and I Like To Read Movies. It was Pax who tried to get me onto the show a couple of times, and I’m so pleased that we managed to make the timings work for the episode that I did join. Thanks Pax. I really appreciate you inviting me on.

The Fourth Chair Army – The fourth member of the show really was the fourth chair army. There are so many great members of this army. Knowledgeable, cool, creative, positive, funny people that I might not have come across if they hadn’t been invited on to the show by the guys. Many of them came back to become regular guests and even start up new podcasts with some of the hosts including Shawn Robare and Michael May. It was also great to have regular appearances from members of The Atomic Geeks. There are sooo many cool people in this army. Check them out here.

Christian from The Atomic Geeks giving the Nerd Lunch guys a well deserved hug.

The podcast has kept me company on my commute for about 8 years. My son was born during the first year of the podcast, and while I was commuting in my zombie state, due to lack of sleep, it was the Nerd Lunch podcast (and The Atomic Geeks podcast) that gave me my escape, particularly as I was listening to an episode a day while I caught up the 6-12 months that I had missed.

Nerd Lunch had a very welcoming, accepting vibe and that is no more evident than the fact they had a fourth chair guest every episode, as mentioned above. I think their main legacy, apart from the body of work that they’ve left behind which is incredible, is this Fourth Chair Army. I just think it’s amazing. It’s an amazing legacy, and that part will indeed live on forever. They could have just stuck to having their weekly discussions themselves on the podcast, but instead they opened it up and invited strangers into their discussions each week. They really had a very welcoming environment which is great to see. And that has sparked up new friendships and even new podcasts off the back of the army. It makes the podcast greater than the sum of its parts. It’s just an amazing army of interesting, inspiring, witty people and I’m very proud that I got to join it last year when I guested on the Heist episode. I don’t really enjoy speaking on microphones and things like that, but when I got the invitation I just had to say yes. I was immensely proud to make it on the show. That was a nerd bucket list item for me for sure.

I love all the different episode styles mentioned above but I wanted to just quickly list my Top 6 episodes that I can remember right now. I was going to do Top 5 but then I thought of a sixth episode style that I just had to include. I’m sure this list will change if I went back and listened through all the episodes again. I’m pleased to hear that several of these were on the hosts’ own favourite lists that they mention in the finale.

6. Episode 300: During the Show
There are several ‘experimental’ episodes, shall we say, where the crew dust off their acting skills and do something even more creative than normal. I can imagine they had loads of fun making these and I just really love how they pushed the podcasting envelope here and tried something that most podcasts wouldn’t even think of. I loved the DragonCon one and Stuck in Shawn’s Fridge, but I’m going to pick Episode 300 for this list, just because it was so incredibly surreal and the foley work was amazing.

5. Episode 221: The Trial of Zack Snyder
This episode was outstanding. Two real life lawyers in Plee and Evan, with Andrew Bloom in hilarious form as the judge. It was a great marriage between really well organised, well structured arguments and just sheer fun. Fantastic episode.

4. Episode 186: Star Wars Drill Down – Return of the Jedi
I love the Star Wars panel shows, not just because it’s Star Wars but because of the way they handle everyone’s different opinions. There is so much negativity and toxicity on the internet to do with Star Wars these days that to find a bunch of people, speaking like respectful adults and allowing each other to have differing viewpoints and tastes was really refreshing. The ROTJ one stands out to me because of the hilarious chat about the Yoda tapes and the team’s plan to rescue Han.

3. Episode 329: Nerd Lunch 9 – Heist Draft
You could possibly say my favourite style of episode are the list shows, where people have to choose items or people, for various reasons. These include Pop Culture Drafts, Sweet Sixteens and ‘The Extandbles Of…’. The example of these that is closest to my heart is of course the episode that I had the honour of guesting on for the first time, where we had to pick our own heist team. The episode is a great one (despite of me, not because of me, of course). I sadly didn’t get to podcast with CT but I was so pleased that the other guests were probably the two other people I would have most liked to podcast with, Shawn Robare and Christian Nielsen. I had an absolute blast.

2. Extra Helping: Run DMC
One of the things I love about Nerd Lunch is that some of the hosts are able to do little side episodes that scratch an itch for them, even if not all three hosts are up for drilling down into them. This often caters to subjects like wrestling or ninjas or kung fu movies, but I particularly loved Pax’s hip hop shows. The NWA, Beastie Boys and Fat Boys shows were great but the stand out one for me was the Run DMC episode. Firstly it was just so entertaining, with Pax, Tim Lybarger and Matt Ringler speaking so passionately about this music, but also for someone like myself whose love for hip hop only skirts around a few bands and didn’t really know Run DMC all that well, it was a proper education. I listened to this episode twice and the second time round I was making notes and creating a Spotify playlist etc. Great show.

1. Episode 110: Lost In Time
For me this was always going to be the top episode. I’m a big time travel fan and all the many time travel episodes rank highly for me, but this one was great on a few levels. Firstly it had great content, with the awesome Tim Lybarger again guesting. Nostalgic, touching, funny and some great time travel paradox discussions. But I loved the whole premise of how they pitched this as a lost episode that had been lost in time. Their show list had skipped over the episode number 110 and about fifty episodes later they dropped this episode out of sequence. I believe that’s basically all they said about it at the time and the whole ‘lost episode’ thing was a fun mystery. That in itself is very cool. But I’ve now discovered that they did actually record an original 110 episode but the recording got lost, and rather than changing rows in their spreadsheet they just skipped over that episode number. But then they came up with the lost time travel episode idea. Genius.

I wanted to get the guys a little momento for all their hard work over the last 8-9 years. I thought a caricature would be fun. I actually used to do caricatures for money myself years ago, but I’m extremely rusty, so I didn’t trust doing it myself. But I know of a guy, based in New Zealand, who has done caricatures of The Retro Asylum podcast in the UK, and I thought he would be perfect. So I commissioned him to do a caricature of the Nerd Lunch guys, and I gave him a list of my notes about all the things I love about the show. I was over the moon with what he produced. The artist is Scott Pearson at http://visualevolution.co.nz/ and I urge you to check out his amazing work and get in touch if you want a similar caricature done. Thank you so much, Scott. Here is the final piece. See how many Nerd Lunch ’tropes’ you can spot.

Basically I just wanted to say thank you so much for all the hard work the Nerd Lunch guys have put into the show. I can only imagine how much work it is to do it and edit it, let alone the sacrifices they will have made to make sure they kept to the schedule. They’ve certainly earned their right to ride off into the sunset with their heads held high. They’ve left a fantastic legacy behind.

They’ve always joked about their listener numbers, and been very self-deprecating. I’ll never know the numbers, and even if they aren’t huge I hope they know that they have touched many of us, given us many moments of joy and they’ve built up the most awesome army that there has ever been. I hope they are rightly very proud of that. That army will always have their back.

The great news is that it’s actually not totally the end! It’s kind of the end as we know it, but coupled with a big change. The legend that is Michael May will be taking up the reins of the Nerd Lunch wagon and will be hosting new episodes in the style of Nerd Lunch and with some of the regular guests but under a slightly new name, I believe. I’m sure some of the founding hosts may make the odd appearance here and there too. Paxton Holley is a podcast animal, and has several other podcasts that he hosts, so I certainly won’t have to miss the sound of his podcast voice any time soon which is great. So although it’s sad to see the end of the regular three musketeers it’s great to see the Nerd Lunch lights stay switched on in some format.

Another way the show’s memory will stay alive in some form will be on my blog. They used to have the ‘Fourth Chair Carryover Question’ segment on the show. I said a while back that I would use these questions as motivation for blog posts, but I never got into the habit of keeping that up. I will endeavour to bring that back on my blog and keep the FCA flag flying high.

They’ve covered a huge range of topics, had extremely interesting guests on and pushed the envelope of podcasting (and acting in some of their ’special’ episodes). I will seriously miss not having them in my ears every week/fortnight/month. I may well go straight back to the start of the episode list and take the Nerd Lunch ride one more time.

Thanks for everything CT, Pax and Jeeg. It’s not goodbye, it’s Qapla’!