A standup comedian, actor, musician, television host, and leader of Team Nerdist, Chris Hardwick was born in Louisville, Kentucky but raised in Tennessee. His parents moved while he was a teenager and he attended high school in both Colorado and California; he attended college at UCLA, where he roomed with Star Trek: The Next Generation cast member Wil Wheaton.
A DJ gig at KROQ in the mid-'90s led to Hardwick hosting the MTV dating reality show Single Out beginning in 1995. His first co-host was Jenny McCarthy, with Carmen Electra taking over the job in 1997, but the show ended its run in 1998, the same year Hardwick first tried his hand at standup comedy and began acting professionally in the short-lived UPN television series Guys Like Us. Acting gigs in films like House of 1000 Corpses (2002) and Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003) followed, and then, in 2005, his musical comedy with Mike Phirman -- Hard 'N' Phirm -- released their debut album, Horses and Grasses. His nerd ways were put to good use in 2007 when he began hosting the PBS series Wired Science, and in 2009 he joined the cable network G4 to host their viral videos series Web Soup. A year later, he began The Nerdist Podcast, which would grow into the Nerdist Network, including the popular podcast Nerdist News. In 2012, Hardwick starred in his first Comedy Central special, Mandroid. The performance was released on DVD, CD, and digital download in 2013 and hit number five on the Billboard Comedy Albums chart.
Also in 2013, he debuted as host of the Comedy Central improv game show @midnight with Chris Hardwick and as the voice of Craig on the Nickelodeon animated series Sanjay and Craig. Both shows were renewed for multiple seasons. His second Comedy Central standup special, Funcomfortable, premiered in April 2016 and was available via digital download a few days later. It returned him to the Top Five of the comedy chart. 
- Golden Buzzers: Angelica Hale (12), Flau'jae (13)
- Chris Hardwick is currently the only guest judge to have taken part in more than one season.