Our 8 Favorite Nerds in Honor of Arizona PBS' Nerd Walk This Weekend

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Steve Wiley is a self-described middle-aged, married guy who has a mild contempt for hipness. He's spent the last 25 years in the music industry (at Zia and most-recently as the owner of Hoodlums) getting one trend after another jammed down his throat by record labels. We've convinced him to join Jackalope Ranch to share his insight on pop culture in all forms. Up today: His favorite nerds in time for Eight's Nerd Walk.

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http://www.azpbs.org/nerd/
Gear up, nerds: This weekend, you can join Arizona PBS for the second annual PBS Nerd Walk.

Eight, the local PBS affiliate, embraces its nerd status, and considers itself "the original sanctuary of desert dwellers and their obsessive, intelligent pursuits."

As such, the Eight team (including our own "Fanboy" columnist, Bob Beard) invites you to join them and to "proclaim your nerdiness" and "meet like-minded public television devotees" on October 27 in conjunction with ASU's Homecoming Week.

See also:
- Chris Hardwick on True Nerds, Trendy Geeks, and The World's Most Important Debate
- Phoenix Geeks on the Local Scene, Nerd Popularity, and Their Awkward Yearbook Photos
- Bob Beard's Merry ChristNES

There are plenty of nerds worth honoring during the Nerd Walk, but we'd like to take the time to honor some of our all-time favorite nerds from the big and small screens ... but first, let's define a nerd:

By nerd, we mean a highly-intelligent individual that doesn't exactly fit in to society.

The intelligence part rules out a number of geeks across history that couldn't think their way out of a wet paper bag, including Gomer Pyle, Jethro Bodine, Skreetch, Barney Fife, Ogre, and Gilligan (did he have a last hame?).

But even then...the list of awesome nerds that have entertained us over the years remains too long, so we have to rule out nerds played by actors and actresses that are just a little too hot. Sorry Uma, Matthew, and Justin, but no matter how much you get nerd-ed up, we can only believe so much. Another filter we've imposed is that this person can't be too much of a prized member of "too cool" of a crew. Out goes Alan Rickman in Ferris Bueller's Day Off or Jonah Hill in Accepted.

Even with the filters on, it's still tough, but here are eight that are great (in no specific order):

8. Gilbert Lowell and Louis Skolnick from Revenge of the Nerds.

Let's just get it out of the way. Robert Carradine and Anthony Edwards as the lead nerds in the definitive nerd classic must be on the list. After all, this movie was the Jackie Robinson of nerd acceptance into mainstream culture. The movie was loaded with classic nerds, including Takashi, Poindexter, and the always-amusing Curtis Armstrong as Booger.

7. The Geek in 16 Candles.

Anthony Michael Hall is the all-time film nerd in my mind. Farmer Ted was his best character, but he was also an excellent nerd in Breakfast Club and Weird Science. There's a ton of great scenes, but the defining one for me is when Jake finds him under the table after the party clears. This movie also featured classic sub-nerd roles from John and Joan Cusack and a guy named after a duck's dong (Gedde Watanabe).


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Snarkout
Snarkout

Really like Stephen Roos as the boss on "News Radio" and The Stapler Guy, but had no idea he was the latter until I read this column, which prompted me to check him out on IMDB, where I found he also played Bill on "King of the Hill." What a versatile actor.

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