The week before SDCC, I had the ultimate pleasure of sitting down and chatting with Steve and Matt from Happened in the 90’s podcast. They are our kind of nerds. We spent almost two hours talking about everything from my nerd story to life in the ’90s. You can check out their podcast on Youtube and your favorite podcasting platforms. They drop new episodes every Thursday for your enjoyment. 

We started the podcast talking about my journey to being a nerd and how I created TGON from my hospital bed. It’s been a wild ride these past eight years alone, watching The Game of Nerds grow and seeing how technology has changed. The best example is how when we started our Live Tweet Parties for series were an excellent way for us to connect with fans every week, now that format doesn’t work anymore, and we have to use Instagram or Facebook. It’s not a podcast discussion unless someone brings up my huge Funko collection, which inevitably leads us to talk about my husband, Andyaka Poppin Hopper. He doesn’t get enough credit for how much support he gives TGON! We chat about our first date to Brokeback Mountain, how we got engaged to 50 Shades of Grey, and our Captain America-themed wedding. We touch on dancing, and a twerk-off is now being set up between Matt, Masked Mateo, and Andy!

Steve asks a question I usually get asked on nerd podcasts, “What makes you a nerd? What does nerd mean to you?” For me being a nerd is a means to escape. I grew up watching Star Trek, Indiana Jones, and 90’s cartoons with my dad. I think it’s a rare and lost talent to create media (movies, books, games) where the person can get completely lost in that world. I was also told “No” a lot. Girls couldn’t be Jedis or even nerdy when I was growing up. As a grown adult, I’ve had people end zoom calls when they find out a female runs TGON. Most of our staff members have been told “No” Frankly, I’ve learned that life is too short not to love what you love. Steve brings up a great point, though with this conversation, “You can have the child-like fun and wonder without being childish!” We thrive and live for the nostalgia and the simpler times. 

I have ranted about trolls on many different podcasts, but this one has to be my favorite. The message is simple, “If you have the time and energy to comment something nasty behind a fake profile, you need to get a f*cking life because I’m just going to delete you.” Publishing content takes guts, and everyone should be proud of the work they create. Trolls do not get the right to diminish that hard work. There is a way to criticize and discuss without being a jerk. This leads us to discuss how spoiled kids are nowadays with DVRs and the instant TV guide buttons. I would rather listen to the AOL sound over waiting for the TV guide to roll back around to Nickelodeon or Disney. We all reminisce on watching Twister for the first time and how horrible it looks now. 

Speaking of Nickelodeon vs. Disney, let it be known I was a Nickelodeon Queen all the way! My brothers and I only watched Disney Channel if they had a movie we didn’t own on VHS. At one point, I had the entire Nickelodeon lineup memorized. I have to admit, though, Nick was ahead of the time. Most of its “live” lineup was game shows. They were doing reality tv shows before we had them on every network! They also had many shows that were so well written that they went right over our heads. We are looking at you, Pete & Pete, and Salute Your Shorts. We chat about how most of us couldn’t watch Cartoon Network or even Ren and Stimpy. We even touch on how TGIF was an entire lifestyle. We rip Paramount + a new one and how it could have potential if it got it together. It has so much nostalgic value for us 90’s kids if they would just put all the seasons of the shows we love on there. We chat about Blockbuster and how our parents used to leave us there. Something I will never be able to do with my daughter. It also makes me think, “OMG What was my mom thinking?” now, looking back. 

We were so worried about Y2K and “computers breaking” that we didn’t realize the new era we were being ushered into. The 90’s kids are the last generation of kids before the internet and even typical jobs. We grew up that you had to be a lawyer, doctor, or policeman. Now you can be an influencer, a podcaster, or even a Lego Master! The ’90s were a mash of ’80s retro and this new alien technology of the future. AOL was probably our giant warning sign that things were going to change. We are essentially a leaking boat in the middle of the ocean trying to patch holes when we should have spent the time doing the repairs on the mainland. Things like the COVID pandemic have made this clear. We’ve been dealing with natural disasters for years now, and you’re telling me that we haven’t figured out a great online education system for those who can’t be physical at school? That’s what I thought. It’s up to the younger generation to figure things out and make the world a better place. I then go on a rant about how OnlyFans girls shouldn’t be cashing in on the nerd community unless you are one of the badass cosplayers who rock that style. 

We finish up our chat with the popcorn round of questions: 

  • Who is your Mt. Rushmore of Nerds?
  • What 90’s finale stuck out to you the most?
  • Did Clarissa really explain it all? 

Learn More About Happened in The ’90s Podcast:
Instagram: @Happenedinthe90s
Twitter: @HIThe90s
Facebook: @Happenedinthe90s
New Episodes Every Thursday on Youtube & your favorite podcasting platform