Nerds in Hollywood

*The geeks in the infamous Star Trek SNL sketch.

*Comic Book Guy on the Simpsons

*Nick Burns, “your company’s computer guy” from SNL “Oh, it’s the computer that’s stupid, not you, right? MOVE!!”

*The guys in Revenge of the Nerds.

Are these exaggerations, or do you really know people like these?

I can only think of one person from college who fit the classic “nerd” description…I think maybe its another stereotype of Hollywood for people who may be smarter than they are.

Any real life examples?

Lovable Rogue

Bill Gates is probably the most commonly quoted one.

My computer science professor… little leather case on his best for his palm pilot, plaid shirts, clashing undershirts, and tight jeans with boots. Every day. Heh.

I think you’re confusing the “nerd” stereotype with the “not-too-bright flatworm” stereotype. :smiley:

I’ve lived and worked among techies and computer/science/gaming geeks my entire life and never personally encountered anyone who actually matches the stereotype. As mongrel_8 pointed out, Bill Gates is commonly regarded as a stereotypical nerd; however, I would argue that his business savvy (reprehensible as it may be) breaks the mold a bit–the stereotypical nerd is generally portrayed as lacking any sense of “real-world” practical issues.

Uh, all the examples you cite are comedies. Correct me if I am wrong, but comedies are sometimes known to exaggerate for comedic effect. Are there fathers like Homer Simpson? Are there cheerleaders like Will Ferrell and Cheri Oteri’s characters?

Yes, I can think of two off the top of my head.

The first owned a pretty good computer store in town, then decided to also make it a comic book store. He IS the guy from the Simpsons. To a T. He even makes the same stupid pretentious comments.

I’ve been afraid to go in since it also became a comic book store.
The other guy is such a classic stereotype nerd that he would make Eddie Deezen jealous. He has the thick glasses, the toothpick thinness, the annoying nasal voice, etc.

Those czarcasm and TVeblen characters seem pretty nerdy to me. Let’s send the thread over there and check it out.

I knew dozens of stereotypical nerds in highschool and college. Pocket protector using, calculators in a holster on the belt wearing (and they were LARGE in those days), D&D playing, Star Trek obsessed, deodorant-averse, geeky nerds. They do exist. Or at least they did back then.

I know a pile of nerds, but most of them have an out, a break from the sterotype.

I’m a nerd, if girls who game, do engineering, and like literature can count.

My best friend’s dad is as close as I know. Mis matched plaids (on purpose, actually) gaming, has a masters in math, etc. But he’s a sweet guy with an adorable sense of humor who gives great hugs as well.

Another friend of mine has all of the personality quirks, but looks like he stepped off the pages of J Crew and lifeguards for fun.

They exist, but like any other 2-d sterotype each of them has more to them than just “nerd”.

I’ve never met any that were as bad as the examples given. But I have met more than a few people that bear a more than passing resemblance to them.

In my own case, my nerdity comes mainly from lack of socialization skills, and fascination with how things work. I’d like to think that I don’t fit the stereotype, but I’ve been known to make some serious fashion faux-pas without even being aware.

Ah, but has Hollywood ever successfully portrayed a geek? Those guys in “Sneakers” were pretty good… opinions?

A friend is a Mac support guy here in NYC. His boss handles the computers at SNL. My friend sees that skit as a documentary.

I think the Hollywood nerds are the “old school” nerds, circa 1985-1995 or so. Back in those days, if you went to a 24 hour computer lab on a college campus at 3:00 AM on a Froday night, the place would be packed with 'em. Pasty, thin or pear shaped, uttering lots of Trek references or random Monty Python lines, and playing with IRC, or visiting a MUD. There were always a few who never bathed; you could sit a few rows away, near a window, and it still reekef.

I haven’t been to a lab in a while, so I don’t know if those geeks still exist. I think it’s like the mulletheads – common ten years ago, and now out of fashion, but there’s still some around if you look hard enough. For the most part, the geeks I’ve seen lately are either very stilted and stiff Indian immigrants; Asian foriegn national students; or the Maximum PC/Slashdot/Ars Technica crowd – somewhat geeky but now somewhat cool folks who overclock, watercool and mod. No pocket protectors, but belts are filled with gadgets (a Voicestream GSM and Nextel phone, a couple of pagers and a Palm).

Bearded Unix geeks, a different class of nerd, still seem to be around in large quantity.