A Brief History Of Nerds In Pop Culture

Videogum hits the highlights of a timeline of nerds in pop culture, from the Dr. Seuss creature to the new game show King of the Nerds. Yes, Eddie Deezen is there, making an early appearance in nerd history. Notice how the popularity of the stereotypical character moves up and down, but gradually up since we all got on the internet. The penultimate entry:

2013: In the newest season of Portlandia, one episode opens with a sketch where a real nerd (clearly not an actor) pleads for people to stop saying they’re nerds when they’re not. Sure, it could have used a female nerd in there somewhere (instead of reinforcing the idea that fake nerds = girls and real nerds = boys), but more to the point, it’s the crowning jewel of the growing backlash against “fake nerds”. You know you’re mainstream when you start trying to exclude people for not being enough like you.

The suggested soundtrack for this article: "Hip to be Square" by Huey Lewis. Link

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