November 13, 2012 5:14 pm

The Strangest Sense of Déjà Vu

StarTalk on The Nerdist Channel: The Science of Video Games

From the set of StarTalk: The Science of Video Games. Left to right: Jeffrey Ryan, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Eugene Mirman. Not shown: guest Will Wright.

Is anyone else having a sense of déjà vu when watching StarTalk on The Nerdist Channel?

Of course, it’s not déjà vu. As I watch the episodes, I’m not getting a phantom feeling that I’ve experienced it before, because I actually did experience it before. And if you’ve heard the podcast prior to seeing the video, you have too.

Some of you have even commented on feeling strange on our Facebook page, or Twitter, or in comments right here on the site.

In all honesty, I wasn’t sure I’d like it. I tend to be the kind of person who likes the first iteration of something, whatever it is. I’m not a big fan of remakes, or colorizations. And don’t even get me started on cover versions of songs. (Did we really need cover versions of “Imagine” or “Satisfaction” or “Behind Blue Eyes”?)

But in the case of StarTalk, I’ve discovered that I like the videos, perhaps, even more. Why? It has to do with Neil and Eugene, mostly. It’s their faces. They are both so expressive that watching them speak and joke around actually adds to my satisfaction. (I am reminded of some of my favorite comedy albums, like “Take-Offs and Put-Ons” by George Carlin, or “Matching Tie and Handkerchief” by Monty Python. On vinyl, funny. On video, hysterical.)

Many of you are encountering these episodes for the first time, though. In fact, we’re getting a whole lot of people who never listened to the podcast discovering StarTalk thanks to The Nerdist Channel. And that’s awesome. So you may be asking yourselves, “Will you enjoy the StarTalk Radio podcasts themselves?”

All I can say to you is, YES! More and more people are discovering our unique combination of science, popular culture and comedy. StarTalk Radio has risen to become one of the top 10 podcasts on iTunes. So even without visuals, we must be doing something right.

What about the rest of you old timers? Are you enjoying StarTalk on The Nerdist Channel? Are you looking forward to new episodes that will premier on video first, like the GZA episode, or the Alan Rickman one?

Tell us in the comments below. Who knows? Maybe, as some of you have suggested, we should move StarTalk to television. (My favorite suggestion was a show co-hosted by Neil deGrasse Tyson and Bill Nye. Wouldn’t that be cool?)

That’s it for now. Keep Looking Up!

–Jeffrey Simons


  • Siddharthan Parthiban

    I have to take this with a grain of salt.. Specially considering bringing science to masses..

    I liked the audio version better.. The video shows the hosts emotions via facial expressions..
    I feel them more casual and needless to say, I feel the comedy part distracting..

    Props for making this blogpost..

    I will always be a fan of science.

  • Steve Deering

    I enjoyed the original podcast the day it was first uploaded. When I saw the links to the video – I ended up watching it ALL over again. I don’t know where exactly the “magic” resides….but it’s there…and it’s working! I don’t often consume much media twice or more. With the exception of David Lynch films…and now…StarTalk Radio podcasts. In either case – I always comprehend more the second time around. StarTalk SHOULD be on a major TV network. The ratings appear to be there so to me…that transition seems natural.

  • Brandon

    I, for one, can’t get myself to listen to podcasts regularly, but I subscribe to and watch more regular YouTube shows than I do TV shows. So while I’ve subscribed to the RSS here for a while, and made a special effort to grab episodes that sounded particularly interesting, this will be the first time regular doses of Star Talk Live will fit into my media consumption habits.

    I’d prefer if Star Talk had their own YouTube channel so I wouldn’t have to ignore the immense amount of crap that Nerdist puts out just to see new Star Talk episodes in my subscriptions list, but I do understand the synergy there.

  • Julius


    • Jeff

      Thank you, Julius. Thank you, Julius. Thank you, Julius. Thank you… hey, wait a minute! I have this terrible feeling of…

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