Recently on Comic Book Men, Kevin Smith had the opportunity to interview the one and only William Shatner. In Smith's intro leading up to the Shatner interview, he mentioned a concept that I found rather intriguing...
[Referring to William Shatner] "There are some figures that loom so large in the genre world, man. If there was a Mount Rushmore of geeks, their face would be on it." Kevin Smith, Comic Book Men episode 5.03
After hearing this line, it got me thinking: If there was a Mount Rushmore for nerd culture (a Nerd Rushmore if you will), which celebrities would be on that list? There are dozens of names that could be worthy of being the face of the geek world. Not just that, but with plenty of factors to consider, here is my criteria for who I would consider for the list:
- Impact and influence on their specific genre or nerd culture in general
- Name AND facial recognition on a mass level (will the average person know the celebrities name and face)
- Real life people ONLY (despite what the article picture depicts - no characters are considered but actors playing the characters are fair game)
Without any further ado, here are my candidates!
Not sure much has to be said about this man. One of the creators behind some of the world's most favorite comic book characters. Stan Lee has made appearances in almost every Marvel movie to date as well as other movies and shows: Big Bang Theory, Chuck, Mallrats, Big Hero 6 and many others!
One of the most well known names in the history of film making. George Lucas is the mastermind that brought us the pop culture powerhouses Star Wars and Indiana Jones, but who doesn't know that already? Despite making only a handful of on-screen appearances, caricatures of him have been made in other well known cartoons, South Park, The Simpsons, Robot Chicken, just to name a few.
It's one thing to be the creator behind great pieces of cinematic history, it's another to be the face of those films. Harrison Ford, the star of Star Wars (the original trilogy), Indiana Jones and the cult classic Blade Runner. But let's not ignore the fact he has many other film credits to his name, Anchorman 2, Apocalypse Now, Cowboys & Aliens, and more.
Samuel L. Jackson
"You ever see any movie ever? He's the black guy" - Ted from Ted 2. This line pretty true... with the long list of movie credentials Samuel L. Jackson has in his resume. Some of his biggest/most recognizable roles have been his portrayal of Nick Fury in the Marvel Cinema Universe and his multiple roles in Quentin Tarantino films (Pulp Fiction,Django Unchained, Jackie Brown, etc.).
Chris Hardwick has been the host of multiple game shows and talk shows over the years - Comedy Central's @midnight, MTV's Singled Out, E!'s Web Soup and AMC's Talking Bad and Talking Dead. He's also hosted multiple big panels at San Diego Comic Con as well as having created the company Nerdist. By far one of the leading men to bridge the gap between nerds and non-nerds alike.
Kevin Smith definitely deserves a candidacy for Nerd Rushmore just as much as anyone else. He has been an inspirational film maker, writing and directing many cult classics such as Clerks, Mallrats, and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back: all films that had nerd culture elements sewn in throughout. Not to mention opening a comic book store "Jay and Silent Bob's Secret Stash" which was not just used as a setting for many of his films but is also the base for the AMC show Comic Book Men.
There you have it! My picks for who could be consider the faces of nerd culture. But if you don't agree with my choices or if you think I missed a name or two or seven, you're in luck! I have compiled this article into an open list where you or anyone else can add a name and up/down vote other names. So who are your nerd culture trail blazers? Let your voice be heard in the comments or contribute to the OPEN LIST!