So, just what the hell is a w00tstock? Good question. Self-described as “3 Hours of Geeks & Music,” w00tstock is essentially a nerd-friendly variety show that was founded by Wil Wheaton (he of Star Trek: The Next Generation fame), Adam Savage (he of MythBusters fame) and Paul and Storm (they of Paul and Storm fame). The very first w00tstock was held on Oct. 19, 2009 at the Swedish American Music Hall in San Francisco. To date, there have been seven w00tstocks total, and the eighth will be held July 22 at the San Diego Comic Con. Your Humble Correspondent attended the Minneapolis w00tstock recently and, without giving too much away, would like to offer the following five reasons (with video aids) why you should attend w00tstock if and when it comes anywhere near your particular neck of the woods:
(Note: Not all of the performers featured below have been featured at all w00tstocks, so if you do go see this in your city, you will certainly see some, though probably not all, of the folks in this post.)
In which The Artist Formerly Known as Wesley Crusher explains, in truly epic fashion, how w00tstock came to be, the performers who will be featured and the general premise behind the event: “It thrills me, as a lifelong geek, to be involved in a show that there are enough of us to enjoy.” The particular introduction below was recorded at w00tstock v1.1 in Los Angeles on Oct. 21:
Turns out, this MythBuster is a pretty hilarious dude. In addition to a thoroughly entertaining series of stories and stand-up-esque material, he ended his set with a particularly unorthodox rendition of an oft-covered classic. Let’s just say if you’re a fan of Lord of the Rings and/or Gloria Gaynor, you simply must watch the video below, which was recorded at w00tstock v2.2 Chicago on June 6:
It’s a trap!
Hey kids, like Star Wars? If you’re still reading at this point, chances are pretty good that you do. Boy howdy, then, do Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett (they of Mystery Science Theater 3000/RiffTrax fame) have a song for you. Bonus: You can sing along with this one at home!
(Full disclosure: Your Humble Correspondent availed himself of the Corbetts’ home, snacks and one of their automobiles while he was staying in the greater Minneapolis area. Sorry about getting your car towed, Bill!)
This video was recorded at w00tstock v2.3 in Minneapolis on June 7:
“I’m from YouTube,” Lewis says at the start of the song below, and she kids you not. Lewis has one hell of a following on the video-streaming website, and good for her. She writes and performs hilarious songs on a ukulele that fans of Kimya Dawson, Dent May and the Magnetic Fields will appreciate. This not-quite-finished version of Lewis’ song about wanting to have Stephen Fry’s baby was recorded at w00tstock v2.0 in Seattle on May 7:
Paul and Storm
These musical comedians are regulars on the Bob and Tom radio show and frequent collaborators of Jonathan Coulton. They’re also a near-constant presence at any w00tstock, be they performing their material or backing up pretty much anyone who needs musical accompaniment. Below is a little ditty called “Nun Fight.”
(Unless you’re just, like, a huge fan of artist/audience banter, you may want to skip to about the 1:20 mark of the video below, which was recorded at w00tstock v1.01 in San Francisco on Oct. 20.)
Of course, this is only the tip of the proverbial w00tstockian iceberg. Special guests abound (Your Humble Correspondent, it must be noted, stood in the same small room as His Holiness Neil Gaiman.), physics professors sometimes lecture about superheroes, there are many hilarious video breaks, people draw onstage and all manner of other wackiness abounds. Indeed, as the w00tstock website sums up nicely, “This is the dawning of the Age of Geekdom-and its voices will ring true at w00tstock.”