‘King of the Nerds’ season 2 spotlight: Does Jack Hou speak your language?

Is there such a thing as a Nerd Renaissance Man? Jack Hou from “King of the Nerds” season 2 may be it. The guy knows English, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese and Japanese, he’s a PhD student in bioengineering, and he is a fencing and chess champion.

Now, it’s clear that all of these things are (picture George Takei’s voice in your head for a minute) very impressive. But do these an effective King of the Nerds make? Despite his many achievements and some pretty A+ references throughout his bio, he is still subject to the same treatment as the rest of the cast via our wannabe-patented Nerd Scale, a cumulative score we come up with based on intelligence, skill, understanding of nerd culture, and a complete abdication of anything socially defined as “cool.”

Nerd Pros – The vast majority of the description above really speaks for itself. You don’t learn so many languages or become a champion at chess without some serious nerd credentials. Also, some great responses in the Q&A, including this gem about Edison vs. Tesla: “Both contributed greatly to science and engineering, but at the end of the day, one guy died admired, rich, and loved, and the other died alone, broke, and paranoid of a Martian takeover.” Awesome. The only thing better is an “over 9000” reference that probably blows over the head of some of our reading audience right now, but we actually committed a real life ROFLMAO over it.

In grading him with the Nerd Scale, we enjoy the complete defiance that he uses when answering questions, his appreciation of all things Square (pre-Square Enix, mind you), his disenchantment of modern technology in favor of cool things from a few years ago, and that he still finds the word “Uranus” funny. Also, he still struggles with the ladies, and understands that the “Hobbit” is a better read than “Lord of the Rings,” but the latter movies are a million times better than the “MEH” editions that Peter Jackson has pushed on the screen as of late.

Nerd Cons – There are two things we must take issue with here: Much like Chris, there is no favoritism in the ever-going battle between Marvel and DC. We’re almost tempted now to make this an automatic one-point deduction mostly because we do not see how it is possible. Also, upon answering a “Harry Potter” question about which house he would be in, he said “Hufflypuffy.” Maybe someone at TBS needs a good “expelliarmus” over transcribing this wrong, or he literally thought Hufflepuff was Hufflypuffy. Or, the third option: This is a “Harry Potter” reference / inside joke so obscure it’s completely over our heads, and we have to deduct a point from ourselves over not getting it. (Granted, it’s been years since we read “Deathly Hallows,” and that was done over the course of about 30 hours.)

Nerd Scale – 9 out of 10. The Marvel question and a fondness for NBA player Tim Duncan to the point that he would want to have dinner with him (see item 10) bring down what could have otherwise been a perfect score. Still, this puts him tied with Brian on our Nerd Leaderboard (nerderboard?) so far. We still have many profiles to go before we sleep … okay, that’s a lie. We’re going to sleep before doing the next one. We just wanted a good excuse to semi-quote Robert Frost.

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