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

Jack -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.” We’ve laid out all of the rules over here, and with that in mind, we are now set to proceed in our quest of being that guy who tries to define how nerdy someone is (and as a former “Beauty and the Geek” contestant we’ve got a little bit of insight).

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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Photo: TBS

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