GEEK MADNESS: Reasonable 8

After all of the recent close calls and heartbreaks, the smelting process brings us to the Reasonable 8. Voting is now open and will end next Sunday, March 1, when the Penultimate Four will duke it out.

All results to-date are on the main Geek Madness page.

Review all the matchups and go vote, after the break.

Geek Madness Reasonable 8 Brackets


Simon Pegg Simon Pegg vs. Kaylee Frye Kaylee Frye

“Spaced” star, or Star in space?

Simon Pegg: Actor/writer; co-creator/star, “Spaced“, Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz.
Portraying “Scotty” in upcoming Star Trek reboot; staunch opponent of Star Wars prequel trilogy; no danger of influence from powerful zombie special interest groups. Defeated Peter Parker in Round 1, Linus Torvalds in Round 2, and Randall Munroe in the Geek 16.

Kaylee Frye: Character, Joss Whedon’s TV series “Firefly” and film Serenity; ship’s mechanic.
Notes: Prototypical geek girl who has a great love of and intuitive talent with technology; feminine without being entirely “girly;” only partially aware of how stupefyingly attractive she is. Defeated The Professor in Round 1 and Tricia “Trillian” McMillan in Round 2, and Steve Jobs in the Geek 16.

[poll id=82]


John Hodgman John Hodgman vs. Gabe & Tycho Gabe & Tycho (Penny Arcade)

Pretend expert, or Pretend gamers?

John Hodgman: Author (The Areas of My Expertise; More Information Than You Require); actor/TV personality (“PC” in long-running Apple Computer Mac ads; “The Daily Show“).
Bookish, likable manner and quirky, tweedy humor have made him a major breakout minor celebrity, crossing over beyond geek circles; near-ubiquity in 2007 and 2008 could lead to “Dude, you’re getting a Dell”-style backlash. Defeated Ben Stein in Round 1 and Spock in Round 2 and They Might Be Giants in the Geek 16.

Gabe & Tycho: Webcomic alter egos of Penny Arcade writers/creators Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik
Multiple weekly strips are a touchstone of gaming and gamer culture. Characters also help promote the PAX gaming festival and Child’s Play charitable effort. Defeated Sarah Vowell in Round 1, Alton Brown in Round 2 and Douglas Adams in the Geek 16.

[poll id=83]


Wil Wheaton Wil Wheaton vs. Steve Wozniak Steve Wozniak

Multi-platform phenom, or Innovative, good-natured billionaire?

Wil Wheaton: Writer, actor; blogging pioneer; most widely known for roles as Wesley Crusher (Star Trek TNG) and Gordie LaChance in Stand By Me.
Parlayed his much-maligned portrayal of Wesley Crusher into a multi-platform second career; blog/website is a hub for geek discourse; poker player and fan; has his own tag on Defeated Bruce Campbell in Round 1, Wesley Crusher in Round 2 and Stephen Hawking in the Geek 16.

Steve Wozniak: Co-founder of Apple Computer.
One of the original Geeks Who Made It Big. Engaging personality and contributions to the early development of the personal computer more likely to elicit shouts of “Good on ya!” than sour, jealous comments. Defeated Ira Glass in Round 1, Dr. Carl Sagan in Round 2, and Veronica Belmont in the Geek 16.

[poll id=84]


Joss Whedon Joss Whedon vs. Felicia Day Felicia Day

Creator of popular fantasies for geeks or Popular geek fantasy?

Joss Whedon: Writer/producer/director; creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (film/TV), “Angel” (TV) “Firefly”/Serenity (TV/film) and Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog (interwebs)
Notes: Has strong track record of creating television shows marked by clever dialogue, smart and interesting characters, fantastical elements, and extremely short lifespans; ridiculously devoted following; as if geek cred wasn’t strong enough, was one of the co-writers of Toy Story. Defeated Ken Plume in Round 1, Doctor WhoJonathan Coulton in the Geek 16. in Round 2 and

Felicia Day: Actress/creator/writer of geek-centric internet show “The Guild“; broadened recognition with role in Joss Whedon’s Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog.
A genuine gaming enthusiast (not some Hollywood pretender) whose geek profile exploded in 2008; a genuine grass roots new media success story of a “homemade” internet show that, offered for free on YouTube, garnered a large following and eventual media sponsorship that manages to maintain a geek-friendly distribution model; also an accomplished violinist; has noticed us. Defeated Ernie Kovacs in Round 1, Tom Servo & Crow T. Robot in Round 2 and Stan Lee in the Geek 16.

[poll id=85]


  1. Candace
    Posted February 22, 2009 at 11:17 pm | Permalink

    I hope Pegg and Hodgmen makes it through this round.

  2. Brian
    Posted February 23, 2009 at 12:27 am | Permalink

    Now the choices are getting harder.
    1. Kaylee Frye – Simon Pegg has been a great geek, making some great movies, but I have to vote for anybody relating to Firefly.
    2. John Hodgman – He’s from my home state of MA, on one of my fave shows, and is a great writer. Also, I don’t read Penny Arcade.
    3. Wil Wheaton – This is no contest. Wil is a great writer and actor with a long, established history of supporting geek culture.
    BTW – I move Steve Wozniak be removed from the competition in light of his upcoming appearance on Dancing with the Stars.
    4. Joss Whedon – the hardest choice of the bunch. Had to go with the creator of Buffy/Angel/Firefly/Dr. Horrible. He’s the one who introduced us to Felicia!

    If the final battle is Wil vs Joss, I don’t know what I’d do!

  3. Phoenix
    Posted February 23, 2009 at 3:02 am | Permalink

    That’s it,

    I’m calling it:

    Wil vs Kaylee for the final match.

  4. Marcy
    Posted February 23, 2009 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    Gabe and Tycho have to win…come on, guys…….

  5. Posted February 23, 2009 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    1) Simon Pegg. Granted, I never got into Star Trek, it does mean the person has way more geek cred. Aren’t we voting by experience? Again, I don’t like to make political statements…..

    2) Hodgman. I am not that big a fan of his funnywise, but he’s got some nerd cred- he went to Yale.

    3) Wil. Again, Star Trek, the nerdiness on his site, etc. Plus I hate Apple and everything for which they stand. The vote for Hodgman was in spite of his collaboration with the Jobs regime.

    4) Felicia. Adding to her awesome Guild and Dr. Horribleness, I recently saw her in an episode of House. House! … I know! That show is awesome! Plus, if anyone else is following her Twitter feed – @feliciaday you will note how awesomely awesome and geeky her tweets are. Keeps me mucho entertained. Plus she’s pretty.

  6. Posted February 23, 2009 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    I don’t really care about the other brackets. Can I just vote for Woz four times? I’d love to see the pranks he would pull.

    Otherwise, I guess I’ll vote for Hodgman and Felicia for being JoCollaborators.

  7. Jade
    Posted February 23, 2009 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    Hodgman. He was a front runner in my mind since the get go, and he’s easily had the toughest competition thus far. Who else could win battle after epic battle against Ben Stein, Spock AND They Might Be Giants?

  8. Posted February 23, 2009 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    Okay folks, it’s time to consider what we’re voting for, not just whom.

    This is for Secretary of Geek Affairs, so let’s get real geeks in this round. Real, as in not fictional. And true geeks, like Felicia Day, not just geek gods like Joss Whedon.

  9. Posted February 23, 2009 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    Roman: You may hate Apple, but if you’d met Woz, or even just read some of the letters on his website you’d probably find that he doesn’t conform to your evil vision of Apple. He is the most generous guy I know of*.

    You’d probably like the title of his site: Welcome to a free exchange of information, the way it always should be.

    I particularly recommend reading about the Secret Service incident; even if you don’t like the guy, that is still hilarious.

    *(or maybe I’m biased because he called me on the phone for my birthday just because my sister asked him to? Maybe I’m biased because he once bought me a laptop when mine was stolen, despite not knowing me from anything but that phonecall and a few emails? Maybe I’m biased because he spends so much of his time replying to emails from fans? Maybe I’m biased because when we eventually met, he let me (and any passers-by who asked) play with his Segways and did hilarious things with laser pointers and flashing LEDs in his mouth? I don’t know, maybe I’m biased. Maybe I’m boasting. But how many of the other uber-famous geeks would do all that? I know that buying a computer for a random stranger did not exactly break the bank. But he’s given much more time and money to other things. And he sure knows how to have fun.)

  10. Posted February 23, 2009 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    @Angelastic Why he likes Jobs, I have no flippin idea.

  11. Posted February 23, 2009 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    1. “Real vs. Fictional” is one thing, but it doesn’t hold much a candle to “Real vs. I Don’t Care” to me. Pegg gets my vote, but once the browncoats get wind of this round, he’s probably going down…
    2. When I set out to comment on all my choices every week (except one I think I missed), I figured I’d be able to come up with something interesting every week. Except it’s four rounds in and I can’t find anything to say about this matchup that I haven’t said two or three times already. The Hodg takes my vote again.
    3. This one hurt. Thanks a LOT, people who know how to pick actual geeks! I’m still sticking with the Woz for my vote, but it was a close decision.
    4. Meh.

  12. Posted February 23, 2009 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    Joss was inspired by Felicia. An inspiration that he took so much to heart, he’s completely embracing it (once Dollhouse gets cancelled.) Felicia FTW!

  13. Posted February 23, 2009 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    @Roman: Ask him? Maybe he knows Steve Jobs better than you do. Maybe it’s the famed reality distortion field. Maybe he’s so nice that he likes everyone. But he shouldn’t be guilty by association. (Not that I can really comment on that anyway, since I voted Jobs over RMS so I’m probably also evil.)

  14. Jeffy
    Posted February 23, 2009 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    OK. Let’s see. Kaylee Frye, because Simon Pegg can go die in a hole. The next are more difficult. Gabe and Tycho I’ve been with longer, so they win. Wil Wheaton is awesome, sure, but come on. Wozniak. Wozniak is the winner. As for When has Joss Whedon ever done something awesome without Felicia Day? Plenty of times, I think, but Felicia is wonderful. Victory to the pretty one. (Also, I like the Guild, and Joss Whedon was not involved.) This is getting difficult, but yes. Victory for Felicia.

  15. Centipede Damascus
    Posted February 24, 2009 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

    Anyone who votes against Simon Pegg is a Communist.

  16. Posted February 24, 2009 at 4:44 pm | Permalink


    What is wrong with you people! What are you? Bitter McCain voters?!


    It’s bad enough you’ve dumped Randall Munroe, Linus Torvalds, Richard M. Stallman, Jonathan Colton, Stephen Hawking, and the Mythbusters.

    Now you are getting rid of the real brains behind Apple Computers?

    Steve Wozniak is the ONLY REAL GEEK left in this bracket. Everyone else are actors, writers, or fictional characters. We are voting for people who are GEEKS not members of the Writers Guild.

    Pegg takes on Woz for the championship.

    I am starting to lose faith in this bracket.

  17. Posted February 24, 2009 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

    one & two – I am taking fact v. fiction in both matches, though I think that Pegg’s credentials are mainly for his portrayal of fictional characters so it’s a very fine line I’m walking. Match two isn’t as close to me as I’ve yet to set up a spare month to go through the Penny Arcade archives as yet.

    three – Another tough one but I went with the Woz. Call it sentiment, call it my love of Code Monkeys, call it Segwaying with the Stars, but I like the guy.

    four – I saw the first episode of Dollhouse and was sad at how much I didn’t enjoy it. Sorry Joss.

  18. Posted February 25, 2009 at 3:26 am | Permalink

    MrHacks: Felicia Day is so a real geek. How can you write a show based entirely on people who are addicted to online games like WoW without experiencing it personally? Also, her twitter proves all. She is so a geek. An awesome and talented one.

    Uh, and Wil Wheaton is a geek too. He can talk Sci-fi with the best of ’em.

    In other news, this round was hardcore difficult to vote for because as much as I love Joss, there is a world outside of Whedonverse. That world holds Simon Pegg and Felicia Day. 🙂

  19. mucklet
    Posted February 25, 2009 at 6:22 am | Permalink

    MrHacks: I’d love to know your definition of a “real geek”. I see a few of “real geeks” left in this round. I voted for Woz, but I also voted for a geek writer.

  20. Droppymccool
    Posted February 25, 2009 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    Looks like I picked all the underdogs this time. I guess the problem with “never tell me the odds” is that I lose a lot. A lot.

  21. Posted February 26, 2009 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

    Bitterly disappointed to see Hodgman eliminated. This is clearly boiling down to a Wil Wheaton vs. Joss Whedon final. I predict Wheaton wins.

  22. Posted February 27, 2009 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    I hope it’s not Whedon vs. Wheaton, I can’t even tell them apart. :/

  23. Ross
    Posted February 27, 2009 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    I’m becoming more and more disappointed with who wins each round. Perhaps it’s because I’m not a geek myself and am not a fan of the geekiest people which means that the winners are the right choices.

  24. Matthew
    Posted February 27, 2009 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    NOOOO! all 4 of my choices are losing! the world has gone mad!

  25. Posted February 27, 2009 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

    I somehow voted for all the underdogs (as of my voting)

    Kaylee – I like Jewel State and Kaylee. Nothing against Simon. oh haha get it Simon and Kaylee?

    Hodgman – He wins in the all around Geek Game. Gabe and Tycho are kings of their particular segment.

    Woz – He’s def more geeky in my opinion and I’m still bitter about Wil vs. Bruce Campbell

    Felicia – She’s more geeky. Though I do enjoy the Whedon shows.

  26. Posted February 27, 2009 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

    defeated Linux Torvalds AND Randall Munroe? i haz a sad. 🙁

  27. Trevor
    Posted March 1, 2009 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    I’m a browncoat, and I still voted for Simon. You can tell how much geek cred he has if you’ve ever heard him make the Mouse Droid sound.

  28. Tzeentch
    Posted March 1, 2009 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    i have to vote against Gabe & Tycho because I hate anyone who beats douglas adams

  29. Posted March 1, 2009 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    It looks very much like I’m not going to know any of the final four. I don’t get it. Seven of these people are people who only affect you if you happen to watch a particular TV show or read a particular book or comic. Woz’s creations and their aftermath affected all of our lives, at least indirectly.

    Maybe you TV-watching, comic-reading, pop-culture-consuming people see all that and just think, ‘ok, a new size TV.’ It’s so sad to see a man defeated by his anagram.

    &emdash; sealing cat

  30. Posted March 1, 2009 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    Aw, even the almighty sealing cat can’t get HTML entities right. I guess LOLspeak extends to HTML.

    — I clean tags

  31. AlanD
    Posted March 1, 2009 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    1) Simon – I’m just saying NO to fictional characters (and this is a Browncoat talking who has met Jewel several times)
    2) John Hodgman – ditto (though Windows sucks)
    3) Woz – wilw is cool, but c’mon, Woz is the real geek deal (though Macs also suck)
    4) Felicia – Joss is The Master, but Felicia is the archetypal pretty geek girl – degrees in math and the violin, a massive gamer since childhood, social networking superstar, and web video series pioneer. C’mon girl, release your twitter army and take the old man down.

  32. Olivia
    Posted March 1, 2009 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

    I still don’t get the bias against fictional characters. Can’t we elect a fictional person to a fictional office? Seriously.

  33. Posted March 1, 2009 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

    I don’t really care who wins anymore. This bracket is so full of FAIL.

    I’m not going to follow this contest anymore. All the picks I wanted to win are lossing.


  34. AlanD
    Posted March 2, 2009 at 12:16 am | Permalink

    A fair point, but IMHO the office should be held by a real geek, and fictional characters, by definition, are not real.

    Either way, it would make no sense for Kaylee to hold the office, as she is 500 years in the future and in a different star system.

  35. Stephen
    Posted March 2, 2009 at 4:00 am | Permalink

    I don’t understand why everyone is crying about the lack of geeks here. The only person I can see that I don’t consider a geek is Simon Pegg, and he lost! So quit complaining.

  36. Brian
    Posted March 4, 2009 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    OK, we have the final four, March 1 is long gone. Let’s move on!

  37. Posted March 4, 2009 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    Brian is right, let’s go!

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