Reddit is an interesting place. An avid user myself, I can confidently assume other site fans will agree when I say it is simultaneously one of the best, and one of the worst, places on the web. On one hand you will find some of the most intelligent, well informed, and often kind people you could ever meet online. Then in the same hour find the most repugnant, hateful, moronic subhumans you have ever had the misfortune of meeting. Sometimes you find both descriptions in the same users.
Whatever its strengths and flaws, there is one subreddit that gets a lot of love no matter what…./r/IAMA. Full of interesting interviews with interesting people (and people who think they are interesting, but aren’t), it is the go-to place to ruin your week’s productivity.
For the “real geeks” among us, there have been so many over the years to drool over. These are some selected from an impossibly long list.
For Iconic Computer Tech Fans: AMA Bill Gates
The most charming part of this AMA is the fact that it is titled: “I’m Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.” Which is a lot less blatant than what I would have chosen, which would be: “I MADE MICROSOFT AND CHANGED THE WORLD! YOU MOTHA***** KNOW MY NAME! SAY IT!!!!!!”
It would seem Mr. Gates has more restraint than I ever will.
With one of the highest post counts ever – over 27,000 – he answered a fair amount of questions with insightful and well thought out answers. Though most of the thread was fanboy screeching and hand-fanning.
For Science Geeks: AMA Bill Nye The Science Guy
Bill! Bill! Bill! Bill! Bill! Bill! Bill! Bill Nye The Science Guy stopped by to make the dreams of everyone from generation come true. He has become a bit of a controversial figure recently due to his debate with Ken Hamm of Answers In Genesis. While he came out best in that debate on the side of Evolution (even the Creationists seemed to think so), there has been some talk in the Atheist community about whether he is qualified thanks to his degree being in engineering, not biology.
This AMA was long before that, and so goes a long way towards reminding people of how approachable and accessible he is. So, by his very nature, he makes science just as approachable and accessible. His layman’s explanation of complicated scientific theory were a joy in my own childhood, and in the thousand of commenters who showed up in his thread.
Also: Science Rules!
For Space Camp Geeks: AMA Neil deGrasse Tyson
Another beloved figure in the scientific community is NASA director and all around Awesome Dude Neil deGrasse Tyson. Lately he is just everywhere, promoting the need for an active space program, and all around charming the pants off of the world at large. His no-nonsense attitude is tempered by the fact that he might be the nicest guy on the planet. Even if he was one of the monsters that killed Pluto.
He answers some very interesting questions in his AMA that go far beyond astrophysics. My favorite was his view on how close we as humans were to reaching the status of a Type I civilization. Straight forward, to the point, and yet thought provoking.
For Comic Book Geeks: AMA Stan Lee
Anyone who doesn’t adore Stan Lee has no soul. Come on, look at his face. Look at his face is every comic book movie ever that he does a cameo in. How can you not love that face, which its mustache and glasses and the fact that he is largely responsible for the landscape of comic universes everywhere?
He didn’t just to an AMA. He recorded YouTube video answers of him being all candid, so we all knew it was totally him and not a marketing jerk pretending to be him. Which we will get to later on in the list.
For Star Trek Geeks: AMA Wil Wheaton
OK, OK, yes, I know…Wil Wheaton deserves to be known for a million things before his role in Star Trek. I’m sorry, but I and every girl of my generation had a crush of Wesley Crusher, and I refuse to believe otherwise. If they say they didn’t, they are lying. Or they didn’t watch Star Trek TNG, in which case I still choose to believe they had a crush on him and didn’t know it.
His AMA was done on /r/boardgames, which totally made sense given his creation and hosting of Tabletop. But it isn’t just his AMA worth looking at. His Reddit history is vast, and he regularly interacts with us little folk. He has even done some pretty cool connecting with fans. Check him out, he is awesome.
And Wil, if you ever by chance read this, I apologize for my Wesley love. You were great in The Guild, too.
For X-Files Geeks: AMA Gillian Anderson (With David Duchovny)
Admit it, the theme song is playing in your read right now. That show terrified a whole generation of us, and I know I was an avid watcher in spite of it. One of the best and most convoluted shows in television history, it is still of my personal favorites in the genres of both horror and sci-fi. Even the short lived Lone Gunmen spin-off has a special place in my withered heart.
Gillian Anderson stopped by for an AMA quite surprisingly, alongside her former co-host and current soulmate David Duchovny. They were adorable, charming and fun as they Reddited from a hotel room together. Why were they in a hotel room together? Those of us who pined until the eventual hookup for Mulder and Scully lovin’ have our own twisted fantasies.
Oh, and Chris Carter, I know a lot of us are still waiting on news of the invasion. Get on it, yeah? Pedophile Billy Connolly is not what your fans were asking for, thank you very much.
For Comedy Geeks: AMA Louis CK
Watching Louis CK is like watching the most entertaining and hilarious train wreck ever. You want to avert your eyes, to cover your ears from the horrific sounds making you cringe, but you can’t. You can’t because it is just too good to miss a second. That is literally what Louis CK is.
His awkward and uncomfortable brand of humor has caught the unwavering adoration of all of Reddit. If you were to try and find someone on that site that didn’t like him, you would be unable to do so because the others have already tracked them down and killed them.
If you want a really great AMA that is both funny enough to bring tears to your eyes, and an honest look at the man underneath, you will love this one.
For Reddit Geeks: AMA Woody Harrelson
Woody Harrelson has just triumphed due to his celebrated role in the incredible True Detective. But if you were to ask him, his most memorable and soul changing acting experience was in Rampart.
Lest we forget this disaster, Reddit users should be reminded of what has been heralded as one of the worst AMAs in history. The AMA section is a place where people can go to promote themselves on a more personal level. This AMA was written by an obvious PR guy who lacked even a shred of personality, pretending to be Harrelson.
Through the entire AMA, Mr. PR was trying to muscle references Harrelson’s new movie into literally every answer. If you were to believe the responses, Rampart was not so much a film as a transcending spiritual experience.
Apparently not learning from the experience, the same thing happened with Morgan Freeman’s AMA. The PR guy pretending to be him even went so far as to badly Photoshop a photo to make it look like Freeman was holding a sign saying hello to Reddit. Which was both the most insulting – and funny – part of the entire event.
Know of a good geek AMA on Reddit? I bet you do. Leave them in the comments.
Photo credit: Gage Skidmore