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Why it looks like Chris Hardwick has been crying in those ‘Talking Dead’ teasers

Chris Hardwick of “Talking Dead” says he is more empathic with the story arc of “The Walking Dead” during his commercial break teasers.

Chris Hardwick takes his “Talking Dead” therapy duties seriously. If he could, he tells us, he would reach through the screen and comfort the “Walking Dead” community during those emotionally fraught times when a beloved character bites the dust.

Hardwick reminds us, though, that his approach on the live talk show, which airs immediately after “The Walking Dead,” dissecting each episode with the series’ producers and special guests, has evolved over time.

Those “Talking Dead” commercial spots teasing the show — the ones in which Hardwick sometimes appears somber and red-eyed, looking like he’s been through the emotional wringer — were a little different during “The Talking Dead’s” first season.

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Explains Hardwick: “We didn’t know where things would be going in terms of commercials, so I’d be super excited, but then something horrible would just happen on ‘Walking Dead’ ... and I’d be like, ‘Hey, everybody, here’s the hashtag!’ And people would be like, ‘I hate you!’ My enthusiasm was incongruous with what was happening on the show.’

That’s about the only time Hardwick’s passion has been misplaced. As the host of “Talking Dead” and its various spinoffs, as well as the Comedy Central game show "@midnight” and his own wildly successful Nerdist podcasts, Hardwick has turned his passion for geek culture and comedy into a rewarding career.

In this video interview at The Times, Hardwick talked about balancing all these projects, how his stand-up comedy has evolved into onstage therapy and who he thinks died in this season’s “Walking Dead” finale. (It’s not Rick, he says, though we’d kind of like it to be.)

You can watch the full interview here:

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Chris Hardwick of “Talking Dead” fame chats about his projects.

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