President Obama gets the “nerdcore” test

I watched a bit of the TV and Radio Correspondents’ dinner this past weekend and saw this routine by John Hodgman. I couldn’t pass it up. I really enjoyed it. We’re all I’m sure familiar with this comedian. He’s been on The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, and all of those Apple Mac ads (he’s the “PC”).

“We are wary, Mr. President…”

As I was watching the thought kept running through my head “Come on! Ask Obama a Monty Python question!” It didn’t happen. I really liked the Dune questions though, because Hodgman acted like he knew the details like the back of his hand. 🙂 Perfect! Though he never gave the answers. I know them, but I’ll leave them for my readers to ponder.

Anyway, when he got to the end my mind raced immediately to one of the most famous sequences in sci-fi cinema, from Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan. It strikes me as odd, knowing what he was referring to, that Hodgman said, “I have been, and always shall be, you friend. Live long and prosper,” is, “the most American of greetings”. It came from Spock’s death scene in the movie! It was his farewell.

Edit 11-22-2009: I embedded a video clip of Spock’s death scene when I first wrote this, but it got taken off of YouTube. So I’ll just provide a “transcript”. Spock has just saved the Enterprise from imminent disaster, but he has sacrificed his own life. He’s dying. Admiral Kirk sees him for the last time (or so he thinks). These are their last words to each other:

Spock: Ship out of danger?

Kirk: Yes.

Spock: Don’t grieve, Admiral. It is logical. The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.

Kirk: …Or the one.

Spock: I never took the Kobayashi Maru test until now. What do you think of my solution?

Kirk: Spock…

Spock: I have been, and always shall be, your friend. [pressing his palm to the glass in the Vulcan sign] Live long and prosper.

Kirk presses his palm to the glass as if trying to touch Spock’s hand. And then Spock dies.