Note: Please consider donating to Operation Smile to support children receiving free cleft lip and palate surgeries. Click HERE to help Zachary Levi and the Nerd Machine reach their donation goal!


This time of year, I find myself wishing I were in San Diego, CA rather than in my home on the East coast. San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC) is the largest event for pop culture, sci-fi, comics, fantasy, and all things I revere. But if you’re like me and can’t be there, Zachary Levi has provided a way for you to attend from your own home with his Nerd HQ and his live streaming panels on YouTube through the Nerd Machine YouTube Channel.

Levi started the Nerd HQ while still starring in Chuck. It’s an off-site venue nearby the convention center that features gaming and other sponsors as well as panels that people can purchase tickets to for a guaranteed seat. There is limited seating, so there isn’t as much fighting for a spot during a panel. The panels are more intimate allowing for more direct interaction between the audience and the stars Levi manages to corral.

Why does Levi do this, and why do so many big names help out? It’s simple – he’s doing it for Operation Smile. This charity organization raises money for children all over the world to have surgery for cleft lip and palate. My mother used to be a reconstructive surgery nurse who assisted in those types of surgeries, and through her work I know they can mean a world of difference to children if corrected. According to their website FAQ, approximately $240 can provide the free necessary surgery to a child. One Nerd HQ panel raises $5,000.

What’s not to like about a megastar like Levi bringing in other huge stars such as Joe Manganiello, Joss Whedon, Nathan Fillion, Alan Tudyk, Matt Smith, Evangeline Lily, and so many more participating in Conversations for a Cause to support children having better health and smiles? It’s truly a mix of stars who appreciate the fans as well as everyone helping to make the world a little better, which Levi talks about in an opening Conversation.

Through the Nerd Machine YouTube Channel, these panels are streaming live as they take place and then are archived on the channel (go subscribe). It’s a way for those of us to feel like we get to enjoy just a little of SDCC even though we’re not actually there. And if you can, click HERE to donate to Operation Smile to help Levi’ and The Nerd Machine reach their donation goal.

The following are a few of the panels that I’ve enjoyed so far (they were streamed live, so you may have to fast forward a bit to get to the video):

Joe Manganiello

Doctor Who

Joss Whedon

Mystery Panel (with Rob Kazinsky, Nathan Fillion, Alan Tudyk, & Zac Levi)

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