The geeks shall inherit the earth?

Feels that way lately.

For a term that used to be entirely derisive (“That guy is a total geek”), the term “geek” has become almost celebratory, and is used to try to gain positive attention for everything from technology repair businesses to movies and TV shows. The Geek Squad at Best Buy, “The Big Bang Theory” on CBS and the Fox network’s “Gleek of the Week” contest promoting “Glee” come to mind.

People of all sorts easily refer to themselves as beer geeks or sci-fi geeks or history geeks. It’s almost a term of respect, a reference to a certain level of expertise.

That’s the spirit of a variety show running this weekend in Freeport — to celebrate the geek, because there’s probably one in every single one of us.

The “Geeky Edition of the Early Evening Show” is scheduled for Friday and Saturday night at the Freeport Theater of Awesome.

The “Early Evening Show” is a live, Maine-centric variety show that dates back about 15 years, when it began running at the Oddfellow Theater in Buckfield.

But this edition in Freeport is filled with geeky characters such as Dickie Hyper-Hynie (played by Oddfellow founder Mike Miclon) and geeky magician Wally Wiggins (played by Leland Faulkner). There’s also a scheduled demonstration by a local robot group. (How geeky yet beloved are robots?) There will be music by the Early Evening Show orchestra, and surprise guests.

If that’s not enough geekiness for you, the show’s co-host, Jason Tardy, will be performing in a group called AudioBody with his brother Matt (the pair also run the Theater of Awesome). It’s a comedy act using drum machines, Wii remote controls and other geeky technology, Tardy said.

“I think everyone has a little geekiness in them, and when you let it out, it can be a lot of fun,” said Tardy, 34. “Geeky characters can be lovable. We’re certainly not poking fun at them.”

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary says “geek” comes from an older English term, “geck,” meaning “fool.” It also says the word “geek” was first used in 1914, and that things have changed a little since then.

The dictionary lists the first definition of “geek” as a carnival “wild man,” and the second as someone of an “intellectual bent who is disliked.”

But the third definition — likely the latest one — is “an enthusiast or expert, especially in a technological field or activity.”

Sounds pretty positive, doesn’t it?

“That’s probably thanks to Bill Gates and some of the other people who rule the world today,” said Tardy.


So maybe it’s time we all let our geek flags fly.

Staff Writer Ray Routhier can be contacted at 791-6454 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: RayRouthier

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: