When I started TR I wanted to have a place where the biggest news of all aspects of nerdery would be reported with thought and (hopefully) wit (and profanity, apparently), a place where people who wanted to be well-rounded nerds could get the news they didn’t have the time or inclination to get from other dedicated fan sites. It’s the site I wished existed, and I thought other people might feel the same way. Apparently I was right, because here we are.
I’m a big crier — like, I’ll cry at any movie ever — so I’ve had a ton of people ask me if I was going to cry today. I was kind of surprised to tell them no. I’ve had an amazing time these last five years running TR, but it’s definitely time for me to move on. You readers are fabulous people, but I’m not dying; you’ll be able to read me on io9.com starting November 19th if you want. Topless Robot will still be here too — and again, I seriously hope you continue supporting the new editor, whoever he/she might be. For the record, all I know for the moment is that your Friendly Neighborhood Chris Cummins will be here Monday and Tuesday, and after that… you’ll have to ask him.
I wanted to end with my five favorite aspects of running TR. Now, this “list” is a little long, and more than a little vain, but whaddya gonna do? Fire me?
5) My Favorite Writing
? My Transformers 2 FAQ. It’s probably been passed around more than any other TR article, but what people have forgotten is that I wrote an actual Transformers 2 review immediately before it. It was a very long, dull, critical analysis of Bay’s flaws as a filmmaker, and I only wrote the FAQ because I realize I’d forgotten to discuss the film’s myriad plotholes and stupidities in the regular review. No one cared about it, nor should they have.
? Best Scenes from Green Lantern. Honestly, this may be my favorite thing I’ve ever written for the site. When I was writing it, I was luterally siting at my chair, cackling to myself. I was laughing at my own jokes as I wrote them. There is nothing more obnoxious.
? John Hodgman called TR “fantastic” during an episode of his “Judge John Hodgman” podcast.
? Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett, the RIfftrax guys (and my idols from MST3K) have all, at various times alluded to or even just said that I’m funny. This is like Hank Aaron coming up to a Little Leaguer and saying, “Nice swing, kid.” I melted every single time. They are my heroes.
3) My Co-Workers
It goes without saying, but I couldn’t have done Topless Robot by myself. I thank those wonderful friends and co-workers from ToyFare, Anime Insider and Wizard, and those that I met here while running TR. You all have helped shape TR into what it is, whether you wrote a list or not, and I thank all of you — especially Chris Cummins, who never failed to be the Watson to my Holmes. And I want to thank Bill Jensen, who co-created TR the site and the name with me, and who let me do whatever the hell I wanted with it, for good or ill (sometimes both). If I’m TR‘s daddy, he’s the other daddy you have to spend alternating Christmases with because mommy remarried.
2) My Readers
? To say I couldn’t have done it without you guys is silly; of course I couldn’t have done TR without you, because if no one was reading no one would’ve paid me. But that doesn’t scratch the surface of what you guys have done for (and to) me. I thank you for reading TR all these years; I thank you for enjoying it. I thank you for all the kind words you’ve sent me and left in the comments, especially this week. I thank you for calling me out when I fuck up spectacularly, because I need that sometimes and you’ve made me a better writer because of it. Thank you. Thank you all.
? Also, I’d like to thank Karmatix, also known as Fuck Rob Bricken, for the delicious, delicious hate he left over the years. I swear to god, there is nothing so satisfying as discovering someone hates your work so much that they renamed themselves “Fuck [Your Name]” No sarcasm, every single post of his made me smile.
1) WHOSE RESPONSIBLE THIS
KnowYourMeme refused to acknowledge WRT as a meme, citing the fact that we immediately recognized it as a great meme because we weren’t idiots. But we knew better.
? The two classic WRT galleries are here and here.
? Nerd Hitler’s reaction. I still maintain this is one of the most brilliant Hitler videos ever made, WRT-related or not.
? This song, which is still my favorite song ever that has my name in the lyrics:
And that, my friends, is almost that. All that’s left is a final contest, the theme of which should not surprise you: List your favorite Topless Robot memories. Your favorite posts, videos, contests, FFF lines, whatever. Your fellow Robote
ers. The times I caused literally thousands of people to hate me because I was moron. The good, the bad and everything in between.
You have the entire weekend, meaning the contest ends at 12:01 am EST on Monday, November 12th. Because it’s my last hurrah, I’m giving away 25 TR shirts in hopes of spreading the love as much as possible. Since this is my last post, I’ll just be emailing you guys directly next week if you’ve won. Please don’t stress out about it; I’m going to send the rest of the TR shirts to the new guy, so there’ll still be opportunities to win some. Just have a good time, and let this post stand as the tribute to this era of Topless Robot.
And let the new era begin on Monday. Thank you all, again, for everything. I hope you’ll come check me out at io9, and I hope you’ll keep reading TR, too. I thank you for letting me waste your time, tell you my thoughts, theories and insanities, and giving me a chance to make you laugh for five ridiculously fun years. It’s been an honor. I don’t have any brilliant quotes to leave you with, but if there’s message I hope I’ve imparted to you guys after night five years, it’s this:
Robert Bricken is one of the original co-founders of the site formerly known as Topless Robot, and its first editor-in-chief, serving from 2008-12. He brought the site to prominence with “nerd news, humor and self-loathing” as its motto, raising it from total internet obscurity to a readership in the millions, with help from his savage “FAQ” movie reviews and Fan Fiction Fridays. Under his tenure Topless Robot was covered by Gawker, Wired, Defamer, New York magazine, ABC News, and others, and his articles have been praised by Roger Ebert, Avengers actor Clark Gregg, comedian and The Daily Show correspondent John Hodgman, the stars of Mystery Science Theater 3000 and Rifftrax, and others. He is currently the managing editor of io9.com. Despite decades as both an amateur and professional nerd, he continues to be completely unprepared for either the zombie apocalypse or the robot uprising.