Chris Hardwick’s father, Billy Hardwick, died on Saturday night, but that didn’t stop the Talking Dead host from completing his duties, just 24 hours later.
Hardwick announced the devastating news on the show, confessing that his appearance was an appreciated distraction during what was clearly a devastating time for him and his family.
Billy Hardwick, who was a Hall of Fame bowler, died of a supposed heart attack on Saturday, and Chris made the announcement at the taping of the after show for the hugely popular AMC post-apocalyptic zombie drama, Walking Dead.
At the end of the latest edition he admitted, “I just want to say something. I don’t want things to get weird, but my dad passed away suddenly yesterday and I didn’t know if I was going to come in to work, but I like this job and it was a nice distraction.”
In his emotional statement, Hardwick added that he had received unequivocal support from social media users across the internet, stating, “I just want to thank everyone online. It was one of the times where the Internet was really nice.”
Hardwick, who also hosts The Nerdist podcast, then revealed that he’d been able to enjoy one last conversation with his father before he passed. “And, really quickly, the day before he died,” he started. “I had a really nice chat with him and I was really lucky I got to tell him how much I love him.”
The death of his 72-year-old father has already clearly made a deep and lasting impact on Hardwick, who continued, “But, look, the holidays are coming up, they can be a pain in the ass, but I just want to say, you’re family is important and you should take time to appreciate them in the midst of all the traveling and all the crap that happens.”
He then candidly expressed, “Family can be weird. But just remember they are important and they love you and you should take some time to appreciate them. I just want to say, rest in peace, Billy Hardwick, I love you, dad.”
Billy Hardwick was a bowler whose career exploded after he produced “one of the greatest turnarounds in professional bowling history,” according to the Professional Bowling Association.
Hardwick Senior then won four titles in just one season, despite the fact that he was a rookie the year before in 1962. After his retirement, Billy went on to open Billy Hardwick’s All-Star Lanes in Memphis, Tennessee.