Comedian Chris Hardwick is building a nerd empire.

It began with his podcast, “The Nerdist,” which ballooned into a podcasting network that now includes 17 different shows. Then he built a performance space, the Nerdist Theatre, in Los Angeles; wrote a guide to living life to your nerdiest potential (“The Nerdist Way”); launched a news site; and now he’s running his own network on YouTube.

The Nerdist Channel, part of YouTube’s effort to enter your living room, debuted this week with a full slate of programs. Each day features a new show — there’s Hardwick’s “All Star Celebrity Bowling,” an interview series hosted by Weird Al Yankovic, live chat show “Comic Book Club,” and something called “Weird S#!t From Japan” — all of which were handpicked by Hardwick.

“Our programming mandate was simple: What would WE want to see exist in the world?” Hardwick wrote in a note to fans.

Hardwick is creating a community where fans of comedy, gaming, music, comic books and film can go to watch like-minded programming. It’s just the kind of big-picture thinking that could one day earn him the title of Nerd King.

Watch the Nerdist Channel online at