We don’t make a secret of our appreciation for Wil Wheaton here on GeekDad. Speaking for myself, I’ve been a great fan of his writing since I started reading his blog about ten years ago, and I’m among those who think he’s a much better actor than the way the character of Wesley Crusher was written could demonstrate. It’s great to see his acting career enjoy a bit of a renaissance, with his guest spots on (among other things) The Big Bang Theory and, more significantly, his major recurring role on the geeky science-fiction TV series Eureka and his co-starring role on the awesomely geeky web series The Guild.
Today is Wil’s 39th birthday, and we couldn’t let that go by unnoticed on our part — because in addition to being an excellent actor and writer, Wil is also a great geek dad to his (step)sons Nolan and Ryan. He’s written often over the years of how he got both of his kids interested in geeky pursuits not by any directed campaign but just by making them understand that the reason he wanted to share those things with them was simply because they were one heck of a lot of fun. I only hope that, when my kids reach the ages that Wil’s sons are (if I’m not mistaken, one is about 22 and the other about 20), they’re as good people and geeks as his are.
I saw Wil just eight days ago at w00stock 3.0 in San Diego, and he was — as I’d expected — a lot of fun both as part-time emcee and participant in several bits. I reflected on the fact that if I could tell my 14-year-old self, as he sat watching the first season of Star Trek: The Next Generation, that 24 years hence he’d be sitting in a theatre with 1,000-plus other people watching a geeky variety show co-headlined by the guy who played Wesley, he would be sure I was kidding. Just goes to show that in the geek world today there are tons of opportunities to remake your image, if you’ve got the brains, talent, and ambition to make something of them.
So please join all of us at GeekDad in wishing Wil Wheaton a very happy 39th birthday, and many more to come! (In fact, if he goes the Jack Benny route, he could have nothing but 39th birthdays from now on.) You can even tweet him or Google+ him your birthday wishes, if you like. EDIT: You should also check out GeekMom’s very funny piece for Wil’s birthday today.
Photo: Matt Blum; released under Creative Commons Attribution license.