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Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 06/12/2009

Friday List: Hot Geek Girls!

By Liz Kelly

Tina Fey: Geek goddess? (AP)
Friday List

Question: Besides the anomaly that is Tina Fey (and her TV alter-ego Liz Lemon), do female "geek dreamboats" exist?

I ask because I'm looking at a book that just arrived in the Celebritology mailbag, "Geeky Dreamboats," a teensy pic-heavy "appreciation of the adorably awkward men who make us glad to be women." (I knew there was a reason I was glad to be a chick.)

After a few minutes spent perusing the 57 lusted-after male geeks included I couldn't help but wonder if it would be possible to come up with an equally robust list of geeky women. Or, are we stuck on a cookie cutter Barbie image of female beauty to appreciate cute quirky girls? Who are the female equivalents of Michael Cera, Kal Penn, Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement? (Note: I have to protest the labeling of Ryan Gosling, Jason Bateman, Jake Gyllenhaal and John Krasinski as "geeks.")

I think today's mission is clear. We'll attempt to compile a list of geeky women to accompany the testosterone-laden list already in print. If all goes well, maybe we can make our own book deal.

I'll start. My contribution is the obvious starting point mentioned above: Tina Fey. Add your nominees below...

By Liz Kelly  | June 12, 2009; 11:00 AM ET
Categories:  Friday Lists  
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Top of the list is Kari Byron from Mythbusters. Not only is she adorably cute, she likes to blow stuff up.


Posted by: cgoff | June 12, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Danica McKeller (Winnie Cooper from Wonder Years). Gorgeous and she's a math genuis. Also Heddy Lamar, also gorgeous and co-inventor of missle guidance system.

Posted by: jstoltman | June 12, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Sara Gilbert (Big Bang Theory, Roseanne).

Liz Vassey (CSI, The Tick).

Posted by: Cosmo06 | June 12, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Off the top of my head: Danica McKellar, Ana Marie Cox, Amy Poehler, Sarah Silverman....

Posted by: MaxH | June 12, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Alyson Hannigan, Jewel Staiate and Amy Acker. All Whedon alums, all geeky and all hot.

Gillian Anderson may be the godmother of hot geek girls (and she's still hot).

Posted by: chibbs2000 | June 12, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

I'm kinda digging Rachael Maddow even though she plays for the other team.

Posted by: seriesoftubescleaner | June 12, 2009 11:26 AM | Report abuse

I would also include Sarah Chalke from Scrubs.

Posted by: chibbs2000 | June 12, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Lisa Loeb.

Seconding Sara Gilbert.

Posted by: | June 12, 2009 11:32 AM | Report abuse

I second Alyson Hannigan and add Natalie Morales from 'The Middleman.'

Posted by: yellojkt | June 12, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

I'd add Mindy Kaling. Does Kristen Bell count? Or did she just play geek on TV?

Posted by: fellstus | June 12, 2009 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Alicia Witt, who plays a mean classical piano.

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | June 12, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

I second Kari Byron. Although I am seriously wondering if cgoff is my husband... He is in LOVE with that girl.

Posted by: Osteph | June 12, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

I think Kristen Bell should count. Chances are the majority of these actresses just play geeks on TV. Off camera I'm sure none of them would be able to tell you the value of Pi or the atomic weight of adamantium.

Posted by: chibbs2000 | June 12, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

I read at io9 that Kristen Bell seems to really get geek culture, so that gives her some cred in this category.

Posted by: mouse4 | June 12, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

I would add Kidada Jones and Maya Rudolph to the list.

Posted by: wannabefit | June 12, 2009 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Well lets see... Mila Kunis has a World of Warcraft character (and actually plays)... but Kari is certainly the top of the geek girl list. Geeky girls are about 'action' not 'being in some show that has geeks'.
There are lots of extremely bright starlets who just dont end up doing 'geek' stuff like WoW, they're off snogging Christiano Ronaldo or somesuch instead.

Posted by: quintiliusvarus | June 12, 2009 12:13 PM | Report abuse

I agree Alyson Hannigan and Amy Acker have to be on the list.

Posted by: buffysummers | June 12, 2009 12:19 PM | Report abuse

How about Sandra Bullock? Or is that just the characters she plays.

Danica McKeller really is a math genius.

If you are going by the characters they play, Emily Deschanel, but otherwise not.

Posted by: reddragon1 | June 12, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Natalie Portman.

Rashida Jones.

Claire Danes.

Jodie Foster.

Pauley Perrette (Abby on NCIS) sure plays a hot geek; don't know anything about her real life however.

She's jailbait, but Emma Watson seems to be pretty bright.

Posted by: northgs | June 12, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

America Ferrara? She's cute! Christiane Amanpour?

Posted by: ErinC1 | June 12, 2009 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Amy Matthews of HGTV's "Sweat Equity", Amy Winn Pastor formerly of Trading Spaces, and several other hot chicks who rock tool belts.

Posted by: reddragon1 | June 12, 2009 12:31 PM | Report abuse

I've met Sally Ride. Obviously astrophysicists are geeks. She is also hott.

Posted by: reddragon1 | June 12, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Ellen Page - though I think she also pitches for both teams.

Posted by: kvs71 | June 12, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Would Maura Tierney qualify? If so, that's my nomination.

Posted by: erdma011 | June 12, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Emma Watson is 19. Not that I should know that.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 12, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

I like Christiane Amanpour. But I'm wondering whether wonkiness qualifies as geekiness. If it does, I'd have to include Condi Rice. And perhaps Michelle Obama, although she obviously oprahs above anyone else in the political realm.

Posted by: reddragon1 | June 12, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Veronica Belmont (multiple web shows, video game geek and host of Qore) and Felicia Day (the Guild, Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog) would have to be on such a list. They are both smart, funny and beautiful, not to mention total geeks. In the hot geek newscaster category CNET's Molly Wood (host of the Buzz Report) would be leading the list.

Posted by: MalcolmFurgol | June 12, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Kristen Vangsness' character Penélope Garcia on "Criminal Minds"?

Recently saw a brief profile on TV re Pauley Perette, who had a commitment ceremony with her (male) SO instead of a wedding in protest of California's passage of Prop. 8. She wore a gorgeous vintage dress she'd bought years earlier at a thrift shop.

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | June 12, 2009 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, Christiane Amanpour is a tool. I heard her give a talk on American policy in the Middle East (to a group of grad students in the field), and her entire discussion was the State Department's party line. There was literally no critical thought involved. That was shortly after her marriage to the State Department's Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs. Pure coincidence, I'm sure.

Posted by: northgs | June 12, 2009 1:27 PM | Report abuse

How about an actual scientist: evolutionary biologist and writer, Olivia Judson, author of "Dr. Tatiana's Sex Advice to all Creation."

Posted by: warpedwoof | June 12, 2009 1:42 PM | Report abuse


If they were grad students in American policy, they shoulda been able to pick right up on the toolishness. I disagree with almost everything Condi Rice says or has said, but I still gotta say she's a hot geek, or wonk if you prefer.

Posted by: reddragon1 | June 12, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

It gladdens my geek heart to know you guys find us attractive. YAY. Of course my 'baby daddy' loves it when I do the hair in a bun/horned rim glasses look, he says it slays him.

Long live hot geek girls!

Posted by: LTL1 | June 12, 2009 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Reddragon, the toolishness was definitely a topic of conversation in the student lounge afterwards! That seeming inability to think independently is what DQs Ms. Amanpour, whereas Condi Rice is a PhD political scientist. Arguably, she's capable of independent thought; Stanford doesn't typically hire or promote idiots. Not that I agree with her politically, though.

Posted by: northgs | June 12, 2009 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Lisa Kudrow has a BS in Biology from Vassar. Hotness not to be contested.


Posted by: DLDx | June 12, 2009 2:22 PM | Report abuse

olivia munn - the original 'geek goddess' ..

go G4

Posted by: guenth | June 12, 2009 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Stacey London...she graduated with a double major in German philosophy and literature from Vassar and was Phi Beta Kappa. AND she knows how to dress....

Posted by: irishone | June 12, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Long live hot geek girls!

Posted by: LTL


What she said.

Posted by: byoolin1 | June 12, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

How about Alison Janney of West Wing fame?

Posted by: pras40 | June 12, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

northgs, OK, you win. This is a really wierd day in which I have defended Miley Cyrus (!) and withdrawn my support of Christiane. Not sure if that constitutes a BKD for me or not. Better check my Lizicon. Or go try to arrest Jessica Alba, even if she has apologized.

Posted by: reddragon1 | June 12, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Reddragon, the lovely Ms. Alba has done enough comic-based work to qualify as an honorary geek, I think. ;)

Posted by: northgs | June 12, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

There's a lot of blurring of geekiness with other qualities here.

Anyway - what about:

- Sarah Vowell (ultimate Geek but not exactly romantically attractive - but still fascinating)
- Samantha Bee
- Lisa Ling
- Nadira Hira

Posted by: Roxie1 | June 12, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

You see - I don't ee how girls in tool belts are geeks. Kind of the opposite, no? I mean they're not Barbies, but they're not geeks.

And I thought Danicka McKellar just liked math. I didn't think she was truly a "genius." If she is, shoudln't she be working on impossible equations rather than doing PR work trying to get girls into math? I mean she's definitely a geek and it's notable she likes math, but genius? Really?

Posted by: Roxie1 | June 12, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Cindy Crawford - was class valedictorian at her high school graduation. She was also enrolled in Chicago's Northwestern University to take a degree in chemical engineering before dropping out to do modeling. I think that qualifies her as a geek!

Posted by: ropespin | June 12, 2009 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Amy Sedaris!

I don't know about geeky, but Amber Tamblyn is quirky and cute. And dating David Cross, so that adds to her geek cred.

Posted by: fellstus | June 12, 2009 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Reddragon, the lovely Ms. Alba has done enough comic-based work to qualify as an honorary geek, I think. ;)

Posted by: northgs


There is a difference between being a geek that men lust over and being a woman that geeks lust over. Jessica Alba is the latter, as is Angelina Jolie, aka Lara Croft.

Beneath the black leather of Dark Angel and the invisible undies of Mrs. Fantastic there is still just a dopey but hot brain-dead actress.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 12, 2009 3:55 PM | Report abuse

She's sometimes a little too strident for my tastes, but I've always kinda had a thing for Janeane Garofalo.

Posted by: bobsewell | June 12, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Are men ever described as strident?

I liked her til she did the Oprah interview during "The Truth About Cats and Dogs" and there was this big "But you ARE pretty" moment. Ugh. Painful lack of self-confidence. Human, but not hot.

Posted by: Roxie1 | June 12, 2009 4:06 PM | Report abuse

I'd say the "godmother" of hot geek girls is Kate Jackson, the smart Angel.

Condi Rice hot? On what planet?

Posted by: msame | June 12, 2009 4:06 PM | Report abuse

There is also the whole tech newsbabe sub-group, which in addition to Veronica Belmont and Molly Wood includes Amanda Congdon and Natalie Del Conte.

Soledad O'Brien got her big break doing an MSNBC tech show called 'The Site', so I would include her on that list.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 12, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Emma Thompson. So smart and yet so hot.
Sharon Stone - apparantly started college at age 15 and has very high IQ
Shakira - apparently a member of MENSA

Posted by: emily8 | June 12, 2009 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Are men ever described as strident?

No, but they are commonly described as wimps.

Posted by: emily8 | June 12, 2009 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Smart =/= geek.

Sharon Stone will never ever be a geek. And nobody has mentioned the goth hacker chick on NCIS? I don't even watch the show and I have the hots for her.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 12, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Noted climate change scientist Judith Lean.
Here's a photo:

Posted by: otherliz | June 12, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse

ugh. sorry.

Posted by: otherliz | June 12, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

It didn't take long for me to find RFK Jr, Samuel Alito, Jerry Falwell, Jon Stewart, Warren Beatty (and plenty more) all referred to as "strident". And a fair number of men are called "shrill", too.

But I think that it's fair to say that both terms are used more often to describe women. Does that make the use of the words less legitimate, do you think?

Posted by: bobsewell | June 12, 2009 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Bobsewell, glad to hear it is used for men sometimes. I would prefer other words that seem more gender-neutral, but that's just me. I'll tell you how I prefer that you talk. I'm strident like that.

Posted by: Roxie1 | June 12, 2009 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Danica McKellar graduated UCLA with a degree in mathematics, co-authored a scientific paper with a professor and a fellow student, and wrote a book called "Math Doesn't Suck". I'd say that qualifies her for geekness.

Posted by: jaradel | June 12, 2009 5:27 PM | Report abuse

I'd like to nominate Amy Mainzer, astrophysicist at JPL.

Many of the women nominated don't seem to really be geeks. Probably because geeks tend to be a little introverted, and introverts don't typically become famous. But I'll definitely support anyone who has published a peer-reviewed paper in mathematics (Danica McKellar).

Posted by: tomsing | June 12, 2009 6:07 PM | Report abuse

Seconding Felicia Day as both hot and geeky. Her web series, The Guild, is a little bit of online gaming/Youtube brilliance.

Posted by: jlahorn | June 12, 2009 6:54 PM | Report abuse

I thought geeky was more "quirky looks" along with intelligence, thus eliminating women like Cindy Crawford and Nathalie Portman. You wouldn't consider smart, extraordinarily good-looking guys as geeks.

So I was thinking of Janeane Garafalo and Thora Birch in the movie Ghost World.

Posted by: charley42 | June 13, 2009 1:15 AM | Report abuse

American tech blogger/Wired reporter/Boing Boing editor Xeni Jardin

Posted by: tsunamismr | June 13, 2009 5:56 AM | Report abuse

Sarah Palin, anybody? Anybody?

Posted by: enogabal | June 13, 2009 7:27 AM | Report abuse

Sarah Palin is as dumb as a post. Hot, but dumb.

Posted by: TheBuffettDude | June 13, 2009 7:56 AM | Report abuse

Morgan Webb is the original geek/game "chick" - so that's my vote

Posted by: JohnDinHouston | June 13, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Zoey Daschanel

Posted by: BMACattack | June 13, 2009 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Yeah! Pauley Perrette (Abby on NCIS)

Posted by: mtndance | June 14, 2009 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Geena Davis. Sharon Stone as well in private life. Amy White from the band, "West Indian Girl." Katie Couric believe it or not. Porn Star Asia Carrera (Allegedly a big Unreal Tournament player in the 90's and early 00's)

Posted by: chris3 | June 15, 2009 4:40 AM | Report abuse

This is not a list I should be looking at while working. I agree with MOST of the names here. But I'm surprised no one has mentioned Jolene Blalock. She's practically MADE her career doing Sci-fi once run tv shows and B-movies. And let's not forget that she plays a VULCAN!

(pardon the caps. On my 4th cup of coffee)

Posted by: xenocyclus1 | June 15, 2009 7:47 AM | Report abuse

Tilda Swinton.

Posted by: sbuck | June 15, 2009 5:05 PM | Report abuse

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