Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Hodgman to appear in [SPOILERS for a TV show]

Since I can't really specify this information in the opposite order on a Hodgman-centric blog, I am issuing (very mild) spoilers warning for anyone who watches television.


OK, John Hodgman is going to appear in an episode of Community!

Back in 2010, when asked who he wanted to guest star on the show, Community creator and executive producer said:
I've been trying to get John Hodgman on the show for some time. I'm a Twitter buddy of his. He even came by the office and visited me. I just enjoy the guy.
Now it's been confirmed in this Hollywood Reporter article that Hodgman will be in a late season 3 episode. Since Community is currently on hiatus due to NBC's schedule shuffling, Community is expected to return in March or April of 2012. The Hodgman episode could air as late as July or August.

Community's smart, fast-paced, creative brand of humor seems like a great match for Hodgman. If you've never watched it, it's an awesome show! To get up to speed for Hodgman's appearance, there are few recent episodes that you can watch on Community's Hulu page.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Hodgman's THAT IS ALL book trailer video now on YouTube

I enjoy this video so much that I decided to post it again to celebrate the fact that it is now possible to watch it without going to a site called "".

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Hodgman essay on Massachusetts

Someone asked a bunch of writers to each write an essay about one of the 50 States for a collection called State by State.
John Hodgman was one of those writers, and he wrote a really nifty essay about Massachusetts. Here is an excerpt:
Boston has much to offer any visitor. There is of course a fine symphony orchestra, world-famous universities, and the Mother Church of Christian Science, which has a truly boss reflecting pool. However, if you do not like sports, Boston does not have much to offer you. The local sports teams –– which I am told are the Baseball Red Sox, the Football Patriots, the Basketball Celtics, the Hockey Bears, and of course the famous Boston Lobsters of the World Tennis Team League –– are an obsession.

When a game is on, it will be broadcast in every bar, home, and taxi cab. I once frequented an eccentric coffeehouse in a small town in western Massachusetts. It hosted literary readings and served vegetarian food and a small selection of wines. I loved it. It had a small TV that showed only a closed circuit feed of the baby eagles that had recently been hatched at a local bird sanctuary (which seemed perfectly reasonable to me). Unless there was a Red Sox game on, in which case, sports would preempt baby eagles.

In the finest restaurant the waiter will be checking the scores and passing the news of the game between the busboy in the kitchen and the Harvard professor at the table. The professor will tell you that, in a city largely stratified by class, race, and ethnicity, sports erases all those distinctions and reminds us of our common humanity and reties, season by season, the frayed threads that hold our community together. He will probably be wearing a baseball hat as he says it, one of those good-quality, fitted jobs. And if you tell this academic that you don't happen to like sports, he will ask what is wrong with you. And then he will punch you in the face.

The essay wanders across the history of Massachusetts, weaving in personal anecdotes in true Hodgmanic style. Hodgman fans will enjoy this essay.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

What Road Runner cartoons can teach us about the Hodgman Mac/PC commercials

In a brilliant explanation of why it makes sense for Hodgman's "PC" character to be so much more likable than Justin Long's "Mac" character, the Fishbowl blog points out that the PC character is analogous to Wile E. Coyote in the Road Runner cartoons. This may be seen by considering the writer's rules for all Coyote and Road Runner cartoons:

  1. Road Runner cannot harm the Coyote except by going “beep, beep”.
  2. No outside force can harm the Coyote—only his own ineptitude or the failure of Acme products.
  3. The Coyote could stop anytime—if he was not a fanatic. (Repeat: “A fanatic is one who redoubles his effort when he has forgotten his aim.” —George Santayana).
  4. No dialogue ever, except “beep, beep”.
  5. Road Runner must stay on the road—for no other reason than that he's a roadrunner.
  6. All action must be confined to the natural environment of the two characters—the southwest American desert.
  7. All tools, weapons, or mechanical conveniences must be obtained from the Acme Corporation.
  8. Whenever possible, make gravity the Coyote's greatest enemy.
  9. The Coyote is always more humiliated than harmed by his failures.
  10. The audience's sympathy must remain with the Coyote.
  11. The Coyote is not allowed to catch the road runner.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Awesome new Hodgman THAT IS ALL video

Hodgman's new book, THAT IS ALL, comes out November 1st.

The media blitz starts today though with this tremendously fun video:

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Hodgman as Steve Jobs

Back in 2007, when John Hodgman was regularly playing the PC in the "Get a Mac" ads, Apple decided to kick off the Steve Jobs keynote for a developer's conference with a little video featuring Hodgman:

That was the best camera angle on the video I could find, but it fails to capture the rest of the event. I've adjusted this next one to start toward the end of the Hodgman part and then show Jobs coming on stage and starting his talk:

After the news of Steve Jobs' death, Hodgman posted the following on Twitter:

Thank you, Steve. Oct 06 via Twitter for iPhone Favorite Retweet Reply

Everything good I have done, I have done on a Mac. Oct 06 via Twitter for iPhone Favorite Retweet Reply

That is all.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Old Hodgman audio Interview

My great uncle once tried to give me an old copy of The People's Almanac by David Wallechinsky and Irving Wallace. He told me about it as I leafed through it. It was a randomly ordered collection of information and, I gradually realized, thinly veiled Communist propaganda. (The title was kind of a big hint.) My great uncle had apparently never realized this and had, in fact, used it for years to help my cousin write reports for school.

Little did I know at the time that The People's Almanac (and other books by the same crew, most chiefly The Book of Lists) were primary inspirations for John Hodgman's books. But I know it now because I listened to this interview Hodgman once did with Jesse Thorn on The Sound of Young America. In it, Hodgman talks about writing his first book, how writing his second book was a much different experience, and a few of his thoughts on his then-distant (now imminent!) third book.

Hodgman and Jesse Thorn also discuss Hodgman's emerging Judge John Hodgman routine (then just a segment on the Jordan, Jesse Go! podcast). Hodgman complains that they don't have enough cases!

I enjoyed this interview and recommend it. Again, you can find the mp3 of the interview here.