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John Hodgman

Hodgman in 2006
Born John Kellogg Hodgman
June 3, 1971 (1971-06-03) (age 38)
Brookline, Massachusetts, U.S.
Occupation Voice actor, author, humorist, Minor Television Personality
Years active 2005–present

John Kellogg Hodgman (born June 3, 1971) is an American voice actor, author and humorist. In addition to his published written works, such as The Areas of My Expertise and More Information Than You Require, he is known for his personification of a PC in Apple's "Get a Mac" advertising campaign and his correspondent work on Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

His writings have been published in One Story to which he contributed the debut story, The Paris Review, McSweeney's Quarterly Concern, Wired and The New York Times Magazine, for which he is editor of the humor section. He contributes to Public Radio International’s This American Life, and CBC Radio One’s Wiretap. His first book and accompanying audio narration, The Areas of My Expertise, a satirical tongue-in-cheek almanac which contains almost no factual information, was published in 2005. His second book, More Information Than You Require, went on sale October 21, 2008.

In addition, Hodgman founded and is emcee for The Little Gray Book Lectures in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The lectures have been on hiatus "for the foreseeable future" as of August 2007.

On Friday, June 19, 2009 Hodgman was the headline speaker at the Radio and Television Correspondents' Association dinner in Washington, D.C. Hodgman referred to this event as a "Nerd Prom". Many of his jokes were on the topic of President Barack Obama as the first Nerd president. President Obama was in attendance.


Personal life

Hodgman was born and raised in Brookline, Massachusetts and attended the Heath School and Brookline High School.[1] Hodgman was a member of Brookline High School's School Within a School program, a functioning student democracy within the larger school.

Hodgman studied clarinet performance with Paulette Bowes at the All Newton Music School in West Newton, Massachusetts and viola with Gillian Rogell at the New England Conservatory Preparatory School.

He graduated from Yale University in 1994.[2] Before gaining fame as a writer, Hodgman worked as a literary agent at Writers House in New York City, where he represented Darin Strauss, David Grand, Deborah Digges, Donna Cantor and actor Bruce Campbell, among others. Hodgman has used his experience as an agent in his column “Ask a Former Professional Literary Agent” at McSweeney's Internet Tendency. Hodgman lives in Brooklyn, New York with his wife, Katherine Fletcher (an English teacher at Stuyvesant High School)[3], and his two children, a daughter and a son (whose names he usually gives as "Hodgmina" and "Hodgmanillo", respectively, out of concern for their privacy).[4]

Television appearances


The Daily Show

Hodgman appeared on The Daily Show on November 16, 2005 to promote his book, The Areas of My Expertise. Host Jon Stewart described the book as “very funny” and said that the section on hobo names in particular was written with “a certain kind of genius.” Hodgman has returned to the Daily Show several times for "resident expert" interview segments,[5] and he is listed on the show's web site as a contributor.[6] Hodgman retains the simple title "Resident Expert".

Attack of the Show

In February 2006, Hodgman appeared on Attack of the Show, a show that airs daily on G4, to share some insight with the host and promote his book The Areas of My Expertise. In this appearance Hodgman recounted the sad tale of the lobster (which he said were actually a small, furry, extinct species, killed and replaced by the creatures we think of as lobsters today) and brought along Jonathan Coulton, a frequent Hodgman collaborator and musical director of the Little Gray Book lectures. Coulton performed a song called Furry Old Lobster.[7] Also, on October 18th, 2008 Hodgman appeared again on Attack of the Show to talk about his newest book More Information Than You Require.

"Get a Mac" ad campaign

Hodgman appears in the Get a Mac advertising campaign for Apple Inc., which started in May 2006. In the ads he plays the personification of a PC alongside his Mac counterpart, played by actor Justin Long. Hodgman has been a Mac user since 1984.[8]

Venue Songs

In 2005, Hodgman played a character named "The Deranged Millionaire" in They Might Be Giants' Venue Songs DVD/CD, narrating in between songs with dialog he co-wrote with the band. He also narrated a number of "Venue Songs"-themed setlists during the band's live shows in 2005, and has introduced the band while in the role of The Deranged Millionaire as recently as May 16, 2007.

Flight of the Conchords

In 2007, Hodgman appeared in the "Bowie" episode of the HBO television series Flight of the Conchords. He played the manager of a musical greeting card company who was considering using one of the band's songs for a greeting card.

Battlestar Galactica

Hodgman appeared in the episode "No Exit" of Battlestar Galactica, appearing as the civilian neurosurgeon, Dr. Gerard.[9] He had earlier visited the set in 2005 to write about the show for The New York Times Magazine.[10] A bottle of Edradour given as a gift to the show's producers also appeared in the episode "Crossroads, Part I".[11] On the subject of hoboes in the Colonial Fleet, he neither confirms nor denies as he says: "It's impossible to say, as the hoboes look just like us now."[12]

Bored to Death

Hodgman appeared on Bored to Death in the episodes "The Case of the Stolen Sperm" and "Take a Dive" as a literary reviewer.[13]

The Venture Bros.

Hodgman voice-acted on The Venture Bros. in the episode "Self-Medication" as Dale Hale, an ex-boy detective in therapy following the death of his father.

Other appearances

During the 61st Primetime Emmy Awards in September 2009, Hodgman provided color commentary with made up trivia about the winners.[14]

Because of his continuing support for QI, the BBC's intellectual comedy quiz, to be shown on BBC America,[15] Hodgman was invited to appear on the show. He was the first “fifth panelist" on the program broadcast 3 December 2009 (the usual line-up being Stephen Fry as host, Alan Davies as regular panelist and three guests) — and won, continuing a fine tradition of a guest winning their ‘rookie’ appearance on the show.[16]

Other media appearances

Film appearances


Hodgman has been a guest on a number of different radio programs including PRI's This American Life[17] and The Sound of Young America,[18] WFMU's The Best Show on WFMU,[19] NPR's Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me and North Carolina Public Radio's The State of Things.[20] Hodgman has also been featured on several podcasts including occasional appearances as "Judge John Hodgman" on Jordan, Jesse GO! and as a guest along side Jonathan Coulton on a number of episodes of You Look Nice Today. Hodgman was also a guest on This Week In Tech with Leo Laporte[21] and has been featured on the podcast Boing Boing TV.[22] Hodgman also appeared in person and on the NPR radio broadcast of City Arts and Lectures, in a recorded interview by Dave Eggers, in front of a live studio audience on November 10, 2008, at the Herbst Theatre in San Francisco, California.

Hodgman has contributed several segments to This American Life, in addition to appearing on their collection:[23]

  • 178 - Superpowers, asking the question, "which is better: flight or invisibility?"
  • 190 - Living the Dream, in which he becomes Bruce Campbell's literary agent.
  • 205 - Plan B, interviewing a professional partier.
  • 226 - Reruns, retelling story about his arrest for breaking into the London Zoo so that he could pet penguins and ultimately be arrested.
  • 232 - The Real Story, disclosing that he rewrites the screenplay to Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace in his head.
  • 243 - Later That Same Day, telling story about revisiting Ocean City, NJ to ride the Sling Shot following loss of close family members.
  • 298 - Getting and Spending, living at the Mall of America for seven days (from Hodgman's The Areas of My Expertise).
  • 305 - Holiday Spectacular, discussing the true-life origins of Christmas traditions.
  • 329 - Nice Work If You Can Get It, telling the story of what happens when celebrity hunts you down and finds you.


  • Hodgman appears on the cover of the February 2007 edition of Wired Magazine, as a contributor to their "What we don't know about..." articles.
  • Hodgman oversaw the "True Life Tales" section of the Sunday New York Times Magazine.[24] The section is currently on hiatus.
  • Hodgman has guest written for the "Sederatives" section of "The Believer" Magazine, an arts magazine. "Sederatives" is an advice column created by Amy Sedaris.
  • Hodgman wrote the Massachusetts[25] chapter in the anthology State by State: A Panoramic Portrait of America.
  • Hodgman wrote the introduction to The Laugh-Out-Loud Cats Sell Out (2009), a collection of Adam Koford's "Hobotopia" comic strips.




  1. ^ Chase, Katie Johnston. "True to his nerd: John Shackleford-Hodgman finds a niche as 'Daily Show' resident expert, mendacious author, and dorky PC", The Boston Globe, September 24, 2006. Accessed December 3, 2007. "He was focused, and a touch eccentric, from the start. ``He was a legend at his own elementary school," the Heath School... and in eighth grade he was voted most likely to become the editor of The New Yorker.... "
  2. ^ Yale Daily News - Yale alumni move up in the world of comedy
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ Daily Show videos tagged John Hodgman
  6. ^ Hodgman biodata
  7. ^
  8. ^ TWiT Podcast
  9. ^ "Battlestar Wiki: John Hodgman" (in English). 24 October 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-05.  
  10. ^ "Q&A: John Hodgman on Perfecting the Illusion of Expertise" (in English). 22 September 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-08.  
  11. ^ "Battlestar Wiki: Podcast:Crossroads, Part I" (in English). 8 October 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-05.  
  12. ^ "Sources:Correspondence with John Hodgman" (in English). 19 January 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-20.  
  13. ^ "Bored to Death The Case of the Stolen Sperm". IMDb.  
  14. ^ "John Hodgman’s Top Five Emmy-Winner Riffs". New York Magazine. September 21, 2009.  
  15. ^ TV Squad: Hodgman activates rage gland against BBC America for not picking up QI
  16. ^ The British Comedy Guide: John Hodgman and QI
  17. ^ Stories of Hope and Fear
  18. ^ The Sound of Young America: Podcast: Best Friends with John Hodgman and Jonathan Coulton
  19. ^ The Best Show on WFMU Archives
  20. ^ Resident Expert John Hodgman talks with The State of Things on North Carolina Public Radio
  21. ^ More TWiT Than You Require
  22. ^ BoingBoing TV with John Hodgman
  23. ^ Stories of Hope and Fear
  24. ^ The New York Times Magazine “From the Editors.” September 18, 2005.
  25. ^ Massachusetts: Bulwark against the Kingdom of the Anti Christ

External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Truth may be stranger than fiction, goes the old saw, but it is never as strange as lies. (Or, for that matter, as true.)

John Hodgman (born June 3, 1971) is an American humorist and author. He has written two books, The Areas of My Expertise and More Information Than You Require and is a regular contributor to The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

The Areas of My Expertise (2005)

  • Truth may be stranger than fiction, goes the old saw, but it is never as strange as lies. (Or, for that matter, as true.)
    • p.18
  • Generally speaking, I think it is fair to say that I am a friend to the creatures of the earth when I am not busy eating them or wearing them.
    • p.46
  • The silhouette was named for Etienne de Silhouette, the notoriously stingy finance minister for Louis XV, who ironically was himself incapable of casting a shadow, due to lycanthropy.
    • p.76
  • There had been hoboes in the United States since there had been trains and liquor, which is to say, always.
    • p.98
  • The geographic center of North America is historically located in Osborne County, Kansas. It is said that all armies will bow to the one who controls it.
    • p.175

Appearances on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart

  • The decision to drop the atomic bomb - that wasn't Truman, but sweepstakes winner Penny Holkum of Palm Beach. And for that she received a case of Lucky Strikes and a lifetime supply of sadness.
    • April 25, 2006
  • You can't fight a war on terror if you're ending a sentence with a preposition.
    • April 25, 2006
  • This pie chart represents the $70 billion in tax cuts, and the majority of that will go to people making over $200,000 a year. Or, as the government refers to them, "citizens."
    • May 17, 2006
  • If you make the smokestacks out of children, who will you force to clean them?
    • May 17, 2006
  • Look at Dick Cheney. Financially he's obscenely wealthy, but he's clearly unhappy. I wouldn't be surprised if he's visited by no less than three ghosts a night.
    • May 17, 2006
  • (on soccer) Americans don't need a metaphor for war. We have war.
    • June 8, 2006
  • Like most experts, I've always defined a planet in common-sense terms: Can you beam down to it? Is it populated by green-skinned women? Would Galactus eat it for food?
    • August 24, 2006
  • And parents, some old fashioned kitchen wisdom for dealing with those lice: take your child and cover his hair with mayonnaise and shove him outside because he disgraced your house by bringing lice into it.
    • September 13, 2006
  • Weathermen are the ponchoed buffoons who spend hurricanes outside, buffeted by winds, lashed by rains, struggling to stand erect. A mime's "walking against the wind" routine come horribly to life. Whereas meteorologists - we're the people who sent them out there.
    • September 30, 2006
  • What better emblem for our nation, after all, than a level playing field, shaped like an octagon, where people of diverse cultural ass-kicking traditions can meet as equals and immediately start kicking ass.
    • June 11, 2007
  • So long as you refuse to ever acknowledge failure, success becomes eternal, a downward curve, always approaching failure, but never quite reaching it.
    • September 11, 2007
  • Science is not science. It's an art, like... art, in a way.
    • October 18, 2007
  • For the first time in history, well-educated, affluent, white males are going to have their say.
    • April 17, 2008


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