Hunks »John Hodgman

john hodgmanNot too long ago I recommended the extremely funny almanac of fictitious facts, The Areas of My Expertise, which focuses mainly on hobos and presidents with hooks for hands. The follow up book, which I'm anxiously waiting to buy (used, from Amazon's wonderful buy new and used program, of course), More Information Than You Require, was released in October, which, to my joy, has meant that Mr. Hodgman's appearances on the book promotion circuit have become increasingly frequent.

My mother gleefully reported that at a recent book signing walkie-talkies were employed for a Q & A where he turned his back to the audience and would only answer queries that terminated with the word “over”. Oh, and if you didn't specify who you wanted your book made out to, Hodgman's default inscription began with, “Dear eBay winner.”

He's attained what he refers to as Minor Celebrity Status, which means he now flies first class with people like Rachel Hunter and Peter Berg, mostly due to his iconic appearance as a “PC” in those Apple ads, which are a bit ironic not only because Hodgman himself has been a Macintosh nerd for decades, but because he's quickly becoming the cooler guy in the scenario.

I mean, I like Justin Long. I thought highly of him in the potentially good, but ultimately middling Jeepers Creepers, though I expected a bit more from him than just a spot in Drew Barrymore's pantheon of ex boy toys. But frankly, where Mr. Long seems like a funny kid who makes great appearances in dude-friendly comedies like Idiocracy and Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, Hodgman, round faced and bespectacled, is a true modern wit — and someone who would probably hang around for a conversation about Pluto and Dune over a breakfast of fresh apple juice and croissants the next morning.

Not only are his books hilarious, he's spectacular as the resident expert on The Daily Show — here's an amazing clip where he discusses his unproduced screenplay “The Rich Blonde Yachtsman Gets The Girl” and suggests that perhaps reparations are owed to the upper class. As you can no doubt see, he's a wonderful story teller with a balance of nerdiness and heart that reminds me a bit of the tremendous wobbly hearted British comedian Daniel Kitson — and Hodgman's contributions to NPR's top show, This American Life, are priceless.

Sadly all this new found semi fame means that I'll probably never get to experience one of his Little Gray Book Lectures that he once hosted in my own back yard — but, with any luck, I'll be able to see him November 21st at the Apple Store!

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Posted on November 17, 2008

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