John Hodgman

John Hodgman

Infobox actor

caption = Hodgman in 2006
birthdate = birth date and age|1971|6|3
birthplace = Brookline, Massachusetts

John Kellogg Hodgman [Hodgman, John. “ [ Wish Lists] .” "Open Letters". August 20, 2000.] (born June 3, 1971) is an American author and humorist. In addition to his published written work, such as "The Areas of My Expertise", he is best 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 written work has 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 is also a contributor to Public Radio International’s "This American Life", and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’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", on shelves October 21, 2008, will pick up exactly where the first book leaves off.

In addition, Hodgman is the founder of, and master of ceremonies for, The Little Gray Book Lectures in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The lectures have been on hiatus "for the foreseeable future" as of August 2007 (currently noted as "until at least Jan 1, 2008").


Hodgman was born and raised in Brookline, Massachusetts and attended Heath School and Brookline High School. [Chase, Katie Johnston. [ "True to his nerd: John 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.... "] Hodgman studied clarinet performance at the All Newton Music School in West Newton, Massachusetts. He graduated from Yale University in 1994. [ [ Yale Daily News - Yale alumni move up in the world of comedy ] ] 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, 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 New York City with his family.

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, and he is listed on the show's web site as a contributor. [ [ Bio of Hodgman] on "The Daily Show"’s web site, accessed Jan. 30, 2008] Unlike other correspondents, who are frequently re-branded with titles using the “Senior [descriptive word or topic] Correspondent” format, Hodgman retains the simple title "Resident Expert."

"Attack of the Show"

In February of 2006, Hodgman appeared on "Attack of the Show", a show which runs 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". []

"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 an anthropomorphized PC alongside his Mac counterpart, played by actor Justin Long. While he plays the role of a PC in the campaign, Hodgman is actually a Mac user: "I bought the very first Mac, or convinced my father to buy it, in 1984." cite news | url= | title=Sweet Information! | work=Boston Phoenix | last=Miliard | first=Mike | date=2006-09-21 | accessdate=2007-01-10 ]

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.

Film appearances

*2008: "Baby Mama" as Fertility Doctor
*2009: "This Side of the Truth"
*2009: "Coraline" as Father/Other Father

Other media appearances


Hodgman has contributed several segments to the public radio series "This American Life", in addition to appearing on their collection: [ "Stories of Hope and Fear"]
* [ 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 in his head.
* [ 243 - Later That Same Day] , telling story about revisiting Atlantic City 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 and close friend Jonathan Coulton were interviewed for an episode of the Public Radio International program The Sound of Young America in 2006. [ [ The Sound of Young America: Podcast: Best Friends with John Hodgman and Jonathan Coulton ] ] Hodgman also appeared on the podcast Jordan, Jesse GO! playing "Judge Hodgman" presiding over a mock trial.

Hodgman also appeared with Jonathan Goldstein on a segment of the "WireTap" episode titled "The Gentleman's Guide to Grooming", reading from his book "The Areas of My Expertise".


* 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. [The New York Times Magazine “ [ From the Editors] .” September 18, 2005.] 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.


* [ Zefrank's The Show] , at the tail end of the episode discussing the brisk Brooklyn weather.
* On the podcast [ You Look Nice Today] , hosted by Merlin Mann and others, Hodgman provides the non sequitur act breaks that play between talk segments, as well as opening and closing the show.
* In the online role playing game Kingdom of Loathing, much of the material for the multiplayer dungeon "Hobopolis" as well as the final boss character for the area is based on Hodgman and his fictionalized discussion of hobos. Many parts of the randomly generated hobo names are also taken from the section on hobo names in "The Areas of My Expertise". The game's administrators asked for and were granted permission by Hodgman for the use of parts of his hobo names, as well as for permission to use him as the final boss of Hobopolis. Hodgman was reportedly "flattered". [The KoL Wiki “ [ Hodgeman, The Hoboverlord] .” ]


* "The Areas of My Expertise" (ISBN 0-525-94908-9, 2005)
* "More Information Than You Require" (ISBN 0-525-95034-6, October 2008)


External links

* [ Official site for "The Areas of My Expertise"]
* [ Little Gray Book Lectures, including archival material]
* [ Collection of "Get A Mac" Commercials]
* [ Good Evening—Hodg-man on Blogger]
* on the Battlestar Wiki

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