John Hodgman

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John Kellogg Hodgman (born June 3 [1], 1971) is an American author and humorist who 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". He has also written for McSweeney's, worked as a literary agent (his clients included actor Bruce Campbell and Supergroup member and author Darin Strauss), and guest-starred as the "deranged millionaire" for They Might Be Giants on the videos for their "Venue Songs" album.

Hodgman and Jonathan Coulton became friends after meeting as freshmen at Yale University. They have worked together on many projects.

[edit] Little Gray Books

For main article, see Little Gray Books

Inspired by the 1920s collection of pamphlets Little Blue Books, one of which John's mother gave him when he became a literary agent (#1143, "How to Prepare a Manuscript",.[2] John served as master of ceremonies for a series of variety lectures, with Jonathan as "musical director." It became the source of many Jonathan Coulton originals that were reproduced for Where Tradition Meets Tomorrow or Thing a Week, as well as some released as Other Experiments.

[edit] The Areas of My Expertise

As his debut as an author, Hodgman wrote the book The Areas of My Expertise, a humorous "almanac" of distorted, misinterpreted, or merely erroneous facts, based in part on material from the Little Gray Book lectures. Jonathan accompanied him on the promotional book tour, typically being called upon to perform "Furry Old Lobster".

A large portion of the book pertains to a mythical history of hoboes, including a list of "700 Hobo Names." A promotional track, released on the book's website, has Hodgman reading the entire list aloud while Jonathan plays an acoustic version of "Big Rock Candy Mountain", as the website has it, "live, for an hour, one take." This track also makes up one entire CD of the "Areas of My Expertise" audiobook, which also features Coulton exchanging banter with Hodgman and performing "Furry Old Lobster".

It has been revealed that Areas is actually the first book in a trilogy planned by Hodgman.[3] On June 23rd, John attended a reading for Darin Strauss' new book and read a sample of his upcoming second book More Information Than You Require, and has since indicated on Twitter [4] that there will be a book tour in October, similar to the Little Gray Book lectures, and that Jonathan will be involved in some parts of the tour. [5]

[edit] More Information Than You Require

"More Information Than You Require", the sequel to Areas, was released on October 21st, 2008. A book tour was announced, and began on that date with an appearance in New York City. Jonathan appeared at the show and in addition to playing several songs, premiered a new song: Battle of Galactica. Jonathan appeared at a number of cities on the tour.

[edit] Attack of the Show

Also as part of the "Areas of My Expertise" promotional tour, in February of 2006, Hodgman and Coulton appeared on "Attack of the Show," a tech-related show which runs daily on G4. During their appearance, Coulton again performed "Furry Old Lobster."

[edit] Thing A Week Liner Notes

Hodgman also wrote the liner notes for the four Thing A Week CDs.

[edit] Citations

  1. "Happy Birthday, John!", on awryone's blog
  2. http://www.mediabistro.com/articles/cache/a452.asp
  3. The Areas of My Expertise (paperback), page 252. Note that this is in the appendix, which is exclusive to the paperback edition.
  4. Twitter post #1
  5. Twitter post #2
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