California Surprisingly Unhateworthy

By JoCo January 26, 2010

Every now and then I’ll get an angry email from someone who is offended by I Hate California, usually someone who is from California, and who hasn’t ever heard of the “unreliable narrator” concept. I always patiently explain that the song is actually about a girl, and if they are from LA I explain it to them very slowly. <--joke On the contrary, I quite enjoy California. This last weekend trip to San Francisco was even better than expected - both shows were great, and Saturday night featured this incredible Mr. Fancy Pants battle with the astounding Kid Beyond:

But it was particularly nice to have a couple of days to just hang out in San Francisco. And you know, when you’re super-famous like me, “hanging out” means kicking it with other super-famous people, famous-style. If you follow me on Twitter you will have already seen me dropping names and photos of myself with my fellow superstars, but please allow me to do so again. Observe:



On top is Adam Savage of Mythbusters fame, one of the sweetest and most awesomest television personalities I have had the pleasure of knowing. He showed us around the set at Mythbusters and those jars in front of us are filled with various kinds of animal poo, so that’s pretty great. You may recognize comedy song duo Paul and Storm in that second one, I see them a lot actually, meh. But there is also Chris Hardwick of the inimitable Hard n Phirm, and of course HOLY CRAP IT’S WEIRD AL YANKOVIC!

Most of the time I try to play it cool when it comes to these sorts of encounters (see photo 2), but I was a complete dork for much of the weekend (see photo 1 – thumbs up for animal poo!). I am still surprised when people think that I am dork-out-worthy, but listen: if you meet me and can’t think of anything to say, and suddenly feel awkward and uncomfortable inside your own buzzing idiot head, I know exactly what you’re going through.

Next big trip is to Dallas, Austin, and Houston on Feb 4, 5, and 6. You have some big shoes to fill, Texas. I mean, do you even HAVE famous people?


Phase says

You magnificent bastard.

If I ever see you on the street I will think of animal poo as a conversation point.

Glen Raphael says

I stopped in a local music store when driving through Texas a while ago and was amused to note that the largest music *category* they had was: "Texas". That is, music written by people who are from there. Thus, Kenny Rogers and ZZ Top (both from Houston) got filed in the same category.

Luke M says

We missed you after the Friday show, but we figured it ran long and you were letting the staff clear the venue. Great show as always. About time you got Colleen up on stage. Come back soon!

Luke M says

Also, much as I adore the GAMH, the three-hour drive each way is kind of a drag (we live in Greenfield). I'd love to see you play in Monterey County or even San Jose -- I hear there are nerds there.

John S says

Famous people in Texas? Well, there's that ex-president guy, but i think he mostly keeps to himself these days.

James says

Jonathan, I'm shocked! How crass to state that Texas is lacking famous people! We are famous for our great hospitality, our failure of a President (Sr. and Jr.), and you also have me! Without me...why, you never would've been able to sing When You Go at the Granada last year...@_@ Yes, Jonathan, that was I THAT SHOUTED THE LYRICS! Mwahahaha!...I digress, I'm glad you're coming back to Texas. We don't have many famous musicians down here...all we have is Taylor Swift (ick!)

Logan L says

I've been a ridiculous superhuge fan of you forever(since back when you were still releasing new songs, ZING), and I finally got to experience you perform at the Friday show. You annihilated every unrealistic hero-worshiping expectation I ever had, and no other experience will ever compare. So what I'm saying here is you pretty much ruined my life, but in the best possible way. Thanks !

The New Guy says

Well, just learned of you. You seem awesome, and the fact that you were close to Weird Al is even more awesome.

I like how you post under creative commons dude. You're like the non-hippy nice singer type, whom I like.

Thumbs up,

a new fan.

Luke M says

@The New Guy

Welcome! Plenty of randomness, frivolity and community spirit to be found in the forums.

Paul and Storm are the New Riders to JoCo's Grateful Dead. Have a listen at their smash hit "Hippie with a Djembe."

The live shows are as good as you could wish for. Attend!

Share and enjoy,

Luke M

Marisa says

The funny thing is,I follow you,P&S,Adam Savage AND Weird Al on Twitter,so imagine how thrilled I was that my Twitter celebs were hanging out with each other and posting pictures of it all over the place.Nerds are wonderful,I was geeking out so hard(if only you could have gotten LeVar Burton in on there too somehow,then my Twitter fandom would be complete!;-))

Charlie says

Steve Martin is from Waco, so I assume he'll be at your Austin show. Lance Armstrong lives here, but he's a kind of a dick, so probably not. William Shatner is Canadian, so definitely not. Willie Nelson will be home stoned, but he lives here too. Andy Roddick apparently has no plans. I sat next to Michael Caine at brunch once. People tell me I look like Robin from that Batman and Robin movie. That's about it.

Alec says

JoCo+Adam Savage...

What else could I wish for if I wanted to see funny people doing funny things... ADAM SAVEGE AND JONATAN COLTUON IS TEH AWSOME!!!!!!!!1111111

Matt L says

Famous people in Texas? How's about Matthew McConaughey? "Alright, alright, alright..."

The New Guy says

There are forums [/noobish voice]

Colleenky says

Aw, thanks, Luke. And JoCo too. :-)

Luke M says

It just occurred to me, anyone who is listening to JoCo and is unfamiliar with the "unreliable narrator" concept must be under the impression than Jonathan is completely out of his mind.

Melissa says

"if you meet me and can’t think of anything to say, and suddenly feel awkward and uncomfortable inside your own buzzing idiot head, I know exactly what you’re going through."

Oh thank God! Because I felt like a complete fool. I had in my head what I wanted to say and when it was my turn, I could only grin foolishly for the camera and mumble "good show." (Guthrie Theater in MN, last October)

And I have to say, JoCo and Savege in the same pic is way too much for this poor geek to handle. O_O

Matt M says


I was the guy in Minneapolis who awkwardly said thanks for the song "Ikea" because I wooed my girlfriend at her birthday party by singing/playing it (which gives you an idea how awesome she is). If it's any consolation and makes you feel more like a normal person and not a rock star, I was only slightly star-struck meeting you whereas I was completely tongue-tied meeting Dan Wilson of Semisonic.

Or maybe that's something of a put-down to you. Not intentionally. Either way, my point is, you kick ass - but I hope that doesn't go to your head.


Michael Dubya says

I saw you last Friday (with Logan L from above actually, weeeird), it was fantastic, and I now plan on seeing you every year you come to San Francisco. I've been a fan for forever, and that was my first show for some stupid reason.
I was thinking about saying hi, or trying to get an autograph or something; but I felt uncomfortable and awkward in my buzzing idiot head.

Thanks for the awesome show!

Martyn says

Awesome pics!

...that is all.

JW Bettencourt says

What IS that magnificent device that JoCo was wielding for that little duel?
I want one.

Marisa says

JW,that nifty little device is a zendrum.Here's the Wikipedia page for it,which,interestingly enough,actually references the esteemed Mr.Coulton quite prominently.Check the References links for a video.

I still think it's best usage involves playing it via the musician stomping on the floor(did anyone get a video of that?).

Marisa says

Okay,maybe less prominently than I thought,upon second glance,but I still think it's funny/awesome that the two are that closely associated...>__>.

Liam says

You could head down to Rooster Teeth productions in Texas and talk to those who made Red vs Blue, they have become famous and like your music

Michael Dubya says

Wow, I've watched a bunch of videos now, and I've noticed that wherever Jonathan Coulton goes, for YEARS, there's always one guy saying "AARRR" inappropriately every 15 seconds. I thought that guy was just some Francisco local. That's horrible.

Luke M says

@Michael Dubya.

Yes, the rest of us are heartily sick of it. As Paul says, "there's enough lame comedy here on stage. We don't need your help."

There is always some wannabe comedian who will. Not. Shut. Up. People were even doing it during the DVD shoot. Note to these people: You are lame. STFU already.

Karen says

Once again, San Antonio gets left out of the Houston/Dallas/Austin tour itinerary, but understandably because SAN ANTONIO SUCKS!! This crappy town never gets the COOL shows. I always have to drive 100 miles up I-35 to see good shows, but that's fine because I LOVE Austin and hope to be there for the show this Friday. Apparently, I missed you the last time you were in Austin which was about one month after I first "discovered" you about 2-ish years ago, so I better not screw up this opportunity. And about the only truly famous Texan I can think of was that Charles Whitman Sampler guy [luv u 2, Archer]. He was sorta cool -- in a weird "Oh, this tumor has been giving me such a headache lately" kinda way.

Ken says

Re: that last picture: should that even be allowed? Just as at least one cabinet member stays away from every SOTUS speech, that much geeky talent shouldn't congregate, in case some awful disaster should occur.

Fredrik1ST says

Hmm.. famous people from Texas?

Marc says

Patrick Swayze, Howard Hughes, Farrah Fawcett, Meatloaf, Beyonce, Buddy Holly, Dennis Quaid, Micheal Nesmith, Steve Martin, Waylon Jennings, George Strait, Willie Nelson, Ledbelly, Brent Spiner (Data from Star Trek) Gene Rodenberry (creator of Star Trek) Jamie Foxx, Vanilla Ice, Lisa Loeb, Carol Burnett, Dabney Coleman, Jennifer Garner, Ethan Hawk, Tommy Lee Jones, Kris Kristopherson, Bill Hicks, Bill Paxton, Steve Ray Vaughn, Barry White, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Gary Busey, Dan Rather, Don Henley,

Just to name a few......George W Bush was born in New Hampshire.

Matt says

Holy crap Jonathan! I just got the post that you're opening for They Might Be Giants in SIX cites! Congrats man!

Angi says

Well I feel slightly better now. When I met you I talked way too much and couldn't stop shaking. If you sign stuff after the show in Nashville, I will probably dork out again. :)

Nicole says

Texas has astronauts. That's got to count for something.

Kevin M. says

Ehh, astronauts don't count for as much since that one went crazy and drove to Florida and tried to kidnap the girlfriend of the astronaut she was stalking.

Michael Dubya says

@ Kevin M. - Road Trip!

Amelia says

Weird Al always makes the same face in all his pictures. The Austin show was AWESOME! And Sandra Bullock lives in Austin, we have ZZ Top (who owns a ranch outside of San Saba TX) and a bunch of famous peeps.

rob says

Some great Texas shows! I was lucky to be at two of them. The wiki is updated with the Dallas and Austin shows. Dallas has a lot of cool video links.
Thanks for the fun Jon!

Lucas says

I just went into geek overload looking at those pics. I think I peed... just a little.

Nobody says

What is the name of that song that he used instead of the classic Rickroll?

Kat says

Ah, gotta love dork-out mode. I've gone from being tongue-tied and trapped in my buzzing idiot head to babbling idiotically out loud. Like telling you the story of how the boyfriend and I bought tickets then forgot to actually go to one of your shows, "but that's OK coz I'm sure the money still went to you, right? *awkward laugh*" Smooooth.

MeeMeesiko says

I didn't see Weird Al in that second picture for a full 10 seconds, after which point I just about shat myself while yelling at the screen "YOU LUCKY BASTARD!"

ParodyKnaveBob says

Wow. It's like "The Devil Went Down To Georgia": Jonathan pulls out every cheating trick in his little box's book, and then Kid Beyond (although his Donkey Kong intro went downhill upon Jumpman's inaccurate walking) STILL *STILL* comes back and OWNS JoCo! Duuude, that was SO awesome! Seriously. Awesome. (custom smily) $:^ D

Now, if the video's last couple seconds could've just been clean instead of uh.. yeah.

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