Hodgman in 2008
|Born||John Kellogg Hodgman
June 3, 1971
Brookline, Massachusetts, U.S.
|Alma mater||Yale University|
|Occupation||Actor, author, humorist, television personality|
John Kellogg Hodgman (born June 3, 1971) is an American author, actor, and humorist. In addition to his published written works, such as The Areas of My Expertise, More Information Than You Require, and That Is All, he is known for his personification of a PC in contrast to Justin Long's personification of a Mac in Apple's "Get a Mac" advertising campaign, and for his work as a contributor 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 "Villanova"), 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 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 that contains almost no factual information, was published in 2005. His second book, More Information Than You Require, went on sale October 21, 2008. His third book, That Is All, went on sale November 1, 2011.
Hodgman was the headline speaker at the 2009 Radio and Television Correspondents' Association dinner in Washington, D.C.
Hodgman was born and raised in Brookline, Massachusetts, the son of Eileen (Callahan), a nurse and educator, and John Francis Hodgman, the President and CEO of the Massachusetts Technology Development Corporation and a professor at Tufts University. He attended the Heath School and Brookline High School, where he edited the underground magazine Samizdat, named for the grassroots dissident publishing movement produced under the Soviet Bloc. During his last year of high school, he hosted the weekly Radio Consuelo show on freeform station WMFO in Medford.
In 1994 Hodgman graduated from Yale University with a degree in literature. Before gaining fame as a writer, Hodgman worked as a literary agent at Writers House in New York City, where he represented Darin Strauss, 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 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 numerous times for "resident expert" interview segments, and has been listed on the show's web site as a contributor.
In 2005, Hodgman played a character named "The Deranged Millionaire" in They Might Be Giants's Venue Songs DVD/CD, narrating in between songs with dialog he co-wrote with the band. The Deranged Millionaire character also appeared on the Daily Show on April 2, 2014. 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 up to May 16, 2007. Hodgman appeared again with They Might Be Giants on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, on December 11, 2009. Hodgman performed the spoken-word portions of the song Why Does the Sun Shine?
In February 2006, Hodgman appeared on Attack of the Show, a show that aired 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." Also, on October 18, 2008, Hodgman appeared again on Attack of the Show to talk about his newest book, More Information Than You Require.
Hodgman appeared in the North American Get a Mac advertising campaign for Apple Inc., which ran from May 2006 through 2010. In the ads he plays the personification of a PC alongside his Mac counterpart, played by actor Justin Long. In reality, however, Hodgman himself became a Mac user in 1984.
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.
On October 1, 2008, Boing Boings Xeni Jardin announced the official debut of the web series SPAMasterpiece Theater. Hodgman himself described it as "true tale[s] of romance, adventure, infamy, and low-cost prescription drugs, all culled from the reams of actual, unsolicited emails, received here by us and people like you -- what we call SPAM."
Hodgman appeared in the episode "No Exit" of Battlestar Galactica, appearing as the civilian neurosurgeon, Dr. Gerard. He had earlier visited the set in 2005 to write about the show for The New York Times Magazine.
On June 19, 2009, Hodgman was the headline speaker at the 2009 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, and quizzed the president on his knowledge of Frank Herbert's novel Dune. 
Hodgman appeared in the last two episodes of the first season of Bored to Death, "The Case of the Stolen Sperm" and "Take a Dive," as a literary reviewer who wrote a bad review that offended the main character. He returned in the second and third seasons.
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. He has since had multiple appearances in Season 5 as O.S.I. operative Snoopy, along with other roles.
Also, during the 61st Primetime Emmy Awards in September 2009, Hodgman provided color commentary with made up trivia about the winners. He reprised this role for the 62nd Primetime Emmy Awards in August 2010.
Because of his continuing support for QI, the BBC's intellectual comedy quiz, to be shown on BBC America, Hodgman was invited to appear on the show. He was the first "fifth panelist" on the program broadcast December 3, 2009 (the usual line-up being Stephen Fry as host, Alan Davies as regular panelist and three guests)--and won, continuing the tradition of a guest winning their "rookie" appearance on the show.
In 2012, Hodgman guest-starred in an episode of Delocated called "Reunion Show," acting as the host of a fictional show-within-a-show. Also in 2012, he appeared as a psychiatrist in an episode of Community called "Curriculum Unavailable."
Hodgman appeared as public radio personality "August Clementine" in the episode "Anniversaries" of Parks and Recreation, which aired in February 2014.
Hodgman has a supporting role in the FX comedy Married, which premiered in July 2014.
Netflix, the American streaming media website, aired the comedy special John Hodgman: Ragnarok on June 20, 2013, as a "Netflix Original". The special featured material from Hodgman's most recent book, That Is All, and his December 21, 2012 show at The Bell House in New York.
Hodgman has been a guest on radio programs including WBEZ's This American Life, and The Sound of Young America,WFMU's The Best Show on WFMU,NPR's Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me and North Carolina Public Radio's The State of Things.
Hodgman has been featured on podcasts including occasional appearances as "Judge John Hodgman" on Jordan, Jesse, Go! which led to a stand-alone podcast produced by Maximum Fun. Hodgman was a guest alongside Jonathan Coulton on episodes of You Look Nice Today. Hodgman was a guest on This Week In Tech with Leo Laporte,Stuff You Should Know, and has been featured on the podcast Boing Boing TV. Hodgman 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. He was a guest on Neil deGrasse Tyson's radio show StarTalk Radio on February 27, 2011. He appeared again on City Arts and Lectures, in front of a live audience at the Nourse Theater, interviewing Adam Savage on May 29, 2013.
Hodgman appeared on Ken Reid's TV Guidance Counselor podcast on September 23, 2016.
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....