John Hodgman
Hodgman at BookExpo America promoting Medallion Status in 2019
John Kellogg Hodgman

(1971-06-03) June 3, 1971 (age 53)
Alma materYale University
  • Actor
  • author
  • humorist
  • television personality
Years active2005–present
Katherine Fletcher
(m. 1999)

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. He has also contributed to This American Life, CBC Radio One’s, and 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. Vacationland: True Stories from Painful Beaches, a collection of "real life wanderings" about Hodgman's life experiences (especially in Western Massachusetts and coastal Maine) was published on October 24, 2017.[1] Vacationland was a finalist for the 2018 Thurber Prize for American Humor.[2] His most recent book, Medallion Status was released on October 17, 2019.

Hodgman was the headline speaker at the 2009 Radio and Television Correspondents' Association dinner in Washington, D.C.

Early life

Hodgman was born and raised in Brookline, Massachusetts, the son of Eileen (née 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.[3][4][5] 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.[6][7] During his last year of high school, he hosted the weekly Radio Consuelo show on freeform station WMFO in Medford.[8]

In 1994 Hodgman graduated from Yale University with a degree in literature, focusing on literary criticism.[9][10] 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 at a reading in 2006

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,[11] and has been listed on the show's web site as a contributor.[12]

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.[13] 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."[14] 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.[15] On November 10, 2020, he made a surprise brief appearance at the 45:27 mark of Apple's virtual "One More Thing" event, where Apple unveiled its first Macs based on its own Apple silicon chips.[16]

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.

Hodgman during a live recording of Judge John Hodgman in 2013

On October 1, 2008, Boing Boing's 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."[17][18][19]

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.[20]

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.[21]

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.[22] 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.[23] 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,[24] 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.[25]

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 made a guest appearance on the sitcom series Husbands in its second season.[26]

In 2013, Hodgman starred as "Special Agent Henry Topple" in Wired's first scripted web series Codefellas.[27][28][29]

Hodgman appeared as public radio personality August Clementine in the episode "Anniversaries" of Parks and Recreation, which aired in February 2014.

Hodgman at the BookExpo in 2017

Hodgman has a supporting role in the FX comedy Married, which premiered in July 2014. In December 2014, Hodgman appeared in three episodes of the Amazon Studios series Mozart in the Jungle.

In 2014–2015, Hodgman appeared for three episodes as a fictionalized version of psychiatrist and medical doctor Henry Cotton on the Cinemax series The Knick.[30]

In 2016, Hodgman played the role of Travis, a local television station manager, in four episodes of the second season of Amazon's Red Oaks series.[31]

In November 2017, Hodgman was named one of Portland Magazine's "10 Most Intriguing Mainers."[32]

Netflix special

Netflix, the American streaming media website, aired the comedy special John Hodgman: Ragnarok on June 20, 2013, as a "Netflix Original".[33][34][35] 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.[33][36]

Judge John Hodgman podcast

In 2010, Hodgman began hosting a weekly, comedic court show podcast called Judge John Hodgman.[37] The program features Hodgman acting as a judge (with Jesse Thorn as bailiff) adjudicating real-life disputes within a fictional courtroom setting. The cases answer questions like, "Should the kitchen sink's built-in dispenser be filled with dish soap or hand soap?" and "Can you stop family members from using your childhood nickname?"[38]



Year Title Role Notes
2008 Baby Mama Fertility Doctor
2009 Coraline Father/Other Father (voice)
2009 The Invention of Lying Wedding Overseer
2010 The Best and the Brightest Henry
2011 Arthur Candy Store Manager
2013 Movie 43 The Penguin Segment: "Super Hero Speed Dating"
2013 The English Teacher Unmotivated Man
2014 Learning to Drive Car Salesman
2015 Pitch Perfect 2 Tone Hanger
2020 Class Action Park Narrator
2023 The Venture Bros.: Radiant Is the Blood of the Baboon Heart Snoopy (voice)


Year Title Role Notes
2006–2015 The Daily Show Himself (contributor) 73 episodes
2007 Flight of the Conchords David Armstrong Episode: "Bowie"
2008 SPAMasterpiece Theater Himself 5 episodes
2009 QI Himself 1 episode
2009–2011 Bored to Death Louis Greene 8 episodes
2009–2018 The Venture Bros. Snoopy / various (voice) 7 episodes
2009 Battlestar Galactica Dr. Gerard Episode: "No Exit"
2012 Phineas and Ferb Additional voices Episode: "The Doonkelberry Imperative/Buford Confidential"
2012 Delocated John Hodgman Episode: "Reunion Show"
2012 Community Dr. Heidi Episode: "Curriculum Unavailable"
2012 30 Rock Terry Episode: "Mazel Tov, Dummies!"
2013 John Hodgman: Ragnarok Himself Television special
2013 Codefellas Henry Topple 12 episodes
2013–2014 Wander Over Yonder Lord of Illumination (voice) 2 episodes
2013–2017 Adventure Time DJ Plop Drops / Elder Plops (voice) 2 episodes
2014 Parks and Recreation August Clementine Episode: "Anniversaries"
2014–2015 Married Bernie 12 episodes
2014–2015 The Knick Dr. Henry Cotton 3 episodes
2014 Mozart in the Jungle Marlon 3 episodes
2015 Comedy Bang! Bang! Dr. Travers Episode: "Uzo Aduba Wears a White Blouse and Royal Blue Heels"
2015 Blunt Talk David Frisch 2 episodes
2016–2020 Blindspot Chief Inspector Jonas Fischer 4 episodes
2016 Odd Mom Out Brad Episode: "Knock of Shame"
2016 Milo Murphy's Law Foreman (voice) 2 episodes
2016 Red Oaks Travis 4 episodes
2016–2019 Jon Glaser Loves Gear Gear-i (voice) 10 episodes
2018 The Who Was? Show The Explanationator Episode: "Albert Einstein & Joan of Arc"
2019 Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj Himself Episode: "Student Loans"
2019 The Tick Dr. Agent Hobbes 5 episodes
2019–2021 DuckTales John D. Rockerduck (voice)[39] 4 episodes
2019 Helpsters Wayne of Wonder Episode: "Wayne of Wonder/Paleontologist Paloma"
2020 Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts Billions (voice) 6 episodes
2020 Summer Camp Island Bartholomole (voice) Episode: "Molar Moles"
2020 Adventure Time: Distant Lands Shafter (voice) Episode: "BMO"
2020–present Dicktown John Hunchman (voice) 20 episodes, also creator and writer
2022 Would I Lie to You? (US) Himself Episode: "English Breakfast in Jail"
2023 Poker Face Narc Episode: "Rest in Metal"
2023 Hamster & Gretel Micromanager (voice) Episode: "The Bottle Episode/Micromanager"
2023 Up Here Tom 8 episodes

Other media appearances

Video game appearances

Podcasts and radio appearances

Hodgman has been a guest on radio programs including WBEZ's This American Life,[41][42] and The Sound of Young America,[43] My Brother, My Brother and Me,[2] WFMU's The Best Show on WFMU,[44] NPR's Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me, North Carolina Public Radio's The State of Things,[45] Live Wire Radio (Episode 374), and BBC's Museum of Curiosity.

Hodgman has been featured on podcasts including occasional appearances as "Judge John Hodgman" on Jordan, Jesse, Go! which led to a stand-alone podcast[37] 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,[46] Stuff You Should Know, the Doughboys podcast with Mike Mitchell and Nick Wiger, and has been featured on the podcast Boing Boing TV.[47] 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.[48] 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.



In print

Hodgman at the 2010 Brooklyn Book Festival.

As contributor:

As author:


  1. ^ Vacationland by John Hodgman |
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  3. ^ "Genealogy Report: Descendants of Thomas Hodgman". Retrieved February 22, 2017.
  4. ^ "Eileen C. Hodgman, 58 Founder of Mentor Program". The Boston Globe. June 14, 2000. Archived from the original on March 29, 2015. Retrieved February 22, 2017.
  5. ^ "John Hodgman". Gordon School, Tufts University. Archived from the original on July 7, 2015. Retrieved July 6, 2015.
  6. ^ Chase, Katie Johnston (September 24, 2006). "True to his nerd: John Shackleford-Hodgman finds a niche as 'Daily Show' resident expert, mendacious author, and dorky PC". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 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....
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  26. ^ "WATCH: Episode 2 of 'Husbands'". September 4, 2012. Retrieved September 12, 2012.
  27. ^ Wired (June 21, 2013). "Codefellas EP. 1: When Topple met Winters – WIRED – YouTube". YouTube. Archived from the original on December 21, 2021. Retrieved June 23, 2013.
  28. ^ Todd Spangler (June 21, 2013). "Wired's 'Codefellas' Plays NSA Privacy Flap for Laughs – Variety". Variety. Retrieved June 23, 2013.
  29. ^ Camilleri, Ricky (June 20, 2013). "John Hodgman LIVE – HuffPost Live". The Huffington Post. Retrieved June 23, 2013.
  30. ^ Khazan, Olga (October 22, 2014). "Pulling Teeth to Treat Mental Illness". The Atlantic. Retrieved December 16, 2015.
  31. ^ Romano, Evan (November 18, 2016). "'He's Got The Chance': John Hodgman on President-elect Donald Trump". Brooklyn Magazine. Retrieved January 12, 2018.
  32. ^ "John Hodgman "10 Most Intriguing Mainers"". Portland Magazine.
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  34. ^ John Hodgman (June 10, 2013). "JOHN HODGMAN: RAGNAROK ON NETFLIX". Tumblr. Retrieved June 19, 2013.
  35. ^ John Hodgman (June 14, 2013). "John Hodgman Picks His 5 Favorite TV Thingies of the Year … From the Future". Vulture. Retrieved June 19, 2013.
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  38. ^ NPR Staff (November 30, 2013). "In the world of podcasts, Judge John Hodgman Rules". All Things Considered from NPR. Retrieved February 8, 2020.
  39. ^ "DuckTales Renewed for Season 3 Ahead of Season 2 Premiere". September 21, 2018. Retrieved October 7, 2018.
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  42. ^ "243: Later That Same Day". This American Life. July 25, 2003. Retrieved February 22, 2017.
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  45. ^ Resident Expert John Hodgman talks with Archived July 16, 2011, at the Wayback Machine The State of Things on North Carolina Public Radio
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  51. ^ Episode 231: Hi, I'm John Hodgman and I'm a Mac Archived April 6, 2010, at the Wayback Machine, Revision 3
  52. ^ [1] Today in the Past
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  54. ^ Hodgman, John (October 16, 2000). "On the Sligshot". Open Letters. Archived from the original on September 9, 2012.
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