Wednesday, September 13, 2006

John Hodgman: F***ing Genius

If there was any doubt that John Hodgman is a fucking genius (and I don't throw around the "F.G." tag as freely as I do the superlatives), his ad campaign for the paperback version of "The Areas of My Expertise" would be it.

It's an homage to George Plimpton's old Intellivision ad.

(You know Intellivision right? What's the birth-year cut-off to know/love/remember Intellivision? Basic recap: It was a short-lived competitor to Atari, the gold standard, and Coleco, which had that kick-ass driving-wheel accessory. Meanwhile, I myself had a Vectrex, which sounds vaguely like a product you'd use to clear up an STD. Now who remembers Vectrex?! This was all pre-Nintendo, of course.)

Hodgman's version.

Original, Plimptonian version.

It happens that I picked up "Areas of My Expertise" in paperback last week and have been enjoying it since. Highly recommended.

In true Hodgman fashion:
That is all.

Thanks to Gawker for the tip-off.

-- D.S.

32 comments:

marcomarco said...

Few will appreciate the joke. Well done Hodgey.

rafael said...

....

Is that the guy from the annoying as hell Macintosh commercials?

Matthew B. Novak said...

John Hodgeman is simply brilliant. I had the opportunity to see him do a reading in person, crammed into a tiny room with about 35 people, where he passed around a bottle of whisky and took Q&A on walkie-talkies, despite being no further than 20 feet from every single person.

The best part though, is that he's already upped for at least 1 more book. You liked the Hobos? Just wait for the Molemen.

Anonymous said...

RIP Plimpton

Brian said...

Short-lived? The Intellivision lasted a hell of a lot longer than Colecovision. And everybody went down in the Video Game Crash of 1983.

Lowdogg said...

Nice F-bomb Shanoff. Nothing like a little profanity to demonstrate how insightful you are.

Anonymous said...

dropping an F bomb won't give you street cred white boy.

Anonymous said...

Intellivision went on to spawn the smaller version Intellivision II - which had the wicked voice-game "B-17 Bomber"!!!

Utopia is still the greatest game created next to Sega-CD's Third World War!!

anonymous said...

i love me some Intellivision. the sweet "i'm basically a phone pad" controller and the little scroller discs.. nothing beat it.

except for my NES running pad. that definitely brings the heat.

Anonymous said...

Not only do I remember the Vectrex, I'll buy yours off you if you still have it lying around...

(I was definitely an Atari guy back then - with an Intellivision buddy and a ColecoVision buddy of course...)

troy (gainesville, fl) said...

This is why I love the Daily Show. If not for that show, I'd have no idea who Hodgman is (other than the 'I'm a PC' guy). He's further definite proof that TDS is the new SNL--all the smartest, funniest guys are ending up/coming out of there.

Highly recommended is Hodgman reading the hobo names from his book with Jonathan Coulton on guitar. You can find it on Hodgman's blog I think.

Rick said...

Great book, I grabbed it last Christmas time. I learned so much about all of the states from that book. Textbooks should take note, he's got the inside scoop.

AwfulAnnouncing said...

DS, glad you're getting some commenters you might want to turn off the Anonymous the A-holes can get pretty annoying. Good Luck with the blog.

Run Up The Score said...

Got the book for Christmas and the fact that I haven't read it yet is killing me. But I promised my girlfriend I'd knock off her gift first, "A Confederacy Of Dunces".

CorrND said...

Second the anonymous posting ban.

I'm 27 and I had an Intellivision, though I don't remember this ad. Hell yeah, UTOPIA!

John Hodgeman is the shit. I wasn't sure what to make of him when he first showed up on The Daily Show, but now I love his segments.

Anonymous said...

You are a lot better now that you aren't confined to the WWL.

Captain Caveman said...

Anyone who only knows Hodgman from the Mac ads needs to read more books. "The Areas of My Expertise" is fucking genius (and Dan, I think it does help your street cred), and anyone near NYC should check out his Little Gray Book lecture series.

Anonymous commenters are the bravest people on the Intenet.

WeJamEcono said...

I love to comment anonymously. As much as I lust after Captain Caveman. Er, Uh, you can't find me right?

He's more than the PC Geek. Excellent. Very Apropos.

Unsilent Majority said...

His book is great as is his work with Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz.

rafael said...

I do read a lot of books, but not his. I'll definitely pick one up.


BTW, Scoop Jackson just said in his chat that ESPN has let Whitlock go from its columnist listing.
Simmons has more fans than the rest of the site combined, so he's fine, but what the heck is ESPN.com doing by letting all of its personality leave? Shanoff, Whitlock, Bayless...hardly anyone worth reading that can rile you up. As much as I like Bill Simmons, he's on his way over the shark.

swiznami said...

Whitlock's gone too? WTF? Is there even a reason to visit page 2 anymore? I can't believe more people would rather read the freaking uni watch and Jim Caple bitching about steriods in football over people with actual opinions. Who is their next columnist? Paul Maguire?

Rick said...

If that Whitlock comment is true let me just say "What the fuck?"

Brian said...

I don't mourn Bayless' departure. A contrarian writer whose goal was -- to be contrary.

Greg said...

Vectrex? Dude! Any system that can turn a black and white screen into "color" with a sheet of plastic is teh shiz!

(Someone stop me before I start speaking l33t...)

Christian (High Point, NC) said...

Bayless is gone?! Thank f'ing God (hey, everybody's doing it). Yeah, his only purpose was to rile things up; most of his columns were about him rather than the actual subject.
Whitlock is good, but not Wiley (RIP) good.

Maybe they can get Jenn Sterger.

virgil said...

Good riddance to Bayless! Whitlock I am on the fence. Intellevision was the shizzle(does that count, when in Rome...).

Mark (Austin, TX) said...

I never had the Intellivision, as we were one of the first on the block to have an Atari 2600. But I remember all of those ads, thanks for making me feel old this morning...

Bob said...

Intellivision. Yes. I even had that baseball game in the pic. Night Stalker, that Pac Man ripoff (with a criminal and cops) and Astrosmash!

Good times, good times

(1973 birthyear)

Jaden (Cola, SC) said...

I used to have an Intellivision. I could spend literally hours playing game after game of Astrosmash. I loved it so much that when the collection of Intellivision games came out for the PlayStation, I bought it!

Leelanau Sports Guy said...

My buddy had Vectrex. That didn't sound good. We had a blast playing it!

seamus said...

I "borrowed" the neighbor's Vectrex for about a year. It included a football game on which a hitch pass to the WR would score a TD every time. For some reason, I found it endlessly fun to do this over and over and over in an attempt to break 100 points in a game.

Other kids, meanwhile, were learning piano and other languages.

Johnnyseattle said...

My father and all my friends' fathers talked it out so we'd all have different consoles. I was the lucky stiff with the Intellivision. Still have it in the attic too.

Always felt sorry for the poor kid that was stuck with the Odyssey II though.....

Bayless is a douche. Cold Pizza is a good place for him.