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John Hodgman -- Most Entertaining Book Talk, Ever

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I'm still chuckling over the John Hodgman Areas of My Expertise talk at Codys SF. Some of you may already be aware that musician Jonathan Coulton accompanies Hodgman for his talks. I've never seen a book talk with an opening theme song and musical accompaniment, but I am now convinced it is a practice that should be adopted by every author. He is also the only author I have seen talk a brandy break (necessary due to the performance nature of his talk) as well as use walkie-talkies to do the Q&A (which works, for a bit).

Hodgman riffed on Benjamin Franklin, hoboes, Big Rock Candy Mountain, and more. If I didn't know better, I would think that Hodgman had been hanging out with metamanda, though I don't think she is nearly as knowledgeable about the Mall of America.

With the help m, who offered his tripod, I managed to shoot much more watchable video this time around.

Update: here's the video for the first half of the talk. After this, Hodgman and Coulton took a brandy break and then did Q&A. I only have a bit of the Q&A, which was hilarious in itself.

This is as much of the Q&A as I could record:

Comments (5)

Awesome. I had been thinking about going to his reading when he gets over here, and now I'm sold.


You're right, I don't know crap about the Mall of America (except that it's apparently not really heated just a very effective greenhouse) because my area of expertise is the Irvine Spectrum Center. I'm more of a mall specialist than a mall generalist.

Also, I'm mostly interested in women hoboes. I can recommend an excellent paper on that if you like.

Hope he's coming to SoCal soon.


@meta: you should write a book. Preferably an almanac of all world knowledge.

Rats, the video stopped just before he got to my question. :)

Oh well. Thanks so much for recording and posting this! It was a hillarious talk and it was great to be able to see it again.



I didn't link to the video because my camera ran out of room mid-answer, but you might appreciate the refresher.

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