Judging John

Sometimes you look back on your life and realize that something you’d thought you had been enjoying for a short time has actually been part of your life for many years. In my case, it’s the gentle, but biting humor of John Hodgman.

Like many, I remember John from the sweetly snarky Mac/PC Apple advertisements of the early 00s. Later, I enjoyed recognizing his voice as the father in Coraline and, for the last couple years, I’ve been thoroughly enjoying his podcast Judge John Hodgman.

This evening I was watching Adam Savage and John Hodgman talking about comics, life, and… dieting?… at a comicon.


(Mildly NSFW, as John talks about his diet… the same one I’m trying to follow.)

In the course of their chat, John mentioned the early days of being a nerd on the internet. Back then, when there were far fewer people online, he tracked down the personal homepage of Bruce Campbell and managed to become his literary agent.

Wait a sec, I thought, I know that story.

A few Google searches later and I found myself looking at the archives of This American Life, a public radio show that I have listened to sporadically for at least fifteen years. Turns out that John Hodgman produced several segments for This American Life, including Agent to the Stars, in which he described the joy and terror of becoming the agent to his favorite B movie actor.

Life is not a story with a clean and predictable plot, but sometimes you get the pleasure of finding a little bit of actual foreshadowing in your own past.

If you’ve got any similar stories, I’d love to read them in the comments below.