John Hodgman


American Author and Humorist

Author Quotes

I would be good for maybe not the center square but an upper square on 'Hollywood Squares.'

More people have more access to more readers for less money than ever before in history. It means a lot of dross; but it means a lot of very talented people can find and nurture a readership in ways that were not possible twenty years ago. From a creative perspective, that is all that writing is about.

So long as you refuse to ever acknowledge failure, success becomes eternal, a downward curve, always approaching failure, but never quite reaching it.

We have all been empowered by the web: everyone with a keyboard can now effectively broadcast to a national audience. In a sense, it puts each of us on the same footing as the major media conglomerates, except for AOL, who now apparently own all our thoughts and teeth.

If you have not seen it, FOOTBALL is a game in which men shove one another back and forth for no reason. They do not choose how, when, or whom they shove. All that has been decided for them in advance. All they need to do is follow the orders given to them before the game, showing them where to run and how to violently deploy the meat of their bodies against the meat that is running at them. They are doing this in order to please one angry old man on the sidelines. This old man is called the coach or yelling surrogate dad who will never be happy.

Most people presume my mustache is not real because it's much darker than my regular hair.

Stories hold power because they convey the illusion that life has purpose and direction. Where God is absent from the lives of all but the most blessed, the writer, of all people, replaces that ordering principle. Stories make sense when so much around us is senseless, and perhaps what makes them most comforting is that, while life goes on and pain goes on, stories do us the favor of ending.

Weathermen are the ponchoed buffoons who spend hurricanes outside, buffeted by winds, lashed by rains, struggling to stand erect. A mime's walking against the wind routine come horribly to life. Whereas meteorologists - we're the people who sent them out there.

If you look in the dictionary under 'perfectionist,' you see Henry Selick correcting the definition of perfectionist in the dictionary. I mean, he is so meticulous.

My biggest superhero of writing is Jorge Luis Borges, the Argentine fabulist. He's an amazingly perceptive writer, but also willing to make a joke.

That which is hard to do is best done bitterly.

Well, I always had this desire to celebrate and somehow be a part of things that I thought were really great.

If you make the smokestacks out of children, who will you force to clean them?

My career as a magazine writer was largely prefaced on the idea of curiosity, to go on adventures and weasel my way into the lives of people that I admire.

The decision to drop the atomic bomb - that wasn't Truman, but sweepstakes winner Penny Holkum of Palm Beach. And for that she received a case of Lucky Strikes and a lifetime supply of sadness.

What better emblem for our nation, after all, than a level playing field, shaped like an octagon, where people of diverse cultural ass-kicking traditions can meet as equals and immediately start kicking ass.

I'm a personality - like a George Plimpton who effectively plays himself in a bunch of different roles, or a Paul Lynde-type character.

My fame is due to broadcast television.

The few people who ask to have their photographs with me, I almost always say yes, except for a few circumstances, like when my family is around.

What if RAGNAROK does not come? What if it does not happen the way I say it is going to happen?

In the '80s and '90s, I was really interested in, moved by, exhilarated by, and troubled by rap in all the ways a white person from Brookline, Massachusetts should be. That was music that was making trouble, and it was interesting and provocative trouble.

My type of humor is me not caring whether people know what I'm talking about or not.

The geographic center of North America is historically located in Osborne County, Kansas. It is said that all armies will bow to the one who controls it.

What would I put in a museum? Probably a museum! That's an amusing relic of our past.

It seems that every generation needs its public, tweedy, literary personality to sell its consumer electronics. To whatever degree I can live up to the Plimptonian legacy, I am humble and proud.

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American Author and Humorist