You know John Hodgman. I’m certain to offend subculture progressives out there by posting the clip below, but not everyone can cultivate facial hair and “rediscover” vinyl like those guys. Check the video below to refresh your memory. Hint: Hodgman’s the more ‘academic’ looking of the two.
He set the tone philisopically for an entire generational subset of aimless millennials, working his way into the liberal psyche in the early aughts as a Daily Show correspondent.
The guy’s a brand. He has tangible clout on Twitter; he’s written three books by my count; and he’s been a guest on countless NPR programs, as well as many big podcasts. I’m surprised he doesn’t have a signature clothing or accessory line. Hodgman monocles would be huge. It’s beyond appropriate he created a podcast, Judge John Hodgman, a couple years back to fuel the Hodgman machine.
Judge is on podcast stalwart Jesse Thorn’s network, Maximum Fun. The show, set in a mock court room, a la The People’s Court, is adeptly produced, witty, and even charming at times.
In the show, Hodgman presides over a dispute between two “warring” parties. He authoritatively balks falsehoods, and less-than-accurate ephemera. It can be very amusing if you surrender to the mockumentary (a term I dislike but find appropriate here) nature of it all. BUT…
It’s not for everyone. As is the case with the titular host, Judge John Hodgman does not have the broad appeal his Apple spots did. His jokes, as incisive as they may be, are not necessarily funny. Hodgman is certainly clever, but you may find yourself scrambling to understand a lot of his esoteria instead of laughing.
To recap, fans of Comedy Bang Bang, a podcast similar in ilk to Judge, will enjoy Hodgman and company ad lib through his proceedings. But it takes a specific sensibility to really get into this show. I say give it a listen; it may be precisely what you were looking for. If it’s not, fret not, you’re probably in the majority.