John Hodgman Makes Park Slope Jokes in Park Slope
expert photo by Michael D. Ayers
Barnes & Noble
Wednesday, December 10
As John Hodgman made his way through stacks of Rachael Ray cookbooks and Twilight softbacks, three teenagers sort of stalked him out, giggling, and snapping multiple camera-phone shots. But it made sense. "I'm a famous, minor television personality," he explained last night to a rather crowded lower-level of Park Slope's Seventh Avenue Barnes & Noble. There to promote his newest book of faux-knowledge, More Information Than You Require, Hodgman began the night recalling his days living on the Upper, Upper West Side at 104th Street before moving out here to the "utopian commune that is Park Slope."
"What will I miss most?" Hodgman considered about his former milieu. "Brunch," he said, "Enjoying eggs benedict that just arrived at your table from the conveyor belt from the centralized Hollandaise vat, somewhere on 97th Street. All-night Rosé raids at Grant's Tomb. The Irish wolfhound parade--it's hard to give up."
Equally hard to resist: Park Slope jokes. Hodgman was wearing his "lounging suit," a blazer with a tie, which he confessed was the first time he'd done so on his promotional tour. "My child dressed me," he explained, "Because the children run things here." Hodgman segued into a short reading of Park Slope's history--"a quiet village, with leafy streets," where we watch out for our neighbors by "silently judging one another." But, he clarified-the neighborhood is not as elitist as one might think. "Despite what you've heard, you don't need to have gone to an Ivy League school to live here. Many of our members have attended small liberal arts colleges."
Later, Hodgman hosted a long Q&A session. Question: "How did you end up making those commercials?" Response: "What commercials?" Another: "What does Jon Stewart smell like?" Hodgman's reply: "I haven't noticed a particular odor or aroma; he's not a cologne-wearer, per se. But I can smell you." Olfactory offers aside, he did reveal that he'll be flexing his minor television personality weight in an upcoming Ricky Gervais film, as well as an episode of Battlestar Galactica. Holy frack! -Michael D. Ayers