The very first guest on 15 Minutes was John Hodgman (and we’ll be reposting that episode right after this one). Back in the fall of 2015, we spoke for a nearly exact 15 Minutes (the only full episode with a guest that’s actually anywhere near that short, most are around an hour - yes, yes, but the name of the show, we know, we know).
When I heard about John’s new book Medallion Status (pub. date 10/15/19!), which he describes as “your basic minor fame to no fame Hollywood memoir with some peeks into the secret clubs and hidden rooms that celebrity allowed me briefly to peek into,” I knew it was time to have him back. And this time, we talked a whole lot longer.
For those of you who don’t know him (and yes, Hodgmaniacs, there are those folks out there):
JOHN HODGMAN is a writer, comedian, and actor. Most recently, he is the author of the acclaimed collection of funny true stories called VACATIONLAND. He also wrote three books of fake facts and invented trivia, all of them New York Times Bestsellers, and his writing has also appeared in The Paris Review, This American Life, The New Yorker, and Mad Magazine. After an appearance to promote his books on “The Daily Show,” he was invited to return as a contributor, serving as the show’s “Resident Expert” and “Deranged Millionaire.”
For the past nine years, he’s also been the host of the popular Judge John Hodgman podcast, where he settles serious disputes between real people. He also contributes a weekly column under the same name for The New York Times Magazine.
He’s also the host of the viral Instagram-live sensation Get Your Pets! with John Hodgman in which he talks to animals and their people in a live broadcast, while perhaps occasionally plugging his new book Medallion Statusevery so often.
Over nearly an hour and a half, we talked a lot about the book and those rooms and clubs, his previous book, Vacationland, fame as addiction, adjusting and appreciating life as one’s status inevitably declines over time (We also go into how white men are handling the reality of their/our inevitably declining status), and why it’s really important for authors that readers pre-order their books if possible, and which you should do if you’re so inclined and you’re reading this before 10/15/19, and you should be so inclined, because Medallion Status and John Hodgman will make your life better. Where can you go to pre-order, you may ask? Why http://bit.ly/MEDALLIONSTATUS, that’s where! My short plug: Like Vacationland, the book (and this 15 Minutes episode) is funny in ways many know John to be, as well as moving and contemplative in ways you might not expect. I gave it five starts on Good Reads.
Early praise for Medallion Status:
“This funny, sometimes delightfully absurd book offers sharp meditations on status, relevance, and age, and fame—or at least being fame-adjacent.” -PW
“Hodgman offers thoughtful musings about human nature and our drive for status. An entertaining and endearing entry from the author of Vacationland(2017).” -Booklist
(Note: this is one of those episodes with a false ending, so when you hear us saying bye, stick around for more!)
But enough plugging, enjoy the episode! Oh, and when you do enjoy it, PLEASE PASS IT ON via your favorite social medium - you'll be helping a worthy author sell books, and an independent podcaster get listeners, both very difficult tasks in supersaturated markets. Thanks!
-Jamie (@15minsjamieb on Insta and Twitter, and easily findable on Facebook)